Posts tagged Brock Lesnar
Ruthless Aggression - Iron Man/Armageddon

Pierce Chris and Rob recap Clash of Champions, The Fiend haunting Seth Rollins, Brock Lesnar challenging Kofi Kingston on the first Smackdown on FOX, the returns of Luke Harper and Rusev, and the Four Horsewomen. Plus, NXT's big first night on USA, and a trip back to the week in 2003, featuring one of the all-time great Smackdown main events with Brock vs. Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship in a 60-minute Iron Man match! Then, RAW presents Armageddon 2003!

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This Week in WWE: It's a Brock Party, and Everyone is Invited
Raw logo.png

Chris Novak: Time for an episode of Monday Night Raw that I’m sure no one in the wrestling world will overreact to in either direction. Brock Lesnar is here and is expected to announce his decision as to who he will be cashing in on. Anyhow, speaking of that… Kofi Kingston is here. Not to nitpick, but it wouldn’t kill us to have some variety with this Wild Card rule would it?

Kingston talks about how he’s here and is unafraid of Brock Lesnar. After that spiel, Seth Rollins comes out. I’d hazard he’s probably just going to say the same things. Seth does, in fact, say that. This welcomes Brock Lesnar out and… he has a remixed theme song because of his ‘boombox’ MITB briefcase. I am CRYING.

Lesnar dances around for a bit to the remixed theme, and then rocks out to both Kofi and Seth’s themes. Rollins eventually leaves in a huff (by the way it should be mentioned that Lesnar’s briefcase is now designed to look like a literal boombox). Paul Heyman says that Rollins ruined the ‘Brock Party,’ and therefore, he won’t be announcing his decision tonight.

Dolph Ziggler snuck up on Kingston after Heyman and Lesnar left the ring. He hit him with a Zig Zag on the ramp outside. He went to attack him further, but Xavier Woods made the save.

Hey, solid segment. The fight continues after the break between Woods and Ziggler.

Robert O’Neill: I saw people complaining about the segment, which is weird because the usual complaint about Brock Lesnar is about how he never shows up and is boring when he does show up. So, I don’t really know what people want. This shit is exhausting.

The brawl between Ziggler and Woods was entertaining though, but they probably could have saved it for Smackdown.

Chris Novak: 30 minutes later we’re still here for some reason. I can’t answer that question and this is definitely running way too long right now. Ziggler’s here to talk Kofi down and says he should be worrying about him. Now, granted, Ziggler’s speech? It was good. I liked it. I liked it a lot. But going 32 minutes is quite a bit overboard!

They cut to a block party that’s going on. Lot of the mid-carders were there. I’d expect some shenanigans coming along here if and when R-Truth comes through there.

Shane McMahon is wrestling next. Woo?

Robert O’Neill: Shane came out and said he would be wrestling a member of the Samoan Dynasty, and out comes MLW’s Lance Anoa’i. How neat. Drew Mcintyre softens him up for a while before Shane squashes him and eventually Roman comes out for the save. That was effective.

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are back. Is it time to cash in! It might be! Seth Rollins comes out and whines about Brock not actually caring or being a fighting champion (NOTE: Rollins has defended the title two times in the past seven weeks) and Heyman starts reading through the contract aloud. Once he gets to the part where it says Brock has the briefcase for a full year, Lesnar slaps him and says he didn’t know had a whole year. What’s the rush?

Brock Lesnar is a delight.

Chris Novak: It’s time for women’s tag team action now. Becky Lynch is teaming up with Nikki Cross to face off with The IIconics. Absent is Alexa Bliss, who’s busy being a good, supportive mother to Larry-Steve, who turned two years old today. Happy Birthday, Larry-Steve!

Anyways, this match proved to be a pretty fun one. As expected. Actually lasted a couple of segments, which was fun! Lynch won after slamming Royce down and got the 1-2-3. I actually like Cross and Lynch as a team. If only Bliss was here, but again, she’s busy being a good mom.

Lacey Evans showed up afterwards. Brief confrontation. You know the deal.

We’re doing Cesaro-Ricochet again! And what do you know? It was a total banger. Even better than their match last week. Finish was fun as absolute hell. Ricochet helped himself up Cesaro’s shoulders and then drove him down with a huge hurricanrana. These two could wrestle every single week. I wouldn’t care!

Robert O’Neill: Cesaro and Ricochet are so good together. I love it.

It’s time for the Elimination Fatal Four-Way to decide the number one contender. Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin vs. The Miz vs. Bob Lashley. This should be fun.

Chris Novak: It WAS fun. Corbin won the match. Lashley and Strowman brawled to the back, effectively taking themselves out of the matchup. Then, Baron hit Miz with the End of Days. There’s an easy way of inserting Styles into this feud/match/etc. Since Corbin replaced him and whatnot. Everyone looked good in this one. Really liked this one.

Robert O’Neill: Firefly Fun House was great as usual. Take a look!

Chris Novak: They did this ‘Electric Chair’ segment with Sami Zayn, where people asked him questions. Honestly, the segment was entertaining enough. Mostly because Sami Zayn is hilarious. He also dropped an ‘AEW’ mention, so, you know… that’s going to go over well. I’m just sure of it.

Robert O’Neill: Seth Rollins interrupts Zayn though, and we have our main event! And, unsurprisingly, the two delivered in a big way. It seems like every match these two have had has been good, and this one was no different. We even got the traditional spot where Rollins landed on his knee and spent the rest of the match acting like it was distressing him. Simple and effective. Seth got the victory, and the show ended without Lesnar teasing another cash-in.


