With so much weekly content on WWE TV, it can be difficult to keep track of everything.
That’s where Rowdy Recaps come in, looking back at the week in WWE TV and narrowing down the highlights of the big three shows (and sometimes more). (205 Live and NXT UK will certainly get some more love and appreciation in the future, but baby steps.)
So: Let’s take a look back at the past week in WWE!
Monday Night RAW (July 1, 2019)
Quick & Dirty Results:
- Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley, in a Falls Counts Count Anywhere match went to a No Contest
- The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) def. The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) via Disqualification
- Samoa Joe & The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) def. The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E, & Xavier Woods)
- Cesaro vs. No Way Jose went to a No Contest
- Lacey Evans def. Natalya
- The Miz def. Elias, in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match
- Seth Rollins & Becky Lynch def. Mike Kanellis & Maria Kanellis
- Carmella def. Alexa Bliss
- Nikki Cross def. Carmella
- Drake Maverick def. R-Truth (c), for the WWE 24/7 Championship
- Ricochet (c) def. AJ Styles, for the United States Championship
After weeks of arm wrestling contests and tug of war, finally, there is some sweet mercy with RAW opening up with Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley actually facing off in a wrestling match. (Thankfully, this feud didn’t make it to the limbo challenge stage. The PCS, this is not.) And not just any old wrestling match: a Falls Count Anywhere match. So naturally, both men—both behemoths—end up wrestling and brawling all around the arena. It’s quite the meeting (or “meating”) of the minds too. And then Strowman attempts to murder Lashley (as well as himself) to truly kick Monday Night RAW off.
It. Is. Awesome.
And by my calculations, Braun Strowman has now been part of approximately five attempted murders on WWE TV (either by him or his opponents). This is definitely up there in the rankings for sheer wattage alone. And somehow, Lashley actually lives to see the next day.
Well, the Street Profits from NXT—they’re the NXT Tag Team Champions, y’all—technically made their RAW debut this week. It was in two backstage segments and not in the ring for a match, but hey, at least they’re here, right?
Another Ricochet/AJ Styles match, another highlight of the week. In fact, this match and the lead-up to it in this episode of RAW is a collection of highlights, as the title match is set up after the Good Brothers, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, basically lie to their buddy AJ Styles to get him riled up and to challenge Ricochet. (Come on, AJ—maybe watch the product so you don’t get bamboozled so easily.) Not even “basically”: They absolutely lie to their buddy. That leads to AJ challenging and slapping Ricochet, with a confused (but pissed) Ricochet accepting and slapping AJ.
Then we have our main event, where the pre-commercial flow-disruptor of this match (come on, you know they exist—just look at all the 2-out-of-3 Falls matches and tag team matches-turned-six-man tag matches) is AJ pinning and beating Ricochet, only for the match to be restarted because Ricochet’s foot is very clearly (except to the referee, apparently) under the rope. Once the match continues post-commercial, Ricochet retains the title… and AJ and the Good Brothers go to work on him. The band—or should I say “The Club”—is back together.
SmackDown! LIVE (July 2, 2019)
Quick & Dirty Results:
- Daniel Bryan def. Big E
- Bayley def. Nikki Cross
- Andrade def. Apollo Crews
- Ember Moon def. Mandy Rose
- Heavy Machinery (Tucker & Otis) def. Kevin Owens & Dolph Ziggler, for a spot in the Triple Threat Tag Team match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at Extreme Rules
This time around, Ember Moon is finally able to get some semblance of revenge against Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, defeating the former in a (short, unfortunately) singles match. (She still has yet to defeat the latter in this feud, as Mandy was much better at helping her best friend get the W.) It’s still strange Carmella hasn’t offered her services as back-up for Ember Moon, but you know how it goes: R-Truth is a lot to handle.
Yes, you saw correctly last Tuesday: Kofi Kingston gives Samoa Joe the finger in this segment. Kofi’s a laidback kind of guy, but considering all of the things Joe says about him and his family here, it would have been upsetting for him to just let it roll off his shoulders. Joe is clearly not playing around, but you know what? Neither is Kofi.
Really, the biggest highlights of the Kevin Owens/Dolph Ziggler uneasy alliance in this episode are Owens reading Ziggler for filth and then Owens Stunning Ziggler. The match itself is fine too, though it also has to deal with pre-commercial flow-disruptor in the form of a New Day/Daniel Bryan and Rowan (both on guest commentary during the early part of this match) brawl. But again: The key is Owens destroying Ziggler verbally and physically.
NXT (July 3, 2019)
Quick & Dirty Results:
- Mia Yim def. Aliyah
- Kushida def. Jeff Parker
- Cameron Grimes def. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, in an NXT Breakout Tournament First-Round match
- Bianca Belair def. Priscilla Zuniga
- Roderick Strong def. Tyler Breeze
Aliyah and Vanessa Borne have been bullying—or at least, attempting to bully, with the mean girl tactics—Mia Yim for weeks. So now Mia has the opportunity to shut them up, and she does so, both in and after this match.
Also after this match? Mia officially challenges Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship.
Cameron Grimes (fka Trevor Lee) and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott (fka Shane Strickland) are two Superstars I’ve had the pleasure of seeing perform live on multiple occasions, so it should come as no surprise that I’d consider their NXT debuts—as competitors in the NXT Breakout Tournament—an automatic highlight. Like the previous First-Round match—and honestly, even more so—if you’ve never seen either of these two compete before, you’re in for a treat. This particular match is simply an amuse-bouche.
Roderick Strong may not be as gorgeous as Tyler Breeze, but he is a workhorse… and has the rest of Undisputed Era to help him out when the time comes. (Adam Cole, of course, is still on the Bay Bay Championship Celebration Tour. This week? Patronizing the Gargano family dining establishment.) If you’re only going to watch one match from this episode of NXT—and really, you should always watch the whole show—this is undoubtedly the one. Tyler Breeze continues to get to show his top talent skill here in NXT, and Roderick Strong needs no hype or explanation—he’s just that good.