Posts tagged Smackdown
First Black Champ - Chill Out Cody!

Hell In A Cell is next Sunday and most of the card is a secret. We give the best predictions we can and talk some things that we would like to see happen at the Pay Per View. Before we get into that Bang takes a moment to talk about Cody Rhodes comments on black superstars and their dominance in the world of wrestling. Then we deep dive on what a wrestling superstar is and who truly is one! If you fawking with #FBCPod hit the link!

Play in the biggest NFL season long tournament EVER! Join the $3.5 Million Dollar Best Ball Championship on DRAFT! Download the DRAFT app on the app or play store or head over to draft.com/barberschair and join today! Use the promo code BARBERSCHAIR for a FREE entry to a Best Ball draft when you make your first deposit!

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

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

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 - The Times They Are a-Changing

A new era in professional wrestling begins next week. Pierce, Chris and Rob preview the biggest week in wrestling history, starting with the season premiere of Monday Night RAW, the start of the Wednesday Night Wars with the debut of TNT's AEW Dynamite vs. NXT two hours live on USA, then a stacked card on the premiere of Friday Night Smackdown on FOX, and the Hell in a Cell PPV on Sunday. Then, the week in 2003 as Goldberg and Brock Lesnar celebrate their title wins, Kurt Angle runs into a familiar foe, Triple H takes a break and Eddie Guerrero defends both the Tag Team titles and the U.S. title in the same night

Play in the biggest NFL season long tournament EVER! Join the $3.5 Million Dollar Best Ball Championship on DRAFT! Download the DRAFT app on the app or play store or head over to draft.com/barberschair and join today! Use the promo code BARBERSCHAIR for a FREE entry to a Best Ball draft when you make your first deposit!

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

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

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

First Black Champ - Has A Black Man Ever Beat Brock Lesnar?

The King of The Ring is a wrap and final verdict is....Eh. We do have our official winner though! Shout to @Kontra402! We'll have your shirt coming to you soon! We recap Clash of Champions and analyze the future of Chad Gable and AEW after NXT's TV debut had over 1 million viewers on this week's #FBCPod

Play in the biggest NFL season long tournament EVER! Join the $3.5 Million Dollar Best Ball Championship on DRAFT! Download the DRAFT app on the app or play store or head over to draft.com/barberschair and join today! Use the promo code BARBERSCHAIR for a FREE entry to a Best Ball draft when you make your first deposit!

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

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

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 - 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!

Play in the biggest NFL season long tournament EVER! Join the $3.5 Million Dollar Best Ball Championship on DRAFT! Download the DRAFT app on the app or play store or head over to draft.com/barberschair and join today! Use the promo code BARBERSCHAIR for a FREE entry to a Best Ball draft when you make your first deposit!

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

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

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

First Black Champ - What Does A Wrestler's Work/Life Balance Look Like?

The King of The Ring bracket is at the Semi-Final round and everybody's is fawked! We literally have 1 possible winner left and if Baron Corbin loses our contest is officially over. We have a serious talk about Ric Flair and his dispute with WWE over "The Man" and what it could really mean. Lio Rush new music and Bayley with the RNS storyline of the year and so much more on this weeks #FBCPod!

Play in the biggest NFL season long tournament EVER! Join the $3.5 Million Dollar Best Ball Championship on DRAFT! Download the DRAFT app on the app or play store or head over to draft.com/barberschair and join today! Use the promo code BARBERSCHAIR for a FREE entry to a Best Ball draft when you make your first deposit!

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

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

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 - All Out

All Out, CM Punk at Starrcast, NXT Takeover: Cardiff, a King of the Ring update and post-Summerslam 2003!

Ruthless Aggression recap:
RAW 535
Smackdown 210

Play in the biggest NFL season long tournament EVER! Join the $3.5 Million Dollar Best Ball Championship on DRAFT! Download the DRAFT app on the app or play store or head over to draft.com/barberschair and join today! Use the promo code BARBERSCHAIR for a FREE entry to a Best Ball draft when you make your first deposit!

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 - The Wednesday Night War

The gang talks about NXT's move to two hours live on USA, in direct competition with AEW's weekly show on TNT. How this move is a win for EVERYONE involved: from the promotions to the wrestlers to the networks. Plus, a preview of this weekend's All Out, a King of the Ring update, and SummerSlam 2003!

Ruthless Aggression recap:
RAW 534
Smackdown 209
SummerSlam 2009

Play in the biggest NFL season long tournament EVER! Join the $3.5 Million Dollar Best Ball Championship on DRAFT! Download the DRAFT app on the app or play store or head over to draft.com/barberschair and join today! Use the promo code BARBERSCHAIR for a FREE entry to a Best Ball draft when you make your first deposit!

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

First Black Champ - Mr. Hughes Appreciation Day

NXT is going to be on USA and it brings up many questions and angles of what is next for the NXT Roster and AEW. Who's going to be the breakout stars in all this? We attempt to answer before the programs even air on their respective networks.

We talk Sasha's "cheap heat" and why Cam doesn't have a problem with it. We talk about the "Heat Check or Heat Kill" with Sami Zayn and how Bang thinks it's Great Value Rusev Day. And some how all that leads us to Mr Hughes Appreciation day!

What can the XFL do to be taken serious and survive? We take a moment to discuss on this weeks First Black Champ Podcast! #FBCPod.

Play in the biggest NFL season long tournament EVER! Join the $3.5 Million Dollar Best Ball Championship on DRAFT! Download the DRAFT app on the app or play store or head over to draft.com/barberschair and join today! Use the promo code BARBERSCHAIR for a FREE entry to a Best Ball draft when you make your first deposit!

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: A King Will Soon Be Crowned
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Chris Novak: Raw is in St. Paul, Minnesota, tonight, a very rare moment indeed. The KOTR Round of 16 begins tonight, which should provide plenty of quality entertainment. Also, King’s Court with Sasha Banks is scheduled. This all should lead to some good and fun moments.

Robert O’Neill: Speaking of King, he’s on commentary tonight. So that sucks! But Roman Reigns is here. So that’s good! 

And now Dolph Ziggler is here, so that’s also bad! Not the best start to Raw.

Chris Novak: They banter a little bit because they’re wrestling against one another. That match turns out to be a pretty good one! Not too surprising, since Roman is great at the wrestling. But I’ll give Dolph some credit here too because he showed out as well. This was a fun way to start the show. Roman defeated Dolph with an awesome Spear. 

Robert O’Neill: It’s time for King’s Court with Sasha Banks! But first, we get a video package recapping last week, and then a pre-recorded interview with Becky Lynch where Becky says people are only talking about Sasha because of Becky’s interviews before Summerslam and Sasha did nothing to deserve any of this. 

Chris Novak: That promo from Becky was absolutely fire. The best line, I think, was when Becky said that Sasha is “The greatest woman on the roster to never be great.” Just money stuff.

Anyways, King’s out here and he promotes the KOTR Tourney… and before we can even get started with the segment, The Fiend arrives and puts King in the Mandible Claw! God bless The Fiend. 

Robert O’Neill: That was great. Really love how they use The Fiend to take out legends and don’t have him wrestle on TV. Keeps the allure.

We move onto a tag team match, featuring Miz and Ricochet vs. Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre. These four are in King of the Ring matches next week, so they have to get them some hype this week. It was a fun match that was Ricochet pin Corbin, which is a singles match I would be perfectly fine with at some point. 

Chris Novak: It happened in May Rob! I mean sure, Corbin won. But it happened in May! 

We’re going to hear from Sasha Banks soon even though King was disposed of. Win for all involved!

King Booker chatted a bit on Skype about the KOTR. Is a weekly Skype session with the legends going to be a thing now? I don’t actually know! But sure!

Braun Strowman faces AJ Styles for the United States Championship next. Okay! So, this match never really finishes out. The OC intervenes and beats Braun up. Seth Rollins comes to Braun’s aid and knocks both Gallows and Anderson out of the ring. He shakes hands with Strowman, who grips a bit tightly to intimidate Seth a bit but relents. I don’t know where this is headed! But I guess that’s the point? 

