We’re post-Extreme Rules and now on the bumpy uneven road to SummerSlam in just 4 weeks’ time. Raw & Smackdown have just 4 opportunities to make us want to tune in to “The Biggest Party of the Summer”, which is a strange catchphrase for an indoor wrestling event with literally no hint of a party outside of the Lucha House Party and EC3 with his big red cup. We look back at RAW and SmackDown this past week with our newest feature, Platform 3:16. All aboard.
There’s a lot more to talk about Raw this week than Smackdown – not to say that Smackdown was worse in any way, but the 2-hour run time ensures WWE crams everything in whereas Raw drags the hell out of many of their storylines.
Anyway, let’s delve into the world of Vincent K. McMahon and see what mental things he’s conjured up this week! All aboard…
RAW FIRST CLASS:
Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman started off Raw which surprisingly received a huge pop from the crowd – likely the pop was for the fact that they got to SEE Brock Lesnar, it’s a rare occurrence. Heyman starts blabbering about how “he told us so” about Brock winning, blah blah blah…. textbook efficient Heyman mic skills. A solid appearance, Brock likely now to retreat until maybe the pre-SummerSlam Raw.
Finn Balor jobbed to Samoa Joe in literally 2 minutes with a roll up. That should not be in the First-Class section. However, the fallout from that very match is what makes this the highlight of the week! Side note, this was the first time these two faced off since NXT where they had some phenomenal matches – which is why it’s such a worry to see Balor fall this far down the power rankings. Finn did attack Joe afterwards to stand tall, but as he was celebrating with his music playing the lights started going out, his music slowed down and then pitch black…. Suddenly in the ring we hear commotion and then some wavy lights pan across the ring to reveal The Fiend Bray Wyatt stood holding Finn (Bray’s mask is absolutely perfect!). Sister Abigail! Finn is down (rumour has it he has requested time off TV, so this is perfect) and standing tall staring into the hard cam was the Fiend. Terrifying. Perfect. Please Mr. McMahon, please don’t ruin this.
We head over to a local hotel where Mr. & Mrs. 24/7 champion are checking-in for the night, Drake Maverick is bloody good. Drake reiterates that they’re there to consummate their marriage, tips the reception guy $200 and heads off to the room. I would say – at most – 3 seconds later R-Truth pops up from behind reception and asks whether a Hornswoggle has checked-in. Literally 3 second.
If Truth looked over at the lifts I am sure that Mr. 24/7 is still stood there. Anyway, Truth tips the reception just $1 and so they look through the hotel computer. Later on in the show, Drake takes off his robe to reveal he’s only wearing the 24/7 title which, again, is hilarious. Room service turns up and Drake realizes (after a bit) that the waiter is in fact a WWE referee and Truth slides from underneath the food cart to roll up Drake. Drake kicks out and attacks Truth with flowers but then Truth cross-bodies Drake on the bed where his wife still is through all of this to pin him to win the 24/7 title. I feel I needed to write all of that, as it’s pure gold.
RAW SECOND CLASS:
Ricochet & The Usos fought Robert Roode & The Revival in a (you guessed it) 2 out of 3 falls! I’m getting rather tired of these stipulation matches now to avoid wrestlers wrestling in the TV ad breaks – it’s utter madness. Ricochet pinned Dawson for the first fall with a “Recoil” which was a one-knee Code Breaker (really, WWE). The second fall was on an Uso’ who literally took the 1-2-3 for a flapjack – a move that has never won a match before. 630 for the win by Ricochet but then *DRAMATIC PAUSE*…The Club come out to throw Ricochet about a bit, AJ hitting Ricochet with a Phenomenal Forearm which Ricochet sold the hell out of it was a thing of beauty.
The Club later defeated the Lucha House Party in quite a nice flippy affair with a few near falls on the Club which would have been a massive upset. Ricochet got involved as the Club did earlier in the night to effectively heat up this feud. Does Ricochet find some buddies in a main-event caliber match? Surely AJ & The Club take the W for this feud, but it’s good for Ricochet to be tussling with AJ.
RAW THIRD CLASS:
The Viking Raiders destroyed two jobbers – which is becoming tiring now. They lost all appeal when WWE quite visibly messed up their gimmick with 3 names changes in 2 weeks.
Cedric Alexander beat Drew McIntyre with a roll-up. Wait, hold on? Drew’s the jobber here? This is awful.
The Street Profits are literally backstage watching Raw and commentating on it whilst inserting the word “fam” into every damn sentence. They’re being used completely wrong and need to disappear to NXT where they still have the Tag Titles and some crowd support still.
Worst Miz TV ever?
The no.1 contenders match for Becky’s belt…Why these 4 wrestlers (Alexa, Naomi, Natalya, Carmella)? Why did they get 25 mins for the match? Why. The crowd started chanting “this is awful” and anything other than get involved in the match in front of them. It wasn’t a good match, at all. More so because the one guaranteed loser of the match which absolutely nobody expected/wanted, Natalya, WON! Oh, because SummerSlam is in her hometown Toronto? It sucks. This story sucks. Natalya sucks. Where’s Sasha?
