Posts tagged Smackdown
Ruthless Aggression - Super Shut Down

Super Showdown sucks, and even the company knows it. Pierce Rob and Chris talk about why it's time for Taker and Goldberg to shut it down. Plus, the greatness that was NXT Takeover XXV. Then, the week in 2003 gives way to a great segment with The Rock and Booker T, and Matt Hardy defending the Cruiserweight Championship against Rey Mysterio in Smackdown's main event.

Ruthless Aggression recap:
RAW 523
Smackdown 198

As Justin Bieber readies to drop much anticipated new music, enjoy this Barber's Chair playlist of the best hits in Bieberveli's arsenal! 
Apple Music: https://apple.co/2HdG2yN
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2HbTcME
Tidal: http://bit.ly/bieberveli

Throw your diamonds up for more than a decade of heat with the new TIDAL-exclusive Roc La Familia playlist from The Barber's Chair! The greatest hits from the most prolific label in hip hop history.
Listen here: https://tidal.com/playlist/dfcd8a98-7eb0-473e-8666-170acc564443

Listen to the new bangers playlist on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

WrestleMania might be over but you can still rep Becky Two Belts with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
teespring.com/stores/the-barbers-chair
or
teespring.com/freetheman

The WWE Top 25 - May

Five months have come and gone in 2019. WWE has been a lot of things this year, but they’ve not been short on match quality. That didn’t change this month, as May brought about a wealth of good matches. That created a bit of an impact as it pertains to this month’s WWE Top 25. Let’s take a dive into how the month of May played out, shall we?

Before that, if you’re new, here’s a crash course on everything as it pertains to the Top 25.


TOP 10 TV MATCHES (May)

1. Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens (SmackDown Live, 5/28) - ****¼
2. Kofi Kingston vs. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn (SmackDown Live, 5/7) - ****
3. The Usos vs. The Revival (Raw, 5/20) - ****
4. The Usos vs. Daniel Bryan & Rowan (SmackDown Live, 5/7) - ****
5. Cesaro vs. Ricochet (Raw, 5/27) - ****
6. Ali vs. Andrade vs. Finn Balor vs. Randy Orton (SmackDown Live, 5/14) - ***¾
7. Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan (Raw, 5/6) - ***¾
8. WALTER vs. Pete Dunne (NXT UK, 5/22) - ***¾
9. Ali vs. Andrade (SmackDown Live, 5/21) - ***¾
10. Drew Gulak vs. KUSHIDA (NXT, 5/29) - ***¾

TOP 10 TV MATCHES (2019)

1. Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio (SmackDown Live, 1/15) - ****¾
2. Adam Cole vs. Aleister Black vs. Matt Riddle vs. Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream (NXT, 3/20) - ****½
3. Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese (205 Live, 3/19) - ****½
4. Johnny Gargano vs. Velveteen Dream (NXT, 2/20) - ****¼
5. Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens (SmackDown Live, 5/28) - ****¼
6. DIY vs. The Undisputed Era (NXT, 3/6) - ****¼
7. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Live, 3/26) - ****¼
8. Kofi Kingston vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Samoa Joe vs. Rowan vs. Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan (SmackDown Live, 3/19) - ****¼
9. Velveteen Dream vs. Buddy Murphy (NXT, 4/17) - ****¼
10. Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio (SmackDown Live, 1/22) - ****¼

TOP 10 MATCHES (May)

1. Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles (Money in the Bank, 5/19) - ****½
2. Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Money in the Bank, 5/19) - ****¼
3. Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens (SmackDown Live, 5/28) - ****¼
4. Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens (Money in the Bank, 5/19) - ****
5. Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Money in the Bank, 5/19) - ****
6. Kofi Kingston vs. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn (SmackDown Live, 5/7) - ****
7. The Usos vs. The Revival (Raw, 5/20) - ****
8. The Usos vs. Daniel Bryan & Rowan (SmackDown Live, 5/7) - ****
9. Cesaro vs. Ricochet (Raw, 5/27) - ****
10. Ali vs. Andrade vs. Finn Balor vs. Randy Orton (SmackDown Live, 5/14) - ***¾

TOP 10 MATCHES (2019)

1. Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston (WrestleMania, 4/7) - *****
2. Daniel Bryan vs. Ali vs. Kevin Owens (Fastlane, 3/10) - ****¾
3. Ricochet vs. Johnny Gargano (TakeOver: Phoenix, 1/26) - ****¾
4. Velveteen Dream vs. Matt Riddle (TakeOver: New York, 4/6) - ****¾
5. The War Raiders vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet (TakeOver: New York, 4/6) - ****¾
6. Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio (SmackDown Live, 1/15) - ****¾
7. Asuka vs. Becky Lynch (Royal Rumble, 1/27) - ****½
8. Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano (TakeOver: New York, 4/6) - ****½
9. Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles (Money in the Bank, 5/19) - ****½
10. Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor (Royal Rumble, 1/27) - ****½


WWE TOP 25 (May)

1. Kofi Kingston (22.5)
2. Seth Rollins (19)
3. Ricochet (18.25)
4. Roman Reigns (18)
5. Baron Corbin (17.5)
6. AJ Styles (16)
T7. The Usos, Sami Zayn (15.25)
10. Daniel Bryan (15)
T11. Drew McIntyre, Elias (14.5)
13. Nikki Cross (13.5)
14. Jack Gallagher (13.25)
T15. Becky Lynch, Bobby Lashley (12.75)
17. Lacey Evans (12.5)
T18. Ali, Andrade (12.25)
20. Rowan (11.25)
T21. Cesaro, Humberto Carrillo (11)
T23. Bayley, KUSHIDA, The Miz (10.25)


WWE WOMEN’S TOP 25 (THROUGH MAY)

1. Bayley (60.5)
2. Becky Lynch (44.75)
3. Sasha Banks (34.5)
4. Nikki Cross (33.25)
5. Bianca Belair (32.25)
6. Mandy Rose (30.5)
7. Charlotte Flair (30)
8. Nia Jax (29.25)
9. Asuka (27.75)
10. Ronda Rousey (25.5)
11. Naomi (24.25)
12. Peyton Royce (23.75)
13. Natalya (23.5)
14. Kairi Sane (23.25)
15. Carmella (21.5)
T16. Billie Kay, Sonya Deville (20.75)
18. Sarah Logan (20)
19. Tamina (19.5)
20. Io Shirai (19)
T21. Shayna Baszler, Toni Storm (18.5)
23. Lacey Evans (17)
24. Ruby Riott (16.75)
25. Liv Morgan (16.5)

WWE TOP 25 (THROUGH MAY)

25. Adam Cole
Points: 43 | Last Month: 20

This slide for Adam Cole isn’t going to last much longer. After becoming NXT Champion at TakeOver XXV, expect to see Cole have more of a cushion now that he’s the top dog in the third brand of WWE. Especially so after his great match with Johnny Gargano for the championship at TakeOver. Frankly, it’s about time for him, and we’ll see how he can do going forward with that championship. I predict some big things for him.

