We started our week of professional wrestling with WWE Monday Night RAW, which we had to restart after pretty much every commercial break thanks to Hulu. The show started with a rematch between Roman Reigns, who is now the US Champion, and Rusev, which ended in a double count out and the two just fought each other everywhere. I kind of like the idea of how WWE is trying to build up the value of the US Title again though, as I could see these two fighting for it in a cage because of this match.
Mick Foley brought out Sheamus and Cesaro, who ended their Best of 7 Series in a draw at Clash of Champions. He said they should work together as a tag team. This lead to New Day defeating Gallows & Anderson in a match which I am still confused as to how they made the sort of transition into that, but whatever. New Day vs. Cesaro & Sheamus for the titles soon enough I suppose. Let's just hope WWE doesn't end the title reign of New Day for Cesaro & Sheamus.
Bayley defeated someone named Anna Fields (Who may or may not be the heir to the Mrs. Fields cookie fortune) while Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann defeated Lince Dorado & Drew Gulak but those didn't make the replay cut on Hulu so we could see Cesaro and Sheamus defeat two local competitors. Okay. I'm not mad at Cesaro because I still enjoy his work. But he needs to go to Smack Down! and maybe even Sheamus could go with him so I'm not constantly seeing them instead of things which I want to actually see. I would have taken a Bayley squash match or a Cruiserweight tag match over this Sheamus/Cesaro nonsense any day. I mean, Hulu cut out the RAW debut of Drew Gulak and Lince Dorado. Why??
Speaking of wasted space (sorry), Sasha Banks confronted Charlotte in a rather poor segment where not only did Sasha call her "Charlie", but Charlotte said "Sasha Wanks". Yeah, this could have been cut from the Hulu replay in favor of that Cruiserweight tag match, but whatever. Hey, guys, aren't you excited? The Cruiserweights are coming to RAW! And they're being cut out of the Hulu replay by this nonsense! (Yeah, I can watch the matches on the WWE YouTube channel, but still, it doesn't make me a fan of the supposed "content" they're trying to shove down my throat)
In perhaps the match of the night TJ Perkins defeated Tony Nese- also making his RAW debut- and there was a backstage segment which set up TJP vs. Brian Kendrick for next week and hopefully that doesn't get cut from the Hulu replay. So I'm watching this TJP entrance unfold and it looks like we're going back into the CWC and then TJP comes out to 8bit music. Yup. TJP's WWE theme song is some good old fashioned chiptunes. So... My question is... Why? Does TJP love video games that much? Because I never really hear him talking about that in his interviews. Or is it because he was once the character Suicide in TNA and then he became Manik? That's all I can think of and I believe someone in WWE is having a laugh about it while Vince McMahon remains oblivious as usual. (Note: I would later read a story that said TJP picked out all of his own entrance video and music but I'm not buying it!)
After Seth Rollins crashed the Highlight Reel, we went into our main event of Jericho and Kevin Owens defeating Enzo & Cass. This was an interesting way to end the show, but for whatever reason we went into NXT before Smack Down! and I think that was a wise choice.
It seemed like there was a lot going on this week during the regular hour long time slot for NXT. William Regal opened the show saying the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic would return this year. Tye Dillinger defeated Angelo Dawkins in the opening contest, which was fun enough, but then Bobby Roode came out and for whatever reason asked Tye Dillinger to be his tag team partner for the Dusty Rhodes Classic. So, they're going to lose and it will lead to a match between the two. I'm calling it now.
These two twins were coming out for a tag team match before they got destroyed by Samoa Joe, which was pretty fun as well. It was like when Brock Lesnar used to kill jobbers before or during their matches only Samoa Joe told you he was going to do this.
Ember Moon defeated Mandy Rose. I'm already tired of seeing Mandy Rose and she isn't even the woman who won Tough Enough. The less we see of these Tough Enough kids from the last season the better though, I'd say.