Robert O’Neill: WELL, it’s headed to a tag title match for Rollins and Strowman, as Seth notes backstage after coming back from commercial. That’s the main event tonight! Cool. 

It’s time for our first King of the Ring match, as Cesaro and Samoa Joe are squaring off, and they’re probably gonna beat the hell out of each other. 

Chris Novak: Look at that… they beat the hell out of each other! This was a fantastic wrestling match. Joe picked up the win after putting Cesaro in the Coquina Clutch by match’s end. If this is the beginning of what’s to come here in this Tourney, we’re in for a real treat. Seriously. 

New Day vs. Revival is happening next. Before that though, Rey Mysterio is here to address the past few weeks. The past few weeks have mostly centered around the fact that Rey has lost to Andrade a multitude of times lately. So Rey’s having an existential crisis as a result. 

Robert O’Neill: He made it seem like he was going to retire and went to take his mask off but his son Dominick stopped him and said he wants to team with him before he retires. That was nice. 

Chris Novak: It was actually! It was. That was very nice.

New Day-Revival goes down now. Hey, it’s kinda fun! Randy Orton then jumped into the scene and hit an RKO on Big E. Orton and The Revival proceeded to then go after Xavier Woods until Kofi Kingston hit the scene. Kingston, though, got jumped and attacked. Orton and The Revival hit a pretty sick triple team RKO/Shatter Machine/3-D type maneuver.

Then Orton made Kofi watch Dash hit a Pillmanizer (without the chair) on Xavier’s knee. This was a classic, 80s-style heel segment and I TOTALLY LOVED IT! I could honestly gush about this more and I probably will later this week on the pod. 

Robert O’Neill: Michael Cole interviews Sasha Banks on the Titantron and Sasha deflects the question and talks about her hair instead. Cole presses her again as to why she beat up Natalya and Becky last week and Sasha says “you’re welcome” and then leaves.

The Women’s Tag Team Champions are in action against Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville!

Alexa and Nikki win relatively quickly aaaaaand… they now have wins over the entire women’s tag division. That’s not ideal! 

Chris Novak: It’s not “ideal” but it’s nothing that can’t be heated up quickly enough. The titles are what they are at this point. I’m just glad they’re on TV again. 

Cedric Alexander (rather decisively) defeated Sami Zayn in their KOTR match. Little disappointed with that development as I thought this match was going to be better and more stretched out. But alas, it wasn’t. So Ceddy advances and will face either The Miz or Baron Corbin.

Robert O’Neill: Natalya is backstage discussing her injuries when Sasha Banks attacks her, focusing on Nattie’s injured elbow. Sasha then tells Nattie to go to hell and say hi to her dad. Whew.

Chris Novak: Tag Team Titles Match is now. Wow! Rollins and Strowman win the Tag Team Titles. It’s been a while since we’ve gone down the “Unlikely Main Eventer Pals Become Tag Team Champs” well, but I don’t mind it in this instance. Plus, I bet Seth winds up getting pinned when they eventually lose the championships. So, this will all serve its purpose and give a rub to The OC later on. I liked this! The match was pretty good too! 

Robert O’Neill: I like this! I like this a lot. Pretty clear Braun is eventually going to turn most likely. That’s fine with me. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Robert O’Neill: These final thoughts sections get harder and harder because I enjoy the weekly TV every single week now. The in-ring stuff is always good and the storylines have been getting better and better. It’s really hard to find complaints, so I guess Raw gets an A.

Chris Novak: Strong B+ for me. This was a good Raw, not a great Raw. It checked off the boxes but it wasn’t A-worthy. But just a very strong show. They have definitely turned it all around here lately.

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Chris Novak: Busy SmackDown Live on the way here. Two KOTR matches (Andrade-Apollo, KO-Elias) plus Daniel Bryan vs. Buddy Murphy. Not sure where the women fit in here, but I suppose we’ll find that out soon enough. 

Randy Orton is here to start the show though. This fresh off his awesome heel attack on The New Day with The Revival. Orton is rather angry, saying that Kofi ran from a fight. He says that Kofi’s stupid (I get it) and he gave Kofi the opportunity last week to prove himself, and he failed. He brings up that he hit him with two RKOs. He brings up last night, and he says the best part was making Kofi watch what happened to Xavier Woods.

The New Day’s music eventually hits, and Orton stares toward the screen. Kofi then comes into the ring and hits Orton with a surprise Trouble in Paradise! Kingston goes to leave the scene but he grabs a steel chair. He then goes to do the exact same thing that happened to Woods, but with a chair! That is until The Revival come out. Kingston takes care of them, but Orton gets out of dodge. 

Robert O’Neill: Oh man I LOVED that. Kofi’s bringing the heat and getting revenge for what happened on Raw is awesome. Keep this going as long as possible.

Chris Novak: They play the same video package from yesterday about the Roman Reigns saga. We’re promptly reminded that Bryan will be “bringing the culprit” to Roman tonight. Whoever that may be, at least. 

Andrade vs. Apollo Crews is next.  

Robert O’Neill: Meanwhile backstage, Kevin Owens is summoned to Shane McMahon’s office and Shane warns him not to cause a ruckus tonight or he’ll be fined again. Kevin says he won’t act out and he’s a good father and Shane’s a good father and Owens will act appropriately to protect his family. 

Chris Novak: So that was a real good match. Andrade won the back-and-forth matchup to advance in the KOTR. He’ll face either Chad Gable or Shelton Benjamin. Apollo Crews absolutely showed out in this one though. He’s really been hitting his stride lately, and that’s probably not a surprise considering who he’s faced of late. But fair play to him for making the most of his opportunities. 

Robert O’Neill: Great match. Right guy won. Things of that nature. 

Chris Novak: Drake Maverick tried pulling a fast one on Elias. But Elias gave him an order that decreed that the 24/7 Title rules would be suspended so Elias could focus on his KOTR match with Elias. Heeling!

A Moment of Bliss with Charlotte Flair is next. Hmmm… I sure do wonder… where this is going to lead…

Robert O’Neill: Charlotte starts talking about how Bayley is an undeserving champion which eventually brings Bayley out to defend herself, as she says Charlotte can say all she wants but it doesn’t matter because Bayley has the title and she’s automatically better. Then Bayley pushes Charlotte off her chair and effectively ruins Moment of Bliss. Not nice.

It’s time for Buddy Murphy vs. Daniel Bryan!

Chris Novak: Well, one week after Buddy Murphy had a TV MOTYC against Roman Reigns, he and Bryan had a TV MOTYC this week! And Bud Murph picked up the clean win! This is real exciting for Murphy as he’s clearly well-liked and getting big Ws and time to show his stuff. Match was just awesome.

Robert O’Neill: To no surprise at all, that was a great match. Kayla Braxton attempts to interview Buddy in the back but Bryan and Rowan beat him up and continue to call him a liar. 

We go back to the ring where The Revival have challenged the New Day to a Smackdown tag titles match at Clash of Champions. But first, Revival have a match against Heavy Machinery.

Unsurprisingly, Revival get a pretty quick victory despite their ribs being injured from Kofi’s attack earlier in the night. 

Chris Novak: That was a decent match. Enough for The Revival to get a quality win against an over tag team. So, it worked well for me.

MizTV with Sami Zayn, of all people, is here. Zayn says that after losing so many matches he had an epiphany. He wants to help people. One of those people, apparently, is Shinsuke Nakamura!? Zayn is essentially acting as his translator now. They beat up The Miz, seemingly teeing up Nakamura-Miz for the Intercontinental Championship down the line. Cool? Cool! 

Robert O’Neill: Big fan of a Zayn/Nakamura pairing. How could you not be? They’re both wildly entertaining, and you can go ahead and sign me up for more Zayn/Miz stuff. Not to mention, Miz/Nakamura would be a ton of fun AND is a match we’ve never seen before. 

