WWE Wrap-Up

This week in WWE: Samoa Joe, Absolution and Riott Squad mean business

Samoa Joe reminded Roman Reigns and the Raw roster what he’s capable of. Photo by WWE.com

This is a weekly look at the action in the WWE:

 

Raw

Roman Reigns opened Raw recounting his Intercontinental Championship win the week before. The Mizterouge explained that Reigns winning was an injustice, and that Elias would make things right by defeating Reigns for his Intercontinental Championship. Seth Rollins defeated Cesaro despite his hellish tactics. After the match, he announced that Ambrose and Rollins are “going to burn The Bar down” after they regain their Tag Team Championships next week. Kurt Angle announced two Fatal 4-Way matches to determine Enzo Amore’s next challenger to his Cruiserweight Championship. Titus O’Neil finally got his chance to take on Samoa Joe after his vicious attack a few weeks ago. O’Neil released his frustrations with some really hard blows, but a cheap shot from Joe allowed him to gain the upper hand and submit O’Neil. Apollo Crews tried to stand up for his manager, but ended up getting choked out by Joe as well.

A Six Woman Tag match was scheduled to start the second hour. Unfortunately for Sasha Banks, her partners, Bayley and Mickie James, never made it to the ring thanks to an attack from Absolution(Paige, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville). They surrounded Banks and asked her to join them. Banks chose against it and was attacked by Absolution. Matt Hardy broke down after his loss to Bray Wyatt. He began to yell his “Delete” chant that got him fame in his time outside of the WWE. Rich Swann, Akira Tozawa, Noam Dar, and Ariya Daivari faced off in the first of two Cruiserweight Fatal 4-Ways. With the four competitors in the match, it was obvious fans were in for a treat. Swann won the match with a breath taking Phoenix Splash. He will face the winner of next week’s Fatal 4-Way to determine the new number one contender to the Cruiserweight Championship.

Elias was assisted in his “concert” by The Mizterouge before his match with Roman Reigns. The Mizterouge did all they could to help Elias, but nothing was going to stop The Big Dog from retaining his Intercontinental Championship after Spear. Samoa Joe surprised Reigns from behind with a Coquina Clutch. The prize fighter made his point, he wants Reigns’ championship.  Asuka defeated Dana Brooke in seconds, literally, after submitting her with an Auska Lock as soon as the bell rang to start the match. Absolution pump faked Asuka after her match. They surrounded the ring, but, instead of attacking her, they allowed her to walk away without her turning her back to them. Jason Jordan made a desperate attempt to prove himself when he challenged Kane to a match. He, unfortunately, was unable to finish the match after losing via count out. That did not stop Kane from viciously attacking him, though. Finn Balor came to the defense of Jordan. The two faced off in a match, and just when Balor began gaining momentum, Kane used a chair as an equalizer. Braun Strowman raced to the ring to exact his revenge on Kane for his attack the week before. Raw closed with Kane crawling away from Strowman after The Monster Among Men jammed his throat with a chair twice.    

Highlight of the Night

Samoa Joe attacking Roman Reigns was an awesome moment. Joe was on a roll before his injury this past summer. Hopefully, him attacking Reigns is the start of a big program between the two.

 

SmackDown Live

Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan opened the show discussing their disagreement about whether they should fire Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. They, then, announced the Kevin Owens vs Randy Orton match will be a no disqualification match. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods took on Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable in the first match of the night. Woods absolutely stole the show, and The New Day went on to win the match. Charlotte, Naomi and Natalya set their differences aside backstage in preparation for their match against Riott, Morgan and Logan. The Bludgeon Brothers made quick work of The Hype Bros for the second week in a row. Mojo Rawley turned on Zack Ryder after the match attacking him from behind.

AJ Styles was attacked by Jinder Mahal before his Handicap Match against The Singh Brothers.  Styles got the last laugh, though, defeating them after a Styles Clash from the middle rope. Mahal let his frustrations out on The Singh Brothers by hitting them both with Khallas. The Riott Squad(Riott, Morgan and Logan)defeated Charlotte and Naomi after Natalya walked away from their match. Kevin Owens defeated Randy Orton in their No DQ Match in the main event. Despite being banned from ring side, Sami Zayn found a way to get involved in the match when Owens and Orton began brawling on stage.

Highlight of the Night

The middle rope Styles Clash was incredible. The move is risky as it is, seeing Styles do it from the second rope genuinely made me pop.