24. Scott Dawson
Points: 43.25 | Last Month: 21

Scott Dawson and The Revival fell off just a little bit after last month, but not by too much. Dawson dropped down to #24 but still managed to stay in the Top 25 by the thinnest of margins. He holds a slight advantage over his tag team partner, only because he worked that one match at the Royal Rumble that Wilder did not. So it goes.

23. Becky Lynch
Points 44.75 | Last Month: N/A

Hey, look at that. Another woman has finally joined Bayley in the Top 25. Her name is Becky Lynch, and the former Raw AND SmackDown Live Women’s Champion finally worked enough matches to get herself in this spot. Lynch likely shouldn’t see a nominal decrease in workload, with a looming title defense coming up against whomever at Stomping Grounds. Plus, she’ll likely be working more on Raw going forward now. At least somebody else has joined the party.

22. Sheamus
Points 45.5 | Last Month: 15

Well, when you continue to not work, you slide down. With nothing in the foreseeable future for Sheamus, this dive will unfortunately continue on for another month.

21. AJ Styles
Points: 46.75 | Last Month: N/A

Feels weird to say, but AJ Styles hasn’t been around the Top 25 at all this year. And this might be his only appearance for quite some time. After a very good May, Styles apparently has injured himself and is out for at least the next month. So AJ’s time in this Top 25 might be very shortlived. At least he had that great match with Seth Rollins at MITB. We can at least say that.

20. Jimmy Uso
Points: 47.25 | Last Month: N/A

As it’s been said before, the only reason that Jimmy Uso is not tied up with his partner is because of one singles match that happened earlier this year. Nevertheless, you know by now how good The Usos are. And after a strong month of May, they finally find themselves in the Top 25. With a heavy workload on Raw looking likely, expect that to remain a consistent piece of truth going forward.

T18. Jey Uso, Tyler Bate
Points: 47.75 | Last Month: N/A (Jey), 16 (Bate)

One half of The Usos and Tyler Bate find themselves tied up for the 18th spot in the Top 25. Bate didn’t work too much at all in the NXT UK brand in May and as a result took a slight dip down to 16th. Jey Uso, meanwhile, soared into the Top 25 after a very, very strong month with his brother Jimmy. That ascent could continue for he and his brother if things go right for them. And I mean, hey, they’re the best tag team in the world. So that’s looking pretty likely.

17. Velveteen Dream
Points: 48.125 | Last Month: 14

Much like some others, Velveteen Dream saw a drop this month just entirely based on workload. He didn’t work at all in the month of May. And as a result, he took a dip down to 17th. After TakeOver XXV and perhaps a TV match or too, Dream may very well see himself take a bit of a stronger leap going forward in June.

16. Samoa Joe
Points: 49 | Last Month: 13

Samoa Joe didn’t work too much in May, and that’s why he saw himself drop down from #13 to #16. He’s still in a good spot, but obviously working as little as he did, and not having any standout matches saw reason for a drop. We’ll see what the next venture for him is, given that the US Championship scene is up in the air right now. But given his track record this year, expect Joe to make the most of it, as he’s having a quiet renaissance right now.

15. Rey Mysterio
Points: 53.875 | Last Month: 10

Rey Mysterio finally falls out of the Top 10 after staying in there for quite some time this year. And that descent, unfortunately, might continue on. Mysterio has a shoulder injury that’s going to keep him on the shelf for a little while now, and as a result, might get passed over by quite a lot of people. Especially the person who he was just in front of, who of course he’s very much tied to in Samoa Joe. Get well, Mysterio, and come back guns blazing whenever that may be.

14. Ali
Points: 53.875 | Last Month: 18

Ali saw a rise in these rankings from #18 to #14 this month. That’s after quite a few standout showings on SmackDown Live and at Money in the Bank. Ali is obviously one of the best around, and he showed exactly why in the month of May. He may have been swiped of the MITB briefcase by Brock Lesnar, but he certainly would’ve been a worthy candidate for it otherwise. When he gets going again, whenever that may be, expect him to excel some more.

13. Bobby Lashley
Points: 56.75 | Last Month: 17

Bobby Lashley’s a very interesting case here. He didn’t have many standout matches, so to speak, in the month of May. But he got enough reps to jump up to 13th in this month’s rankings. It’s the compiling thing again, and that’s kind of just how it is in these rankings sometimes. But Lashley is definitely having more than a good enough year to justify his standing here, even if you may find yourself disagreeing with that opinion. The proof, as always, is in the pudding.

12. Baron Corbin
Points: 56.75 | Last Month: 21

Baron Corbin is getting boosted big time by a lot of compiling. But he’s still certainly showing off his strengths in multi-man matches. He had plenty of those in May, and that’s a big reason why he jumps all the way up to 12th in this month’s Top 25. No one’s saying you have to like him, and he probably isn’t the 12th best worker in the company. But, credit given where credit is due, and when you work so many matches, your ascent is inevitable.

11. Johnny Gargano
Points: 58.625 | Last Month: 8

Johnny Gargano is obviously one of the best in the entire company. The reason for this fall out of the Top 10 is of course due in large to a workload decrease in NXT the past few weeks. But that of course isn’t too surprising, just based on how the formula works down in Full Sail. Whether or not he gets himself into the Top 10 after next month will largely hinge on how much he’s used and what kind of boost the match with Adam Cole at TakeOver XXV will give him. Hint: Likely a big one!

10. Cesaro
Points: 60.25 | Last Month: 11

A nice increase in points allowed for Cesaro to make his way into the Top 10. Maybe he’s not discussed enough, but he’s having a very, very good year so far. His recent string of matches with Ricochet have elevated him in a big way, and if he keeps going down on that path then we might need to talk about him being in the Top 5 very soon. At this point, he’s still one of the best in the entire company, and that, meanwhile, should definitely not come as too much a surprise.

9. Bayley
Points: 60.5 | Last Month: 9

What is there to really say about Bayley that hasn’t already been said? She is easily the MVP of the women’s division and was given her flowers, so to speak, in May when she won MITB and then the SmackDown Women’s Championship later in the month. She’s been the workhorse of the division, working the most matches out of anybody by a country mile this year amongst her peers. That likely won’t change anytime soon, so expect her to stay a consistent threat around here as long as she’s given the ball to run with.

8. Seth Rollins
Points: 68 | Last Month: 12

Seth Rollins jumps back into the Top 10 after a couple of months of hanging around the teens. Rollins’ efforts were mightily aided by a banger of a match with AJ Styles at Money in the Bank for his Universal Championship. While Rollins will be feuding with Baron Corbin for the foreseeable future, there’s still no doubt that he’s one of the better worker sin the company when he’ son. He certainly proved that in May, and that’s why he’s now in the Top 10.

7. Andrade
Points: 68.875 | Last Month: 7

After gaining over 10 points, Andrade remains at #7 in the Top 25. Andrade hasn’t been working too much this year, but definitely saw a big workload in the month of May, working numerous matches on SmackDown Live. He also played a big part in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, which certainly assisted him in staying where he’s at right now. We all know he has the talent to see a big jump. Time will tell to see if he’s given that ball to run with.