Chris Novak: I’m honestly looking forward to this pairing. We shall see what happens here. 

KO vs. Elias is next. Beforehand, Shane told KO that if he put his hands on an official then he’d be fired. Why do I suddenly have a suspicion that he’s wearing a ref shirt underneath his shirt and he’s going to fire KO tonight? We’ll see if that’s what happens here. 

Robert O’Neill: Well, Chris was right! Owens and Elias had a solid match and then Shane revealed his referee shirt and got the original referee out of the ring, then gave Elias the win via a very fast count. Straight out of 1999!

We go backstage where Roman Reigns is set to finally reveal who attacked him and he pulls the hood off and reveals… an older version of Rowan? This must be a ruse! The show ends.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Robert O’Neill: These final thoughts sections get harder and harder because I enjoy the weekly TV every single week now. The in-ring stuff is always good and the storylines have been getting better and better. It’s really hard to find complaints, so I guess Smackdown also gets an A.

Chris Novak: SmackDown get an A- from me. There were great matches and storyline advancements. This was a better show than Raw this week in my opinion, to no one’s real surprise given what happened on this episode. Buddy Murphy’s rise is fun as hell to watch right now and I look forward to him vs. Ali next week.

Ruthless Aggression - The Bitch is Back

Pierce Rob and Chris run down the fallout from SummerSlam, including the debut of The Fiend and the return of The Boss! Plus, our predictions for the King of the Ring tournament and a look back at the week in 2003!

RAW 533
Smackdown 208

Play in the biggest NFL season long tournament EVER! Join the $3.5 Million Dollar Best Ball Championship on DRAFT! Download the DRAFT app on the app or play store or head over to draft.com/barberschair and join today! Use the promo code BARBERSCHAIR for a FREE entry to a Best Ball draft when you make your first deposit!

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

First Black Champ - SummerSlam Prediction Show

We back on that Sunday schedule of the show and we could not start without processing the life and times of Harley Race. Bang provides history and Cam adds color to one of the most important wrestling champions ever! Is it Harley Race or Harley Racist? This answer is in the audio.

SummerSlam is a week away and we have predictions on that, even though we feel Takeover will be much better. In fact, if you are more entertained by our SummerSlam predictions than the actual PPV, we wouldn't be surprise. Beware of Chess moves and listen to the #FBCPod!

Play in the biggest NFL season long tournament EVER! Join the $3.5 Million Dollar Best Ball Championship on DRAFT! Download the DRAFT app on the app or play store or head over to draft.com/barberschair and join today! Use the promo code BARBERSCHAIR for a FREE entry to a Best Ball draft when you make your first deposit!

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 - Vengeance 2003

Pierce Rob and Chris preview NXT Takeover: Toronto II and talk about AEW's announcement of a two-hour Wednesday night show on TNT. Plus, Cody Rhodes' comments on CM Punk's interview with ESPN, RAW reunion, and Vengeance 2003!

Ruthless Aggression recap:
RAW 530
Smackdown 205
Vengeance 2003

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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

First Black Champ - Randy Orton Is the F-A-B-O-L-O-U-S of The WWE

It's a special weekday edition of the First Black Champ podcast! We recap Extreme Rules and talk what is possibly the best moment of WWE in 2019. We talk Randy Orton vs Kofi Kingston Implications. We also cover, Bray's return, Kevin Owens being Stone Cold, Vince's possible chess move with Shinsuke and Bayley's potential slow heel turn! All that while watching the Raw reunion live!

It's another cooler than expected #FBCPod! Make sure you hashtag that to let us know you fawking with the movement!

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: SummerSlam starts to sort itself out
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Chris Novak: We are officially on the road to SummerSlam. Packed show tonight. A Fatal 4-Way between Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Naomi and Natalya is scheduled to determine Becky Lynch’s next opponent at S’Slam for the Women’s Championship. Elsewhere, there will be a huge Battle Royal to determine Brock Lesnar’s opponent at the big event in Toronto for his newly won Universal Championship. 

Speaking of, Brock and Paul Heyman are here to start the show. 

Robert O’Neill: Brock is using the belt as a boombox now! Delightful. Heyman came out last week and said Brock would cash in. Then Heyman came out at Extreme Rules and said Brock would cash in. What do you know? Brock cashed in. Heyman runs down the ten guys in the battle royal tonight, and I gotta say there are a lot of intriguing options here!

Chris Novak: There’s really no bad options here. Only ones who are better than the others. That should be a really fun main event. Up next, Ricochet is gonna be scrapping. Against whom? We’ll likely find out after the break. Well, we got okie-doked. Ricochet is teaming with The Usos against Robert Roode and The Revival. Six-Man ⅔ Man for… whatever reason.

The match was fine. The babyfaces got the win after Ricochet pinned Roode. 

The Club came out and then Ricochet jumped out and attacked AJ Styles. ALl hell then broke loose. The Usos went after Anderson and Gallows. Then The Revival went after them. The Usos stood tall and then went to dive out of the ring. Roode intervened and took him out, and then Jey was hit with the Shatter Machine. Ricochet then dove in and got everyone, and then Styles hit him with the Phenomenal Forearm.

Robert O’Neill: That was awesome. I really liked the postmatch stuff, including Ricochet doing a whole ass flip to sell the Phenomenal Forearm. Also, I kept saying he needs to find some friends, and it seems like he has! That’s good. 

Chris Novak: I enjoyed that post-match segment more than the match. Such is life. 

The Viking Raiders are up next. They squashed some dudes. Easy enough.

They flashed back to last night’s opener with Drew Mac and Shane losing to Roman and The Undertaker. Then they cut to some footage earlier today of Drew confronting some superstars, Cedric Alexander chief among ‘em. It seemed that we’re going to get Drew vs. Ceddy either tonight or down the line. All for it. 

Evidently… it’s right now. 

Robert O’Neill: Hey this should be good! Cedric hasn’t really gotten a chance to shine on Raw. Hope they let him go off here. 

They did! And he won by rolling Drew up after a spinebuster attempt. That was awesome. Use Cedric more! 

Chris Novak: I actually liked that a lot. A whole lot. Cedric getting a big win over Drew will serve him pretty well going forward, if we are to believe that big things could be on the way for him. 

Robert O’Neill: Finn Balor is facing Samoa Joe here as both men are coming off losses last night. Let’s see where this goes.

Wow, Joe won in pretty quick fashion, then went to beat Balor down after but Finn was able to get the upper hand and dispose of Joe. As he was celebrating though, the lights went out and when they came back BRAY WYATT was in the ring with his scary mask. Finn got a Sister Abigail as Bray stood tall.

Chris Novak: I don’t have any desire to see Bray Wyatt. I’m not falling for this trap again. No way, no way, no way. 

Drake Maverick is on the way to consummate his marriage. However, as we would find out after he and Renee Michelle checked into their hotel, R-Truth is at the hotel as well. That should lead to some comedy later.

Street Profits talked about the segment we just saw and hyped up the F4W later and the battle royal. Good stuff from them, per usual.

AJ Styles and The Club are facing The Lucha House Party! This… is actually pretty fun. THe match goes a little bit haywire when Ricochet comes out through the crowd and goes after AJ Styles. So, after this break, we’ll have a quick restart of things. 

Robert O’Neill: It’s a good back and forth until AJ Styles locks the Calf Crusher in on Kalisto and gets him to tap but refuses to release the submission. Good heeling! 

Chris Novak: Seth Rollins cut a solid promo backstage after being asked about tonight’s main event. Worked for me. He’s assuredly my pick to win tonight. 

The Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match to determine the #1 contender for Becky Lynch’s Women’s Championship… it’s next.