How do they compare?

This week paled in comparison to last week for both shows. There was a lot of repetition from last week. Quite frankly, this really felt like a filler week for both shows. Raw gets the edge for teasing the Reigns vs Joe feud. SmackDown fans shouldn’t fret, though. Clash of Champions is only three weeks away. As the card begins to take shape, the show should really heat up.

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Houston now trails in the fall classic

Astros fall in World Series Game 1 as Braves come out swinging

Framber Valdez had a forgettable start in World Series Game 1 as the Braves tagged him with five runs. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a dominant end to win the ALCS and American League pennant, the Houston Astros welcomed in the National League champion Atlanta Braves for World Series Game 1 at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday. With Houston favored to win not just this game but the entire series, the Braves shook up those expectations by finding early success at the plate to build a lead they would hold to take a 1-0 series lead.

Final Score: Braves 6, Astros 2

World Series (Best of Seven): Atlanta leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: A.J. Minter

Losing Pitcher: Framber Valdez

Valdez unable to replicate ALCS Game 5 success as Braves mount early lead

For the optimist, not having home-field advantage in an MLB postseason series affords you a benefit: you can score first and take captive momentum first in the series. The Braves did that against Framber Valdez, as Jorge Soler became the first player in league history to hit a homer in the first plate appearance of a World Series, putting Atlanta out to an immediate 1-0 lead. They would get another in the first frame, getting a one-out infield single by Ozzie Albies, who would steal second to get in position for an RBI double by Austin Riley.

Houston had the chance to respond in their first inning against former teammate Charlie Morton, getting a single and two walks to load the bases with no outs. They'd strand all three runners, though, as Morton made it through unscathed but having used 26 pitches. Atlanta kept putting stress on Valdez, extending their lead to three runs with back-to-back singles to start the second before later getting an RBI groundout.

Valdez gave up two more in the top of the third, once again allowing a leadoff single, this one setting up a two-run homer to make it a 5-0 Braves lead and forcing Houston's starter out of the game early. Yimi Garcia entered and was able to retire the three batters he faced to end the frame.

Braves lose Morton to injury as both bullpens begin long night

After stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the first to keep the Astros off the board, Morton followed it up with a 1-2-3 second. He started the bottom of the third by retiring his fifth batter in a row, getting a strikeout of Jose Altuve. He would immediately call trainers to get him out of the game, though, as he would later be diagnosed with a fractured fibula, presumably from a ball that ricocheted off his leg in the prior inning, ending his season in a disappointing turn of events for the Braves.

That set up a long night for both bullpens, and next up for Houston was Jake Odorizzi. He started with a scoreless fourth, working around a two-out error to keep it a five-run game. The Astros began a rally in the bottom of the fourth, getting runners on the corners with one out on a Kyle Tucker double and Yuli Gurriel single. Chas McCormick brought in the first run of the board for Houston, but that's all they would get as Atlanta's lead remained four runs.

Astros drop Game 1

Odorizzi kept going on the mound, tossing a 1-2-3 fifth, then getting one out before a one-out single in the top of the sixth would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Phil Maton, who finished the inning. Maton returned in the top of the seventh, getting a strikeout before a double and a walk would result in the call to bring in Ryne Stanek.

A double play against his first batter allowed Stanek to finish the seventh, and then he returned in the eighth. He faced three batters that frame, getting one out before a walk and a single would put runners on the corners as Houston moved on to Brooks Raley. A sac fly by Freddie Freeman off of Raley made it a five-run lead again, but a leadoff triple by Yordan Alvarez in the bottom of the inning would set up Carlos Correa for an RBI, a groundout to make it 6-2.

Atlanta's bullpen continued to do well, though, limiting the damage to that one run in the eighth, then returning to hold on to the four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth to give the Braves the upset win to start the series. The loss extends their home losing streak in the World Series to five games (having lost all four at home in the 2019 World Series against the Nationals) and puts them down 0-1 and in need of a win in Game 2 to try and reset the series into a best-of-five.

Up Next: World Series Game 2 will be another 7:09 PM Central scheduled start time on Wednesday from Minute Maid Park. The expected pitching matchup is Max Fried, who is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three postseason starts, for the Braves, and Jose Urquidy, who went just 1.2 innings while allowing six runs (five earned) in his start in the ALCS.

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