WWE Wrap-Up

This week in WWE: Braun Strowman absolutely destroyed everyone and everything

This week in WWE: Braun Strowman absolutely destroyed everyone and everything
Braun Strowman made Kurt Angle pay for his foolish mistake of firing him. Photo by WWE.com

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

Raw

Braun Strowman opened Raw giving fans a “story with a happy ending”; a story where Strowman wins the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble. An upset Kurt Angle came to the ring to fire Braun Strowman for his actions last week. Strowman did what any irrational, pissed, giant would do and absolutely destroyed the security who tried escorting him out of the building. Just when it looked like The Bar was going to defeat Titus Worldwide, Jason Jordan came out and caused a distraction. Crews rolled up Sheamus allowing his team to pick up the win. Braun Strowman continued his backstage rampage destroying Angle’s office and any wrestler in his sight. Cedric Alexander, with Goldust on his side, defeated Tony Neese with a Lumbar Check. Strowman continued his rampage backstage when he flipped over a production truck. Yup, a production truck. Angle found him and promised him he would still be in the match if he stopped destroying things, but that did not stop Strowman from chunking lead announcer Michael Cole into security.

Asuka and Nia Jax faced off. Asuka did the smart thing of trying to ground her with different submissions. None of them worked, until Nia got stuck in-between the steps. Asuka was ruled the winner as Jax could not finish the match. Jason Jordan pitched a match between Seth Rollins and Finn Balor to Kurt Angle. The Rival defeated an unnamed Tag Team in an enhancement match. Elias had a new song for the San Antonio crowd, of course, the song insulted the Spurs.

Roman Reigns took on The Mizterouge in a handicap match. No matter how hard Miz tried to throw off Reigns, it was not enough for his Mizterouge to steal the match up. Sonya Deville upset Sasha Banks pinning her after a monster kick. Matt Hardy defeated Heath Slater with a Twist of Fate. A promo package aired to reveal Goldberg will be the first entrant into the 2018 Class of the WWE Hall of Fame. Seth Rollins and Finn Balor were the main event, and, boy was it a great match. The Bar raced down to get some payback on Jordan, who was ringside supporting Rollins, but ended up brawling with Gallows and Anderson. Jordan swept Balor’s leg and Rollins hit him with a Curb Stomp to win the match.

Highlight of the night: The First hour was absolutely amazing. Braun should get fired every week. Him destroying everything and everyone in his way was awesome. Flipping over the production truck was the freaking cherry on top.

 

SmackDown Live

A semi final match in the United States Championship Tournament, Jinder Mahal vs Xavier Woods, opened the show. The New Day chased off The Singh Brothers, and Woods put off a valiant effort, but it was not enough to defeat the former WWE Champion. Mahal advanced to the final after pinning Woods with a Khallas.  AJ Styles promised to put an end to Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens’ “Yep Movement” at the Royal Rumble. Mojo Rawley dominated the early part of his semi final match against Bobby Roode. The Glorious one was able to pick up the win,  though, with a nasty Glorious DDT. The Singh Brothers congratulated him with a blindsided attack. Mahal promised to beat Roode in the final next week, but Roode said he did not want to wait until next week. Daniel Bryan decided Roode had the right idea and decided to move the match to this week’s main event.

The Riott Squad defeated Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Naomi in a Six Woman Tag match. Naomi avoided getting rolled up by Morgan, but was met with a kick to the face by Riott allowing Morgan to pin her for the win. The Usos were promoting their Royal Rumble match when they were attacked from behind by Benjamin and Gable. Jinder Mahal worked Roode’s core to gain an advantage in the early part of their main event match. They do not call him the Glorious one for nothing, though. Roode was able to endure his injuries and, one glorious DDT later, picked up the win to become the new United States Champion.

Highlight of the night: Bobby Roode finally wins his first title on the main roster. He was, without a doubt, one of the most prolific characters on NXT. Lets see what he does now as a United States Champion.

How do they compare?

Another week, another “that’s it?” episode of SmackDown Live. I’m not going to place all of the blame on the show itself, though, it had to face the duty of having to promote the Mix Max Challenge that premiered that night on Facebook. The tournament matches were good, and Roode winning was an awesome moment, everything else just felt like more of the same. Now, look at how insane the first hour of Raw was. Are all the creative fluids going to the red show? Possibly.  Raw has an interesting week ahead of them. Not only will this be their Go Home Show, they will also be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Raw. It’s going to be another great week for the show. As for SmackDown? I am not sure what to expect at this point. At best, we get some gems of wrestling matches. At worst, it is a rehash of the week before. Hopefully things turn around as we approach Wrestlemania.