Robert O’Neill: Despite the first hour of this show being pretty bad, it rebounded nicely and kept my attention for the final 120 minutes. Ricochet and Cesaro had a great match and I really liked Rollins/Zayn. In all, call it a B.

Chris Novak: The show definitely finished very strong after a weird first hour. For that reason, I’ll give this how a B. Cesaro-Ricochet was fantastic, as was Rollins-Zayn. The women’s tag match was also a fun little match, and I thought they pieced some things together pretty well here. All in all, not a perfect show by any means. But certainly better than most holiday shows that they always trot on out.

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Chris Novak: Unlike last night’s Raw, we’re going right to the action tonight on SmackDown Live. Kevin Owens is facing off with Kofi Kingston in a non-title Money in the Bank rematch. How fun. Unsurprisingly, we’re about a half hour into the show, and the match is still going and it’s been REALLY good. Kofi eventually won with Trouble in Paradise. I enjoyed this match more than I enjoyed the first match between these two. Which is saying a lot, because the first one was really good!

Robert O’Neill: That was awesome. I love watching those two wrestle. Kofi’s string of great matches continues, too. He’s been the best of the two big champions by far. I think it was also interesting to keep Dolph Ziggler in the back and show him watching the match instead of having him come out and attack again. Don’t need to do that same thing every single night.

Truth and Carmella are here and trying to hide from Drake Maverick who STILL wants the 24/7 title.

Meanwhile back in the ring, Daniel Bryan and Rowan come out and lambast the crowd for eating processed meats on Memorial Day, while also calling the tag division a joke. Heavy Machinery comes out to defend the honor of meats and challenge Bryan and Rowan, who would never waste such a match on the people of Oklahoma.

Chris Novak: Mandy and Sonya were seen backstage passing out Mandy’s edition of Muscle & Fitness Hers to several people backstage. One of them was Ember Moon, who didn’t take kindly to them giving all of them to her. Now Mandy is facing Carmella in a rematch of last week’s match that never actually was.

Robert O’Neill: Mandy gets a quick victory when Sonya distracts Carmella with the magazine. That’s fine with me. Very effective.

Chris Novak: Very effective but… not too great. Really not sure Mandy Rose is where they want her to be this year. Which is unfortunate in a lot of ways.

We had more 24/7 Championship hijinx in the back. Truth eluded many a situation. He’s no Houdini of Hardcore yet. But he sure is escaping a lot!

It’s Shane McMahon Appreciation Night. For whom, I don’t know. Anyways, they played a really awesome video package. I know, that’s SO surprising! Shane said there’s no reason to boo Kevin Dunn after thanking him. That, of which, I disagree with! This eventually gets interrupted by R-Truth, who’s trying to run away from Drake Maverick. They jump in the ring, and Truth successfully defeats Maverick!

Aaaaaand then, he falls at the mercy of a 3-on-1 beatdown by Shane, Elias and Drew Mac. And then after getting attacked, Elias jumps on Truth and wins the 24/7 Championship! My goodness!

Robert O’Neill: I was wondering when that title would change, and we have our answer! Truth will team with Roman against Elias and McIntyre later tonight. The 24/7 rule is suspended until the end of the night.

Chris Novak: Bayley vs. Lacey Evans is next. This match turned out to be a very fun one! Big surprise. Charlotte was at ringside and was being short with Byron Saxton. Eventually the action spilled to the outside. Bayley hit a corner dropkick, took Lacey out with a clothesline, and then threw a big ol’ elbow at Charlotte’s face. Bayley then came in and won via a Charlotte’s Web pinning combination (ha ha!).

After the match, for some reason, Lacey and Charlotte were beating each other up. Char stood tall. Bayley shrugged, and it was delightful.

They played a really, really good Randy Orton-Triple H video package. A different one, this time around. I can just watch these on a loop at this point.

Time for the main event!

Robert O’Neill: Elias and McIntyre attack Truth and he’s coming to the ring, and it’ll be Roman Reigns on his own against the two. Yikes! Well, maybe not. Truth is still here, but not 100%

The match goes on and Roman and Truth pick up the victory after Roman hits a big spear on Elias at the end after taking out Shane on the outside and Drew taking himself out with a missed Claymore. After the match, Roman spears Elias one more time and Truth covers him to regain the 24/7 Title!


Chris Novak: Real fun episode of SmackDown Live. Kofi-KO II was better than the first incarnation last week. Mandy-Carmella was pretty forgettable, but served its own purpose. Bayley-Lacey was good, and the tag match was really good. All in all, very good effort here. I’ll go B+ here. A high B+ though.

Robert O’Neill: Hey that was a fun show! Loved Kofi/KO and the main event, and was very entertained by Bayley/Lacey. The two hours breezed by as usual, as Smackdown remains great. A-

Ruthless Aggression - Rumble recap, Dean Ambrose leaving WWE

What a Rumble is was! Pierce Chris and Rob recap the 2019 Royal Rumble, the winners, the surprises, and how the road to Wrestlemania is starting to take shape. Plus we analyze Chris' first set of rankings in the WWE Top 25, Dean Ambrose and Hideo Itami leaving the WWE, and so much more

Ruthless Aggression recap:
RAW 505
Smackdown 181

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Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops New Years Day 2019 exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!

Ruthless Aggression - "Rey Mysterio Drinks Modelo"

Pierce Chris and Rob talk about that ridiculous Almas-Mysterio match from Smackdown, Balor replacing Braun in the Royal Rumble match against the Beast, the new women's tag titles, AEW and more!

Ruthless Aggression recap:
RAW 503
Smackdown 179
Royal Rumble 2003

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Celebrate your division champs by grabbing one of the NEW shirts straight from The Barber's Chair merch store!

Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops New Years Day 2019 exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!

First Black Champ - "@real1 ain't Eddie Kane Jr."

The effect of "The Man" is real! JR Bang & Cam Quotes talk about the aftermath of Becky Lynch's injury and how it effects Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair and Nia Jax. We also talk about "@real1" and how his Survivor Series antics are proof that he's fell off and isn't as big as he thought his was. All that and more on this week's #FirstBlackChamp podcast!

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A Ruthless Aggression Thanksgiving

On a special Thanksgiving episode of Ruthless Aggression, Pierce Rob & Chris talk about their favorite Thanksgiving moments in wrestling, and debut a new segment called "The List". Plus this week in the Ruthless Aggression era, including a dream match between Shawn Michaels and Rob Van Dam for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Ruthless Aggression - the Elimination Chamber

The gang doubles up on shows this week! First up: Raw 494 and Smackdown 169, leading right up to Survivor Series 2002 from Madison Square Garden, featuring the first edition of the Elimination Chamber! Then: Raw 495 and Smackdown 170! Plus, Pierce, Rob and Chris give their predictions for this Sunday's Survivor Series PPV in LA, along with NXT Takeover: War Games!

Ruthless Aggression - "WwE dOeSn'T lIsTeN tO iTs FaNs"

This week on Ruthless Aggression, the gang talk about Brock Lesnar winning the Universal Championship (again) and why the "WWE doesn't listen to his fans" narrative is lame. Plus early Survivor Series thoughts, which Superstar on each brand deserves a push the most, and a review of RAW 493 and Smackdown 168!

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First Black Champ - Triple H, You Play Spades?

First Black Champ is back and better than Crown Jewel, so it's only right we talk about everything that went wrong. In the aftermath of D-Generation X vs. the Brothers of Destruction, Cam Quotes & JR Bang have a very interesting discussion on old wrestlers in main event matches and what’s next for the men involved. Plus, the seemingly dismal future of the WWE Universal Title, and the most important question in regards to the next level of the show: do we stop saying “nigga” and rebrand? All that and more on this new edition of the #FirstBlackChamp podcast.

First Black Champ: Roman Couldn't Wait

It's a special Midweek edition of the #FirstBlackChamp podcast! Roman Reigns announced his leukemia has returned, Dean Ambrose picks a perfect time to turn heel and Crown Jewel is still looking like anything but a good idea. Then Cam Quotes & JR Bang try to predict who will be the next Universal Champion. Remember where you all heard it first!

Ruthless Aggression - Katie Vick & No Mercy

Sans Pierce this week, Rob and Chris relive another week of RAW and Smackdown from 2002, including the infamous and unobjectively terrible "Katie Vick" angle. Plus Brock and Taker end their feud inside Hell in a Cell at No Mercy, and Torrie Wilson's dad gets wet.

All that and some talk on Smackdown 1000, Evolution and Crown Jewel.

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WWE Hell in a Cell 2018: Recap, reactions and analysis

Hell in a Cell went down on Sunday night in San Antonio! Rob and Chris react to what was a great show… until a confounding ending turned up.

New Day vs. Rusev Day - SDL Tag Team Championships

Chris Novak: Okay, hot out of the gate, this PPV is. This match was on the Kickoff Show but they proved they could have easily main carded this. I really enjoyed the pace of this down the stretch. Aiden busted out some great offense that included his own version of The Accolade. It ALMOST looked like they were going to get it, when Rusev hit a Machka Kick on Big E, who was trying to break it up. BUT, nevertheless, New Day prevailed and New Day retained. Going to give this a hearty ***¾. Did the right team win? Who’s to say?

Robert O’Neill: I feel like the tag team match to open any WWE PPV never disappointed. It’s the perfect way to get things going and get the crowd into it, and there’s a reason they always make sure to have tag matches lead off.

Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton - Hell in a Cell

Chris Novak: Okay! So. That was nasty… violent… everything in between. Orton got real nasty when he used A DAMN SCREWDRIVER THROUGH HARDY’S EAR WHY DID THAT HAPPEN???? Both guys pulled off some ridiculous spots and Orton was left pretty cut up to say the least. I’m not even sure how to rate this match but it was easily the most violent HIAC match in years.

Robert O’Neill: Yeah we need to talk about that screwdriver spot. It was gross. But yeah Orton was cut up on his leg and back and then Jeff tried to do a crossbody thing from hanging on the top of the cell through a table and Orton rolled off the table. It was pretty brutal.

Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch - SmackDown Live Women’s Championship

Chris Novak: THEY DID THE DAMN THING! Becky became the new SmackDown Live Women’s Champion. She did so by countering a Spear and quickly slapped on the Dis-Arm-Her, and thus won clean as a sheet. This was a pretty terrific bout, if you’re really into limb work and psychology. And no surprise, I am just that kind of fan! I will give this **** and it’s both of these ladies’ best matches in quite a while.

Robert O’Neill: I’m kind of shocked they did this. I thought they would have Charlotte win by DQ and have Becky beat her down, but WWE deserves credit for knowing what they had (organically) and not screwing it up. It was pretty much Daniel Bryan in 2014 all over again.

Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins - Raw Tag Team Championships

Chris Novak: OKAY THIS MATCH WAS ALSO VERY GOOD!!! Not that it’s surprising when you consider who was in it, but wow. The finish was terrific. Seth did his Superplex off the top rope, and went to transition to a Falcon Arrow, but Drew snuck in and hit the Claymore on him. Dolph flopped down on Seth like a fish and got the 1-2-3. I’m going ****½ on here. Loved how they let this match build up and loved all of the fun tag-style psychology that they had in this match. They did some different things in this match and they all really worked.

