This week we started with Raw, which was delayed for us since we went to a baseball game on Tuesday night. I keep thinking about whether or not I'll continue doing Loose Cannon Fodder every week after the first year and I feel like once I make it to the year mark then I'll stop because it's just too time consuming and I'd rather just stick with the PPV reviews. Episodes of Raw- such as this week- don't really help matters any. Enzo & Cass were out first, then Chris Jericho came out and said he found someone to have his back, which was Kevin Owens. There was a lot of talking then the predictable Chris Jericho vs. Enzo Amore match with the other two guys at ringside to set up the tag match for Summerslam.
Braun Strowman defeated another jobber while Darren Young defeated Titus O'Neil but those matches were both kept off of the Hulu replay so we could instead hear a Seth Rollins in ring promo about Finn Balor.
Cesaro defeated Sheamus in a hard-hitting match (like last week) that ended with a roll up. I feel like we need a more decisive victory though and these two may meet at Summerslam so we can see Sheamus swinging around the ring.
Neville and Sin Cara defeated The Dudley Boyz but it was left off of th Hulu replay, as Neville has been lately. But we did see a long and boring wedding segment with Rusev and Lana that was crashed by Roman Reigns, setting up their match for Summerslam. Wow was this boring.
Sasha Banks defeated Dana Brooke which means that at Summerslam Dana Brooke will be banned from ringside. The way the commentators said that it meant Charlotte would have to go it alone at Summerslam makes me feel like Charlotte is going to be doing some recruiting, which I really think she should.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson had this weird doctor promo about how they crotched Big E and then when Gallows faced Kofi Kingston one on one they tried to do the same thing only this time Xavier Woods stopped them with a chair. There was also this backstage segment with P-Diddy and New Day, minus Big E. This show was such a mess, watching Luke Gallows read from a cue card kind of made me feel badly for him, like, he doesn't need to do this shit he just needs to go out there and kick ass.
The oddest part is that Mick Foley came out to close the show with Daniel Bryan and I thought, "Oh great, we're watching this talking segment so how much of Raw did we miss that were actual matches??" The funny thing is, we only missed three matches, one of which was a Braun Strowman squash so I'm not complaining about that. We saw a Jericho-Enzo DQ finish, Cesaro-Sheamus rematch from last week with a quick finish and, um, Sasha Banks-Dana Brooke. So, really we saw three matches and missed three as well, and yet of the three we saw only one of them really felt like a match, which was Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke. Raw really needs to step it up and it can be done with the United States Title picture.
Why does Roman Reigns want the United States Championship? That is to say, why did he start this feud with Rusev when he just lost to Finn Balor? Why wouldn't he still try and pursue Balor and Rollins? When the winner comes after Summerslam for the WWE Universal Championship, will Roman Reigns go after them then? If this is kind of a throw away feud in that sense, then why is Roman Reigns having it with the United States Champion, the only actual male champion on Raw??
More importantly, why doesn't someone else want to challenge Rusev for the US Championship?? Where is Big Show? Where is Bo Dallas? I feel like Bo Dallas should have got some sort of makeover and been on Raw by now in a stronger role, unless he and Curtis Axel are just going to be a tag team since Heath Slater is not on Raw. Jinder Mahal got a Raw contract last week (Which was edited out on Hulu) but where was he this week?? I'm just really beginning to feel like we're barely into this brand split and already the rosters feel too thin.
After seeing Cesaro face of with Rusev to end Raw in a rather pointless match we decided to skip over Smack Down! for a later time and head straight into NXT. Unfortunately, a lot of NXT this week featured jobbers in squash matches and little booking logic. Bayley and Asuka kicked things off with their contract signing and I'm still not convinced Bayley can win the title back.
In the first match of the show the Authors of Pain defeated Rob Ryzin (who WWE.com still likes to call Rob Kimball despite what is actually said on the show) and Adrian Nails. I don't ever see Ryzin and Nails becoming a tag team that can be taken seriously, unfortunately, and the AOP just destroyed them leading to a post match save from TM-61. While I like the idea of an AOP-TM-61 match on paper I still feel as if both of these two teams are still too new to NXT to come out of it with a loss. At least it gives TM-61 something to do though since they're not in the title hunt yet. (Gargano/Ciampa vs. TM-61 would be excellent though, if given the time on a live Take Over)
Andrade "Cien" Almas defeated Angelo Dawkins in the next match and while Dawkins isn't exactly a jobber because we've seen him quite a bit before, I still can't remember a time when he was winning and you kind of had to know that Andrade "Cien" Almas was going over here. After the match, Bobby Roode came out and challenged ACA to a match at Take Over and this could be bad as well. ACA can't really afford to suffer a loss right now, but this will also be Bobby Roode's first televised match in NXT, so... Yeah, an interesting idea so let's see how it plays out since my interest level in both of these wrestlers right now is at a lull.
We had a jobber vs. jobber match next as Billie Kay defeated Liv Morgan. I actually kind of like Billie Kay at least over Liv Morgan because Liv Morgan is from New Jersey. Though, to be fair, hearing Corey Graves constantly trash NJ on commentary during Liv Morgan matches kind of makes it all worthwhile.
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa will get a tag team title shot at Take Over and tonight they defeated the team of Tucker Knight and Patrick Clark. This was a poor choice in booking as it felt like someone said "Get me two guys who are TV ready for Gargano and Ciampa to defeat". This is not how the former Tough Enough contestant Patrick Clark should be introduced to NXT. Also, while on Tough Enough (and after being eliminated) Mick Foley seemed to be a big fan of Patrick Clark. I wonder if that will come into effect now that he is the GM over on Smack Down! with former Tough Enough judge Daniel Bryan. (Okay, maybe only *some* of that is accurate, but does it even matter at this point??)