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ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Coogs beat the Sooners, 87-85. Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images.

Jamal Shead hit a short follow shot with 0.4 seconds left and No. 1 Houston beat Oklahoma 87-85 on Saturday night, giving coach Kelvin Sampson a victory over one of his former schools.

Shead missed a driving layup attempt, but corralled the rebound and put the Cougars back ahead after they blew a 15-point lead. Emanuel Sharp tipped away a desperation pass by Oklahoma’s Milos Uzan as time expired.

“The main thing (on the last shot) was to get it to the rim,” Sampson said. “We weren’t going to shoot anything outside of 5 feet. There were three ways to win that game — a whistle, make the shot or (grab) an offensive rebound and put it in — and we got the third one.”

Sampson credited the result to Houston’s “winning DNA. We had a lot of things go against us tonight. … We were just plugging the holes in the boat up.”

L.J. Cryer led Houston (26-3, 13-3 Big 12) with 23 points, making 5 of 9 3-pointers. J’Wan Roberts added 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting, and Shead scored 14 points. Houston shot 56.7% from the field and Oklahoma was at 52.7%.

Rivaldo Soares had 16 points for Oklahoma (19-10, 7-9). Le’Tre Darthard had 15 points, finishing 5 of 7 from 3-point range.

Sampson coached Oklahoma from 1994 to 2006 and ranks second in program history with 279 wins and first in winning percentage (.719). Before Saturday, he’d never coached against the Sooners, but Houston’s entry into the Big 12 for this basketball season provided that opportunity.

Sampson received a warm welcome as he entered the Lloyd Noble Arena court, with many fans applauding, cheering and standing. Just before player introductions, Sampson and his three assistants with Oklahoma ties — former players Hollis Price, Quannas White and Kellen Sampson, his son — were individually recognized with announcements and pictured on the video board.

“The memories that I will take from here are just amazing,” Kelvin Sampson said. “Oklahoma will always be home in a lot of ways.”

Houston made its first week this season at No. 1 a successful one, with two wins. The Cougars are a game ahead of No. 8 Iowa State in the conference standings with two games left in the regular season and remain in the conversation for the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Houston has won eight of the last nine games it has played as the No. 1-ranked team and is 35-5 overall while atop the AP poll.

Oklahoma dropped its second game of the week against a top-10 opponent, having lost 58-45 at Iowa State on Wednesday night.

The Sooners pushed Houston to the limit. Houston led 67-52 with 12:01 left, but the Sooners methodically closed that gap and Javian McCollum’s layup with 11.8 seconds left tied it at 85. It came after a hustle play by Uzan, who tracked down a rebound off a missed free throw and threw it off the leg of Sharp, allowing it to carom out of bounds.

Oklahoma coach Porter Moser said the vibe in the Sooners’ locker room was “tough. It wasn’t like they were happy to be close. They’re hurting. That’s a good sign. … That’s the elite of the elite and we’ve got to find a way to win that. That’s my job.

“I thought they were resilient battling back. Houston made tough shots, open shots, good shots. They do a lot of good things … but I thought we did too. We played the best team in the country, but we fell short. The margin of error when you play a team that good is small.”

Godwin went 6 of 6 from the field and led Oklahoma with 17 points, missing only the one free throw in six attempts as well. He also had seven rebounds.

BIG PICTURE

Houston: Sampson surely appreciated the warm welcome from fans on his return to Oklahoma, but he’s undoubtedly glad to have the emotional game against the Sooners over with. Now he can push the Cougars to focus on finishing the regular season strong and prepare them for the postseason.

Oklahoma: A win over the nation’s No. 1 team might have pushed the Sooners up a line or two in NCAA tournament seeding, but the loss shouldn’t damage their postseason hopes too much. Oklahoma probably needs at least one win next week — at home against Cincinnati or at Texas — to stay comfortably off the NCAA bubble heading into the Big 12 Tournament.

UP NEXT:

Houston: At Central Florida on Wednesday night.

Oklahoma: Host Cincinnati on Tuesday night.

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