Robert O’Neill: What a shock, Seth Rollins had another great match! Credit to all four of these guys, though. This was probably the best tag match on WWE television this year, as far as the main roster goes.

AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe - WWE Championship

Chris Novak: This match whipped ass pretty much. It was a little bit slow-paced but was incredibly hard-hitting. It appears they’re doing some kind of controversial finish, where Joe made Styles tap out, but had that happen AWAY from the camera angle. SO, Joe doesn’t have the belt. They’re gonna likely run this again at Super Show-Down. I will give this ****¼ as well. These two absolutely, ABSOLUTELY crushed it. I don’t know if I was expecting that tonight, honestly, but they showed OUT.

Robert O’Neill: I would like if these blood feuds would start with brawling for once instead of chain wrestling and headlocks, but beggars can’t be choosers. Aside from that, the match was good. Joe teasing the muscle buster was a nice touch and the finish leaves for intrigue for Smackdown this week.

The Miz & Maryse vs. Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella - Mixed Tag Match

Chris Novak: That match was… funbad! Some sloppiness involved, but that was probably more expected than anything. Still, the crowd was engaged and everyone played their part. Maryse won with a (sloppy) roll-up. Like I said, maybe some parts were sloppy but I had a ball watching that match. ***¼ for me.

Robert O’Neill: Maryse is the smartest worker in the company. Her only offense was the pinfall. The match was bad and their match at Evolution will be bad but whatever. It keeps the feud going.

Ronda Rousey vs. Alexa Bliss - Raw Women’s Championship

Chris Novak: Alright, that was pretty okay. Rousey’s selling was tremendous and Alexa worked well enough for this match to get the job done. They did go longer than anticipated but when you have such a small card, these matches have to go long to fill time. Maybe next time they can add some more matches. Nevertheless, I’m not going to hold that against the performers here. They did their jobs and did it well. I will go with ***¼ for that one.

Robert O’Neill: That was good! It went a bit too long, but the card is short, it happens. I think Alexa being out of the title picture now will be pretty good for her, and I’m interested to see where Ronda goes next. I think they should probably start having her matches be quicker, but that can be a slippery slope.

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman - Hell in a Cell for Universal Championship

Chris Novak: Alright, I don’t know if I have much positive to say about this. Brock Lesnar came back, wrecked shop, and the match ended in a no contest. A HIAC match… ended in a no contest. I’m guessing this is building toward the Saudi show, because both Braun and Roman are booked for Super Show-Down. Whatever. The match itself was fine but felt like it was lacking something. This really felt like it was planned in the last minute. I’ll give it a generous *** but to be honest with you I probably could’ve gone lower. An otherwise great show ends with a loud dud.

Robert O’Neill: Yeah, I mean, I’m one of the only Brock Lesnar fans left in 2018 and it was cool to see him show up and kick the door off the cell and then use the door as a ramp, but he really shouldn’t be the one we’re talking about after a Hell in a Cell match he wasn’t in. The Lesnar stuff and the Pack/Shield fighting and Rollins/Ziggler doing the same spot Rollins did with Ambrose a couple years ago where both went off the cell through a table seemed dangerous and unnecessary. Strictly speaking about Braun and Roman’s parts of the match, it was wholly unmemorable. Mick Foley being involved makes even less sense now, and he 100% accidentally did a three count early in the match when Braun was covering Roman. They have a lot of work to do tomorrow on Raw to fix this.

Final Thoughts

Robert O’Neill: The majority of this show was good! The first four matches were excellent. Is that enough to make the entire show good? Sure. They could have made the Ronda/Alexa match shorter and done a lot different with the Braun/Roman match, but all in all this was a good way to spend four hours. B

Chris Novak: Let’s run through the star ratings again.

New Day/Rusev Day - ***3/4
Hardy/Orton - ****
Charlotte/Becky - ****
Ziggler & Mac/Ambrose & Rollins - ****1/2
AJ/Joe - ****1/4
Miz & Maryse/Brie & Bryan - ***1/4
Rousey/Bliss - ***1/4
Roman/Braun - ***

From the outside this looks like a marvelous show. And to be honest, it was! That is until the ending. I can’t really get over how mismanaged Braun-Roman was. But at the same time, it wasn’t an all-time bad ending or anything. Just a stupid one. So I’ll give HIAC a solid B+.

Ruthless Aggression EP 31 - All In preview

The gang previews All In & have an honest discussion about the hype the event has gotten. Plus their thoughts on Maria Kanelis' comments on the Divas Championship and how fans hate on the women who competed in that era, AND they review RAW 483 and Smackdown 158!

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Ruthless Aggression EP 30 - Summerslam/NXT TakeOver Brooklyn IV recap

The crew is joined by Lincoln Ricketts to chop it up about NXT Takeover Brooklyn IV and Summerslam! Plus they review RAW 482, Smackdown! 157, and Summerslam 2002, featuring a helluva opener between Kurt Angle & Rey Mysterio, Shawn Michaels' return to face Triple H, and Brock Lesnar's WWE title win over The Rock.

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WWE Summerslam 2018: Results, reactions and analysis

The Biggest Event of the Summer has come and gone! Rob and Chris are here to talk about what went down in Brooklyn on Sunday night.

Andrade Cien Almas & Zelina Vega vs. Rusev & Lana

Robert O’Neill: Our first match of the preshow was a fun one, as Almas and Vega picked up the victory when Zelina pinned Lana after a distraction from Almas. I’m kind of fine with letting both of their feuds continue for a while, but I could also see this as a feud ender.