6. Drew McIntyre
Points: 73 | Last Month: 6

Drew McIntyre stays at #6 in this month’s Top 25. Mac saw a near 15-point increase this month, and it certainly helps out when you’re wrestling nearly every week. There’s obvious character concerns when it comes to him, and whether or not people are tired of seeing him. But Mac is still showing to be a pretty good wrestler as far as in-ring action goes. Thus, he stays a consistent piece in this month’s Top 25.

5. Daniel Bryan
Points: 76.375 | Last Month: 4

Daniel Bryan isn’t working the rigorous schedule that many may have expected. But, Bryan’s still making the most of his opportunities. And for his efforts, Bryan is ranked #5 in this month’s Top 25. He’s shifted over into the tag team scene, and that’s definitely seen a nice change of pace for him. He’s worked great matches with The Usos and has been a very big boost to Rowan’s cause too. We’ll see if he can continue to boost his cause as time progresses, and if he can remain a threat to be in the Top 10 all year. Ah, who am I kidding? Of course he will. It’s Daniel Bryan.

4. Kofi Kingston
Points: 81.25 | Last Month: 5

Kofi Kingston’s run has been sensational since February. After a strong month of May, Kingston finds himself just one point off Finn Balor as the #4 wrestler in the Top 25. Kingston has been booked about as well as any face WWE Champion has been in recent memory. He’s had great matches and great title defenses over the past few weeks, and that doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon, either. Kofi should be able to catch Finn Balor at some point soon, especially if his workload doesn’t increase. It will be a fun battle to see who can catch whom, as Aleister Black is within striking distance too.

3. Finn Balor
Points: 82.75 | Last Month: 3

Finn Balor has recently been given a bit of a break, but the IC Champion did enough to remain the #3 wrestler in the Top 25. Balor’s workload is going to likely have to increase, especially if he wants to keep his status as the #3 wrestler with Kofi Kingston hot on his tail. We’ll see if a workload increase helps his cause or not. For now, Balor is #3, but definitely is starting to feel the heat.

2. Aleister Black
Points: 90.125 | Last Month: 2

Aleister Black hasn’t wrestled a match in a very long time. He still is #2 on the Top 25. That should tell you everything about the start of his year, no?

1. Ricochet
Points: 126.25 | Last Month: 1

Ricochet continues to set the pace, as he still remains the #1 ranked wrestler in the Top 25. It’s probably easier at this point to track when he’s going to hit 200 than when someone else is going to catch him. Especially if he continues to have great matches with Cesaro on Raw. He’s having a remarkable year so far, and it’s super exciting to watch.

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.

FINAL THOUGHTS

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.

Smackdown Live logo.png

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!

FINAL THOUGHTS

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-

First Black Champ - They Fawk With Us But They Don't Fawk With Us!

Money In The Bank happened and well...Bayley tried to save it. We talk about what really matters as far as that pay per view and what to expect next.

Then Bang breaks down AEW's first pay per view, Double or Nothing and what it means moving forward. Then we talk Fans, Cody and what this really is vs what people are making it.

We close with celebrating two new historical black champions and the fact we can not forget about the Universal Title on this week's #FirstBlackChamppodcast!

CHICAGO! Come out and hang with The Barber's Chair Thursday, May 30th for Game One of the NBA Finals! The Golden State Warriors will face off against the Eastern Conference Champion at 8:00 p.m. Fall through for drinks and the big game and meet Scott, Flows and Pierce. 3439 N. Sheffield

As Justin Bieber readies to drop much anticipated new music, enjoy this Barber's Chair playlist of the best hits in Bieberveli's arsenal! 
Apple Music: https://apple.co/2HdG2yN
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2HbTcME
Tidal: http://bit.ly/bieberveli

Throw your diamonds up for more than a decade of heat with the new TIDAL-exclusive Roc La Familia playlist from The Barber's Chair! The greatest hits from the most prolific label in hip hop history.
Listen here: https://tidal.com/playlist/dfcd8a98-7eb0-473e-8666-170acc564443

Listen to the new bangers playlist on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

Becky might no longer have two belts but you can still get your #FreeTheMan tee on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
teespring.com/stores/the-barbers-chair
or
teespring.com/freetheman

First Black Champ - I Need A 365 Of Lars Sullivan Apologies

#MITB is tonight and we damn near forgot. That won't stop these fire predictions though! But before that we send our heartfelt condolences to Ashley and our well wishes to Ric Flair.

Then we deep dive into Lars Sullivan's fine and suspension and why we don't want Big E, Titus or any other black wrestler speak to how cool Lars is an how he's change. All that and the Turner AEW deal on the #FirstBlackChamp podcast!

As Justin Bieber readies to drop much anticipated new music, enjoy this Barber's Chair playlist of the best hits in Bieberveli's arsenal! 
Apple Music: https://apple.co/2HdG2yN
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2HbTcME
Tidal: http://bit.ly/bieberveli

Throw your diamonds up for more than a decade of heat with the new TIDAL-exclusive Roc La Familia playlist from The Barber's Chair! The greatest hits from the most prolific label in hip hop history.
Listen here: https://tidal.com/playlist/dfcd8a98-7eb0-473e-8666-170acc564443

Listen to the new bangers playlist on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

WrestleMania might be over but you can still rep Becky Two Belts with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
teespring.com/stores/the-barbers-chair
or
teespring.com/freetheman

Ruthless Aggression - Money In The Bank 2019 Predictions, Judgment Day 2003

It's Money in the Bank weekend! We give our predictions for the big show and which two superstars we think will leave Hartford with the briefcases. Plus, remembering Ashley Massaro, AEW's deal with TNT, and a trip back to 2003 for Judgment Day 2003!

Ruthless Aggression recap:
RAW 520
Smackdown 195

As Justin Bieber readies to drop much anticipated new music, enjoy this Barber's Chair playlist of the best hits in Bieberveli's arsenal! 
Apple Music: https://apple.co/2HdG2yN
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2HbTcME
Tidal: http://bit.ly/bieberveli

Throw your diamonds up for more than a decade of heat with the new TIDAL-exclusive Roc La Familia playlist from The Barber's Chair! The greatest hits from the most prolific label in hip hop history.
Listen here: https://tidal.com/playlist/dfcd8a98-7eb0-473e-8666-170acc564443

Listen to the new bangers playlist on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

WrestleMania might be over but you can still rep Becky Two Belts with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
teespring.com/stores/the-barbers-chair
or
teespring.com/freetheman

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.

First Black Champ - I'm Black, So I Think Kofi Gonna Lose Every Night

We back! First episode of May and on Mother's Day! It's Black Champ talk as usual. Kofi's on a run we called and we speculate his possible next contender could be after KO and who it better not fawking be no matter what. And since we have more information, we talk in greater info and perspective about Lio Rush's backstage heat and what it could mean. We also talk about who he may need to talk to during this time and why. The ratings may be down, but who or what is really to blame? We answer that unpack a lot more on this week's #FirstBlackChampPod! Tell your mom we said hi!