The Main Event. Dear god. It was a, Cross branded…Top 10…All Star…Battle Royal (a little long for a match type). The participants of which seemed to be dragged out of thin air. Top 10? Rey Mysterio? THREE wrestlers who LOST the night before? The idea of the match is actually great, having the best all fight it out to go against Brock…. but the issue here was that these entrants (aside from Roman & Seth) were not – at all – the top pick of wrestlers they have available. Big E gave Strowman the Big Ending which was actually quite impressive, loads of them beat up Corbin which was great, Roman speared Seth which was fun, Seth thought he won but Orton crept back in the ring to nearly eliminate him, but Seth got the upper hand and won. Now it’s Seth Rollins v. Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam – it’s alright, I guess, only if Seth wins (clean this time).
RAW WAITING AREA:
Where are they going with Maria & Mike Kanellis? It must be one of the dumbest storylines they could have imagined for them. What possibly is the payoff? They just signed a new contract and instantly became pregnant (again), so this may be the WWE’s way of saying “no no no, you’re coming in every week for this crap!”.
SMACKDOWN FIRST CLASS:
The Shane McMahon town hall meeting kicked off the show which in parts felt very close to “real” as it could be. Shane allowing certain members of the roster to vent their opinions of him. Things started off perfectly with Roman Reigns saying that nobody respects him, at all, and then walked off – classic Roman. Then lower tier wrestlers took a turn each having their say on how they’re being utilized (mostly appeared scripted, which is a shame). Afterwards, the superstars left the stage only for the man of the hour, the MVP (not actually MVP), the top dog, Kevin Owens to come along and give Shane a good ol’ Stunner. Yes – Shane botched the first attempt quite dramatically, but that all adds to why he isn’t actually the best in the world, nor even close.
Immediately following this, Aleister Black faced off against Cesaro in a rematch of their Extreme Rules bout. Again a solid showing, again highlighting the work rate that these guys have, and again a clear winner in Black who delivered a perfect Black Mass to Cesaro which knocked out his silly mouthpiece.
SMACKDOWN SECOND CLASS:
Daniel Bryan was scheduled to give us a “career altering” announcement on SmackDown, except what we actually got was him coming out to the ring, literally saying nothing, and walking out. Now I know that adding speculation can be a good thing, but jesus Christ we didn’t actually care that much – an announcement of any sort would have helped here, as we’re not all invested in Bryan to want to wait.
Randy Orton, Samoa Joe and Elias def. The New Day which was a solid match. Interestingly Orton got the win by pinning the WWE Champ Kofi which I am almost certain will be their SummerSlam angle.
Ziggler sucks, let’s get that on record. But he can wrestle, and did so in the main event against Owens which was OK, lacking a real purpose and not offering us development in the Shane/Owens feud. This ended the show which I feel was a bit of a let down considering how the show began.
SMACKDOWN THIRD CLASS:
Charlotte Flair squashed Liv Morgan in a nothing match. Charlotte really needs direction, and quickly, if she’s going to be heading into SummerSlam.
We had a week of teasing just who Ember Moon would pick as a mystery partner to face Mandy & Sonya – and then, very disappointingly – it was Bayley. A match that lasted near to one whole minute and didn’t do any favours for the young team of Mandy & Sonya. Afterwards Bayley asked Ember to be her competitor for the Smackdown Women’s Title at SummerSlam – eurgh, nobody wants that, surely?
The Kabuki Warriors had their Tag Title match against the champs The Iiconics which was a disaster. The Iiconics need gimmick to win, and the Kabuki Warriors just aren’t ready (as a team – individually they should be doing so much better than this).
Apollo Crews is getting pushed and the world is asking why – beating Andrade in the process.
SMACKDOWN WAITING AREA:
Much like the preview to Extreme Rules, there’s nothing truly developing outside of what we’re being given week in week out on SmackDown – it’s a “purer” storytelling show that the intricacies that lurk within Raw (Wyatt as a key example).
- Ricochet & The Usos def. Robert Roode & The Revival 2-1 in a 2 out of 3 falls match.
- The Viking Raiders murder. 2 Jobbers by murder.
- Cedric Alexander def. Drew McIntyre
- Samoa Joe def. Finn Balor by pinfall in 2 minutes.
- Zack Ryder def. Mike Kanellis.
- The Club def. Lucha House Party.
- Natalya won the 4-Way No. 1 Contender Match def. Naomi, Carmella & Alexa Bliss.
- Seth Rollins won the Battle Royal to Determine the No. 1 Contender to Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. (def. Cesaro, Mysterio, Strowman, Lashley, Big E, Orton, Sami Zayn, Corbin, Roman Reigns)
- Shane McMahon town hall meeting.
- Aleister Black def. Cesaro.
- Charlotte Flair def. Liv Morgan.
- Bayley and Ember Moon def. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville.
- Randy Orton, Samoa Joe and Elias def. The New Day
- The Kabuki Warriors def. Tag Team Champions The IIconics by Count-out
- Apollo Crews def. Andrade
- Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler Ended in a No Contest
Want to know more about The Hype Train?
The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.
We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.
In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles.
The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.
You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, follow Hype Train FC on Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive content, or visit our website here at www.thehypetrain.co.uk