Natalya is going to SummerSlam. Carmella went out first after Alexa swooped in and rolled her up. The match continued on for a… long time… and Natalya got Naomi with a rollup. Then Nattie made Alexa tap out. This match will get a lot of discussion because of how “bad” it was. Here’s my thing. No it wasn’t that great. But it also wasn’t awful. The pacing and agenting of it was just weird. Oh well. I don’t much care about Nattie-Becky, and none of the stuff along the way the next few weeks will probably get me to care.

Robert O’Neill: This match was a bit of a mess. Too long, and the wrong person won. Obviously I’m very pro-Alexa, but if not her, why not Naomi? I get Natalya is from Canada and Summerslam is in Canada but… I just don’t care about her.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, here’s Dolph Ziggler on MizTV. 

Alright that actually wasn’t bad. Ziggler called Miz out for being a sellout and corporate now an forgetting his roots just like his wife did, and then Miz beat him up. 

Chris Novak: A Miz-Ziggler feud in 2019 doesn’t sound all that interesting to me.

R-Truth snuck into Drake Maverick’s hotel room and won the 24/7 Championship back. The segment was pretty hilarious, I have to say. As they often are. 

Battle Royal is next. Seth Rollins won. Not too surprising of a result. They’re running it back, as they probably should be. This works for me, as long as they do the match right. We’ll see if they do!

Robert O’Neill: I don’t love the result but I also expected it. My problem was the postmatch stuff when they basically had Seth cut the same exact promo as he did leading up to WrestleMania. We’ll see how it goes, I guess.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Robert O’Neill: Whew, boy. This show… didn’t work for me. Coming off Extreme Rules, I was very optimistic to start the road to SummerSlam, but between running the exact same program from earlier with Seth “I’M GONNA BE A FIGHTING CHAMPION! I’M HERE AND YOU’RE NOT!!!!” Rollins and Brock Lesnar, and the utter mess that the women’s division has turned into… yikes. The 24-7 Title stuff was fun and The Club vs. LHP was fine but other than that… yikes. D+

Chris Novak: Wow, that is way, WAY too harsh a grade in my opinion… this show was fine. It wasn’t anything to really write home about and I do think they could’ve rebounded better from Extreme Rules better. The Fatal 4-Way was disappointing, although itw as not nearly as bad as anyone thought it would be, even though the booking decision was baffling in the end. I’m going to give this a C. This was not D+ worthy and I think Rob is crazy here. I’m not sure what you’d expect here with Seth’s “story.” That’s been the whole way so far. Why change it?

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Chris Novak: Time for SmackDown Live. Bit of an intriguing show. The IIconics are defending their Women’s Tag Team Titles against The Kabuki Warriors. Also, Ember Moon and a mystery partner will face Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. For now, we begin with SmackDown’s Town Hall, which could (and I emphasize the word could here) be intriguing. Before that… we get a look at what happened “earlier” today. Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens bantered, and Shane gave KO the night off. I can only imagine where that’s headed.

Anyways, the entire roster is out on the stage right now. Yes, that includes such folks as Charlotte Flair, Buddy Murphy, Liv Morgan, among others who you may or may not have seen for the last few… weeks… or months. Shene asks who would like to fo first, as far as speaking, and to the front comes Roman Reigns. Roman says he’s not gonna be diplomatic and tells Shane to kiss his ass.

Robert O’Neill: Charlotte steps up and defends Shane “from one family to another” and lays on it on thick before Liv Morgan goes to the other microphone and tells Charlotte to shut up before Shane shuts it down. Then Buddy Murphy steps up and tells Kevin Owens to keep his name out of his mouth. 

Chris Novak: I’m enjoying this so far. Apollo says that everyone agrees with what KO said. Andrade and Zelina then step up, and it seems as though some seeds were planted to have another match between those two. Elias then steps up until The New Day cuts them off. Kofi gets the conversation going and… suddenly, his mic is cut. I’m sure that wasn’t intentional. Cesaro then comes up and says he wants to fight Aleister Black yet again tonight. So, that will rule.

Kevin Owens then showed up and Stunned Shane McMahon. Shane had a hilarious botch of the kick to the stomach. Thought that was a fun and effective enough segment. Everything else this evening will sort itself out, I reckon.

Robert O’Neill: And we’re jumping right into Cesaro/Black. Hell yeah. 

Chris Novak: Well, this match was good again. Not as good as the PPV match, but it was good nonetheless. But that’s to be expected, right? Aleister won after hitting another really awesome Black Mass. Let’s get Black’s push rolling.

Robert O’Neill: Frankly I’m just glad they didn’t have 50/50 booking here. Let Black keep racking up wins. Good on my end. 

Chris Novak: Backstage interaction between Dolph Ziggler and Shane McMahon give way to the thought that, uh, I guess, that there’ll be some interaction between them and KO later. Okay, sure.

Charlotte Flair is facing Liv Morgan. Hell to the yeah, Liv Morgan’s getting a match. Boom!

Robert O’Neill: It was kind of short and Charlotte won, but Liv looked good! It makes sense for Charlotte to win relatively quickly, as she’s “better” than Liv. After the match Liv goes on commentary and says “When I come back, I’m gonna be REAL!”

Well alright. Cool!

Chris Novak: Color me intrigued. Color me very intrigued. Ember Moon and ??? vs. Mandy and Sonya is next. Her partner? It’s BAYLEY! This is a nice little twist. And works well for me! 

Robert O’Neill: Ember and Bayley got a quick victory, then Bayley announced that Ember would be facing her at Summerslam for the title. Huh!

Chris Novak: No she did not, pal. She just said she wanted to face her for the title, unless I missed something. And I don’t think that I did! I reckon that match happens on TV and we get Bayley-Charlotte at SummerSlam. 

Robert O’Neill: Ah, I was confused. We’ll have to wait and see what happens! 

Chris Novak: Correction… the match IS happening at SummerSlam. Very intriguing.

Robert O’Neill: New Day is here, and they all have gold! 

Big E and Xavier Woods announce that they accept Bryan and Rowan’s offer for a rematch and away we go!

Well, maybe not. Bryan and Rowan come out in gear, but both turn around and leave. But now they’re back. And now they’re gone again, but Samoa Joe is coming out! 

Chris Novak: But interrupting Joe after he gets some words in is Elias! Elias says that Joe had his shot, failed, and so he’s deserving of a championship opportunity. Then… Randy Orton comes out! Orton says that he’s going to take Kofi down with the RKO. Elias says that they can’t have a championship match, and then suggests that they have a Six-Man Tag. 

Randy Orton pinned WWE Champion Kofi Kingston. Crazy sentence isn’t it? This was a really, really fun six-man tag team match. The heels getting the W here works for the purpose of elevating Orton into title contention. I’m going to hazard this is the direction for SummerSlam, and I am all for it.

Robert O’Neill: Absolutely. There’s so much you can do with a Kofi/Orton feud. They touched on it a little in the spring, but I would love it to be full speed ahead like this seems to be.

The IIconics are putting their titles on the line against the Kabuki Warriors. 

Well, it didn’t last very long. Billie Kay was knocked out of the ring and decided to not get back in before the 10 count. Champions’ advantage! That’s good heel work. Asuka and Kairi got their revenge afterwards. 

Chris Novak: Fine with that, as a means to extend this feud on a little longer.

Andrade and Apollo grappled in a pretty quick match. Apollo won. Looks like they’re doing some mid-card stuff with them here if the last few weeks are any indications. I’m cool with that. 

Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler faced off in the main event. The match was… fine. Owens hit a Stunner on Ziggler and then hightailed it out of there, as several SDLive superstars (all heels) were at ringside and went in pursuit. Shane said afterwards that Owens was going to pay. 

Robert O’Neill: The very end of that was kind of clunky but overall I liked the match and segment and show.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Robert O’Neill: That was a fun show! The town hall set the tone for the rest of the night by getting Liv Morgan in action, Buddy Murphy in the fold, and various other things Twitter has been upset about. The 6-man tag match was fun and did a good job setting up Orton/Kofi for Summerslam. A

Christopher Novak: Fun show. Everyone got TV time which was really nice. Especially the women, as everybody in some way shape or form was able to get on screen and do meaningful things. More of that and SmackDown will be back to being the premier show that it is. This was a solid episode of television. I will give this a high B+.