As Justin Bieber readies to drop much anticipated new music, enjoy this Barber's Chair playlist of the best hits in Bieberveli's arsenal! 
Apple Music: https://apple.co/2HdG2yN
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2HbTcME
Tidal: http://bit.ly/bieberveli

Throw your diamonds up for more than a decade of heat with the new TIDAL-exclusive Roc La Familia playlist from The Barber's Chair! The greatest hits from the most prolific label in hip hop history.
Listen here: https://tidal.com/playlist/dfcd8a98-7eb0-473e-8666-170acc564443

Listen to the new bangers playlist on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

WrestleMania might be over but you can still rep Becky Two Belts with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
teespring.com/stores/the-barbers-chair
or
teespring.com/freetheman

Ruthless Aggression - Wild Card, Bitches!

The Mad Titan does it again. Is the 'Wild Card' rule in WWE pointless or good for RAW and Smackdown? Then, we jump right into the week in wrestling in 2003!

Ruthless Aggression recap:
RAW 519
Smackdown 194

Follow Pierce on Twitter: @HennyOmega
Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisMNovak
Follow Rob on Twitter: @RobertONeill31

As Justin Bieber readies to drop much anticipated new music, enjoy this Barber's Chair playlist of the best hits in Bieberveli's arsenal! 
Apple Music: https://apple.co/2HdG2yN
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2HbTcME
Tidal: http://bit.ly/bieberveli

Throw your diamonds up for more than a decade of heat with the new TIDAL-exclusive Roc La Familia playlist from The Barber's Chair! The greatest hits from the most prolific label in hip hop history.
Listen here: https://tidal.com/playlist/dfcd8a98-7eb0-473e-8666-170acc564443

Listen to the new bangers playlist on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

WrestleMania might be over but you can still rep Becky Two Belts with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
teespring.com/stores/the-barbers-chair
or
teespring.com/freetheman

This Week in WWE: Wildcard, bitches
Raw logo.png

Chris Novak: Raw’s supposed to start with Roman Reigns. This has been something that’s been heavily discussed for whatever reason this week. But, whatever. Long as this works out and has a point, it’s okay. And since one of the people he’s been feuding with (read: Shane McMahon) bounces around the shows, then I don’t see why Roman can’t.

Anyways, that’s Vince McMahon’s music. So, Mr. McMahon’s starting the show actually. I would wager this, certainly, has a lot to do with the aforementioned paragraph. Vince says it’ll be a night to remember, because he’s here. Before he can go any further, Roman Reigns comes down to the ring. Last time they shared a ring, of course, Reigns caught him with the Superman Punch.

Robert O’Neill: Vince says he better not think of trying it again, and also he’s on Smackdown so why is he on Raw right now? Roman tells him to check his tone, because he wants to leave Raw better than he found it. Vince and his kids said the fans are the authority now, but that was a lie! Vince goes to respond but DANIEL BRYAN’S MUSIC HITS!

Chris Novak: Well… if you wanted my attention, boy, you got it. Bryan says he’s spent the last month in solitude, and now hoped to have an intellectual conversation. Before he can continue, Kofi Kingston makes his way out here.

Robert O’Neill: After Bryan and Kofi goes back and forth, Vince has an epiphany! He’s instating a “wildcard rule” where three Raw superstars can be on Smackdown and three Smackdown superstars can be on Raw. Neat.

Chris Novak: Don’t hate it as a concept going forward. We’ll see how they utilize it. Don’t really have a strong opinion either way. AJ Styles comes out, and he asks him, basically, what the hell he’s doing. Seth Rollins is now on his way out, so we’re still working here on our opening promo. We learn soon enough that Styles and Rollins are teaming up to face a tag team after the break. Who will it be? I suppose we’ll find out.

Robert O’Neill: Bob Lashley and Baron Corbin! Well, that should have been expected. It’s also fine, the story is between Rollins and Styles here. The two get along for most of the long match, but Styles catches Rollins with an inadvertent Phenomenal Forearm after Corbin ducked, and then Styles left instead of helping Rollins, as he got hit with an End of Days. That told the necessary story.

Miz has pulled up a chair right outside Shane McMahon’s dressing room, as he awaits Shane’s arrival.

Sami Zayn is here! He goes on about how the crowd is dumb and bad (correct) and then he gets interrupted by Braun Strowman, who isn’t pleased with him and decides to chase him around the ring and into the back, where he threw Sami into a dumpster which then got put into a garbage truck.

Lucha House Party got a win over some jobbers. Alrighty!

Ricochet is facing Robert Roode, and Ricochet’s Money in the Bank spot is on the line. Stakes!

Chris Novak: It’s obviously nice that they addressed this. They could’ve done it last week, but oh well. The match was fine and Ricochet got his win back. Not a surprising development in the least.

They showed a recap of last week’s events between Rey Mysterio and Samoa Joe. Announced was a United States Championship Match between the two of them. Once again, not a surprising development. Mysterio and Dominick were shown backstage, and Mysterio went into his locker room while Dominick walked away. Ominously… Samoa Joe was seen walking behind him. Probably not great news for Dom, if any horror movie ever made suggests.

Joe then is seen with him. I enjoyed the air quotes around “Uncle Eddie.” I almost wish he referenced that storyline. Joe runs him down and says that he needs to send his father a message, and that’s that he will enjoy what he’s going to do at Money in the Bank.

Up next is Lacey Evans, who’s competing in a match. Her opponent is a local talent, and she wanted the entire locker room to come down to ringside. Lord knows why.

Robert O’Neill: Lacey beats a jobber and then calls up Becky Lynch, who comes out swinging! Lacey leaves before Becky can lock in the Dis-Arm-Her.

Chris Novak: I didn’t mind this segment at all. For one, the use of a squash to put Lacey over as a legitimate threat is a good one. Secondly, having her warn and threaten the MITB competitors not to pull a fast one on her was also totally fine with me too. In fact, I think it was an effective way of getting everything in the mix. I know there are people that are going to want more out of the division, but… what more can you get out of this division right now? They did Alexa vs. Naomi last week. Any throw together tag match would’ve gotten the same usual complaints that we get.

Robert O’Neill: The Viking Raiders also beat some jobbers. Oh, wait, those were Raw Tag Team Champions Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins. Enough already. You have more than enough good tag teams to get the belt off the comedy act.

Chris Novak: Friend, you need to really calm down. There’s going to be an end to these means. It’s fine. The match was also fine, but obviously dominated by the Raiders, who’ve looked good from the jump. Now that they pinned the champs, I’d expect to see them face off at MITB. Which, hey, I’m okay with it.

Robert O’Neill: This week on Firefly Funhouse, Mercy the Buzzard has something in his box but he’s hiding it from Bray. OH MY GOD HE ATE RAMBLIN’ RABBIT. Bray says it’s okay though. You can be forgiven no matter what happens. In fact, Mercy should be rewarded.

Chris Novak: RIP Ramblin’ Rabbit. Why is this stuff so ridiculous and brilliant each week? I continue to be a huge fan of it all.