The Authors of Pain defeated two jobbers and then Paul Ellering kind of spoke on their behalf. I'm still waiting for them to have a more dominant victory or longer match but, really, if they just showed up on RAW one day and beat down New Day I also wouldn't be surprised I suppose. At least Paul Ellering is giving them some character depth.
Asuka defeated Liv Morgan in what was apparently a non-title match. But now where does Liv Morgan go from here?
In the main event of NXT, one of my favorite matches this week, Hideo Itami defeated Lince Dorado, who was also on RAW this week. I'm really hoping for a solid push of Lince Dorado at some point now since he is just an amazing wrestler and we need to really see more of him in both NXT and on RAW. It's one of those situations where you have to realize that WWE has the talent base that they could have matches where wrestlers aren't defeating jobbers- as the Authors of Pain could have earlier defeated two cruiserweights- and it would have felt much more impactful.
Smack Down! opened with Randy Orton calling out Bray Wyatt and they had a little segment there. Then we went into an 8 man tag match with the tag teams of Heath Slater & Rhyno/American Alpha vs. The Usos/Ascension. The Usos got the pin over Heath Slater, but this was a nice way to also sneak in a win for The Ascension!
The mind games between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt continued backstage. If Randy Orton opens up his gym bag to find that Erick Rowan pooped in it this horrible angle will be justified!
Naomi and Nikki Bella were out next to take on Carmella and Natalya. There was some talk of how Carmella did the moonwalk and who has done it before that. I'm not sure why, but this felt a little bit out of place. Like, just let her do the moonwalk and don't make a thing about it. Carmella gets the rollup on the Bella and we're back into dimly lit places with Randy Orton.
Next up- a way too long video package about The Miz. Which lead to The Miz talking. Then Dolph Ziggler came out. Miz vs. Zigglers is neverending apparently. The Miz puts his IC Title on the line as Dolph Ziggler puts his career on the line. Really though, both of these guys should be ending their careers after their next match. This segment was so painful. Miz calling Ziggler out on his losing streak was nice and all, but what happens after it? What's the end result here? Ziggler wins the IC Title? That doesn't seem like as big a deal as, say, the WWE Championship. Would I put my career on the line for the WWE Championship? Absolutely. For the IC Title? Meh.
Alexa Bliss attacked Becky Lynch and in a quest to see which is worse this came right before another Curt "Chuck Norris Five Years Ago" Hawkins vignette.
AJ Styles defended the title against Dean Ambrose in the main event with John Cena on commentary. I like this match because it's Ambrose-AJ and those are two of the top guys in WWE right now. I'm just waiting for WWE to somehow create a third brand (not NXT) and then each member of The Shield to hold the World Title and then they all fight in a triple threat or something. We're going back to Ambrose-Rollins some day though, aren't we? I'll just be quiet now and go back to enjoying AJ Styles and Kevin Owens as champions. AJ Styles obviously retained here and that only makes sense going into our next big WWE Network Event (Can I start calling them "WNE"s instead of PPVs?) and I feel like it is right around the corner as well so, you know, maybe I should stop watching RAW and Smack Down! and just start watching these every-other-week Sunday night showcases.
Impact opened up with Lashley and EC3 picking their teams for later tonight because why show the fighting when you can just talk about it for a while. These teams were strange, but more on that later when the match actually happens, you know. Speaking of parts of this show which didn't need to happen and were there anyway, the X Division match from last week was recapped complete with Eddie Edwards challenging DJ Z to a title shot. I know even WWE does this but it just makes it feel like the mentality of it is "People don't watch our show. We have to treat this as if people are tuning in for the first time". But it needs to be more like a soap opera- in the sense that if you feel like you miss an episode you won't be able to catch up... by... them... showing... nonstop... recaps.
I feel like it'd be obvious that DJ Z retained the title in this match so he could go on to defend it at Bound For Glory, but there doesn't appear to be a match for the X Division Title at BFG. The Helms Dynasty attacked DJ Z and Eddie Edwards and it looks as if we could have that as a tag match at BFG then.
