This Week in WWE: A King Will Soon Be Crowned
Chris Novak: Raw is in St. Paul, Minnesota, tonight, a very rare moment indeed. The KOTR Round of 16 begins tonight, which should provide plenty of quality entertainment. Also, King’s Court with Sasha Banks is scheduled. This all should lead to some good and fun moments.
Robert O’Neill: Speaking of King, he’s on commentary tonight. So that sucks! But Roman Reigns is here. So that’s good!
And now Dolph Ziggler is here, so that’s also bad! Not the best start to Raw.
Chris Novak: They banter a little bit because they’re wrestling against one another. That match turns out to be a pretty good one! Not too surprising, since Roman is great at the wrestling. But I’ll give Dolph some credit here too because he showed out as well. This was a fun way to start the show. Roman defeated Dolph with an awesome Spear.
Robert O’Neill: It’s time for King’s Court with Sasha Banks! But first, we get a video package recapping last week, and then a pre-recorded interview with Becky Lynch where Becky says people are only talking about Sasha because of Becky’s interviews before Summerslam and Sasha did nothing to deserve any of this.
Chris Novak: That promo from Becky was absolutely fire. The best line, I think, was when Becky said that Sasha is “The greatest woman on the roster to never be great.” Just money stuff.
Anyways, King’s out here and he promotes the KOTR Tourney… and before we can even get started with the segment, The Fiend arrives and puts King in the Mandible Claw! God bless The Fiend.
Robert O’Neill: That was great. Really love how they use The Fiend to take out legends and don’t have him wrestle on TV. Keeps the allure.
We move onto a tag team match, featuring Miz and Ricochet vs. Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre. These four are in King of the Ring matches next week, so they have to get them some hype this week. It was a fun match that was Ricochet pin Corbin, which is a singles match I would be perfectly fine with at some point.
Chris Novak: It happened in May Rob! I mean sure, Corbin won. But it happened in May!
We’re going to hear from Sasha Banks soon even though King was disposed of. Win for all involved!
King Booker chatted a bit on Skype about the KOTR. Is a weekly Skype session with the legends going to be a thing now? I don’t actually know! But sure!
Braun Strowman faces AJ Styles for the United States Championship next. Okay! So, this match never really finishes out. The OC intervenes and beats Braun up. Seth Rollins comes to Braun’s aid and knocks both Gallows and Anderson out of the ring. He shakes hands with Strowman, who grips a bit tightly to intimidate Seth a bit but relents. I don’t know where this is headed! But I guess that’s the point?
Robert O’Neill: WELL, it’s headed to a tag title match for Rollins and Strowman, as Seth notes backstage after coming back from commercial. That’s the main event tonight! Cool.
It’s time for our first King of the Ring match, as Cesaro and Samoa Joe are squaring off, and they’re probably gonna beat the hell out of each other.
Chris Novak: Look at that… they beat the hell out of each other! This was a fantastic wrestling match. Joe picked up the win after putting Cesaro in the Coquina Clutch by match’s end. If this is the beginning of what’s to come here in this Tourney, we’re in for a real treat. Seriously.
New Day vs. Revival is happening next. Before that though, Rey Mysterio is here to address the past few weeks. The past few weeks have mostly centered around the fact that Rey has lost to Andrade a multitude of times lately. So Rey’s having an existential crisis as a result.
Robert O’Neill: He made it seem like he was going to retire and went to take his mask off but his son Dominick stopped him and said he wants to team with him before he retires. That was nice.
Chris Novak: It was actually! It was. That was very nice.
New Day-Revival goes down now. Hey, it’s kinda fun! Randy Orton then jumped into the scene and hit an RKO on Big E. Orton and The Revival proceeded to then go after Xavier Woods until Kofi Kingston hit the scene. Kingston, though, got jumped and attacked. Orton and The Revival hit a pretty sick triple team RKO/Shatter Machine/3-D type maneuver.
Then Orton made Kofi watch Dash hit a Pillmanizer (without the chair) on Xavier’s knee. This was a classic, 80s-style heel segment and I TOTALLY LOVED IT! I could honestly gush about this more and I probably will later this week on the pod.
Robert O’Neill: Michael Cole interviews Sasha Banks on the Titantron and Sasha deflects the question and talks about her hair instead. Cole presses her again as to why she beat up Natalya and Becky last week and Sasha says “you’re welcome” and then leaves.
The Women’s Tag Team Champions are in action against Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville!
Alexa and Nikki win relatively quickly aaaaaand… they now have wins over the entire women’s tag division. That’s not ideal!
Chris Novak: It’s not “ideal” but it’s nothing that can’t be heated up quickly enough. The titles are what they are at this point. I’m just glad they’re on TV again.
Cedric Alexander (rather decisively) defeated Sami Zayn in their KOTR match. Little disappointed with that development as I thought this match was going to be better and more stretched out. But alas, it wasn’t. So Ceddy advances and will face either The Miz or Baron Corbin.
Robert O’Neill: Natalya is backstage discussing her injuries when Sasha Banks attacks her, focusing on Nattie’s injured elbow. Sasha then tells Nattie to go to hell and say hi to her dad. Whew.
Chris Novak: Tag Team Titles Match is now. Wow! Rollins and Strowman win the Tag Team Titles. It’s been a while since we’ve gone down the “Unlikely Main Eventer Pals Become Tag Team Champs” well, but I don’t mind it in this instance. Plus, I bet Seth winds up getting pinned when they eventually lose the championships. So, this will all serve its purpose and give a rub to The OC later on. I liked this! The match was pretty good too!
Robert O’Neill: I like this! I like this a lot. Pretty clear Braun is eventually going to turn most likely. That’s fine with me.
