This Week in WWE: Has the Wild Card lost the plot?

RAW

Chris Novak: It’s Monday, and I have absolutely zero idea what’s going to happen on this episode of Raw. Brock Lesnar is supposedly going to cash in his Money in the Bank contract, even though I’m highly doubtful that it happens considering they said it was going to last week. Also, The Revival are teaming up with Drew McIntyre to face Roman Reigns and The Usos. That will at least be fun. Undertaker’s gonna be here too, but that will only serve one purpose anyways. The Goldberg match in Saudi. So, eh, we’ll see how this goes.

Raw is kicking off with The Big Dog himself. It appears that six-man tag is going to start the show off, which is certainly a fun way to begin things here if I do say so myself. At least we’re getting right into it.

They mention that Brock has to cash in again. I still don’t particularly understand this, to be honest. I get that it’s that he made a “mockery” of it… but… he has a… year… to cash in. So, it’s like, why does he have to cash in now? Ratings grabbing I guess, but this feels stupid. Speaking of that word, here comes Shane McMahon. What we really need, right now, is more Shane McMahon promos.

Shane says he’ll go Coast-to-Coast on Friday, and he’s going to either pin him or make him tap out for the first time in his career.

Robert O’Neill: Does this match really need more hype? I think it’s gonna be good but the story tells itself! Let it be!

Chris Novak: Of course it “needs” more hype. It’s a McMahon feud. If I sound ornery right now, I apologize. But I’ve had my fill of this. I would just like to see this Six-Man Tag. For spreadsheet reasons, and for my amusement. Okay, so here comes Drew McIntyre. But not to compete. We need more talking. We absolutely, definitely, need more talking. We can’t possibly just get to the damn point.

Robert O’Neill: Roman and Drew both referenced “Stomping Grounds” though which is coming in a couple weeks and is a PPV. Believe this is the first mention on WWE TV. Anyway, The Revival ambush Roman and Drew comes to help but The Usos even the odds. At least it was a shorter opening segment than last week. The six-man tag is right now. Neat!

Chris Novak: I’m glad that was all wrapped up within 10 minutes. Why it couldn’t have just gotten started out of the gate, I’ll never know. At least the match was very good. The Revival and Drew Mac won after McIntyre got the pin. Honestly, this made the heels look great, so it was a step forward for all of them. Shane speared Roman with the help of Dash, Dawson and Drew after the conclusion of the match.

MizTV with Seth Rollins is next.

Robert O’Neill: Really enjoyed the six-man tag. Just… kinda tired of the Shane/Roman stuff, I guess. And I like both a lot!

MizTV with Seth Rollins is here, and, unsurprisingly, Brock Lesnar is on Seth’s mind. Because Brock is (probably not) cashing in tonight! But Seth doesn’t care. He has to focus on his match with Baron Corbin at Super Showdown. But as he’s talking about that, Lesnar and Paul Heyman show up in a towncar and make like they’re going to head to the ring. But they’re not. Not yet.

Chris Novak: Nicely done tease, I surmise.

Lucha House Party fended off Lars Sullivan for the umpteenth time. This has happened like, multiple times in the last few weeks. A change of pace wouldn’t hurt, yanno.

The IIconics were bullying poor Nikki Cross in the back. But coming to the rescue was… Alexa Bliss!?!!? Peyton made mention of the fact that she and Nikki have a match later on tonight, which is something to look out for. Alexa and Nikki then had some banter that seemed to imply that Alexa felt bad about how she has no friends. But Nikki said she’d be her friend! Alexa turned around and said she’d be in her corner tonight.

Robert O’Neill: This will either end in a Nikki/Alexa tag title run or Alexa turning on Nikki to get to Becky Lynch. Either way, I’m here for it!

Speaking of Becky Lynch, The Man has come around!

Chris Novak: Becky says that she was able to go home for once, and made sure to take that time to realize that she can’t be content. This eventually leads to Lacey Evans making her way out to banter with Becky. Lacey says that she’s intent on making Becky ‘Becky No Belts’ in the near future. ANyways, Charlotte Flair’s here. Charlotte, for the first time to my knowledge, made reference to the fact that she’s halfway to beating her dad’s record for most title reigns. Interesting how that was mentioned. Anyways, this eventually leads to Lacey clocking Charlotte.

