By Gilberto Campa
Monday Night Raw – Seattle, Washington
Since the match was announced almost unexpectedly the build up to Triple H Vs. The Undertaker has been the biggest talk on the show. Personally as someone who actually got to experience “The end of an Era” Hell in a Cell match between the two of them in person at Wrestlemania 28 six years ago, I wasn’t excited to see that this was going to happen again especially with the amount of talent on the roster. With Shawn Michaels coming out and setting the expectations for what will happen on Saturday, I also wasn’t surprised to see Kane come back and confront the Heartbreak Kid. Now don’t get me wrong, I grew up watching all of these guys who are some of the best workers that this bushiness will EVER see, but it just feels forced to have them all come back just to help sell out the Super Showdown. It was nice to see a double choke slam though; I cannot remember the last time that actually happened in the WWE.
Elias and Kevin Owens are two of the biggest heels on the roster and they have both had major success in the WWE but still have so much more to give, especially after what they did on Monday night. There is a difference between antagonizing the audience and straight out destroying them. What Elias and Owens did was even worse as they dug into the Seattle crowd. The Sonics NBA franchise left in 2007 and the people of Seattle are still not over that which Owens and Elias capitalized on perfectly. Trying to get back on track as they both prepare to take on Bobby Lashley and a returning John Cena at Super Showdown, the promo that they did really came across too scripted which has been a problem for the writers lately. And with two guys that can deliver when they usually go off script its best if they try and stick to that natural style, but overall not a bad segment
Ever since he has returned from injury a few weeks ago Ambrose has been teased to turn on his shield brothers as they are continuing to fight the coalition of Dolph, Mcintyre and Strowman. Looking at it realistically he is the only member who dies not currently hold a championship and hasn’t really had much to do since losing the WWE Championship in 2016 while on the Smackdown brand. I don’t necessarily mind him turning and going his own way but I rather have a natural progression instead of people constantly asking if it will happen. WWE and wrestling in general is great when things occur naturally and aren’t forced. Let’s see where things go after this weekend, since they have gotten back together I wasn’t really pumped for it because it was too soon and for me just seems too convenient for the roster. There are clear cracks in the shield and this isn’t going to end pretty but all three members have big futures ahead of them going forward so things will get better.
Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins
Mcintyre continues to look strong as he is showing no signs of losing his spot. Even though Rollins is the best worker on the roster, the fact that he put Macintyre over says a lot about how the company feels about Drew. Let’s see if that momentum carries into Super Showdown.
Match Result: Mcintyre defeats Rollins by pinfall
Ronda Rousey vs. Ruby Riott
Ronda has been hitting her stride lately since beating Bliss at Summerslam for the Women’s Championship. Ruby Riott on the other hand has been floating on the mid card but after the events of last week her and Ronda actually put on a good match. I would like to see these two wrestle again in the future as I feel that they have good chemistry.
Match Result: Ronda Rousey defeats Ruby Riott by submission.
Skip ‘Em Matches:
Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler – Nothing really too crazy in this match, Reigns hits the spear in about ten minutes to stay strong heading into Super Showdown.
Konnor vs. Bobby Roode – The fact that Booby Roode who has had very little luck since coming onto Raw and not even sniffing the main event is a travesty. Bobby is not just another young NXT call up who can’t find his stride; he has almost 15 years of experience and is a former world champion. I can’t even remember the last time the Ascension won a match!
The B Team vs. The Revival – The best thing about this match was the finish, the Authors of Pain continue to look strong after only recently making it onto the main roster.
Monday Night Raw Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars
Smackdown Live – Portland, Oregon
Since winning the Smackdown Women’s Championship Becky has been on an incredible roll and has become one of the best highlights of the program. She has been getting the upper hand on Charlotte Flair and on this week’s episode she put the icing on the cake. After attacking Flair during a photo shoot Becky came out and revealed a new poster for Super Showdown with her towering over Flair. This is getting her a great reaction from the crowd especially going into their match on Saturday which I cannot wait to see. Becky turning heel has saved her career in the WWE and the work is paying off tremendously.
The most popular wrestler on the Smackdown brand cannot do anything wrong, or so we thought. After his former partner and friend Aiden English turned on him costing him a victory for the United States Championship, there was more in store. Aiden kept on teasing the entire week that he had footage that would expose and ruin the reputation of Rusev’s wife Lana. Apparently it seemed that in the video Lana confessed her attraction to Aiden which left Rusev and the audience in shock! This isn’t the first love feud that WWE has had, but this is a great way for a feud to start. I can’t wait to see where these two go from this as it looks to be a big push for Aiden.
Ever since these two started to feud for Style’s Championship I was curious to see how WWE would book these two amazing competitors. As a fan of wrestling for years I have seen Styles and Joe wrestle countless times during their younger days in TNA Wrestling, so what would be new for them to bring to the table? The best way to make any title feud personal is bringing in family to the matter and for the past few weeks Samoa Joe has gotten extremely personal with Styles. After literally invading Styles house “Uncle Joe” as he likes to be called crossed a line that you can never come back from. Smackdown general manager Paige was recommended to fire Samoa Joe, but after asking Styles what she should do the choice was obvious. AJ Styles who was interviewed from home vowed to BURRY Joe alive at Super Show Down, but I have a feeling that this feud is FAR from over.
R-Truth & Carmella vs Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vege
At first I did not understand the pairing of Carmella and R-Truth but the crowd seems to love it and it shows in their matches. I would have liked to see Andrade pick up the win as I see big things for him in the future, but it was still an entertaining match.
Match Result: Carmella pins Vega for the victory
Randy Orton vs. Tye Dillinger:
After attacking Dillinger last week Randy Orton had a target on his back and to my surprise Ty had no fear in challenging The Viper to match. The former NXT standout finally showed some fight and brought it to Orton, but only for a few minutes. Randy almost snapped Dillinger’s finger off which made the match end in a no contest. Let’s see where WWE goes with this.
Match Result: match ends in a no contest
Shelton Benjamin vs. Daniel Bryan:
In another high profile feud that has been going great Daniel Bryan and the Miz have been tearing it up lately on every match they have been in together. And the stakes cannot be any higher on Saturday as they are both going to be fighting for a WWE title opportunity. With the Miz coming out and doing some commentary for Bryan’s match against Shelton Benjamin, I saw the finish a mile away. But regardless The Miz getting some heat on Daniel before Saturday only brings fuel to the fire.
Match Result: Shelton wins via pinfall
Skip ‘Em Matches:
Asuka vs. Peyton Royce:
Nothing too crazy as Asuka makes quick work of Royce, but don’t underestimate the Iconics as they are looking to have the home field advantage heading into Super Show down from their home country of Australia.
Match Result: Asuka wins by submission
Smackdown Live Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Stars
And THAT’S ALL from Portland as Smackdown closes out the week, this choice was really easy for me to make as Smackdown continues to top Raw in storylines and match content. Every feud on Smackdown has much more investment and I cannot wait to see how things turn out this Saturday!
Winner: Smackdown Live