Speaking of not mattering at this point, Samoa Joe defeated Mojo Rawley in the main event because APPARENTLY THE DRAFT MEANT NOTHING. Mojo was drafted to Smack Down! so why am I still seeing him on NXT? Finn Balor was drafted to Raw and I haven't seen him since. But the real problem- and this was just the icing on the cake- was that this week had a lot of jobber matches and none of them really felt particularly good. It was an easy episode of NXT to miss. If you remember a time when Shinsuke Nakamura fought one half of BAMF, even though you could say it was a given Nakamura would win the match still felt more special somehow. These matches just all fell flat with me and with the announced match of No Way Jose vs. Austin Aries this is shaping up to be one of the most interesting Take Overs, which I will likely write up a preview for soon enough.
After NXT we began Smack Down! which we sort of watched while waking up Saturday morning. The show opened with The Wyatt Family, Dolph Ziggler and then Dean Ambrose and we got a tag team main event as Bray Wyatt at least still has Erick Rowan by his side. Wouldn't it be weird if Luke Harper returned on Smack Down! and thus Braun Strowman was just left alone on Raw? Though if Luke Harper returned to be re-branded in NXT I'd kind of be excited about that.
American Alpha defeated some jobbers in the first match and Mauro did a great job of saying what a huge opportunity this was for the jobbers. This also, for whatever reason, brought out all of the tag teams on Smack Down!, which was certainly interesting to see.
Becky Lynch vs. Eva Marie ended in a no contest when Eva had a "wardrobe malfunction" and couldn't compete. Is there someone out there in a bizarro world type scenario typing about how much they love this Eva Marie angle? Every time she's introduced as being "all red everything" it makes me wonder why she's not on Raw. Also, this whole "I'm not fighting tonight" deal worked out so well for Fandango, right?
Alexa Bliss came out to face Becky Lynch because Becky still wanted a fight and so when Eva Marie's music hit again to distract Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss got the win. Alexa Bliss does have red in her hair, so could her and Eva Marie be working together? It's also funny how Becky Lynch seemingly lost twice in the same night and seemingly can't sink any further down the ladder. Soon she'll be a local competitor losing to Nia Jax.
Randy Orton defeated Alberto Del Rio via DQ in a match which would have otherwise felt like a throwaway deal but once again Mauro made it feel important. Does anyone else appreciate the work of Mauro Ranallo as much as I do? And yet someone is likely out there complaining that he's only on Smack Down! because WWE had to pay him so much to get him away from MMA. Ugh. And if Randy Orton can't defeat Alberto Del Rio cleanly then... Sorry, Randy, you're losing to Brock Lesnar at Summerslam.
Rhyno defeated Heath Slater so Slater wasn't awarded a contract. David Otunga actually stated on commentary that he and Daniel Bryan were in Nexus with Heath Slater so they kind of have a soft spot for him, which I thought was a nice touch. After the match Heath Slater stormed off and Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon appeared as if they were going to offer him a contract anyway.
Carmella defeated Natalya to move up the ladder a bit, while Becky Lynch continues to fall further down it. I'm expecting Eva Marie and Becky Lynch to have a "PPV" match at some point, but could they just add these two women in as well and make it a tag match?
Baron Corbin attacked Kalisto in the locker room for costing him his IC Title shot, which Apollo Crews earned and we had to watch a bunch of ridiculous Miz segments about including one where Scooby Doo locked The Miz in the Mystery Machine and messed with The Miz's car. Because we all know that cars- especially the Mystery Machine- lock from the outside. Go home, WWE booking-- you're drunk. Looks like it'll be Corbin-Kalisto on the Summerslam pre-show.
Smack Down! ended with Ambrose & Ziggler picking up the win over Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan (which makes me think Luke Harper should go to NXT and come back as not a Wyatt Family member) and I'd be surprised if Dolph Ziggler doesn't end up in a feud with Bray Wyatt after Summerslam (or joining him somehow). Still, this was a somewhat forgettable episode of Smack Down!- though slightly better than Raw- and I don't think there was a mention as to why Shelton Benjamin didn't return as the vignettes said he would (not on the show itself at least) but Smack Down! needs to do something drastic because it feels like it did back when it was taped and that's not a good thing.
On Impact, Lashley won all of the titles in the main event while Gail Kim and Maria continued to have drama, EC3 and Eddie Edwards took on Moose and Mike Bennett, The Hardyz (sort of) defeated Al Snow's NXT jobbers while Brother Nero became Broken himself and Damien Sandow made his debut by cutting a mediocre promo. Sandow is now known as Aron Rex- which makes me wonder if WWE owns Aaron "Idol" Stevens or not- and I'm not sure how I feel about him in TNA yet. I do feel like it was odd that WWE released Damien Sandow and then decided to have the brand split and start hiring all these guys. They could have kept Sandow and not brought Jinder Mahal back. Or now, without Shelton Benjamin returning, it'd be nice to have him on the roster still. I'm just not sure how well he is going to fit within TNA given that TNA doesn't seem to have the same talent pool for him to be with and then it's just weird because they could put him into the title mix and make him TNA Champion eventually but it's still not as meaningful somehow as being WWE Champion because even Eric Young held that TNA title. I would kind of rather have just seen him in ROH or New Japan, but what can you do. We'll see how this deal with TNA plays out, especially since guys like AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode and Eric Young left TNA after being there for so long.
Overall, I feel like this week in professional wrestling was a bit underwhelming. We watched ROH TV last week and didn't quite have a new episode yet for this week (It'll be for next week's review) and so all we really had was WWE and TNA, neither of which really did anything worth writing much about. If you spent the last week sleeping on your weekly wrestling shows, yeah, you'll be all right.