WWE Raw and Smackdown Live Thoughts – May 22nd & 23rd, 2017
I’m gonna try and keep things brief for both shows this week. I wasn’t as engaged in either show as much as I usually am so I’ll give me two cents on a few things I thought mattered.
Most of the wrestling on Raw was pretty good this week. I’m really interested to see who will actually come out on top in the fatal five-way match to crown the new number one contender for the Universal champion. We’ll see what next week’s “go-home” show brings and who will pick up the important wins.
I think WWE may have planted the seeds for the next challenger for the Universal Championship by having Paul Heyman coming out to build up Finn Balor – a good thing considering the size difference between Balor and Lesnar and Balor not getting the job done on Reigns the week before. I’m not sure why Balor had to face Karl Anderson, though. Keep the tag teams protected, WWE. You have many others on the roster who could take the pin. I bet we see Balor vs. Gallows next week.
I didn’t pay too much to Elias Samson in NXT but I thought he was interesting and competent in his match with Dean Ambrose. I just didn’t like Ambrose’s lack of selling in few spots. Letting Samson get the win via The Miz’s interference in the match was a good idea and fuels the rivalry between The Miz and Ambrose on the way to their match at Extreme Rules.
Anyone else bored with the Hardys facing either Cesaro or Sheamus yet? Just let them fight in an actual tag match so they can move on to other programs – wait…it seems like there isn’t much of a Tag Team division on Raw right now, so what does it matter? At least we get a cage match now for the titles at Extreme Rules.
Poor Mickie James. Since coming back, she’s been jobbed out badly. I understand WWE using her to try and elevate talent, but to be beaten by Alexa Bliss in about 3 minutes is pretty ridiculous.
I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do with Goldust. It was great to see an old-school promo from him and I’m actually surprised there was no interaction between him and R-Truth this week after last week’s beat down of Truth.
Over on Smackdown, I didn’t mind the big production Jinder Mahal got to celebrate his big win but I did find his promo to be delivered awkwardly and he still sounds like his voice is shot. I’m also still not a fan of the whole culture and race thing being used to garner heat. It’s so 80s.
As much as I’m a fan of Randy Orton not being on TV, wouldn’t you think someone as vengeful has him would be on the show if they had just lost a championship?
I can’t believe we’re getting another Smackdown PPV (Money in the Bank) in just four weeks!! All the participants announced for the match (AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Shinsuke Nakamura) will make this one (hopefully) one of the best Money in the Bank matches in years. There is still a lot of time before the event, so I wouldn’t be surprised if any of these guys are removed or if anyone (like Rusev) is added.
I guess we’re getting another multi-person match next week (the woman’s fatal five-way elimination match) to determine the new number one contender for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. With all the new match-ups we’re seeing, I wouldn’t be surprised if they give Tamina the chance. They need it to be one of the heels to go against Naomi and gain more interest. Right now Becky Lynch isn’t the right person and Charlotte’s face turn makes me cringe.
Lots of people complain when we get short squash matches (like I do) so consider me surprised when we got a main event that was just over 25 minutes long. I thought it was captivating enough for TV and just even the teasing of seeing Nakamura and Styles down the road in a match has me intrigued. I never got to see their New Japan match(es) so these new and future matches and pairings are refreshing to see.
The aggressive beat down on Sami Zayn from Baron Corbin after Zayn’s quick win was effective and keeps their rivalry alive. Sometimes WWE takes me out of the moment with these beatings by having the cameras inadvertently on kids watching with their parents and smiling about something that’s supposed to be so horrible and violent.
I’m still not feeling the whole Breezango/Usos feud. I don’t want their comedy with the wrestling and they just lost another match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships. Will this feud continue to Money in the Bank or will The New Day now take over after their debut on Talking Smack