Now we have a match.

Robert O’Neill: I’m not sure why, but it didn’t really click for me. It was just kind of… long and slow. Charlotte won by disqualification when Becky threw her out of the ring and went and attacked Lacey. Continues the feud, I guess.

Rey Mysterio is here to relinquish the United States Championship.

Chris Novak: That match didn’t click with anyone. So don’t feel bad, Rob.

Anyways, Rey relinquishes the championship to the former champion, Samoa Joe. Joe went after Rey afterwards. Joe, forever an asshole. You gotta love it!

The arm wrestling match between Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley went, well, as you’d expect it to. A lot of shenanigans before Strowman eventually wins. He wouldn’t let go of Lashley’s hand for a moment until he threw it aside. Lashley then tossed chalk in Braun’s eyes and attacked him. Lashley then hit him with a powerslam. Impressive feat. Segment did its purpose even if it was obviously very wonky.

Robert O’Neill: The match should be fun at least. Watching two big dudes clobber each other is generally always pretty fun, right?

Time for Nikki Cross vs. Peyton Royce.

Chris Novak: So, this was pretty fun wasn’t it? Late in the match, Alexa got her coffee. She got into it with Peyton from the outside, and flicked some coffee in her face. Billie, wanting to get a measure of revenge, pushed her down and into her coffee. That made her pretty mad! Meanwhile, in the ring, Nikki hit her finisher on Peyton and got the win. Nikki went to help Alexa up to her feet, but Miss Bliss was pissed. She then stormed into the ring, hit a big dropkick on Billie, and then dropped her with a DDT!

I can honestly say that I am genuinely interested and invested in this Alexa-Nikki tandem. I might be a little bit biased, but it’s been genuinely very interesting to me.

Robert O’Neill: Seth Rollins is back here as Brock Lesnar is about to cash in… maybe! But Baron Corbin comes out and says Seth has to worry about HIM. They brawl and Corbin hits End of Days, and here comes Brock! But he’s not cashing in yet. First he kicks Rollins below the belt (payback from Mania) and beats him up outside the ring, then inside the ring, then with a chair and the briefcase. Heyman tells Lesnar to cash in but he says… Friday.

Oh my god, Firefly Funhouse.

Chris Novak: I didn’t get to see it, as I stepped away for a moment. But, something about a puppet that looked like Vince with devil horns on it? Sounds incredibly amusing. I’ll have to watch it on YouTube later.

Randy Orton and Triple H went ‘face to face.’ Short, sweet, and… also about Triple H’s grapefruits.

Ricochet vs. Cesaro for the third time in three weeks is next. No, that’s not a complaint. They could wrestle for the next however many weeks, and I’ll be happy.

Robert O’Neill: Much like Andrade and Rey Mysterio earlier this year, Ricochet vs. Cesaro is a go-to formula for a great TV match. Ricochet got the win, but Cesaro wasn’t happy after and went to get a table, but R-Truth was hiding on it with his 24/7 Title! And the locker room cleared out but Cedric Alexander inadvertently took everyone out, leaving Truth, Carmella, and Drake Maverick in the ring. Carmella superkicked Maverick and Truth made his escape. This was amazing.

Chris Novak: That was so damn entertaining. Imagine hating this championship man.

Robert O’Neill: Undertaker came out and said Goldberg would, get this, rest in peace.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Robert O’Neill: There was a point in this Raw where I was like “ya know what, i’m kinda bored.” From that point on, probably around 70 minutes in, it was great! I was very entertained by the Brock and Seth stuff, the Alexa stuff, and the 24/7 title stuff, not to mention Firefly Funhouse. Plus, RIcochet/Cesaro was a ton of fun. Raw gets a B from me.

Chris Novak: Solid show. Enjoyed it start to finish unlike last week’s weird episode, but I wasn’t too hard on that show as it was. I’ll give this a solid B also. Lot of good stuff here, even though most of it served to a show that I’m probably not going to wind up watching anyway. So, that was what it was.

