WWE Raw and Smackdown Live Thoughts – May 29th & 30th, 2017
This week’s programming was pretty good! Both shows had some great matches and moments but they weren’t perfect, of course. Here are this week’s highlights and disappointments.
There were two unique things about Raw I dug this week. The first was the sudden departure of Corey Graves from the announcer’s booth to go and show Kurt Angle a text/email. It was surprising and the suspense made for some good TV. My only gripe was Booker T or Michael Cole not prying Graves more and just going about their business and not mentioning it again during the program (unless I missed a reference). I wonder if this is going to lead to Kurt’s in-ring return. Is Stephanie or Triple H behind whatever was in the text/email message? If not, who?
I also liked after Enzo got attacked again for the second week in a row (probably by Dash and Dawson), how Big Cass came out to the announcer’s booth and tore into Corey Graves for his comments. That was fresh and it shows the wrestlers in the back are listening/paying attention to what’s actually happening on the show.
Speaking of Dash and Dawson, the backstage promo by Dawson was one of the best I’ve seen from him. After the promo and paying attention to their shirt that read “no flips, just fists,” I actually wanted to see them go out and fight. That’s building hype right there.
The Miz TV segment was decent and led into the three on three match between Ambrose and the Hardys vs. The MIz and Cesaro & Sheamus well. The match between them was average and had some awkward spots but the crowd was really into it. There was one time where Ambrose finally got to the corner to tag someone in. He went to tag Matt and looked like he did but it seemed like Matt told him to tag Jeff after the fact, so he tagged Jeff and Jeff went in.
Raw’s two main events were really good this week. First, the triple threat between Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, and Bray Wyatt was almost PPV quality. They could have easily had this on a PPV card and people would have been satisfied with it. There was great work put in by all men and Joe stealing the win at the end got great heel heat. It really set up the fatal five-way match for this Sunday’s Extreme Rules PPV.
Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns was good, too! I’m glad there was a decisive winner in the match, although it was Reigns. I don’t think Reigns is that bad in the ring but I just hate the whole typical match where he’s beaten up for most of it and then comes back at the end to win – like Hogan. This match was a bit different and both men had their ups and downs. Reigns beating Rollins clean here makes me wonder where they’re going with both men after Extreme Rules.
The major stinker on Raw this week was Alexa Bliss presenting “Bayley: This is Your Life.” Whoever wrote this should be put on probation. The saame goes for Vince for approving it. This was painful to watch and I felt for Bliss having to go through the motions to get through it all. She did her best to deflect the restless and bored crowd but at the end of the day, it’s not her fault. It’s the writers who decided that people would actually sit there for that long and watch it. I think Bayley only got the huge pop she did when she came out because the crowd knew that the segment was coming to a close.
The second stinker was Tytus vs. Kalisto. Tytus usually gets pinned quickly and Kalisto went toe to toe with Braun Strowman a couple of times. But here, Kalisto is pinned in about a minute by Tytus? Geez. Let’s not forget to mention that Apollo Crews is still an afterthought.
I really liked how the show kicked-off with promos from the women touting how they’d be the number one contender for the Smackdown Women’s Championship by the end of the night. It reminded me of Saturday Night’s Main Event! I know some didn’t and found it cheesy and I can see that point of view.
As for the match, well, the match didn’t happen. The women went at each other like wild animals and tried to destroy each other before the ref could even call for the bell. This was a great approach to show the women are all highly competitive and hungry to be the number one contender.
Shane coming down to the ring to announce that all the women would be competing in the first ever women’s Money in the Bank ladder match was the icing on the cake that put the segment over the top. The only awkward thing was that Charlotte had just put Natalya through a table and people just stood around like it wasn’t serious at all.
Sorry…I’m still not buying into Breezango or their comedy bits. Garbage.
I also am not happy to see The New Day back on TV. I forgot about how annoying I find them but at least it will get the Usos back on TV almost weekly now. Let’s hope The New Day doesn’t win the belts at the PPV because the Usos deserve better.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn (who was A-OK after getting destroyed last week and carried out on a stretcher) faced off against Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin. I liked the action in this match and it was no surprise that Zayn was the one to take most of the beating from the heels. Having Owens and Corbin at odds with each other near the end of the match, which caused Owens to eventually get pinned, was good booking and made sense.
What didn’t really make sense was Ziggler getting the win of AJ Styles. I don’t know why the babyfaces are booked to usually lose in their hometowns and WWE did it here, too! The match was good, don’t get me wrong, and I’m usually OK with Ziggler winning but having him go clean over Styles after losing so much lately makes me scratch my head. I know they’re probably building Ziggler as a believable contender to win the Money in the Bank match and that was the whole point. With WWE’s 50/50 booking, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see a rematch before the PPV.
Lastly, I found it odd at first that Jinder Mahal wasn’t on the show and only appeared on the screen after Orton delivered another one of his boring promos. He was even getting booed, which made me happy. After I thought about it, having these two not even near each other in the ring until the PPV is probably the best decision to try and garner more interest in the rematch. Orton’s posing to the crowd after Mahal finished saying his bit was amusing because the crowd was dead.