Mike Bennett and Moose have a sit down interview. I don't know why TNA likes these things (like with EC3 and Lashley) but I just don't see the appeal in them. Speaking of not seeing the appeal, Laurel Van Ness defeated Madison Rayne in a match which reminded me how many other great female talents are out there but not being used by TNA for whatever reason. Allie called her "Laurel Vaness" by mistake and it looks like before we get a Maria-Allie feud she might have to face LVN. Ugh. Not looking forward to the inevitable Maria/LVN-Allie/Gail Kim tag match with Sienna getting involved.
Drew Galloway and Aron Rex had an in ring segment before their match at BFG for the Grand Championship. But if you've been following along online with more than just the pending sale of TNA, you'd know this doesn't seem to matter because Drew Galloway is apparently off of BFG and I'm not sad about that-- not because of anything to do with Galloway himself but because I have no desire to see him vs. Aron Rex.
Reby and Rosemary had an interesting match which even saw Rosemary put Reby through a table. The Hardyz vs. Decay is still the most interesting aspect of TNA right now. If I could get a cut of Impact where I only saw their parts I'd be set. Still, Lethal Lockdown (not featuring Jay Lethal) is up next, after this backstage brawl between The Hardyz and The Decay!
As ROH had their All-Star Extravaganza PPV on Friday night, September 30th, TNA has Bound For Glory on October 2nd, two days later and I'm torn between which one to watch because I really don't have time for either. With BFG, I'd want to at least see the Hardyz-Decay match, but otherwise, I don't know. I guess it depends upon how the rest of the card turns out based upon what I read online. But watching a sit down interview with Maria and Gail Kim isn't exactly convincing me. Also, Eli Drake is hiring Tyrus. This is just getting bad. Tyrus says he'll beat up Eli Drake for free.
I'm not sure why Lashley and then EC3 decided to add women to their teams, but I feel like it's because they kind of countered each other with what feuds were currently going on leading into BFG- Bennett-Moose, Galloway-Rex- and they just didn't have another good singles feud between two dudes to fill out the Lethal Lockdown match. It's... interesting for the women to be in the match even if it feels a little bit desperate. Team Lashley won and so for whatever reason Lashley decided to make the title match a No Holds Barred match because maybe he thinks EC3 is Hulk Hogan and he's Tiny Lester. I don't know. Would a submission match have been too obvious and that's why they didn't do it? Because that seems like a poor choice to me.
There were some interesting matches on Lucha Underground this week- including but not limited to the likes of Prince Puma and Pentagon Dark- and the main event was all right even with Dragon Azteca Jr. defeating Chavo Guerrero Jr. with Rey Mysterio as the referee. After the match, Rey Rey hit the 619 on Chavito, so here is to hoping Lucha Underground is too creative to set up a Rey-Chavo match. I also read somewhere- before Season 3 premiered- that Paul London was working with Lucha Underground, which got me excited but now I've read somewhere he's working backstage as kind of like an agent or consultant or whatever... Basically, his role is not likely going to get him on television and that just kind of bummed me out as well. Lucha Underground needs to find that stride so I can start writing about every match again and not just an overall "Yeah this episode was all right again this week".
I'm not sure whether or not we'll have time to watch either ROH or TNA's recent PPV the way things stand now, but we might try and pick matches out of them if we can. Also, at the last minute it looks as if TNA was able to fund Bound For Glory and the following set of Impact tapings. Now I feel like TNA is going to be under that microscope again in the sense of watching these episodes and wondering "Was it really worth it for Billy Corgan to buy TNA so we can see <whatever stupid thing they inevitably end up doing> or should they have just let WWE use the video library and started over with someone like Jeff Jarrett?" But yes, hopefully this week doesn't feel as busy with the wrestling as last week did. Isn't the next WWE Network special (Is it No Mercy?) coming up this Sunday again already? Damn.