Robert O’Neill: These final thoughts sections get harder and harder because I enjoy the weekly TV every single week now. The in-ring stuff is always good and the storylines have been getting better and better. It’s really hard to find complaints, so I guess Raw gets an A.
Chris Novak: Strong B+ for me. This was a good Raw, not a great Raw. It checked off the boxes but it wasn’t A-worthy. But just a very strong show. They have definitely turned it all around here lately.
Chris Novak: Busy SmackDown Live on the way here. Two KOTR matches (Andrade-Apollo, KO-Elias) plus Daniel Bryan vs. Buddy Murphy. Not sure where the women fit in here, but I suppose we’ll find that out soon enough.
Randy Orton is here to start the show though. This fresh off his awesome heel attack on The New Day with The Revival. Orton is rather angry, saying that Kofi ran from a fight. He says that Kofi’s stupid (I get it) and he gave Kofi the opportunity last week to prove himself, and he failed. He brings up that he hit him with two RKOs. He brings up last night, and he says the best part was making Kofi watch what happened to Xavier Woods.
The New Day’s music eventually hits, and Orton stares toward the screen. Kofi then comes into the ring and hits Orton with a surprise Trouble in Paradise! Kingston goes to leave the scene but he grabs a steel chair. He then goes to do the exact same thing that happened to Woods, but with a chair! That is until The Revival come out. Kingston takes care of them, but Orton gets out of dodge.
Robert O’Neill: Oh man I LOVED that. Kofi’s bringing the heat and getting revenge for what happened on Raw is awesome. Keep this going as long as possible.
Chris Novak: They play the same video package from yesterday about the Roman Reigns saga. We’re promptly reminded that Bryan will be “bringing the culprit” to Roman tonight. Whoever that may be, at least.
Andrade vs. Apollo Crews is next.
Robert O’Neill: Meanwhile backstage, Kevin Owens is summoned to Shane McMahon’s office and Shane warns him not to cause a ruckus tonight or he’ll be fined again. Kevin says he won’t act out and he’s a good father and Shane’s a good father and Owens will act appropriately to protect his family.
Chris Novak: So that was a real good match. Andrade won the back-and-forth matchup to advance in the KOTR. He’ll face either Chad Gable or Shelton Benjamin. Apollo Crews absolutely showed out in this one though. He’s really been hitting his stride lately, and that’s probably not a surprise considering who he’s faced of late. But fair play to him for making the most of his opportunities.
Robert O’Neill: Great match. Right guy won. Things of that nature.
Chris Novak: Drake Maverick tried pulling a fast one on Elias. But Elias gave him an order that decreed that the 24/7 Title rules would be suspended so Elias could focus on his KOTR match with Elias. Heeling!
A Moment of Bliss with Charlotte Flair is next. Hmmm… I sure do wonder… where this is going to lead…
Robert O’Neill: Charlotte starts talking about how Bayley is an undeserving champion which eventually brings Bayley out to defend herself, as she says Charlotte can say all she wants but it doesn’t matter because Bayley has the title and she’s automatically better. Then Bayley pushes Charlotte off her chair and effectively ruins Moment of Bliss. Not nice.
It’s time for Buddy Murphy vs. Daniel Bryan!
Chris Novak: Well, one week after Buddy Murphy had a TV MOTYC against Roman Reigns, he and Bryan had a TV MOTYC this week! And Bud Murph picked up the clean win! This is real exciting for Murphy as he’s clearly well-liked and getting big Ws and time to show his stuff. Match was just awesome.
Robert O’Neill: To no surprise at all, that was a great match. Kayla Braxton attempts to interview Buddy in the back but Bryan and Rowan beat him up and continue to call him a liar.
We go back to the ring where The Revival have challenged the New Day to a Smackdown tag titles match at Clash of Champions. But first, Revival have a match against Heavy Machinery.
Unsurprisingly, Revival get a pretty quick victory despite their ribs being injured from Kofi’s attack earlier in the night.
Chris Novak: That was a decent match. Enough for The Revival to get a quality win against an over tag team. So, it worked well for me.
MizTV with Sami Zayn, of all people, is here. Zayn says that after losing so many matches he had an epiphany. He wants to help people. One of those people, apparently, is Shinsuke Nakamura!? Zayn is essentially acting as his translator now. They beat up The Miz, seemingly teeing up Nakamura-Miz for the Intercontinental Championship down the line. Cool? Cool!
Robert O’Neill: Big fan of a Zayn/Nakamura pairing. How could you not be? They’re both wildly entertaining, and you can go ahead and sign me up for more Zayn/Miz stuff. Not to mention, Miz/Nakamura would be a ton of fun AND is a match we’ve never seen before.
Chris Novak: I’m honestly looking forward to this pairing. We shall see what happens here.
KO vs. Elias is next. Beforehand, Shane told KO that if he put his hands on an official then he’d be fired. Why do I suddenly have a suspicion that he’s wearing a ref shirt underneath his shirt and he’s going to fire KO tonight? We’ll see if that’s what happens here.
Robert O’Neill: Well, Chris was right! Owens and Elias had a solid match and then Shane revealed his referee shirt and got the original referee out of the ring, then gave Elias the win via a very fast count. Straight out of 1999!
We go backstage where Roman Reigns is set to finally reveal who attacked him and he pulls the hood off and reveals… an older version of Rowan? This must be a ruse! The show ends.
Robert O’Neill: These final thoughts sections get harder and harder because I enjoy the weekly TV every single week now. The in-ring stuff is always good and the storylines have been getting better and better. It’s really hard to find complaints, so I guess Smackdown also gets an A.
Chris Novak: SmackDown get an A- from me. There were great matches and storyline advancements. This was a better show than Raw this week in my opinion, to no one’s real surprise given what happened on this episode. Buddy Murphy’s rise is fun as hell to watch right now and I look forward to him vs. Ali next week.