Robert O’Neill: Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre are up next in a Wrestlemania rematch. This should be pretty good. I enjoyed their match at Mania quite a bit, aside from the stupid crowd.

Chris Novak: Turns out… it was pretty good! May have been Roman’s best outing since he came back, may have been one of Drew’s best outings in a long time. Really enjoyed this match, well, up until the non-finish at the end (even if it did make sense). Shane McMahon and Elias came down to beat down Reigns. Miz then came by the chase and fend them off. Shane went running, and Miz caught up with him and beat him up with a chair.

All around, very effective stuff here. Hope we get a Miz-Roman tag team match out of this against Shane and Elias. Or something of that ilk.

I have no real comment on the segment between The Usos and The Revival.

Robert O’Neill: I think they could be approaching a feud better between two very good teams but once they finally get in the ring it’ll be fine.

Chris Novak: Lars Sullivan attacked No Way Jose. Why? I don’t know.

Kofi Kingston puts his WWE Championship on the line against Daniel Bryan next. The match was really good. What a surprise, right? There was a pretty tremendous end sequence here, where eventually, Kofi caught him with Trouble in Paradise to retain. This wasn’t quite as great of a match as they had at WrestleMania but, for a lot of reasons, it was never going to eclipse that anyway. Still a very, VERY good match.

Robert O’Neill: That was a really good TV match. Nice to see Bryan back in action.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Chris Novak: Weird show, just from a format perspective. Have no idea what to make of this Wildcard stuff but if they don’t go OD with it, it’ll probably be just okay. But aside from that and some of the weird stuff in the 3rd hour, the work rate here was great and both WrestleMania rematches kicked ass. I’ll give this show a B-.

Robert O’Neill: I enjoyed more than I didn'’t enjoy, and that’s good enough for me. They still struggle to fill three hours, but having more hits than misses is good. Wildcard, bitches. B

Smackdown Live logo.png

Chris Novak: Alright, so we’re continuing on this Wildcard Rule stuff, and AJ Styles is back on Smackdown Live for the moment. I’ll try not to get too frustrated about this or anything. I just hope this doesn’t get too out of hand going forward, is really all that I ask. The good thing, I suppose, is that he’s over like rover. Styles talks for a moment until Sami Zayn arrives. So, Sami’s alive after being thrown in a dumpster last night. Good to know.

Zayn and Styles (which also could double as a reference to The X Factor) banter for a bit, until Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods arrive. Kingston wonders what Styles is doing here, and they get a bit contentious. Woods quotes Ice Cube, telling Styles to check himself before he wrecks himself. Kingston ponders what Styles is going to do about it before Sami intervenes. Sami suggests that Kofi not do this because the people aren’t happy for him. He’s caught in a web and also, that he deserves a WWE Championship opportunity instead of AJ.

Kofi and Xavier roast him for how he smells like garbage. And also, Kofi adds that he considers himself a fighting champion and that he’ll defend the title against EITHER Styles or Zayn. He says it doesn’t matter which it is, because he’ll remain as WWE Champion.

Ali vs. Andrade is next.  

Robert O’Neill: That was an awesome opening segment. I like the wild card rule so far. I’m just wondering how they’re gonna keep it fresh every week, but for now it’s good.

Chris Novak: We’ll get ourselves a Triple Threat Match later out of this segment, so that will be a good deal of fun.

Ali-Andrade was a fun but short match, interrupted by Randy Orton. Orton ate some kicks from them both but then hit Ali with a pop-up RKO. Andrade then leapt at him but Orton dropped HIM with an RKO too. So, decent segment here, although I certainly wish we could’ve gotten more time out of Ali-Andrade.

Robert O’Neill: I would be interested in an Ali-Orton feud if Andrade wins the briefcase like I think he’s going to. I think they would work very well together. I liked this match but was fine with how it ended.

Shane McMahon is here to announce the new tag team champions, but first he has to talk about how he’s not a fan of what The Miz has been up to lately. He’s going to emerge from the steal cage at Money in the Bank in victory yet again.

And now it’s time to announce the new tag team champions. It’s… Daniel Bryan and Rowan! But before Bryan and Rowan can accept, The Usos come out! They said instead of Shane just handing the titles to Bryan and Rowan, they should have a match for them, to which Shane agrees.

Chris Novak: Oh, I am all the way here for this one, baby.

Robert O’Neill: The match is, unsurprisingly, absolutely awesome. The Usos are probably the best tag team in WWE history and Daniel Bryan is the best wrestler on the planet, so it all comes together and is beautiful here. Even Rowan was very good! He got the pin with the Iron Claw to get Bryan and Rowan the tag titles.

Chris Novak: God, that match kicked so much ass. One of the better tags of the entire year so far. Rowan looked great! For once!

Robert O’Neill: Shane McMahon has news about the Money In The Bank ladder matches. Before he can get to the point, Miz comes out and attacks him! But the B-Team come out to save Shane, and while Miz is fighting them off, Shane hits Miz with a chair from behind.

Chris Novak: Well… sure. I mean, sure. I don’t know what exactly he was going to announce, but I suppose that’s not the point here. Miz getting beaten down before his ultimate comeuppance works fine with me, as that’s probably going to be the plan.

Robert O’Neill: Mandy and Sonya face off with Ember Moon and Carmella next. This match was… alright. Mandy and Sonya won as Bayley was supposed to be in the match but was removed without explanation.. Perhaps there’s something more to that. Perhaps not. Who knows.

Chris Novak: Mandy gets a big win. Still wondering what happened with Bayley and Charlotte, but that’ll be a mystery I suppose. Paige came out after and said next week, Mandy and Sonya will face Asuka and Kairi. Okay, cool!

Another Aleister Black vignette aired. I’m still wondering where this is headed, but this has all worked well for me so far.

So, the WWE Championship Triple Threat Match proceeded onwards, and it was a doozy. Kingston retained after pinning Sami Zayn after Trouble in Paradise. Kevin Owens got involved, and for a little while, it was between he and Sami after Styles was out of commission for a bit. The match was fire and was, in my view, the best match all week. A good end to this show.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Chris Novak: I’ll save more of my comments on this whole Wildcard deal on the podcast this week. But we got some great matches out of this thing. That being said, it’s not without its faults. It didn’t disrupt SmackDown Live too much, but I definitely felt like this show needed some more zip. I’ll give it a B and keep it moving.

Robert O’Neill: Bayley and Charlotte disappearing was weird, but I liked more than I disliked, particularly the main event match. B+

Ruthless Aggression - Lio Rush is Wylin

Patrick Pryor of the Scheduled for One Fall podcast joins us to discuss the Lio Rush controversy backstage, his comments and Mark Henry's statements that Lio lied to his face. Pat kicks around to talk Booker T's comments on Sasha Banks' hiatus. Plus, 'Buy or Sell', and the week that was in 2003!