Chris Novak: Match was just okay. Nothing inoffensive. But just okay. Finish was a little bit sloppy. Not really sure who that was on between Zelina and Lana. I don’t see this being a feud continuer. This seems like a feud ender. Rusev lost to Andrade, Aiden lost to Andrade, Lana lost to Zelina, and they just lost to Andrade and Zelina. There’s only so many times you can keep going to the well with them trying to get one over on them, especially when they just keep losing. I expect the division between Rusev, Lana and Aiden English to be the next phase here. That’s a gimme. Where Almas and Vega go from here is all that’s left to really wonder. Gonna give this .

Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak

Chris Novak: Now, this match was quite good. Very good in fact. Another sloppy finish with a roll-up though. Maybe someone’s trying to tell them something. Anyhow, the energy that these two brought was refreshing. Very glad they were able to show their stuff in a matchup that got plenty of time. Gulak looked great in this and, of course, Ceddy did too. I loved the finish, even through its sloppiness. Gonna give this ***½, but I’m a high grader and easy to please.

Robert O’Neill: That was excellent. Watch 205 Live more if you haven’t been. It’s excellent stuff. I agree that the end was sloppy, but the right guy won and I’m interested in seeing where they go next, and that’s really the important thing at a Big 4 PPV, which should serve as a reset button for the product.

Raw Tag Team Championships: The B-Team vs. The Revival

Chris Novak: So, this was fine from the jump as Revival did a lot of good limb work and double-teaming. As one should expect. Axel eventually got the hot tag and wound up picking up the victory after Bo barreled into a small package, which was reversed. I don’t particularly understand keeping things rolling with the B-Team as champs, but such is life in the Raw tag division. This was considerably better than the Kickoff opener but not better than Alexander-Gulak. **½ for me, but obviously, Raw’s tag division remains in the pits.

Robert O’Neill: That was stupid and had another stupid distraction finish and the B-Team won. What a dumb decision. I don’t see the point of continuing to hold down the tag division by having a comedy act as the tag champions, and I don’t see the point of making them look unbeatable. Aside from the result, it wasn’t horrendous, so hopefully it turns into a feud and The Revival eventually get the victory

Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler (w/ Drew McIntyre) vs. Seth Rollins (w/ Dean Ambrose)

Chris Novak: This match felt like it was missing something. They ran a match to start the show and did so in slow and plodding fashion. Only until later did they get into a second gear and by then, it was probably too late. There was a pretty ridiculous bump late in the match when Seth got DDT’d onto the apron. Then Seth did an inverted Superplex, which led to a spinout slam later, which was absolutely ridiculous. Action picked up at the end when Seth got near falled, and Ambrose came around to drop McIntyre off the apron and then with Dirty Deeds. Rollins hit Ziggler with a kick and then the stomp led to the 1-2-3. Seth is your NEW IC Champion. I will give this ***¾, but the finish was awesome. Just too slow in some parts for me.

Robert O’Neill: I think the last five minutes definitely made up for the first 15 or so. Everything after that back superplex spot onward was awesome, and I’m glad they told a good story with getting Drew and Dean involved, and the right guy definitely won. It was also smart to not have Ambrose turn on Rollins, like everyone seemed to have wanted to happen.

SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Bludgeon Brothers vs. The New Day

Chris Novak: I didn’t think they’d give these guys a lot of time considering how the SDL Tag Team Titles have been utilized on big shows before. However, they went and sorta proved me wrong. They went a pretty damn decent length and Big E and Xavier Woods went OFFFFFFFFF. Woods had a CRAZY elbow drop off the top rope to the outside. They ended this in DQ fashion after Rowan decided to get the mallet involved. Unfortunate finish as the match itself was real good beforehand. I will put this also at ***½ but the lack of a clean finish hurts more than it helped. That being said, it didn’t completely crater the match.

Robert O’Neill: I think they have to find a way to make the Bludgeon Brothers more… something. I don’t think dominant is the right word, because they face jobbers every week, they’re clearly dominant. But they’re missing something. Especially compared to The New Day, The Usos, or even The Bar. The match was fine, and I think Big E and Xavier Woods have become my favorite New Day tandem, but using the hammers for a DQ finish was lame.

MITB On the Line: Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens

Chris Novak: Owens got absolutely blitzkrieged. Arguably the strongest Braun has ever looked, considering the opponent. He’s fresh for a cash-in attempt later. * for that. Not much to work with.

Robert O’Neill: Well that’s certainly not how I wanted that to go! But Owens should probably take some time off and rest up. And yeah, tonight is pretty interesting now.

SmackDown Women’s Championship: Carmella vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair

Robert O’Neill: A lot of people on Twitter didn’t care for the match. I thought it was pretty solid. Charlotte won after hitting Natural Selection on Becky Lynch, which is an inexcusable booking error, HOWEVER, Becky finally snapped and beat the hell out of Charlotte afterwards and the crowd ATE IT UP.

Chris Novak: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. What an indefensible situation made up for by the fact that Becky got an absolute MONSTER pop of a reaction. The match itself was pretty good and I liked it. Some of the spots were a little bit all over the place. I do like the ending now in hindsight, as Becky came close to winning, but Charlotte ruined her chance of winning by hitting Natural Selection for the 3 count. That being said, if this doesn’t end with Becky winning the title, then this was all for naught. Because, my goodness, putting the title on Charlotte was foolish otherwise. Going to give this a solid ***.

WWE Championship: AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe

Chris Novak: This was a match that, like the first match of the night, picked up towards the end. And this one REALLY picked up by the end. The match came to a close after a DQ finish, after Joe told Styles’ wife that he would be her new daddy. Styles went on a rampage thereafter. I personally loved this match and how this all was all set up along the way. I will give this ****¼, and it’s the easy MOTN so far. Job well done to both dudes here, who really picked this bad boy up along the way.

