Oh deary me. My job was made ridiculously difficult thanks to the terrible episode of Raw we were subjected to this week. My usual rules of superstars must win matches, cut successful promos, and look strong throughout will not be bent, so even though guys like Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins were victorious, they haven’t made the list for reasons I’ll get into a little later on.
However, SmackDown, 205 Live, and NXT continue to be the light in the darkness, so let’s see which superstars from all four brands made it onto WWE Wrestlers of the Week.
10. Rusev Day (Rusev & Aiden English w/Lana)
When Aiden English promises to make things right, he certainly delivers. On SmackDown this week, Aiden had a little talk with SD General Manager Paige, and now Rusev & English have a chance to capture tag team gold (even though the plates are silver and the straps are blue).
Next week, the duo will take on The Usos and Sanity in a triple threat tag team match, and the winners will square off against the victors of the other triple threat match that took place later that night (more on that later).
Things are looking bright for Rusev Day, and I genuinely think they’ll be the next challengers for the SD Tag Team Titles. Will they win the belts? Probably not, but I’m going to enjoy the journey anyway.
9. Baron Corbin
As per Stephanie McMahon’s decree, Baron Corbin is the acting General Manager of Raw until further notice. The Lone Wolf booked a huge main event between Roman Reigns & Brawn Strowman against the force of Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre, and then he put himself in yet another match with Finn Bálor to really pump up the Canadian crowd. What a treat.
This bout went the same way as every other Bálor/Corbin match has gone: slow and boring. Towards the end, Corbin attacked the inaugural Universal Champion with a steel chair, but declared the match was always meant to be a no DQ contest. Baron then hit the End of Days for the 1, 2, 3.
Even though the bout wasn’t great, the booking of The Lone Wolf’s character was spot on. Well done, Baron. You might only be on here because nearly everyone else on Raw was a failure, but a win’s a win and I can’t fault the way you got the victory.
8. Buddy Murphy
Long-time foes Buddy Murphy and Kalisto went at it on 205 Live after the luchador cost Murphy a tag match last week. It was a great bout, and the Aussie stood tall at the very end.
The contrasting styles of the high-flyer and the powerhouse worked in excellent tandem throughout. Murphy’s strength allowed him to catch Kalisto in mid-air and throw him about like a rag-doll, and the Lucha House Party front-man was able to whiz around “The Juggernaut” and hit some big moves. In the end, the Aussie was able to hit Murphy’s Law to put Kalisto down for the count.
The stars of 205 Live continue to put on some of the best matches across any WWE brand, and Buddy Murphy proved once again why he will eventually be seen as the future of the company. A Cruiserweight Title reign is surely coming soon for “The Juggernaut”
7. The Revival
It’s about time WWE took Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson seriously. Following their two singles victories over the Raw Tag Team Champions last week, The Revival were given a non-title match against The B-Team. It would’ve been nice if the belts were on the line, but hey, I’m willing to celebrate anything even remotely good about this week’s Raw.
The match was in a similar vein to their SummerSlam preshow bout. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with the action, but it wasn’t exactly mesmerising. It looked like Curtis Axel was going to pick up another lucky win after Dawson accidentally put his partner in a pinning predicament, but Dash kicked out just in time. The Revival pulled themselves together and hit the Shatter Machine on Axel for the win. For good measure, they hit another on Bo Dallas, claiming The B-Team were a disgrace to tag team wrestling in a fantastic post-match promo.
I quite enjoyed this segment. As much as I’ve liked The B-Team, I never wanted them to have a lengthy title run because I knew their shtick would run its course pretty fast. Now would be an excellent time to put the belts on Dash & Dawson, and they’re definitely in a strong position to take them.
6. Undisputed Era (Adam Cole & Roderick Strong w/Kyle O’Reilly)
Kyle O’Reilly sat this match out to give the Undisputed Era’s leader a chance to get even with Ricochet. Adam Cole (BAY BAY!) teamed up with NXT Tag Champ Roderick Strong to take on the One & Only and his partner, the UK Champion Pete Dunne.
In terms of in-ring action, this bout was probably the best match of the week. Ricochet and Dunne put on a great showing, but their uneasy alliance (and a misplaced suicide dive) proved to be their undoing. Cole was able to take advantage of the chaos, and hit the NXT North American Champion with the Last Shot to pick up the win. Post-match, The War Raiders stormed the ring to stop UE from attacking Ricochet and Dunne further. Cole, Strong, & O’Reilly left before Hanson & Rowe could lay a hand on them.
Despite losing his title at Takeover: Brooklyn, Cole kept hold of his swagger and dangerous mindset. It’s only a matter of time until he invokes his rematch clause against Ricochet, and with his brothers behind him, you have to think Cole has the advantage.
5. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro)
Sheamus & Cesaro aren’t going to be happy until they have those blue and silver belts around their waists. In a triple threat tag team match to determine the first set of wrestlers to fight for the right to become No.1 contenders to the SD Tag Team Titles, The Bar squared off against Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson and the returning team of Epico & Primo Colon.
This was a fun little match, this one. The match ended with Cesaro making a blind tag to one of the Colons after Epico & Primo hit Gallows with a double backstabber. Cesaro hit a big European uppercut to get Epico out of the ring while Sheamus took care of Primo with a Brogue Kick. “The Swiss Superman” then covered Gallows for the win.
The Bar continue to be a dominant force on SmackDown. Presumably, they’ll take next week off to watch the second triple threat tag team match, but knowing these two wily wrestlers like I do, I have a suspicion Shamus & Cesaro will come out to “congratulate” the winners.
4. Samoa Joe
‘Oh, AJ!’ What a line. The Samoan Submission Machine took things to a new low when he called Wendy Styles during the SmackDown broadcast.
The WWE Champ started things off with a promo in the ring, spouting how he doesn’t want to wait until Hell in a Cell to take Samoa Joe out of action. He called out his challenger, and lo and behold, Joe appeared on the big screen. Joe said he wasn’t gonna come to the ring because AJ’s family still needs someone to play daddy. Joe then called AJ’s wife, telling her that he will keep his promise and send the “The Phenomenal One” home. Oh, and it looks like Samoa Joe will be stopping by the house next week for a BBQ. That should be nice.
Joe’s mind games are on the precipice of reaching legendary status. I really hope he does crash the BBQ next week, as well. Just imagine how great that promo will be, especially if AJ’s children are there.
3. Becky Lynch
Straight Fire looked to straight-up knock out Charlotte Flair after her gruelling title defence against Carmella. Thankfully, WWE decided not to cut the crowd chanting her name this week, as well.
Becky Lynch whacked the SmackDown Women’s Champion from behind and then demanded a mic from one of the crew at ringside. Lynch told an unconscious Flair that she’s coming for the title at Hell in a Cell, ‘you bitch!’
Words can’t describe how cool and badass Becky was in this segment. The sneak attack, the cheering crowd, the naughty swear word; everything fell into place perfectly. It looks like WWE realised they were wrong last week when they tried to make it look like the fans weren’t on her side, but now it appears that everyone is just going to embrace Becky for who she is: a straight fire Irish Lass Kicker.
2. The Miz w/Maryse
Well, damn. Miz & Maryse did one hell of a job when they put Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella in their place. “The Awesome One” interrupted a spectacular bout between Bryan and Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas, and normally this would’ve annoyed me, but the attack was so good that it enhanced everything.
After the ref had to throw the match out, Miz sent Bryan into Almas for a hammerlock DDT, and then the former most must-see WWE Champion in history locked the yes man in a vicious crossface as Maryse and Zelina Vega went to town on Brie Bella.
This beatdown was brutal, unexpected, and definitely one of the best highlights in WWE this week. Daniel might be right when he calls The Miz a coward, but that coward just decimated his biggest rival.
1. Braun Strowman
I really didn’t want to get into this, but I guess I’m gonna have to. So, Strowman was subjected to a 3-on-1 assault last week for trying to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase, but Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose are all still babyfaces; so far, so bad. Then, Braun tells the Universal Champion he will cash in at Hell in a Cell because The Shield won’t be able to get involved. One thing leads to another and Baron Corbin books the two of them to face Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre.
The match dragged. With the star power involved, it should’ve been excellent, but the heels spent way too much time working over Roman Reigns. When The Big Dog finally made the tag to Strowman, Ziggler & McIntyre carried on attacking Reigns, and then The Monster Among Men started whacking away at his partner, too. I thought this match was declared a no contest, but I double-checked WWE’s website and it turns out Roman and Braun won via DQ, so I guess Braun just picked up the victory.
But, because only babyfaces can beat people up in a 3-on-1 situation, Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins tried to save Roman but to no avail. The show closed with Strowman, Ziggler, & McIntyre standing tall. I can’t get my head around the truly baffling situation. Strowman has turned heel in the eyes of Vince McMahon for getting justifiable revenge on Reigns. And the fans were still cheering for Mr. Money in the Bank!
The booking has been absolutely ridiculous, but when all is said and done, Braun Strowman won his match, he has a shot at the Universal Title at Hell in a Cell, he kicked the shit out of The Shield, and he has two new cohorts in Ziggler & McIntyre. I don’t even know how, but Braun Strowman has managed to jump to the top of the list, becoming the WWE Wrestler of the Week. Damn, even I hate me right now for coming to that conclusion.
And that’s that for another week. Make sure to come back next Friday to see who continues to dominate and impress in WWE. I mean, surely we’re bound to have a better Wrestler of the Week next time, right? God, I hope so.
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