Putting Brie Bella’s ridiculous botch to one side, WWE was on pretty good form this week. Raw had an excellent Tag Title match and an entertaining main event, SmackDown had Samoa Joe being… well, being Samoa Joe. And 205 Live & NXT also had their fair share of highlights.
As per usual, superstars must win matches, excel on the mic, and be an all-round good cookie. Let’s see who talked the talk and walked the walk this week.
10. Becky Lynch
Badass Becky continued to be the one true force in SmackDown’s female division this week, making her mark on both Charlotte Flair and Lana.
Becky started her week off by destroying Charlotte in the middle of a photo shoot, demanding the photographer to take a picture of the champ. From there, she challenged Lana to a match, and it went exactly as it should have gone. Lana was able to get in just enough offence to rile the Irish Lass Kicker up, but not enough so that she looked like a legit threat to the champ. In the end, the Ravishing Russian was forced to tap out to the DisArmHer.
It felt like Becky was walking a very safe path on this week’s SmackDown. Her match wasn’t too taxing, but a dominant display over two women in the division means her spot on the list is safe for now.
9. Sheamus w/Cesaro
Cesaro was able to best Xavier Woods last week, and Sheamus followed it up with a victory of his own this time around against Big E.
The pre-match promo was pretty entertaining with The New Day trying to be nice to The Bar with a #SaySomethingNiceChallenge, but Sheamus wasn’t in the mood to joke around. The match got underway, and it was a hard-hitting albeit short bout. Big E went for the Big Ending, but the Celtic Warrior slipped off E’s shoulder and picked up the win with a Brogue Kick.
Although it was nothing more than a quick match to keep The Bar looking like a threat going into WWE’s Super Show-Down, it did its job. There are more interesting storylines on SmackDown right now, but you can’t fault the smart and sensible booking of this match.
8. Lio Rush
The Man of the Hour confuses me, but there’s no denying he made an impact on both Raw and 205 Live this week, and he did it as both a face and a heel.
On Raw, the 23 Year Old Piece of Gold managed to get Booby Lashley a huge crowd pop and a DQ win over Elias, and on 205 Live, Lio Rush picked up a big win over Noam Dar that took each man to their limit.
I still don’t like this weird Raw/205 thing that’s going on, but Rush is getting plenty of screen time and is boosting his own popularity and Bobby Lashley’s in the process. For that, the Man of the Hour has found himself nestled nicely on our list.
7. The Miz
The Miz battled valiantly this week to save Miz TV from becoming Truth TV. Even having Daniel Bryan on commentary didn’t distract the Awesome One.
Before the match, Miz taunted Bryan, who was R-Truth and Carmella’s special guest, because he knows Bryan won’t do whatever it takes to win because it will besmirch his good name. That promo alone would’ve been enough to put Miz on here because it was so good and sowed a few seeds going into Super Show-Down.
The actual match was enjoyable. Bryan was mocking The Miz’s weak kicks and generally dumping on all the Awesome One’s moves. To put Truth away, Miz went for Daniel Bryan’s running knee strike, giving him the win and also giving him back the hosting rights to Miz TV.
This was another good SmackDown segment and match to kick the show off. The Miz is still on top form, and things are looking good in regards to his future.
6. Randy Orton
Sometimes, all I need to achieve happiness is to see Randy Orton kick seven shades of shit out of someone. It’s the simple things in life that count, you see.
During a match between the US Champ Shinsuke Nakamura and the ever-forgettable Tye Dillenger, the Viper struck the Perfect 10.Orton threw the poor bloke around the ringside area like a rag-doll and finished things off with a hanging DDT to the floor. When asked about his actions, Randy said Tye Dillenger isn’t his next target; he just gets pissed off with all the Perfect 10 crap.
I like seeing Randy hurt people probably because I’m just as sadistic as he is, but I really wish he’d let Nakamura fight his own battles already.
5. The Mighty
It’s nice to see the team formerly known as TM61 get back on track. On NXT they managed to defeat the formidable Street Profits.
