WWE Raw and Smackdown Live Thoughts – July 17th & 18th, 2017
I know, I know…I didn’t do a recap last week. I wasn’t feeling either show and mentally, I needed a little break from writing about wrestling. This week, Raw was pretty good except a few spots (one major) and Smackdown Live was the go-home show for this Sunday’s Battleground PPV.
On Raw, the major reason many watched was to see what Kurt Angle’s secret was. Well, Jason Jordan is his bastard son. Yeah. Whoo. That’s it? I thought it fell so flat and even though this is a fictional TV program, I still can’t buy into it.
I mean, we’re supposed to appreciate the real athleticism and physicality but watch WWE programming like we’re watching any other fictional show. That’s why I shake my head at WWE creative when they do things that can bring you so out of the tunnel vision you’re supposed to have when watching professional wrestling (or ahem, sports entertainment).
You’re telling me that we’re supposed to believe the odds that Kurt Angle had a bastard son he had no idea about and that kid actually ended up in WWE? That’s total bullshit. All of Angle’s texts he got and statements like “this will ruin my career” made no sense in comparison to what the reveal was.
Now, I know…it was one segment. I think we’re going to see that Angle is being trolled or set up in some fashion that will lead to Angle finally having a match. Will it be against Jordan or will ego-man, Triple H, be the person many are predicting to be Angle’s first opponent back because he’s behind this? Is Jason Jordan the one setting up Angle by himself? I’m not sure but there COULD be a big payoff from this initial letdown.
What pisses me off a bit more is the dismantling of American Alpha. That team could have been THE next big tag team in WWE and WWE history. What did WWE Creative do with them? NOTHING. I have no idea why and I have no idea why WWE is totally dismantling their tag teams.
On the plus side of Raw, I really liked the main event. I enjoy watching Reigns and Joe in the ring together AND I think they both make each other look really good. I have found the matches not to be one sided. I really enjoyed all the action in the match. I had a funny feeling like Braun Strowman would be making an appearance but I didn’t think he would go after both men. It was the right thing to do and it makes me excited for next week to see how they are going to approach the Summerslam main event. Will we have a fatal four-way match featuring all three men plus Brock Lesnar or will we see a triple threat match between the three men fight it out for the number one contender’s spot?
I’m glad we’re going to see a one on one match between Sasha Banks and Bayley so one of them can face Bliss at Summerslam instead of another multi-woman match. I’m tired of Banks saving Bayley so that all has to end with this match. Also, keep Nia Jax off TV and give Emma a shot. I also have no idea why Bliss is pinned on TV. Way to keep your champ looking strong, writers!
I’m very impressed with Elias Samson. His match with Finn Balor was great and I’m glad WWE is pairing him with someone as amazing as Balor to show they are eyeing him as another important up and comer. The guitar shot he gave to Balor was unfortunately misplaced and he ended up clocking him in the side of the head with the edge of the guitar causing him to get cut open. I thought it was a great, but graphic, ending which is leading to a no DQ match next week. I didn’t like Bray Wyatt appearing on screen and saying more of his verbal diarrhea. I guess with Wyatt and Rollins moving on from each other, I guess Wyatt actually won a feud.
Speaking of Rollins, am I the only one that doesn’t care about Ambrose and Rollins vs. The Miztourage? I just want The Miz move on to another single feud so we can see a fight over what’s important: the Intercontinental championship. Could we see Ambrose turn on Rollins, setting up a match between the two at Summerslam so The Miz can move on? I could care less about a Shield reunion, too.
I found the whole Enzo/Cass/Big Show segment to be blah. Why would Enzo call Cass out and then have The Big Show come down to fight his battle? I hope this all ends soon with one more Enzo/Cass match and people can move on.
Lastly, I’m glad to see The Revival get a win on The Hardy Boys. The Hardys don’t need wins to get over and The Revival gets a huge bump by getting a win. I’ve said it before: The Revival didn’t gel with me most of the time when they were in NXT until near the end of their run but I am totally enjoying them and their work now. I hope we see a one on one match with them going against Cesaro and Sheamus at Summerslam this year.
As for The Hardy Boys and where they go next, I know fans are still hoping for the Broken Universe to appear in WWE but you know Vince McMahon: if he didn’t create it, he has a hard time letting it appear on his show, embracing it, or booking it correctly. I’m sure if WWE wanted it that badly, they would have written Anthem a decent check for it by now.
My write-up on Smackdown Live isn’t going to be as long as the one about Raw because I’ll be reflecting more on it in my Battleground prediction piece that will be live tomorrow.
I like how they started off the program. Mahal was inside the Punjabi Prison and cut a promo on beating Orton (and acknowledging Orton’s threats against his family), but WWE also showed the structure and had the Sign Brothers explain the rules to help people understand what they’ll be seeing on Sunday. On a side note, someone needs to give Mahal a lozenge before he goes out to the ring to talk.
Having Orton deliver another one of his boring promos and climb the Punjabi Prison like it’s no big deal didn’t help the segment.
So we got the 50/50 win for The Usos against The New Day. Boring. Did I mention before I can’t stand The New Day? Yeah, I have.
I’m glad Chad Gable got some TV time to address Jason Jordan moving to Raw and what his focus will be on Smackdown Live. He did it professionally and gave respect to his former tag team partner. I liked it and it was classy. His singles matches on Smackdown over the past few weeks should have give us all a heads-up that something was coming.
Mike and Maria Kinellis’ gimmick is absolutely horrible. I guess it’s a bit successful because I want to see him get his head kicked in. I guess having Maria providing cover on her man, allowing him to sucker punch Sami Zayn and land his finisher for the win, was something I should have seen coming. I think we’ll be seeing an awful lot of tactics like this from these two in the future.
John Cena’s promo put me to sleep. I’m not a United States citizen and I’m not Bulgarian either, so I don’t care about the patriotism of either country being something that fuels a match. I could care less about flag matches. Rusev choking out Cena means you WON’T be seeing that on the PPV or Rusev winning.
The match between Becky Lynch and Charlotte was pretty damn good for a TV match. The ladies pulled off some great moves and combos and it reminded me why I really liked their feud and matches previously and want to see more. The jump on those two after Lynch won the match was predictable but it was nice to see Tamina standing tall at the end. I wonder if WWE is planting seeds. Lynch’s win tonight almost guarantees she won’t be winning on Sunday. WWE also needs to change Tamina’s music.
I REALLY do hope the Fashion Files truly does end at Battleground. I really don’t like them and don’t find them funny at all.
The main event with AJ Styles teaming up with Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin and Kevin Owens was a standard match to hype up the two individual matches for this Sunday.
Owens got the win over Styles for his team and you’d think that would mean that Styles will retain on Sunday. The weird thing is we’ve gotten commercials up here in Canada announcing matches on the Road to Summerslam tour happening soon. They’ve announced Owens vs. Zayn vs. Corbin for the US Championship and Styles vs. Mahal for the WWE Championship. I know cards always change but Monday night during Raw was the first time I’ve heard these matches announced during commercials. We shall see in a few days! Stay tuned on Thursday for my prediction piece!