Ruthless Aggression recap:
RAW 518
Smackdown 193

Follow Pierce on Twitter: @HennyOmega
Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisMNovak
Follow Rob on Twitter: @RobertONeill31
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @_PatrickPryor

Listen to the new bangers playlist on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

WrestleMania might be over but you can still rep Becky Two Belts with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
teespring.com/stores/the-barbers-chair
or
teespring.com/freetheman

Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 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!
patreon.com/barberschairnet

Ruthless Aggression - Backlash '03

Pierce is out, so Chris and Rob go back to Backlash ‘03 and review the WWE debut of Goldberg vs. The Rock! Plus the Shake-up continues, KO does the inevitable, and so much more.

Ruthless Aggression recap:
RAW 517
Smackdown 193
Backlash 2003

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisMNovak
Follow Rob on Twitter: @RobertONeill31

Listen to the new bangers playlist on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

WrestleMania might be over but you can still rep Becky Two Belts with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
teespring.com/stores/the-barbers-chair
or
teespring.com/freetheman

Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 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!
patreon.com/barberschairnet

First Black Champ - @LioRush Hit Up #FirstBlackChamp

We back on that black ish again! But when do we ever stop? We talk Jim Ross's thoughts on Kofi needing to be "more serious" WWE Champion. Then we give a bunch of great examples of other champions who had just as much fun and entertained but were all business in the ring. Then we answer and expound on the "Is Kofi Box Office?" question from Jonathan Hood.

We close talking about Lio Rush responding to the "Backstage Heat" allegations, identify and speak our peace! More black understanding and conversation elevation on this week's #FirstBlackChamp podcast!

Follow Cam on Twitter: @ImCamQuotes
Follow JR Bang on Twitter: @jrbang

Listen to the new bangers playlist on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

WrestleMania might be over but you can still rep Becky Two Belts with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
teespring.com/stores/the-barbers-chair
or
teespring.com/freetheman

Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 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!
patreon.com/barberschairnet

This Week in WWE: The Phenomenal One rises again, KO's old habits die hard
Raw.png

Robert O’Neill: The first Raw after the Superstar Shakeup looks positively loaded, with WWE having announced a pair of triple threat matches to decide the #1 contender for Seth Rollins’ title:

AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe (who is on Raw now, more on that in a moment) vs. Rey Mysterio in one, and Miz vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Baron Corbin in the other.

Additionally, Cesaro (who is also on Raw now) will be facing Cedric Alexander and Becky Lynch will face Alicia Fox.

As noted, Samoa Joe and Cesaro are on Raw now. Andrade, Zelina Vega, and Aleister Black are on Smackdown.

Chris Novak: The show, officially, is starting up with Triple H. Not sure what The Game has to say/what’s on his mind, but we’ll soon see. Before he even gets started, Seth Rollins, who’s from iowa in case you didn’t know, comes out. Seth touts up the fact that he’s home, which naturally garners a loud reception. Triple H touts up his victory and points out how the landscape has changed and that he’s now the measuring stick. Rollins says he’s fine with everyone gunning for him though.

Robert O’Neill: Samoa Joe comes out and says that Becky Lynch is onto something with the double champion concept and he would like to be a double champion as well! Then Rey Mysterio comes out and says that he wants to face Seth! Then Drew McIntyre tells them it doesn’t matter what they think or what the people think, and the only reason Seth is champion is because he got to Brock first. Miz says that he’s faced Rollins before, but he’s a different man now and wants to do it again.

Chris Novak: This is pretty much your basic, stock revolving door promo. Baron Corbin comes out and says he’s the most deserving man to challenge Seth. He points out that he retired a legend at WrestleMania. AJ Styles comes on out, last but not least, of course. Styles says, of course, that he intends on winning and showing why SmackDown was the house that AJ Styles built. Seth then says he’s up for the task and will burn it down, yada yada, and now we’re on to our first Triple Threat Match -- AJ Styles vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe.

Robert O’Neill: What a damn match. These three guys are all over 40 and had one of the best TV matches of the year. Samoa Joe did a super double backdrop, and AJ Styles got the win after taking down Joe, then Styles Clashing Mysterio on top of him. That was incredible.

Chris Novak: It certainly was great.

Now we’re getting Naomi vs. Billie Kay. Last week, Naomi got the pin for the win last week in a tag team match featuring new SmackDown superstar, Bayley. Now, Naomi’s on her own. What ever will she do now? Well, for Naomi’s sake, hopefully defeat Billie Kay.

She defeated Billie Kay with a sunset flip. The match was… very short.

Robert O’Neill: Yeah that seems like it could have been a bit longer!

Chris Novak: They ran another Bray Wyatt vignette.

Triple Threat Match #2 is about to start. Unsurprisingly, this winds up being a pretty great match too. Drew showed out big time, and so did Miz. Corbin played his role pretty well here too. Lot of great near falls towards the end of this one. Corbin won after McIntyre hit the Claymore Kick on Miz. He snuck in, sent Mac flying and got the pin. Honestly, a pretty smartly booked finish. I don’t love the prospect of Corbin-Rollins at all, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Robert O’Neill: Sami Zayn is here! He’s telling everyone the truth about themselves, and accuses everyone of being in denial, then starts showing everyone all the vacations he took over the past 10 months and how happy he was. And now he’s not happy because the WWE structure sucks and the people around him suck and Des Moines sucks. He closes by saying everyone should take a trip… to hell!

Chris Novak: As usual, a legitimately funny promo again from Sami.

Cedric Alexander vs. Cesaro is NEXT!

Turned out to be a pretty solid match, honestly. Cesaro picked up the win after destroying Cedric with an uppercut. Ceddy got some good offense in but, in the end, it was Cesaro who prevailed. Dug this entirely, to be perfectly honest.

Robert O’Neill: The newly-named Viking Raiders demolished Lucha House Party. Alright then!

Becky Lynch is here now. She’s not pleased with Lacey Evans, and was kind of problematic about it. So here’s Lacey now, and she’s naturally not pleased with Becky and wants her to know to be on high alert at Money In The Bank. That was effective but, again, kind of not great on Becky’s end.

Chris Novak: I don’t think you can say “kind of.” She was problematic. Don’t care for the direction here and, quite frankly, don’t care much for the promo battle in general.

Becky’s now facing Alicia Fox. I can give you a few guesses to how this match will go. It actually went… a bit differently than I expected. Even though Becky win, it certainly went longer than I expected it would. Nevertheless, she won, and Lacey Evans came in and hit her with The Women’s Right two times.

Robert O’Neill: That match went a bit long but it worked out in the end.

Ricochet is here now for a match with Robert Roode. He has a mustache now and his name is Robert.

Chris Novak: Hey, it’s a throwback to Robert Roode Inc. He also just has a stache now so he looks like Rick Rude. Is that what they’re trying to play off of? Who’s to really say?

This match went… fine. I guess. I think I’m suddenly remembering why Roode as a singles guy got really old really quickly. It’s not that this is bad. It’s just not very high-energy. The Des Moines crowd doesn’t particularly help matters, either. Also… very surprising result in that Roode beat Ricochet. That’s the… first loss that I can remember Ricochet having in a while.

Robert O’Neill: I enjoyed the match. Bob Roode is the Iowa of wrestlers, so they should have liked it more.

BRAY WYATT IS A CHILDREN’S HOST NOW.