This match was really good. Montez Ford’s athleticism is so damn crazy. To escape being speared into the ring steps, he did this fancy pirouette onto the apron and it looked very slick indeed. Ultimately, Ford & Angelo Dawkins were beaten when Shane Thorne was able to get a cover on Ford.
Nick Miller & Shane Thorne are finally looking like a serious threat in the tag team ranks of NXT. The duo might not be competing at WWE’s Super Show-Down event, but a vocal Australian crowd could persuade Vince & Co. to push The Mighty to the moon.
4. Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe certainly put the heebie-jeebies into AJ Styles this week. The Samoan Submission Machine took it upon himself to visit the actual house AJ Styles built while the WWE Champion was far away in Denver, Colorado.
Joe delivered his message via video, showing us the picket fence and the mail box with ‘Styles’ stamped across it. Joe ended his video by ringing the door bell, declaring that daddy’s home.
This is another one of those segments that really has to be watched to understand why it was so good. It seems like every week Joe finds a new way to overstep the mark, and that is why his name features seemingly every week on out list. Good job, Joe. Now, go and enjoy some time with your new family.
3. Tommaso Ciampa
Tommaso Ciampa squared off against the significantly larger Otis Dozovic in the main event of NXT this week. It was a tough match, but Ciampa found a way to win.
I found this match to be far more entertaining than I thought it would be. Dozovic’s size advantage had the NXT Champion rattled for a huge portion of the match, and the crowd were chanting for ‘Steaks & Weights’, as well as popping for the big man’s worm dance. A rope-assisted DDT proved to be the Heavy Machinery member’s downfall though, as the self-proclaimed ‘greatest sports entertainer in history’ walked away with the win.
It’s not often we see Ciampa wrestle on a standard NXT broadcast, but this match did a great job in reminding the world that he gets the job done, regardless of who he is facing. The champ is surely looking for a new foe; only time will tell who that foe will be.
2. The Shield
Some seeds have been sown for the Dean Ambrose heel turn, but for now, all three members of The Shield are standing tall.
It was a night full of mind games with The Dogs of War trying to convince Dean to leave his brothers. By the time the main event match rolled around, it was firmly planted in our minds that Dean was contemplating the switch.
The main event saw Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, & Dean Ambrose take on Baron Corbin and the Authors of Pain. As you’d expect from a team who made their name in these types of bouts, the Hounds of Justice shined throughout. The match concluded with Roman spearing Corbin for the 1, 2, 3. After the match, Dean looked up the ramp where Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, & Drew McIntyre were waiting for a signal to attack the Big Dog & the Architect, but the Lunatic Fringe stood by his brothers.
All three guys put on a great match, and their storyline has become very intriguing. Although it looked like Dean was going to get lost in the shuffle when The Shield reunited, it seems like he is now the standout superstar.
1. Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre
It’s refreshing to see two warring factions find a way to look dominant on the same show. This week, Ziggler & McIntyre not only had a great storyline with The Shield, they were the winning team on Raw’s match of the night.
The Raw Tag Team Champions were forced to defend their titles against the duo they screwed over in the first place in The Revival, and bloomin’ ‘eck this match delivered on quality. The bout eventually came to an end when Dash Wilder ate a Zig-Zag Claymore.
Later on, the boys may have failed to turn Dean to the dark side, but they definitely got inside the Lunatic’s head, and maybe we’ll see that heel turn sooner rather than later.
Monday was a good day to be a canine, whether you’re a Dog of War or a Hound of Justice. I feel like Dolph & Drew just about had a better week as their match was incredible and they have made a lot of progress in regards to Dean Ambrose. It’ll be interesting to see how much the dynamics shift as we edge closer to the Super Show-Down.
I have to hand it to Raw: when they have something decent to focus on, they can knock it out of the park. The clash between The Shield and The Dogs of War is making the show a hell of a lot more enjoyable, even if it’s still not as consistently good as SmackDown. I’m personally looking forward to seeing every show next week — let’s hope it manages to live up to the quality we’re getting used to.
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