This Week in WWE: One Last Stop Before Extreme Rules
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Chris Novak: Raw is emanating from my home state of New Jersey. No, I’m not there, and neither are my parents. Not sure which one I feel more ashamed of. Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins vs. Andrade and Zelina Vega is happening right out of the gate. Hey, that’s my kind of jam. 

Robert O’Neill: Ya know, that was a fun match. Rollins and Becky won but Seth almost dropped the ball after he was distracted by Andrade making inadvertent contact with Becky. I actually really like that. While I have mixed feelings about the Becky/Seth pairing, I think it’s pretty good way to build this up. Corbin and Lacey attacked from behind after the match. And then Paul Heyman came out! Will Brock Lesnar cash in?

Chris Novak: He will not? But Sunday? I doubt it but Paul Heyman spun a yarn about how Extreme Rules in Philadelphia would be a fitting place. Because, yknow, ECW, Philly, yeah. You get it. 

Robert O’Neill: Heyman says Brock will cash in Sunday! Or maybe not. Maybe he’s lying. Who knows!

We move onto a ⅔ falls 6-man tag between the Miz/Usos and Elias/Revival. IT’s gonna be good but the forced stipulation is stupid. Just have the match during commercials. It was fine for years, it’s fine now.

Chris Novak: It was forced… but once again, like the mixed tag match at the start of the show, the match was really good. The babyfaces picked up the win. Seems to setup the fact The Revival will retain on Sunday, which is a good thing. Oh yeah, that’s happening! Extreme Rules is looking fun.

There will be a Beat The Clock Challenge later between Bayley and Nikki Cross, who’s subbing in tonight for an ill Alexa Bliss. The winner of the challenge picks the stipulation for Sunday. Uh oh.

Robert O’Neill: 24-7 Champion Drake Maverick is here, along with his wife! He’s going to retain his title tonight AND consummate his marriage. Good luck, pal.

Chris Novak: So Rey Mysterio’s out here for his open challenge. Bobby Lashley comes out and answers it, and makes quick work of him. Post-match, he beats him down more and threw him into some officials. Essentially, I guess, this was more a vehicle for Lashley than Mysterio. Which… makes sense, since Rey’s not doing anything at the PPV. 

AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows were backstage. Charly Caruso tried to get a word, but he said that he didn’t owe anyone an explanation.

Robert O’Neill: We keep rolling right along as Cesaro faces off with No Way Jose, after their match was unable to get underway last week. CEsaro wins in pretty short order but NWJ got some solid work in. This might be a fine mini-feud? 

The Street Profits are back!

Chris Novak: They cut a fun promo hyping up the Taker-Roman/Shane-Drew match this week. It was very entertaining and very Street Profits in the best way.

Mike and Maria were backstage after the mess that happened last week. Maria said she wanted “ice cream and pickles” at the end of the segment, so off Mike went to get it. 

Now we have a back and forth between Bayley and Nikki Cross before the Beat The Clock Challenge they have later tonight. It was the typical banter. We learned that Bayley will face Sarah Logan and Nikki Cross will face Dana Brooke. Hey, that’s awesome! More people getting burn is NEVER a problem with me.

Robert O’Neill: R-Truth is looking for Drake Maverick and also sings Jeff Jarrett’s 1996 smash hit “With My Baby Tonight” 

What a segment.

The Viking Raiders are in action against Colin and Devin Justin 

Chris Novak: The Viking Raiders promptly squashed them. There was some interjection with the 24/7 gaggle, but nothing came to pass besides the Raiders dropping Hawkins and Ryder. Truth got in, was intimidated and then ran off. 

Ricochet vs. Luke Gallows is next. This was pretty fun! Ricochet got beaten down for much of the match. However, Ricochet wormed his way into victory. Styles then brought Karl Anderson into the fold, as he’ll be facing him after this commercial break! Ricochet won that match also, and then after the match, AJ Styles jumped in the ring and started beating him down. Gallows got in on it as well. Styles hit him with a Brainbuster, and then Anderson and Gallows hit RIcochet with a Magic Killer. Then Styles teased yet another Styles Clash from the second rope, but threw him down on the mat instead.

Ricochet wasn’t quite done though because he got up. Gallows and Anderson got in and held him up, and Styles hit him with the Phenomenal Forearm. 

Effective stuff here with Anderson and Gallows not looking too weak in defeat and still appearing menacing enough to look like a legit threat. 

Robert O’Neill: That was simple and effective. Ricochet will probably retain Sunday, bu he may want to find some friends at some point to counteract these three.

Drake Maverick has escaped the mob and made it back to his wife. They’re ready to go, but Truth pops out of a crate. Carmella pops out of another crate and instructs Truth to attack, and they chase after Drake!

Bayley vs. Sarah Logan is the first Beat The Clock match. Sarah looked pretty good in her first match in a while, but Bayley got the win with a Sunset Flip Powerbomb at 4:32. Nikki Cross vs. Dana Brooke is up immediately after. 

Chris Novak: Dana is dusted in short order by Nikki. She invites Bayley into the ring and informs her that Sunday will now be a Handicap Match for the SmackDown Live Women’s championship. But what was interesting was the dialogue after that announcement. Nikki told her that she doesn’t know what a loyal friend is and that she should go and find a friend. Um… well… y’know… there’s this one girl…

Robert O’Neill: Intrigue!

It’s time for the main events. Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon against Roman Reigns and Gary “The Janitor” Garbutt.

They take Roman out early on and Gary has to come in, and, what do you know, he can work! He hits some nice looking flips and other aerial maneuvers before getting hit with a Claymore and losing the match. As Mike Rome announces Drew and Shane as the winners, Gary unmasks and he’s Cedric Alexander! Hey that was fun. 

Chris Novak: I don’t understand why… you know, he lost, but whatever. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Robert O’Neill: Well, that was a bit of a mess. It’s not that I hated Raw, it was just a downgrade from last week. The main event was weird, and the Mike and Maria stuff is kind of weird and not really for me? Other than that it did its job and got me ready for Extreme Rules, but I’m really just ready for Summerslam. C+

Chris Novak: I will actually be the high man on Raw this week? Surprising. I’m gonna go with a B-. Raw’s in need of some refreshing and the main event was definitely awkward. That being said, while this was a downgrade from last week, it was above middle of the road for me.

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Chris Novak: Last stop on the way to Extreme Rules. SmackDown Live’s in Manchester, New Hampshire. The show begins with Kayla Braxton interviewing Dolph Ziggler in the parking lot earlier today. I actually like them producing this segment this way. KO drives up behind him and honks his horn to effectively interrupt the segment. This eventually spills a bit out of control as the two fight in the parking lot! Dolph is sent inside but, apparently, KO is being sent home! So… that ends that match being a thing. 

Shane says it happened because things spilled out of control backstage. KO was the instigator, so that’s why he’s being sent home. Shane says he has a “few ideas” as to what the main event will be, and he tells Sarah Schreiber that he’ll circle back to her and us when he has to make that decision. 

Commentators run down the card for the night. That card includes Finn/Shinsuke… oh, okay. KO is still here actually. Owens runs Shane and the things he’s done down in what is a hell of a promo. 

Robert O’Neill: This was all in the first five minutes of the show! Wow. Lot going on. Also I’m 100% here for top babyface Kevin Owens. It’s gonna be a hell of a fun summer. 

Chris Novak: Owens basically says that everyone in the back, himself included, feels sick to their stomachs every time that Shane calls himself the “Best in the World.” He name drops quite the roster of people, including Bud Murph, Liv Morgan, Asuka, Kairi Sane and the whole lot. Shane came out to interrupt at one point here, and cut his mic off, but KO used another mic AND the headset. As security went to go after him, Owens hopped the barricade and stormed away. This was an awesome start to the show. 