Robert O’Neill: People thought this match would be bad, too! It wasn’t. It was very good after things picked up. And the finish was pretty perfect and sets up nicely for Hell In A Cell next month. Joe is such a great heel, and to watch him keep that up for another month will be so good. Definitely my match of the night so far.

8 Years in the Making: The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan

Chris Novak: This match delivered in every possible way imaginable. Both these dudes brought their A-games with them and it showed throughout. I loved and adored the storytelling that this match had. Miz used a ‘loaded fist’ to knock Bryan’s lights out when he tried to dive through the ropes, leading to the 1-2-3. Just a freaking excellent match. Easy MOTN, and screw it: I’m giving that the FIVE. SNOWFLAKE TREATMENT. *****.

Robert O’Neill: It’s rare that something actually lives up to the hype in wrestling but good lord that was good. It was old school through and through and this feud is gonna last for a while. I can’t wait for it, personally. I think it’s a strong contender for match of the year so far.

Finn Balor vs. Constable Corbin

Chris Novak: THE DEMON RETURNED!!! I have no other thoughts about this other than THAT was great. * since it’s a squash, but it was cool as fuck.

Robert O’Neill: Whew, boy. Finn’s in the demon paint! Shit’s about to get real! And it did. He took about two minutes to pick up the win and looked super aggressive. That was great. That’s how they SHOULD use him when he has the Demon paint.

US Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy

Chris Novak: Jeff Hardy went totally bonkers. He went to hit the Swanton Bomb on Nakamura, who was lied out on the apron. BUT NAK MOVED! Hardy took an absolutely sick bump on the apron (which may’ve been very much unnecessary). Nak then finished him off with the Kinshasa. Honestly dug this match, although it was the weaker of the last few lengthy matches we’ve had. ***

Robert O’Neill: Yeah that was fine. Jeff’s probably gonna get some time off. Shinsuke’s probably gonna feud with… someone new. Orton? Who knows. Good match though!

Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey

Chris Novak: This turned out to be exactly what it needed to be. Alexa got in almost no offense, and anytime she did, Ronda no sold it. Rousey tapped Alexa out with the armbar and became the NEW Women’s Champion! So we get two women’s titles to change hands, though this one is a lot more palatable. * for me, because it was a squash, but it did its damn job.

Robert O’Neill: Ronda is so good. We go over it all the time, but it’s pretty amazing every time. Natalya came out with her, too, which was a nice touch. The match was fine, and probably the necessary result, though I’m obviously very sad as a big Alexa fan.

Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar

Robert O’Neill: Well, they finally did it. Roman looked strong as hell as he pummelled Brock early on before getting caught with a guillotine, but he got out of it! Meanwhile, Braun Strowman was at ringside and mentioned before the match started that he would be cashing in on whoever wins. Well, that didn’t go well. Both Roman and Brock took turns beating Strowman up, and ultimately, beating Strowman up is what cost Lesnar the match, as he got into the ring and ran right into a spear. Strowman couldn’t cash in because he was wounded from an F5, so Roman won and the show ended. It was a great match.

Chris Novak: Jesus, what a ride that match was. A chaotic, frenetic match. I thought Roman was going to win off the bat with those Superman Punches and the Spear, but then THAT was turned into a Guillotine Choke. It didn’t stop there though. Braun got beaten up badly by Brock, and paying attention to his possible next victim while ignoring his current threat is such a way for Brock to lose. His arrogance did him in, and he FINALLY paid the price. Roman caught him napping, and Braun was too incapacitated to cash in after. Job well done here. ***¾ for me.


Robert O’Neill: What a show. It’s rare that a 13 match show has 75% of the matches deliver, but I don’t think there was anything I actively hated, Charlotte winning aside). Everything was at least passable, and I think it’s neck and neck with the Royal Rumble for PPV of the year. All I look for after a big four show is intrigue to watch Raw and Smackdown the next two nights and that’s present here. It seems like Brock Lesnar’s time with WWE is over, so seeing where Paul Heyman goes and what the WWE title being back on TV every week means is super intriguing, as is the continuation of all the Smackdown stuff. A-

Chris Novak: So, let’s go through my match ratings here.

Rusev/Lana vs. Andrade/Zelina: *½
Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak: ***½
The B-Team vs. The Revival: **½
Dolph Ziggler (w/ Drew Mac) vs. Seth Rollins (w/ Dean Ambrose): ***¾
Bludgeon Brothers vs. The New Day: ***½
Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens: *
Carmella vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte: ***
AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe: ****¼
The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan: *****
Finn Balor vs. Constable Corbin: *
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy: ***
Ronda Rousey vs. Alexa Bliss: *
Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns: ***¾

The one star matches were just that way because they were squashes, but all of them were extremely well done and well put together. Especially the Women’s Championship Match. You have, in my opinion at least, four matches that nearly or are at four stars or higher. With one five-star match, in my opinion, with The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan. No other match, with the exception of the two on the pre-show, felt like a total stinker or just not up to snuff. That makes for a really damn good show.

The only problem I had was with how indefensible it was to put the title back on Charlotte. That being said, there’s a reason why I’ll be a LITTLE bit more reserved with that, mostly due to how the moment will be if/when Becky gets one over on her down the line. Plus the ambivalence about The Revival/B-Team. Everything else? The right man (or woman) won. It’s rare that you see that sort of thing happen in EVERY match but two, in this writer’s opinion.

A- for me as well. This SummerSlam was certainly a damn good show that I think went right up with TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 on Saturday night. Job well done.

