This Week In Wrestling

ThisWeekInWrestling

Raw

Ratings are low so Vince McMahon made an appearance this week to set things right and he did this by basically completely undermining the Superstar Shake-Up and the brand split in one fell swoop as, when Roman Reigns showed up in defiance of these “rules”, Vince decided that the WWE should have a “wild card rule” that allows up to three wrestlers to appear on any brand. This was seemingly justified when Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston also showed up…for no real reason…and AJ Styles called foul on Reigns showing up right as he (as in, AJ) is having issues with Seth Rollins.

Anyway, this all led to a tag team match pitting AJ and Rollins against Bobby Lashley and Baron Corbin; Rollins and Styles had the upper hand in the early going but it wasn’t long before Lashley and Corbin managed to power their way into a controlling position. Rollins did everything he could to make Corbin seem interesting but things fell apart when Styles accidentally hit Seth and decided to bail, leaving the Universal Champion to get pinned by Corbin following the End of Days…meaning that Corbin now has one other reason to claim a title shot in the future.

Braun Strowman beat the crap out of Sami Zayn when he tried to pull his heel shtick again, unceremoniously dumping him into a garbage truck, before the Lucha House Party made stupidly short work of three jobbers. Things finally picked up a little when Ricochet faced off with Bobby Roode but, despite turning heel and growing that massive moustache, Roode still seems to be favouring a slow, plodding pace for his matches (as if we don’t have enough of that with Corbin and Jinder Mahal…). Ricochet managed to work through it, though, and get a win with the 630 Splash.

After Rey Mysterio’s son, Dominic, got yelled at by Samoa Joe, Lacey Evans also got a stupidly easy win over some jobber and ended up brawling with Becky Lynch, afterwards, the War Raiders destroyed Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins, presumably setting them up as the duo’s next challengers.

Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns had a bit of a WrestleMania rematch next, which was building up into a semi-decent big hoss match (with both guys throwing big moves, signatures, and finishers at each other by the end) right when Shane McMahon randomly ran in and caused a disqualification by attacking Reigns alongside Elias until the Miz…og all people…helped even the odds a bit (I say “a bit” because Reigns still ended up on his back after being levelled by a Claymore). So…only three guys from each show can cross brands, eh Vince?

Lars Sullivan (who also hasn’t read the brand split memo, even after all this time) then decimated No Way Jose before the night ended in a Daniel Bryan/Kofi Kingston WrestleMania rematch that just wasn’t enough to turn things around. Bryan targeted Kofi’s arm throughout the match but Kofi managed to fight out of the LeBelle Lock, dodge the Running Knee, and get the win after a Trouble In Paradise. I find it massively ironic and amusing that the WWE’s plan to bump Raw’s ratings is to bring over the WWE Champion and his challenger from their “B-show”…

SmackDownLive

The Wildcard Rule was in full effect on SmackDown! Live this week as AJ Styles was back in blue once again…only to be interrupted by Sami Zayn…not sure how he qualifies to jump between brands but, let’s face it, then entire thing is a complete fuck up. Anyway, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods showed up so that Kofi could leave an open challenge for either men, which took a long-ass time to establish.

Andrade and Ali were up next with the winner getting the rest of their names back! …Obviously not. Anyway, things were heating up nice and good and the match was just starting to fire up when Randy Orton flew in and attacked Ali for the disqualification. Andrade joined in with the beat down but ate an RKO for his trouble because it’s every man for himself in Money in the Bank!!!

Shane McMahon came out to run down the Miz for his attack on Raw and to announce Daniel Bryan and Rowan as the new SmackDown! Live Tag Team Champions, which upset the Usos just enough for them to jump over from raw and talk Shane into having them fight Bryan and Rowan for the belts. I love that no SmackDown! Live tag teams thought to call bullshit on the belts just being handed to a team…Still, the four put on a pretty decent match but, in the end, Rowan actually used his size as the deciding factor to neutralise the Usos, hit the Claw Slam, and officially capture the belts for him and Bryan.

Carmella and Ember Moon then teamed up against Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville for a quick little match that saw the heels win, which is obviously to artificially create some kind of drama regarding Money in the Bank and the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships but all I can think is that Ember is being wasted in throwaway matches like this.

Kofi Kingston ended up defending the WWE Championship against both AJ Styles and Sami Zayn, because there are no potential challengers on SmackDown! Live, apparently (almost true, given that they lost a lot of guys to Raw). This was a great opportunity for Sami, to be honest, who really needs to find some kind of direction and a path towards a belt; I’m not sure his new heel persona is the best way to do that but, hey, you can’t argue with the results. I mean, obviously he ate the pin here so that Kofi could retain, but it was a decent main event and almost overshadowed all the weird bullshit with this “Wild Card Rule”.

Almost.

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