Robert O’Neill: And now we move right along with Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. First match for either guy in quite some time. Excited for this one.

Chris Novak: First match for Finn since Money in the Bank, first SDLive match for him since 5/14 and first singles match since 4/23. Additionally, the first match for Shinsuke in general since 4/23, too. 

Robert O’Neill: Unsurprisingly, it was pretty good! Shinsuke got the win after hitting multiple Kinshasas and looking very good. Perhaps these two will meet again Sunday? 

Chris Novak: Nak looked like a total beast in that match. I won’t be surprised if Finn-Nak gets added to the Extreme Rules card by the end of the week. 

We are going to have a contract signing for the SDLive Women’s Championship Match this Sunday. Hey! That’s pretty fun, right?

A video package highlighting the Kofi Kingston-Samoa Joe feud plays. It’s predictably very good. Joe then comes on screen afterwards and talks some shit. So, pretty much, what you’d expect. 

Robert O’Neill: Nikki Cross is here for a contract signing with Bayley for their match on Sunday. Alexa isn’t around because she’s sick. 

Chris Novak: These two pretty much hit all the proper notes here. Bayley talked about her early years in NXT and how she was often manipulated but eventually grew into her own. Nikki says she’s tired of Bayley trying to drive a wedge between the two of them, and claims they’ll be co-champions if they win on Sunday. Somehow… I don’t see that in the cards. But alas, it’s time for Nikki Cross to face Carmella. 

Robert O’Neill: Nikki gets the victory with the swinging neckbreaker after a good back and forth match and then stares down Bayley. This is a really good story they’re telling. 

The Kabuki Warriors and Paige run into The IIconics backstage, and the Kabuki Warriors want the title shot they’re owed. Billie and Peyton say it can’t do tonight though because Billie has MadCowBirdFlu. Hilarious. 

Chris Novak: Hey, look at that. Advancement for the Women’s Tag Team Champions feud. I mean, hey, it’s better than nothing right? I liked this tease though and, obviously, Billie’s “disease” was hilarious.

Robert O’Neill: Time for the Tag Team Summit!

Chris Novak: This all eventually bellowed into a Triple Threat Match between Bryan, Otis and Xavier. And it absolutely ruled. Otis picked up the win after hitting a Pop-Up Slam on Woods. They teased the fact that if that happens on Sunday, then Bryan and Rowan will lose the title. Elementary stuff here, and it all really worked. The match was just outstanding. 

Robert O’Neill: Wow. This match was so good. Something about Smackdown multi-man matches, man. Really excited for the tag match on Sunday!

Chris Novak: Mandy and Sonya bullied Ember Moon in the back again. They seemed to challenge Ember to go find a tag team partner so that she could face them both. I KNOW SOMEONE WHO SHE COULD PICK! 

Another really great Ali vignette aired. I’m a big fan of these and this one was another real good one.

Aleister Black’s opponent has been revealed and it is… Cesaro! So this match should totally fucking rock on Sunday. It’s also #WWETop25 approved. Wink, wink. 

Robert O’Neill: The main event has arrived! Roman Reigns is taking on Dolph Ziggler. 

Chris Novak: This should be pretty decent, if both bring their working boots. And so they did. There was a real hot finish here. Everyone got involved at ringside. Reigns went way over the top rope for a dive on everyone. He was then superkicked by Ziggler. Shane got into the ring to talk some trash, but Kevin Owens reappeared and hit him with a Stunner. Reigns and Dolph got back into the ring, and Roman hit him with a Spear to win the matchup at the horn.

Robert O’Neill: *Clears throat* OWENS GOT MCMAHON! OWENS GOT MCMAHON!

FINAL THOUGHTS

Chris Novak: This show ruled. There was very good action, good storyline advancement and no low points. This was the best SmackDown in some time, which admittedly has been a low bar to clear. But everything flowed really well here. Maybe they realized how stupid the Elimination and ⅔ Falls Matches are, maybe I’ll regret saying that in a week. Whatever the case, this was a great show to tee up Extreme Rules. A-

Robert O’Neill: I didn’t love Smackdown last week, but they definitely bounced back this week. I loved this from wall to wall, and it has me really excited for Extreme Rules. It was nice seeing Roman Reigns back in action, and Aleister Black vs. Cesaro should be a ton of fun. A- here as well.

Ruthless Aggression - RAW Is Heyman

Before we dive into the Paul Heyman era on RAW, Pierce Rob and Chris do a quick review of Spider-Man: Far From Home! Then, another week in the Ruthless Aggression era as RAW deals with the fallout of Kane's unmasking, and Vince gets rid of Hogan for GOOD (two years).

Ruthless Aggression recap:
RAW 527
Smackdown 202

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 2019 WWE Top 25: Midyear Edition

2019 has been a fascinating year for wrestling. Such has been the case for WWE. Through all the highs and lows, in-ring action certainly hasn’t been a complaint at the midway point of the year. The best of the best in the company have (for the most part) gotten to shine, and shine brightly they all have.

Let’s not make any haste here. This post will obviously be different than the rest you’ve seen here. I’ve already deposited my Top 100 Matches of the Year, as well as my Women’s Top 25, too. So we’re just going to be primarily focusing in on the superstars, 25-1, in this post.

First though, since this is the midway point in the year, I’ll reveal the superstars who’re currently ranked 100-26. I’ll do this by 10s, and then 30-26 before starting the Top 25. And so, away we go.

100-91

100. Sarah Logan (20)
99. Lio Rush (20)
98. Zack Gibson (20)
97. Buddy Murphy (20)
96. Travis Banks (20.75)
95. R-Truth (20.75)
94. Noam Dar (20.75)
93. Ariya Daivari (21)
92. Billie Kay (21.5)
91. Sonya Deville (21.75)

Seeing Buddy Murphy here really upsets me, man. He’s only got six matches this year. Shane McMahon, meanwhile, has nine. Hopefully that sees an uptick as time progresses here. A lto of these folks here could probably benefit from some more work too, or in some cases, more time in the ring (hello, Sonya Deville).

90-81

90. Kassius Ohno (21.75)
89. Wesley Blake (21.75)
88. Steve Cutler (21.75)
87. Curt Hawkins (22)
86. Joe Coffey (22.25)
85. Marcel Barthel (22.25)
84. Tommaso Ciampa (22.5)
83. Bobby Roode (22.75)
82. Fabian Aichner (22.75)
81. Kairi Sane (23.25)

There’s a lot of solid workers here, obviously. The Forgotten Sons may get a bit of hate, but I thin k they’ve done a fine job tagging this year on NXT. Same with the great team of Aichner and Barthel, who I absolutely want to see more of on NXT UK. Let’s get more of Kairi Sane in the mix on SmackDown Live too, yeah? Also, I probably get the sense that Tommaso Ciampa wouldn’t be so low here if it were not for his unfortunate injury. If he comes back and starts working again, I suspect big things will be on the horizon for him.

80-71

80. Montez Ford (23.25)
79. Angelo Dawkins (23.25)
78. Chad Gable (23.75)
77. Natalya (24)
76. Lacey Evans (24)
75. Rowe (24.625)
74. Hanson (24.625)
73. Naomi (25)
72. Mark Andrews (25)
71. Jack Gallagher (25)

The War… er, Viking Exp… Raiders. Okay let me stop the joke here. TAFKA Hanson and Rowe would probably be higher on the list, if not for a couple of low-grade squash matches they’ve had. That’s obviously fine, but it has hindered some progress for them. Their peak is pretty damn good, though. Also, The Street Profits are pegged to be heavy risers once they really get going as tag champs, methinks.

