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 can win series on Sunday

Timely hitting helps Astros edge out D-backs to even series

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Astros had two losses over the last 24 hours; one a game against the Diamondbacks in the series opener on Friday night, the other the news that their recovering ace, Justin Verlander, announced Saturday afternoon that he is opting to undergo Tommy John surgery. The decision and surgery will likely sideline Verlander through 2021 when his current contract with Houston ends.

With that, the Astros headwinds continued to increase, meaning a win to even the series with Arizona on Saturday would be a much-needed pick-me-up. Here's how they did:

Final Score: Astros 3, Diamondbacks 2.

Record: 26-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Enoli Paredes (3-2, 2.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luke Weaver (1-8, 6.51 ERA).

D-backs score two on Javier who is pulled early

Kole Calhoun, who drove in four runs, including a home run in Friday's game, would start the scoring on Saturday with a solo home run off of Cristian Javier in the top of the second, giving Arizona an early 1-0 lead. Javier allowed another run in the top of the third, giving up a leadoff single that would move to third on a groundout then score on a sac fly, doubling the lead to 2-0.

Javier finished the third and tossed a 1-2-3 fourth, but whether it be due to a pre-determined pitch count or other situation, he would not go any further, ending his night there on just 77 pitches. His final line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 77 P.

Astros grab a lead in the sixth

The Astros were able to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third, getting a leadoff single by Josh Reddick, who would move to third after a walk and fielder's choice before scoring on an RBI-groundout by Jose Altuve, making it 2-1. Enoli Paredes was first out of Houston's bullpen, taking over for Javier in the top of the fifth and retiring six straight batters for two perfect frames.

Houston would get to Luke Weaver in the bottom of the sixth, getting a leadoff single by George Springer, who would score from first on an RBI-double by Altuve to tie the game. Altuve would come around as the go-ahead run later in the inning on an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, knocking Weaver out of the game as the Astros took their first lead of the game, 3-2.

Houston evens the series and moves back up to .500

Josh James was the next reliever for Houston in the top of the seventh, and despite getting into a jam by issuing a one-out walk and hitting the next batter, he was able to get out of it. It was thanks to a great play by Michael Brantley, who started a double play by catching a lineout and throwing a runner out at second to end the inning.

Brooks Raley had the eighth and erased a one-out walk by retiring the next two batters to maintain the one-run lead. After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, the Astros turned to closer Ryan Pressly to get another save and finish the one-run game. Pressly would do so, as Houston would move back up to .500 and even the series 1-1 heading into the rubber game on Sunday.

Up Next: The finale of this series between Houston and Arizona, and Houston's last regular-season home game of 2020, will get underway at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 8.53) ERA will be on the mound for the D-backs, while Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.70 ERA) will start for the Astros.

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