Chris Novak: God damn that vignette was awesome hahaha. Time for Styles-Corbin.

A Moment of Bliss is set to take place next week, in which Alexa will be announcing the Raw side of things. Sure do wonder if she’s going to announce herself as one of the participants (she’s probably going to).

Okay! That was a SURPRISING result (in a good way!). AJ Styles defeated Baron Corbin with the Phenomenal Forearm. Match was pretty solid. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty intrigued

Robert O’Neill: Yeah, they got me I thought Corbin was going to win and everyone online was going to be very mad about it. This was a nice surprise.

Final Thoughts

Robert O’Neill: Just like every week, I enjoyed Raw and found myself entertained throughout. This is where it gets difficult to assign a letter grade because if you compare it to the fall when the show was actually awful, it’s night and day. Every show obviously isn’t an A+, but when most things hit and I’m not bored or displeased by everything, it deserves an A-

Chris Novak: I’m going to give this show a B. It was not nearly as bad as people thought it was going to be, and helped to set some pieces for future development. I look forward to seeing who’s going to be in MITB next week during AMOB. The in-ring action was pretty good, although the women’s matches… missed the mark for me. So that’s why I’m going to give this a B. A quality show that could’ve definitely been aided by better in-ring work in certain departments.

Smackdown.png

Chris Novak: SmackDown Live is beginning with Shane McMahon. I have a hunch that we’ll probably spend the next few minutes hearing Greg Hamilton call him the best in the world. If that sounds a little cynical, I’m sorry, but this has certainly gotten a bit old. Alright, luckily they didn’t do this for too long. Shane says he’s here to talk about Roman Reigns and what he did to Vince last week. He goes over possible options for discipline, but instead just orders that he come out here. So, naturally, here comes Roman to the ring.

Robert O’Neill: He squared up with Shane, but Elias came out from behind and attacked and the Big Dog fell to the numbers. Not ideal!

Chris Novak: Roman is going to need to find some friends. Anyways, Andrade and Finn Balor are about to face off again. The match was fun, although I think their Raw match was better. Finn got the better of him this time around after a misdial by Zelina Vega. I’m digging this feud and don’t really care that they 50-50’d it. This all really worked for me.

Robert O’Neill: Yeah that was fun. I’m here for that continuing as an Intercontinental Title feud

Peyton Royce is facing Kairi Sane as the tag scene continues to be developed. Sane gets the win relatively quickly, as the IIconics look weak for the second straight night.

Chris Novak: “Look weak.” There’s never been another setting for the IIconics, Rob. Never.

Aleister Black had a short vignette where he actually wore a t-shirt. Didn’t speak at length or anything, but I’m intrigued a bit to see where it all goes.

Chad Gable-Jinder Mahal is a match that was supposed to happen, but never did. Why? Lars Sullivan came out, beat up Chad Gable and the Singhs. R-Truth tried to avenge what happened last week, but he too caught a beatdown.

Roman Reigns was interviewed by Kayla Braxton in the back. Reigns accepted Elias’ challenge for a match at Money in the Bank. So, that should be fun!

Robert O’Neill: Charlotte is here, and she’s ready to go face to face with Becky Lynch for the first time since Wrestlemania. That’s exciting. She’s not sure why she lost her title since Becky didn’t beat *her*, but Becky reminds Charlotte what winner takes all means.

But then Bayley comes out! And she’s tired of Charlotte getting all the opportunities all the time, and isn’t going to take it anymore!

Chris Novak: Two words: Fuck. Yeah. Bayley also told Becky that she’s never beaten her (Facts! At least on the main roster) before. This sets up a match between Bayley and Charlotte Flair, where the winner will get a future title shot at Becky Lynch.

Bayley and Charlotte’s match was an outstanding one. They did some great limb work with Bayley working through a bum knee that wound up being her undoing. Tremendous fire shown from her though, and great crowd chants in her direction (I’m shocked that everything reversed course here). Bayley didn’t win, as she succumbed to the Figure Eight. But she still looked great in defeat.

Becky doesn’t really have a problem with facing Lacey and/or Charlotte. Will that be her undoing? Time will tell!

Robert O’Neill: Really great match. Seems like they have big summer plans for Bayley, and I’m here for it.

Kofi Kingston vs. Shinsuke Nakamura is next!

Robert O’Neill: It was a very good match before Rusev (in a suit) interfered to cause a disqualification. Woods and Kevin Owens hit the ring to take care of Nakamura and Rusev, but the two get their shots in and it comes down to Kofi and Shinsuke yet again. Kofi takes him out but runs right into a Kevin Owens superkick! Owens spends the final few minutes of the show picking Kofi and Woods apart.

Final Thoughts

Robert O’Neill: Well, if I gave Raw an A- and enjoyed Smackdown more than Raw, Smackdown gets an A! Fun stuff this week.

Chris Novak: God this show is so good. Week-to-week. We had a great, GREAT TV match in Bayley-Charlotte, some fun matches elsewhere, and a not-so-surprising heel turn by Kevin Owens to cap off the show. I look forward to KO-Kofi down the road. Give me an A for this show.

Ruthless Aggression - Superstar Shake-up

It's time to shake things up a bit! Pierce Rob and Chris chime in on the Superstar Shake-up and look at how each brand stands going into the new TV deals.

Ruthless Aggression recap:
RAW 516
Smackdown 192

Listen to the new bangers playlist on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

WrestleMania might be over but you can still rep Becky Two Belts with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
teespring.com/stores/the-barbers-chair
or
teespring.com/freetheman

Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 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!
patreon.com/barberschairnet

This Week in WWE: It's time to shake things up again!
Raw.png

Chris Novak: It’s time for the Superstar Shakeup. Stephanie McMahon is here in jeans that, no, I did not give her.

Robert O’Neill: Shane is here too! His jeans are normal.

Chris Novak: Because Shane knows how to dress. He should probably have helped his sister out. Not a very good brother. Although we know he’s kind of a jackass anyway.

Robert O’Neill: Shane is speaking french now, in honor of being in Montreal, and he calls French-Canadian a “dirty dialect” Shane then shows a collage of moments of him beating up Miz and Miz’s dad, and then we find out Miz is going back to Raw! He’s also busted open, which was wild.

Chris Novak: Move makes sense on a number of levels. Firstly, it helps out Raw’s main event scene out and the IC Title scene of course. Secondly, with SmackDown Live moving to Fox, it only makes sense for him to move over to the show that’s on the network where his reality show is. So, I’m obviously cool with this move.

Becky Lynch vs. Ruby Riott is announced for later on tonight. That’s pretty dope. Then we deal in eight-man tag deals. Ricochet, Aleister Black and the new Tag Team Champions, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder are on one end. Who’s on the other? Well, we’ll find out after the break, it seems.

They’re facing The Revival and… WAR RAIDERS????? Who have a new name, ‘The Viking Experience.’ They also changed Hanson and Rowe’s names to Ivar and Erik. I’m not keen on the name change but holy God damn hell, that’s one way to change up the Raw tag scene.