70-61

70. Danny Burch (25)
69. Carmella (25.5)
68. Ronda Rousey (25.5)
67. Pete Dunne (26)
66. James Drake (26)
65. Peyton Royce (27.5)
64. Alexa Bliss (27.75)
63. Asuka (27.75)
62. Mike Kanellis (28)
61. Bobby Fish (28)

There’s a good abundance of women’s talent here. Danny Burch is ranked significantly lower than his oftentimes tag team partner Oney Lorcan, but that’s because Lorcan’s solo work on 205 Live has given him a big boost in the match # department. Pete Dunne is a phenomenal worker, of course. But he’s competed just seven times on TV this year. So that is what it is. Asuka would be higher if not for an absence from TV. Look out for Alexa Bliss here the rest of the way in 2019, as well, as she’s getting back into the fold.

60-51

60. Elias (28.5)
59. WALTER (29)
58. Kyle O’Reilly (29)
57. Nia Jax (29)
56. Jeff Hardy (29.75)
55. Mandy Rose (30.5)
54. Rusev (31.25)
53. Braun Strowman (31.75)
52. Shayna Baszler (31.75)
51. Io Shirai (32.75)

Shayna and Io just had a classic Steel Cage Match, and it boosted them all the way up to 51st and 52nd overall and into the Top 10 among the women. Pretty clutch eh? There’s some talent here for sure, and a couple compilers in the case of Braun and Mandy, who have a combined 33 matches on TV between them this year.

50-41

50. Jordan Devlin (33.25)
49. Charlotte Flair (33.75)
48. Sasha Banks (34.5)
47. Randy Orton (35.25)
46. Trent Seven (35.75)
45. Bianca Belair (36)
44. Big E (36.5)
43. Dean Ambrose (37.75)
42. Rowan (37.75)
41. Roderick Strong (38.5)

Sasha Banks is in the Top 50 despite not working the last two months. Checks out right? Dean Ambrose is here too, but I would suspect that his fall will continue to accelerate as the months pass. Charlotte seems a little out of place here, but she’s just not working as much as she has the past few years. Or at least it feels that way. Shout out to Bianca Belair at 45th, with only 11 matches under her built. She’s really a wonderful talent. As is Roderick Strong, one of just four wrestlers this year who’ve been given the Full Five by yours truly.

40-31

40. Shinsuke Nakamura (39)
39. Sami Zayn (40.25)
38. Cedric Alexander (40.75)
37. Xavier Woods (43.25)
36. Nikki Cross (43.75)
35. Roman Reigns (43.75)
34. Sheamus (45.5)
33. Drew Gulak (47.25)
32. The Miz (47.5)
31. Tony Nese (48.75)

Round of applause for Nikki Cross. Cross has made the most of her recent opportunities on the Raw brand and sits all the way up to 36th after the first six months of the year. A lot of these all check out. Drew Gulak, I’d imagine, will make a push for the Top 25 once he gets going on 205 Live as Cruiserweight Champion. Shinsuke could bounce closer as well if his feud with Finn Bálor pans out well.

30-26

30. AJ Styles (50)

AJ Styles has always been a elite worker, obviously. He’s tasked with a workload that’s not nearly the same level as it’s been the past few years, but he’s still shining when given the chance. His looming program with Ricochet should give him an opportunity to have Top 25 status after being on the shelf for the last month or so.

29. Becky Lynch (51.5)

The Man misses out on the Top 25 after the first six months of the year. Her in-ring work to me has been a little hit and miss, but she’s still obviously connecting well with the audience. Maybe her choice of opponents and rivals haven’t helped her, but she’s still in a pretty good spot here. A hot stretch later and she could get her way into the Top 25.

28. Tyler Bate (51.5)

Tyler Bate slipped out of the Top 25 for the first time all year after June. That’s pretty much because he didn’t work all that much, if at all. I wouldn’t expect him to be away from the scene for long if he gets back on TV and gets back to work. He’s a very skilled worker and is one of the best young talents under the umbrella right now.

27. Humberto Carrillo (52)

I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Humberto Carrillo, but I think he’s yet to really work a big-time singles match. He did an awesome job in the Fatal 4-Way a few weeks ago on 205 Live, a match that earned a ****1/2 from me. But he hasn’t had a really great singles match quite yet this year. Maybe that changes as the months go on here. I’d like to see it. He’s mostly here as well because of a high match count (22).

26. Kevin Owens (52.375)

Kevin Owens missed out on the first two months of the year, and fell just shy of the Top 25 at the midway point. KO has looked great in the spots that he’s been given this year. No real duds, and a lot of good-great TV matches. His series with Kofi Kingston was tremendous, and he was part of my Non-Big 4 MOTY with Ali and Daniel Bryan at Fastlane, as well.

And now…

THE WWE TOP 25, MIDYEAR EDITION

25. Akira Tozawa
Matches in 2019: 15 | Points: 53

Akira Tozawa has arguably been 205 Live’s most consistent performer this year. Tozawa finds himself 25th at the midway point of the year 2019 after putting in some serious work. In fact, every match he partook in during June got ****+ from me, including ****1/4 in his match with Tony Nese last week and ****1/2 in the epic Fatal 4-Way from a few weeks ago. Akira has been one of the best around this year, and I hope he continues to get a platform to excel.

24. Dash Wilder
Matches in 2019: 20 | Points: 53.75

The Revival have been pretty good when given the opportunity this year, so Dash Wilder being in the mix here should come as no surprise. As always, the qualifier here and why he’s not matched up with his partner is that Scott Dawson has wrestled in one more match than he did back at the Royal Rumble. You know by now how good Dash can be, so this pretty much writes itself.

23. Rey Mysterio
Matches in 2019: 14 | Points: 53.875

Rey Mysterio would likely be higher than 23rd had he not been put on the shelf with an injury. Mysterio has been a high-level worker in 2019 despite not getting to 20 televised matches so far this year. Seven of his 20 matches were given ****+, one being the Royal Rumble, so the other six were all his doing or multi-man matches. Rey is a living legend and he will likely get right back to it once he returns from his stint on the pine.

22. Scott Dawson
Matches in 2019: 21 | Points: 54.25

Essentially, everything I said about Dash Wilder can be put right here with Scott Dawson. He gets a 0.5-point edge over Wilder since he wrestled in the Royal Rumble Kickoff Show Raw Tag Team Championships Match with Rezar of The Authors of Pain back in January. So basically, unless he doesn’t wrestle a match and Dash does, Dawson will maintain this edge over his partner the rest of the way.

21. Ali
Matches in 2019: 15 | Points: 54.625

Ali has been a victim of lack of TV time in June, so he finds himself at 21st at the halfway point. Make no mistake though, he’s got an abundance of talent and has had quite the display on the SmackDown Live brand this year. Six of his 15 matches picked up grades of ***1/2+, including three of ****+. It’s obvious the kind of worker that he is, so if he gets more TV time soon enough, he could very well make a push for the Top 15 and even the Top 10.

20. Matt Riddle
Matches in 2019: 10 | Points: 55.625

The superstar who’s accumulated the highest Points Per Match average this year in the WWE Top 25 is Matt Riddle. And with only 10 matches under his belt, Riddle sneaks into the Top 20 of these rankings, having accumulated 55.625 points so far. Just two of his 10 matches gained scores in the **-**3/4 range. His range otherwise is ***1/2-*****, which includes his incredible bout with Roderick Strong at TakeOver: XXV. I have a feeling that he will only continue to rise as the year progresses. He’s an exceptional talent and it’s been awesome to watch him flourish.

19. Oney Lorcan
Matches in 2019: 16 | Points: 55.75

Oney Lorcan has been a very nice surprise in 2019. Not because it wasn’t known that he’s a fantastic worker, but because he’s gotten the platform to show his stuff. He’d gotten some burn in 2018 on NXT, but the cyclical nature of that brand only allows for so much flourishing. But he’s made a huge mark on 205 Live since he got there. If that continues, I think Lorcan will continue to turn heads and only widen his mark on the brand as one of the best workers they have.