SMACKDOWN LIVE

Chris Novak: Honestly, a pretty packed show is on the docket here. Kofi Kingston is starting things off. He’s back from Ghana. Honestly, surprised that they’re having him be out here before coming out to Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, he’s here with Xavier Woods. Kingston says that there’s been a lot of highs and lows over the course of his career. Kofi talks about how he’s been able to inspire people, and they cut to a video of him in Ghana. And it was expectedly awesome.

Robert O’Neill: That whole thing was so nice. I’ve been watching the videos of Kofi from Ghana all week and it’s a very cool thing WWE set up. I can’t remember the last time there was a babyface champion on quite this level in WWE. it’s been a while.

Chris Novak: Interrupting him is Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler says this is not about Kofi Kingston, but it’s about him. They then cut to a video package of Ziggler’s career. Which, hey, this is pretty awesome. Ziggler goes on a spiel, and then Kingston fires back by saying he knows that he’s as good as he is. They then harken back to the fact that Ziggler relinquished the US Championship almost two years ago and walked away (for what was only a month, of course). Hey - continuity! Kofi says he never quit, unlike Dolph. He says it’ll never be him as long as he’s WWE Champion. Ziggler points to another video, this one of his attack on Kingston from a few weeks ago.

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn then make their way out. We’ve got ourselves a tag team match on the horizon here.

Robert O’Neill: Now that’s a great opening segment. Much better than what we saw on Raw the past couple weeks.

New Day get the win after a very fun match, and Ziggler comes out and takes Kofi out while he’s celebrating. If nothing else, it’s good hype for Friday.

Time for Moment of Bliss with Bayley!

Chris Novak: There was plenty of banter here, as these two are no stranger to each other. Bayley tossed Alexa’s coffee away (which was rude, for the record). Then Carmella came out and said she was worthy of being #1 contender. Then, Charlotte said that later, Alexa, Carmella and her will compete to see who fights Bayley at Stomping Grounds for the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship. I suspect that Charlotte is going to win this match.

Robert O’Neill: Truth has a 24/7 title defense against Elias and it’s a lumberjack match! Truth gets thrown out of the ring early and beaten up, leading to Elias becoming the 24/7 Champion! But the lumberjacks hit the ring to get a piece of him. Elias escapes but so does Truth, and they fight under the ring where Truth gets the title back!

Chris Novak: As always, the 24/7 Championship brings forth the entertainment.

Shane McMahon comes out and I just couldn’t care less about this. Like, I really can’t. Roman Reigns eventually interrupts and beats up The Revival. He goes down to the ring but Drew Mac hit him with a Claymore. Shane speared him again. Once again, who could possibly care at this point? I don’t want to be too harsh, but this stuff is just exhausting at this point. And I do not care about any of it.

The triple threat contender’s match is up next. So far, so good. Mandy and Sonya come out, presumably to distract Carmella.

Robert O’Neill: The match goes on and Alexa Bliss picks up the pinfall. So she’ll face Bayley at Stomping Grounds! That was a surprise. I obviously like it.

Chris Novak: Natural first opponent for Bayley. I wish it made sense within the realm of brands, but whatever. There’s an easy redemption storyline to play with here for Bayley and I imagine they’ll tap into it. We’ll see how it all goes though.

Robert O’Neill: Kayla Braxton interviewed Lars Sullivan. It was a big waste of everyone’s time.

Chris Novak: Much like Lars Sullivan is in general. Andrade was then in action. I stepped away. It felt like it was just a squash match. Would that be accurate, Rob?

Robert O’Neill: Yes, Andrade won in short order against Apollo Crews in a tune-up for his match against Finn Balor at Super Showdown. Balor came out after the match and the two brawled.

Goldberg time!

Well that was pretty uneventful. There was no pyro for him to walk through and he said he’s going to beat The Undertaker. Taker appeared in the ring after the lights went out and then left without doing anything.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Robert O’Neill: I don’t think Smackdown was bad. I just think I preferred Raw this week. I was entertained during both but the in-ring stuff set Raw apart. B-

Chris Novak: Going to give SmackDown Live a B here. I have no idea how to feel about Alexa getting a title shot since she’s on Raw, as this Wild Card stuff has seemingly lost the plot. But it’ll be a good match at least for her to get back into the mix against a very safe worker in Bayley. Otherwise, this show was definitely not bad. But definitely not a home run either, if that makes sense.