Ruthless Aggression EP 28 - It was you, Hunter

Rob Pierce and Chris review RAW 480 and Smackdown! 155, highlighted by Triple H looking for the culprit who beat up Shawn Michaels last week, and Brock Lesnar defending his #1 contenders match for Summerslam against Hollywood Hulk Hogan! Plus Ronda Rousey shines in her Monday Night RAW debut, Lincoln Ricketts joins Pierce to preview the final three nights of the G1 Climax, and we preview what we have in store for Summerslam week! (note: it has nothing to do with Summerslam).

Follow Rob: @RobertONeill31
Follow Chris: @ChrisMNovak
Follow Pierce: @HennyOmega
Follow Linc: @MaAdLyNx

This Week in WWE: Trouble in Paradise for Brock and Heyman, and Becky and Charlotte

Welcome to this week's edition of This Week in WWE! Rob and Chris are here to bring you the who/what/where/why/when on what happened in a pretty tumultuous week in the Federation.


Chris Novak: Another week, another episode of Monday Night Raw. They’re in Miami tonight, and Brock Lesnar AND Ronda Rousey are set to be in attendance. We’re also getting Seth vs. Drew Mac, Finn Balor vs. Constable Corbin and probably a couple other fun things.

Roman’s here to start Raw. And… well, this promo is pretty much just like everything before WrestleMania 34. He says Brock won’t go up to Roman and badmouth him.

Ah, there’s Paul Heyman. “This is not a prediction, this is a spoiler.” Yes, this is… basically… the same promo. “Just shut up Paul,” goes Roman. Yes, king. Go off.

Robert O’Neill: “We’re here to see Brock Lesnar, so bring him out here.” Yup!

Chris Novak: Naturally it merely ends with Roman calling Brock out. So, that’s that.

Finn vs. Constable Corbin is next. Also, we’re getting Nattie-Foxy later this week. HYPE! It’s 2011 again!

Robert O’Neill: We come back from commercial to see Brock reading a magazine and literally telling Paul Heyman he doesn’t watch the show. That was amazing.

Chris Novak: Honestly a really funny segment with Brock there.

Finn vs. Corbin was … just fine so far. I’ve no idea why it went on for as long as it did but they went through two commercial breaks and change. Finn went for the Coup de Grace, but Baron dropped him with the End of Days for the win. Alright finish, but again… just too long.

Robert O’Neill: Yeah, I mean, it was a fine match. It just went literally 20 minutes which feels unnecessary.

Chris Novak: This is a case where a matc doesn’t HAVE to go that long. If it was shorter by like, 5 minutes, it would’ve been okay.

Robert O’Neill: Alicia Fox is delightful. She’s facing Natalya (ew) and Ronda Rousey’s back from suspension! Uh oh!

Alicia got the win! Alexa helped a bit, but hey it counts just the same.

Chris Novak: Alicia looked real good in her first match in seemingly forever. Really enjoyed this match, actually. Ronda got in the ring and went after Alexa and took her down. Then she did the same to Alicia and went after Bliss again. BUT, then Foxy charged at her from behind. Ronda bumped for Foxy, as she got thrown into the barricade. And then off Alexa and Foxy went. Y’know what? That segment as a whole was completely fine.

Robert O’Neill: Elias is here! He teases The Rock coming out (they’re in Miami, ya know) but instead Bob Lashley comes out. I guess this is the new feud. Sure! They sing together, and then Elias attacks Bob from behind.

Chris Novak: But Bob soon fights back and sends Lashley crashing to the outside! I’m… fine with this feud.

Kevin Owens wants Constable Corbin to “do something” about the fact that Braun could cash in before he has his match with Owens at SummerSlam. Corbs says that Brock is Kurt’s problem and that until the match happens, Braun has MITB. Welp, ya lost that one, KO.

Robert O’Neill: Apollo Crews is facing Akam of Pain, which means Titus O’Neil will likely face Rezar of Pain next week. Hey Apollo got a rollup win! #CrewsCantLose!

Chris Novak: An interesting and surprising decision, to be sure. But, hey, they can’t have Titus and Apollo look like complete scrubs.

Robert O’Neill: Drew McIntyre’s facing Seth Rollins. Pretty excited for this one at the top of the second hour. Seth hit the Stomp after about 10 minutes and Ziggler came in and caused a disqualification, but Rollins got the last laugh as he beat Ziggler down and stood tall.

Chris Novak: B-Team got interviewed and the Deleters of Worlds interrupted. THEN, Revival interrupted and a fight broke out. This led to a match between The Revival and the Deleters.

Robert O’Neill: Revival won! Could this be the start of something? Probably not! But it’s fun to dream.

Chris Novak: The match itself was… uh, not great. Or even good. But at least they made the right decision.


Robert O’Neill: That was also a really good tag team match. Like, it stood out in terms of recent women’s matches, so that’s really saying something. This is why I think Women’s Tag Titles would be good at Evolution.

Robert O’Neill: Well, it’s time for the main event segment. Will Brock Lesnar come out or will Paul Heyman be fired? Heyman is going on and on to Kurt Angle about how he doesn’t like Lesnar anymore and he should be spared. Then Brock comes out and hits Angle with an F5 and screams at Paul and we get a WE WANT ROMAN chant as Raw goes off the air. Wow.

Chris Novak: An extremely effective way of making Brock look like a complete, total asshole. Job well done all around to whomever wrote him tonight and to Brock for nailing it, also.

