Wrasslin' Week of 1/22/18 - WWE Highlights
Monday Night RAW Highlights
This past Monday was RAW’s 25th anniversary episode, and I honestly have to say I would recommend seeing the entire episode. The show was chock full of WWE Legends, it was so much fun hearing all the old themes. The show took place in two different locations. One was the Manhattan Center, which was all decked out in old memorabilia and had an old-school ring setup. Instead of the cushioned barricades that the WWE uses now, they had the old metal ones that basically just look like bike racks, and the mat of the ring was blue. Then the show would switch to the Barclays Center where the majority of matches happened. The Barclays was set up as modern RAW is, with a large Titantron and the normal ring. The event wasn’t without controversy of course, because the WWE fans in the Manhattan Center were apparently made to watch cruiserweight matches when things were going on in the Barclays Center ring. Aside from that, they got very lucky with some of the Legends who showed up, which leads me to my highlights…
#1 – The Undertaker makes his return to WWE since last year’s WrestleMania where he was supposedly retired by Roman Reigns. However, after listing off the wrestlers that he had previously taken care of, he declared it was time for everyone to “rest in peace.” This highlight actually ties with my other #1 highlight however (yes, they can tie - my show, my rules). At the beginning of the show, back at the Barclay Center, RAW and SmackDown Commissioners Stephanie and Shane McMahon gave their father, WWE COO Vince McMahon, a plaque commemorating RAW’s 25 years, which he got very upset about because it was such a cheap gift. Anyway, a couple minutes later, Stone Cold Steve Austin’s theme hits and he comes running down the ramp. After a bit of convincing from Vince, he hits Shane with a Stone Cold Stunner and cracks open a beer with the COO – then drops a Stone Cold Stunner on him too after a brotherly hug.
#2 – Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, Kane, and Braun Strowman all faced each other just a week before the Royal Rumble where they will fight for the Universal Title. After Lesnar hit Kane with an F-5 (that took Kane out for the rest of the segment), he made the mistake of going after Strowman who grabbed Lesnar and performed a running powerslam into a table on our Universal champ. Unfortunately with Strowman standing strong at the end of this altercation, I think the chances of him winning the belt are very slim, but I think Kane’s chances are even slimmer. Basically, I’m pretty sure Lesnar is retaining.
#3 – Someone who did not retain his belt was Roman Reigns on the 25th anniversary of RAW. The Miz won the Intercontinental Championship back after he was able to hit two Skull-Crushing Finales on Reigns, who was distracted by the Miz’ cronies, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, who were supposed to be ejected from ringside but still managed to pull Reigns’ attention away from the match.
All in all, I would recommend just going back and watching the show for people who missed it. There was another good match between Balor Club and the Revival that featured Degeneration X, they had a segment where they welcomed back a lot of past WWE women superstars, Bray Wyatt defeated Matt Hardy, it was an excellent episode.
SmackDown Live! Highlights
Unfortunately, SmackDown incredibly paled in comparison to RAW this week. There were good matches of course but it felt like a very typical episode of SmackDown.
#1 – Sami Zayn defeated WWE Champion AJ Styles after Styles had just defeated Kevin Owens in a double-main event. Owens had been hurt in his match against Styles and during his match with Zayn, he would take shots at Owens to keep him injured, hoping to have him weak during their 2-on-1 handicap match on Sunday at the Royal Rumble.
#2 – Chad Gable defeated Jey Uso in the lead up to their 2-out-of-3 falls match for the Tag Team Belts at the Rumble. It’s bound to be a good match. We will see who comes out victorious because it could go many different ways.
#3 – Shinsuke Nakamura vs Baron Corbin ended in a No Contest due to interference from Randy Orton. Orton came in during their match, hit a couple of RKOs and whatnot, obviously to threaten people going into the Rumble. The match beforehand was very good however until Orton interfered.