Robert O’Neill: It’s a dumb name and I’m not really sure of the point, but it’s cool to see them on the main roster!

Regardless of the name, it was a really fun match that ended with Ivar and Erik standing tall and getting the victory. The Raw tag division is suddenly much better than it was a couple months ago, and that’s cool to see.

Chris Novak: Seriously, it’s actually quite refreshed now, so that rules to me.

Robert O’Neill: Finn Balor is here for a special match against the newest member of the Raw roster… Andrade!

Chris Novak: Okay, I’m completely with this honestly. Andrade and Finn proceeded to have a DAMN good match. Zelina got involved and hit Finn with a hurricanrana, which eventually led to Andrade hitting him with the Hammerlock DDT for the 1-2-3.

We’re walking with Elias next.

Elias trashed the Canadiens and then out came REY MYSTERIO! It would appear that Rey’s now on Raw. Rey fended Elias off and then… Lars Sullivan came out. Oh joy. Rey is not afraid and he went to fend him off. Naturally, Rey got bodied.

Robert O’Neill: It was fun until Lars came out. Lars is bad.

Bob Roode and Chad Gable are here looking for some opponents aaaand THE USOS answer! How fun!

What a fun match. The Usos got the win with a double splash, and the Raw tag division CONTINUES to improve.

Chris Novak: Rather solid match, although I think they’re both capable of better. But that’s just splitting hairs. I love that The Usos are on Raw. They did everything they could POSSIBLY do on SmackDown Live, so really, the move makes way too much sense.

Let’s move on now to A Moment of Bliss, featuring… Montreal’s own Sami Zayn! This should be highly entertaining. Especially because of Sami’s promo last week.

Robert O’Neill: Good lord what a segment. Zayn did his entrance three times, then spoke french to appease the crowd, then said he hated the people on Montreal, which led Alexa to say he’s the problem, not them. Whew!

The IIconics are here and they’re taunting Bayley because Sasha Banks is MIA, so Bayley finds a new partner: Naomi!

Chris Novak: I am ALL about this team! Bayley and Naomi made pretty quick work of Peyton and Billie here. Good way of making Naomi look strong and keeping Bayley upright and afloat. Love it a lot obviously.

Braun Strowman basically beat the shit out of EC3. A match never really took place.

Now Becky Lynch is here to face Ruby Riott. Non-title style.

Robert O’Neill: Ruby got some good offense in, but ultimately tapped to the Disarmher. No surprise there.

Becky is still in the ring and Natalya comes out. She congratulates Becky on winning both titles and says she wants a shot at the Raw one but Lacey Evans says she wants a shot too, and we have a #1 contenders match!

Chris Novak: Okay so, this match wasn’t awful. It wasn’t good. Somewhere in the middle. Lacey doled out a moonsault where she jumped from the second rope to the top beforehand and it was dope. Evans now will face Becky for the Raw Women’s Championship down the line. I think Becky’s gonna be a good hand for her to work with. Whatever the case, you definitely can’t say that Lacey Evans is bad. She’s just okay right now. And that’s fine.

Our six-man tag main event is next.

Robert O’Neill: Who will the mystery partner be? Dean Ambrose? Someone else? Let’s see!

Chris Novak: It’s AJ STYLES! That’s certainly a big move. So, let’s six-man now, shall we?

Robert O’Neill: Unsurprisingly, it was awesome! The faces got the win when Roman hit a spear on Bob to send everyone home happy. Really excited to see what happens on the Smackdown side now.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Robert O’Neill: I like the changes Raw made and I liked the matches on this show. A very entertaining three hours. A

Chris Novak: I’ll give Raw a strong B+. I think there were some areas where it lacked, like in-ring wise in some instances. But apart from that, this show definitely hit the right notes. Especially A Moment of Bliss with Sami Zayn. That’s the high point.

Smackdown.png

Chris Novak: It’s time for the SmackDown Live portion of the Superstar Shakeup. Much like last night, I have absolutely zero idea what the hell is going to happen. Kevin Owens is here to start the show though in his native land of Quebec. There appears to be not one, but two seats in the ring along with KO’s seat. So… that’s intriguing to say the least!

Robert O’Neill: It’s not Shakeup related though! Instead he has WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and fellow New Day member Xavier Woods on the program. Owens congratulates Kofi and then banters back and forth before Woods reveals that Big E is hurt, but Kevin Owens volunteers to join The New Day as Big O! They give him a shirt and a unicorn horn as we have an all-time great segment for the second straight night.

And now Finn Balor is here! He’s been drafted to Smackdown.

Chris Novak: Well, well. That’s not something I expected at all. There’s a rumor that Joe is sick and that’s why he wasn’t on Raw, so you can probably move some pegs around here and figure this one out. Anyways, he’s facing Ali, so this is going to be awesome.

Robert O’Neill: That was a blast. Balor got the victory after a hard fought match. Really excited to see what he can do on Smackdown, as there’s a lot of directions they can take.

Charlotte vs. Carmella is next!

Chris Novak: That was significantly better than the series of matches they had last year. You can tell both performers have grown a lot. Charlotte won with the FIgure Eight and got Little Naitch to hold the ropes up for her.

For whatever reason, Lars is here. He attacked R-Truth. Swear I thought they said he was on Raw.

Robert O’Neill: Weird. I would prefer Lars never be around.

Anyway here’s Becky Lynch.

She talks about how she’s willing to take on any challengers, and out comes Ember Moon! Then Bayley! That’ll shake things up. The IIconics come out to banter before Paige comes out to introduce her new tag team: Kairi Sane and Asuka!

Chris Novak: God damn pal, that was quite the freaking segment. We get an eight-woman tag that proved to be a real, real fun one. Kairi Sane got the win for her team with the Elbow Drop. A lot of fun here. SmackDown Live’s women’s division is totally, super-duper stacked. And quite frankly, I’m a huge fan.

Kevin Owens did Big E’s spiel before their match. It was tremendous, as expected.

Well hey, look at THAT… Buddy Murphy’s on SmackDown Live too! God damn, what a show this is.

The six-man proved to be a fun one, as expected. Kofi, Big O and Xavier won after Owens hit a Stunner on Rusev. Real fun stuff here once again. Loved how fresh this felt even while it wasn’t super fresh. I don’t know if Owens is gonna do the turn on Kofi but I’m glad it didn’t happen tonight, at least.

Robert O’Neill: And with that, it’s time for Vince McMahon’s big announcement! Who will Smackdown get to cap off the Shakeup. It’s… Elias? That doesn’t seem right!

He started to perform but he gets interrupted by ROMAN REIGNS who Superman Punches Vince and says Smackdown Live is HIS yard! What a show.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Robert O’Neill: Smackdown is still SO good. And they probably won the Shakeup again, as well. The Kevin Owens stuff was incredible, and Roman Reigns having a Smackdown run is going to be excellent. A

Chris Novak: SmackDown Live will remain great after the Shakeup, which was to be expected. I enjoyed the in-ring work on this show and thought there was solid development elsewhere. So, I had no qualms whatsoever with this show. A for me, too.