18. Adam Cole
Matches in 2019: 12 | Points: 55.75

The NXT Champion is 18th on the rankings so far. That’s partially because of his workload, as having 12 televised matches to this point has hurt him a little bit. But he’s shined in just about every match he’s had. He’s earned 4.65 points per match, which if it keeps up should only help him out if and when his workload sees an increase. As the champ, he’ll likely have the big marquee stages to show his stuff, and he’s yet to miss this year on that stage.

17. The Velveteen Dream
Matches in 2019: 13 | Points: 56.125

Much like Adam Cole, The Velveteen Dream is hurt by his workload. With 13 matches so far, Dream is at 17th at the halfway point. That’s still a really great spot to be in though and when you dive deeper, you’ll find that he’s been an excellent worker. I’ve given seven of his 13 matches ****+, and nine of the 13 ***1/2+. So, the only true thing holding him back from climbing the rungs here is just the nature of the NXT brand and how often they have their superstars compete. Nevertheless, make no mistake, Dream has been one of the best wrestlers in the company this year.

16. Jimmy Uso
Matches in 2019: 18 | Points: 58.75

You don’t need anyone to tell you that The Usos are one of the best tag teams in WWE. Jimmy Uso stands 16th in the WWE Top 25 at the halfway point in 2019, and that really isn’t surprising at all. Jimmy and his brother Jey have put in serious work yet again in 2019, and obviously it pleases me that they’re still around. Jimmy’s not connected with his partner however, as Jey wrestled in one additional match this year.

15. Jey Uso
Matches in 2019: 19 | Points: 59.25

Much like with The Revival, there’s a mere 0.5-point difference between Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso. The reason for that? A singles match with The Miz back on March 5. So just take that into consideration as you see this difference between the two Uso brothers.

14. Baron Corbin
Matches in 2019: 27 | Points: 63.5

I’m sure this won’t cause a stir. Okay, so, Baron Corbin is 14th in the WWE Top 25. There’ve been some grumblings about Corbin’s in-ring work, whether he’s good or bad, etc. Here’s my take on the matter. I think he’s fine. In-ring wise, he does what he does and really excels in multi-man matches. Here is the reason he really finds himself up here: Workload. He’s worked 27 matches this year. He’s always on TV and therefore will get an abundance of opportunities compared to his peers. So he’s what I would call a compiler. Keep this in mind too: His Points Per Match through the first six months of the year is just 2.35. That number is the lowest of anybody currently in the WWE Top 25.

13. Bobby Lashley
Matches in 2019: 21 | Points: 64

Bobby Lashley gets a few conflicting opinions around these parts as well. The truth of the matter though is that he’s had a pretty good year. While he’s probably been exposed a lot, Lashley’s matches have all hit pretty well for me. Thus, he’s 13th on these midyear rankings. He’ll likely remain a fixture of the Raw brand going forward, and since he’s over 20 matches, don’t expect that to change barring something drastic.

12. Johnny Gargano
Matches in 2019: 13 | Points: 67.625

Johnny Gargano’s had a heck of a 2019. For his efforts, he lands 12th on the Midyear Top 25. Gargano has worked 13 matches and has earned a paltry 5.2 points per match this year. That’s the third-best mark of anyone in WWE right now, only behind the aforementioned Matt Riddle and Brock Lesnar. Good company to be in, I’d say. You know by now how good he is. If he got even more chances at work, he’d probably be even higher on this list.

11. Andrade
Matches in 2019: 20 | Points: 69.125

Andrade’s 2019 started off really hot. He’s cooled down a little bit, but not enough to drop him too far out of the Top 10. In fact, he’s just on the outside looking in at 11th. He’s obviously an incredibly gifted worker and he’s been able to showcase that plenty of times this year. All it will probably take for him to get going again and be in the Top 10 is the ball to run with. We’ll see if that happens on SDLive going forward, but it would probably be foolish to not let him do it.

10. Cesaro
Matches in 2019: 23 | Points: 71.5

You don’t need to tell anybody within earshot that Cesaro’s a great worker. He’s having a really good 2019 all things considered so far, and his efforts bring him to #10 on the rankings. He’s had a great balance of tag and singles matches this year, and has shined in just about every one of them. 20 of his 23 matches this year were given scores of ***+ so he is without many less than stellar outings in 2019. Look for him to keep it going on Raw as 2019 progresses.

9. Bayley
Matches in 2019: 26 | Points: 74

The workhorse of the women’s division this year is the only woman in the Top 25. Bayley has pieced together a really great 2019 so far and her efforts get her up to #9 here. She’s been a good-to-great TV worker in the spots she’s had this year. Her Points/Match is a little low, standing at 2.85. But, 21 of her 26 matches this year have gotten scores of ***+ this year, with 17 of them being between ***-***3/4. That kind of consistency has made her one of the best around right now, and among the top women in WWE, if not the best.

8. Samoa Joe
Matches in 2019: 22 | Points: 74

Surprised? Maybe you can be. But Samoa Joe has had a pretty great 2019. He’s been stellar in multi-man matches this year, and got a lot of participation points from being in Gauntlets on SmackDown Live and the Elimination Chamber, too. His work in the US Title Fatal 4-Ways in March definitely boosted his cause, as did his match with Ricochet at Stomping Grounds just a couple of days ago. Joe likely won’t be hurt now that he’s working with Kofi Kingston, so expect him to hang around this territory for the foreseeable future.

7. Seth Rollins
Matches in 2019: 22 | Points: 81.5

The Universal Champion is at 7th in the Midway Edition of the WWE Top 25. Seth Rollins has had a pretty solid year. He’s had one really, really standout match, which was at Money in the Bank against AJ Styles. Other than that, he’s been a very good TV worker who’s hit on pretty much everything he’s been given. He’s one of just a few guys out there who haven’t gotten anything below *** this year.

6. Finn Bálor
Matches in 2019: 25 | Points: 82.75

The IC Champion’s slowed down a bit, but Finn Bálor is still among the Top 10 here in the WWE Top 25. He was #1 in January and February but eventually fell behind the torid pace of Ricochet and Aleister Black. He hasn’t gotten the chance to storm ahead, but honestly after how much he was working in the first part of the year, I’m not too mad that he got some rest. Expect him to get going again in July with a program against Shinsuke Nakamura on the way.

5. Drew McIntyre
Matches in 2019: 30 | Points: 85

Drew McIntyre edged out Finn Bálor and Seth Rollins for the #5 spot on the rankings. He was able to build a heavy cache of matches thanks to the fact that he’s worked 30 times on TV this year. Now, Drew’s in-ring work has been pretty good, and 18 of his 30 matches have gotten somewhere within the ***-***3/4 range. But it should be noted that his Points/Match this year is 2.83 so far. That’s the lowest of anyone in the Top 5 and the lowest of anyone in the Top 10. And he’s also the only one in the Top 5 without anything at ****1/2+. So, maybe he’s pretty good, and maybe he’s also a compiler.

4. Aleister Black
Matches in 2019: 24 | Points: 90.125

For a while it didn’t seem like anyone was going to catch Aleister Black’s #2 spot. But after not working for the last two months, he’s “fallen” down to 2nd. He’s still one of only four superstars to hit the 90-point threshold though and he’s had an excellent campaign so far. I’m sure that he will get boosted by whatever happens on SmackDown, whenever they decide to turn him loose away from the vignettes. His tag stuff with Ricochet earlier this year was incredible and I look forward to what comes next.

3. Daniel Bryan
Matches in 2019: 21 | Points: 91.375

Daniel Bryan needed only 21 matches to get to the #3 spot in the WWE Top 25’s halfway point. Sounds about right, yeah? Bryan’s an incredible worker and you already know that. He’s made the most of everything given to him. Whether it be a PPV match or a TV match, Bryan’s efforts this year have just been outstanding. I’m excited to see what’s to come, since he’ll be working tags and he’s done a great job thus far in that role.

2. Kofi Kingston
Matches in 2019: 28 | Points: 103

Kofi Kingston has taken WWE by