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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ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
The results of Odorizzi's MRI are still unknown. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

Astros starter Jake Odorizzi was carted off with a leg injury on Monday night. Being carted off made it seem like it was a huge deal and Odorizzi could be out for quite a while. News came down from manager Dusty Baker that they “may have dodged a bullet” as he was put on the 15-day injured list. MRI results are pending, but the initial prognosis seems favorable.

Odorizzi has been very hit or miss in his tenure in Houston. He’s started and came out of the pen, but hasn’t been able to gain any level of consistency. Until recently. In his last four starts, he’s thrown 22 2/3 innings, given up 9 hits, and only surrendered 3 runs. Grown man ish. He’s made himself a valuable member of the rotation. With him sidelined, it’s time for others to step up.
Lance McCullers Jr is still about a month or so away from returning. He was switched from the 10-day to 60-day injured list on April 18. While he won’t be able to help in the short term, he should be able to help if Odorizzi is out for a long period of time.

The other starters will have to keep the consistency going. Justin Verlander is pitching like he’s trying to win another Cy Young. His 1.38 ERA would be the lowest since Bob Gibson's 1.12 ERA in 1968. I know it’s early, but that is sick through 7 starts and 45.2 innings. Nobody thought he'd come back after missing two years and be better than he was before. Framber Valdez and Luis GarcÍa have 2.93 and 2.94 ERAs respectively. At 28 and 25 years old, they’re two of the guys that’ll hopefully hold down the rotation for years to come. As good as they've both pitched, they'll be expected to keep and exceed the threshold they've set so far.

The two guys I’m mainly looking to step it up are José Urquidy and Cristian Javier. Both guys have youth on their side. Javier has been bounced between the rotation and the pen. Urquidy has seen some regular and postseason success but hasn't solidified himself because of his inconsistencies. While Urquidy has made the most of the chances both have been given, Javier has the potential to be good in either role. I would love to see him in the long relief role with some spot starts and/or opener gigs whenever the rotation is thrown out of whack. That role is just as, if not more, valuable than the back end of the rotation guys.

Having this many guys that can be counted on that have shown they're capable is a luxury. Health will continue to play a part in this team's potential because of the vets that mean so much to their success. If these young pitchers can fill some gaps, grow into their roles, stay consistent, and continue to develop, this team will be scary. They have enough arms, now it's time for them to find their grooves and produce.

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