Final Thoughts

Robert O’Neill: That was the best episode of Raw in the past few weeks, but is that an accomplishment at this point? It was cool to see Brock Lesnar back and heavily utilized and cool that WWE managed to get a pro-Reigns crowd reaction, but most of the other stuff kinda felt like filler, sans Bayley and Sasha’s newfound tag team skills. It was fine, I guess, but that’s about it. C+

Chris Novak: A fine Raw, better than the ones from recently. It’s not up to SmackDown’s par lately but, really, what is besides NXT? C+ for me, also. But I gotta admit: Having Boss 'n Hug be canon is an A+ worthy maneuver.


Chris Novak: SmackDown Live has begun! We’re getting Zelina Vega vs. Lana, The Bar vs. The Usos and a couple other notable things are going to go down. We start off with Becky Lynch, who’s out here, talking about how long it’s been since she’s been champion. Or, hell, even had a TITLE MATCH (WrestleMania 33, for all those wondering and didn’t watch the show). She used the “I wasn’t born to be a champion” line that she’d used wayyyyy back when, which was a nice touch.

And here comes Carmella, the incumbent champ. Carm goes on a fake insincere tangent about WWE Evolution. It hasn’t happened yet, but I can guarantee you that’s what’s happened here. She talks up their differences, hypes Becky up a bit… and she’s gonna probably pivot.

And… an ELLSWORTH tease… leads to Carmella attacking Becky. There’s the pivot.

Welp, there’s Charlotte. She goes after Carmella and suplexes her out of the ring.

Robert O’Neill: Charlotte is gonna weasel her way into this match somehow. No member of the Four Horsewomen (or women’s division in general) has gotten more opportunities for fewer reasons than Charlotte Flair. It’s absurd.

Chris Novak: Charlotte is everything fans think Roman Reigns is.

Robert O’Neill: Time for the second Smackdown tag tournament match as we have The Bar facing The Usos! This should be a blast.

Chris Novak: The New Day being on commentary will also enhance this experience.

Robert O’Neill: Good lord, what a match. The Bar got the win after about 20 minutes loaded with action. They’ll face New Day next week for a title shot.

Chris Novak: Jesus everloving Christ. That match was amazing. I cannot wait for New Day-Bar next week. Hat tip as always to The Usos, who remain one of the best tag teams in the ENTIRE world right now.

Robert O’Neill: Oh man. Samoa Joe is tearing AJ Styles apart right now. This feud is gonna whip ass.

Chris Novak: Joe essentially said AJ Styles was a terrible father and that his kids would be rooting for Joe instead of their own dad. My goodness.

Robert O’Neill: Jeff Hardy came out and said what the US Title meant to him, and Randy Orton beat him up. Alright then.

Chris Novak: Didn’t just beat him up. Beat him up BADLY. Rubbed off the facepaint and all that. That was an A-grade beatdown. Nakamura, the US Champion, also played a role in this. He came out and gave Jeff the Kinshasa before Orton went full dickhead on Jeff.

Robert O’Neill: Zelina Vega is here! She’s facing Lana. All hail. And she won! Almas distracted Lana and Zelina got the rollup (with tights). Excellent.

Chris Novak: The match was… just okay. But that’s to be expected. Rusev, Lana and Aiden English continued to have dissension in the ranks afterwards. I’m unsure of how this is all going to break down, but I do know that Lana has… lost her accent! Completely!

Robert O’Neill: Well, time for the main event. Charlotte is facing Carmella, and if Charlotte wins, she’s in the Becky/Carmella match at Summerslam. Gee, I wonder what will happen.

Charlotte won. That’s what happened. Kind of annoying.

Chris Novak: The expected but disappointing maneuver here. Charlotte didn’t really “need” to be in this match, and they could’ve done what they SEEM to be doing anyway with her on the outside looking in. Nevertheless… the match was fine, despite a lot of sloppiness.

Final Thoughts

Robert O’Neill: Other than CHARLOTTE WINS LOL, this was a perfectly fine Smackdown. I like how they made the women’s division seem important, and it’s kinda cool how women main eventing shows is so commonplace when, a decade ago, Trish and Lita main eventing Raw was a once in a lifetime type of thing. I’m super excited for AJ/Joe at Summerslam, and the tag match next week should be a great one. A

Chris Novak: I’m going to give this an A-. The tag team match was outstanding and so was the Miz-Bryan segment. I also really liked the wrinkles they put in the Becky/Carmella/Charlotte story, even if the ending of the show was somewhat unsavory. All told, another great SmackDown. What a shock that is?

Ruthless Aggression EP 27

Rob and Chris review RAW 479 and Smackdown! 154. They also remember the lives of Brian Christopher Lawler aka Grandmaster Sexay, Nikolai Volkoff and Brickhouse Brown, and discuss the shit show that was RAW and the magnificence of this week's Smackdown.

Follow Rob: @RobertONeill31
Follow Chris: @ChrisMNovak

Ruthless Aggression EP 25 - Hogan Still Sucks

Ruthless Aggression is back as the team double up to talk about RAW 476 & 477, Smackdown 151 & 152, and Vengeance 2002! And hear what they have to say on Hulk Hogan's reinstatement into the totally not-physical WWE Hall of Fame.

Follow Pierce: @HennyOmega
Follow Rob: @RobertOneill31
Follow Chris: @ChrisMNovak

First Black Champ: Celebrity Hell in a Cell

We're Back and Entertainment Beef is real! Find out who Cam and Bang want to have a Hell In A Cell match or a Chicago Street Fight anytime anywhere! We also talk our Extreme Rules predictions and come up with a FIRE angle for Bobby Lashley moving forward.

You'll get a lot of passion, prediction and we spark the conversation for inclusion for people of color behind the scenes in the world of Professional Wrestling on this week's #FirstBlackChamp podcast!

Follow Cam: @ImCamQuotes
Follow JR Bang: @jrbang