WWE Wrap-Up

This week in WWE: Houston is in for a treat as the final card for Survivor Series is set

Kurt Angle and the Raw roster retaliate by invading SmackDown Live. Photo by WWE.com

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

Raw

Stephanie McMahon opened Raw berating Kurt Angle for allowing The New Day to embarrass the show the week before. Angle attempted to defend himself by explaining how he will show the team the way at Survivor Series, but it was not until The Shield came to his defense that McMahon backed off. She, then, proceeded to mock The Shield for losing their Tag Team Championships after The New Day’s invasion. The Shield responded my challenging the SmackDown Live team to a match at Survivor Series. The first match of the night saw Bayley earn the fifth and final spot on the Raw women’s team after defeating Mickie James and Dana Brooke in a Triple Threat Match. Enzo Amore and Drew Gulak teamed up against Kalisto and Tozawa. The high flying offense of Kalisto and Tozawa allowed them to gain the upper hand, but one mistake was enough for Amore to shove Kalisto into Tozawa and pin him to win the match.

Backstage, Kurt Angle spoke with the Raw men’s team. He scheduled them for different matches later that night to get them ready for Survivor Series. The Miz and The Bar hosted a new episode of Miz TV in which they promised to end the “reunion tour” of The Shield later that night. Michael Cole revealed that The New Day took to Twitter to accept The Shields challenge for a match at Survivor Series. Jason Jordan took on Bray Wyatt. The Eater of Worlds used every single one of his tricks to try to gain the upper hand over Jordan, but it would not be enough as Jordan won the match. Wyatt blindsided Jordan after the match. He targeted the knee Jordan appeared to have injured in the match leaving him unable to walk without assistance. Backstage, Angle checked up on Jordan and informed him that he will not be competing at Survivor Series. Jordan begged Angle to leave him in the match since it will “be his big break”. Paul Heyman and the WWE Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar, hyped up The Beast’s match against WWE Champion, AJ Styles. Heyman complimented Styles, calling him “the best in ring performer of this generation” and explained why he is the perfect opponent for Lesnar at Survivor Series.

The Six Man tag between The Shield against The Miz and The Bar opened the last hour of Raw. With Roman Reigns back with Ambrose and Rollins, The Shield looked as strong as ever. After taking out The Bar, a Triple Power Bomb put The Miz away for the win. Kurt Angle came to the ring to announce Jason Jordan’s replacement at Survivor Series. Jordan attempted to talk him out of replacing him, but Triple H made a surprise return to announce he will be replacing Jordan. Adding insult to injury, Triple H vanished him with a pedigree. Finn Balor and Samoa Joe attempted to coexist in a tag match against Gallows and Anderson. Samoa Joe’s suicide dive eliminated Gallows from the equation and allowed Balor to pin Anderson after hitting him with his Coup De Grace finisher. Braun Strowman raced to the ring for his main event against Kane. The match never got started, though. The two brawled outside, teased a table spot, and fought along the top rope. Raw ended after a monstrous Running Power Slam that sent both men through the ring.

Highlight of the night:

Triple H hitting Jason Jordan with a pedigree. The “Jason Jordan is my son” storyline with Kurt Angle has been a train wreck. The fans, clearly, are not buying it. Hearing them cheer the heel, Triple H, attacking Jordan was classic fan rejection.

 

SmackDown Live

The “Go Home” edition of SmackDown opened with Shane McMahon addressing the entire roster. He prepared them for the possibility of a retaliation from Raw. Becky Lynch, Baron Corbin, and The New Day took turns hyping up the rest of the roster. Daniel Bryan made his way to the ring to explain why SmackDown Live is a better show than Raw. He, then, invited AJ Styles to the ring. Bryan praised Styles for winning the WWE Championship. He asked Styles to let him be his “advocate,” the same way Paul Heyman is for Brock Lesnar. Bryan mocked Heyman, and explained how Styles will make Lesnar quit, like he did from the WWE, and like he did “to a half ass knee bar at a UFC event.” Baron Corbin defended his United States Championship against Sin Cara. He would win via his End of Days finisher. A recap aired showing every moment that has led up to the men’s Five on Five match at Survivor Series. Shane McMahon welcomed Daniel Bryan back to SmackDown. He had not been on the show since Kane attacked him when he visited Raw. Bryan thanked him, but explained to McMahon that he was not happy with SmackDown’s invasion of Raw.

Charlotte challenged Natalya for her Women’s Championship. Natalya gained the upper hand after slamming Charlotte into the ring post. She placed the challenger in a sharpshooter twice, but Charlotte was able to escape. Natalya got caught off guard by a big kick. Charlotte, then, placed her in the Figure Eight finisher to win the championship. After the match, she expressed to the crowd how much it meant for her to win the championship in her home town, especially considering everything that has happened with her dad. To her surprise, Ric Flair came out and congratulated her with a big hug. Jimmy Uso took on Chad Gable after their match the week before ended inconclusively. Gable attempted to use his athleticism to upset the champion, but one Super Kick was enough for Uso to win the match. The New Day hyped up their match against The Shield. Big E explained how the bond of The Shield will soon fall apart like it did before.  The New Day, though, will remain as strong as it’s been for over two years. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn came to the ring for their main event match against The New Day. Before it got too far, The Shield showed up. Zayn and Owens walked out of the ring, allowing The Shield to lay them out. The Usos raced down the ring in attempt to help out their SmackDown brothers. The Bar opened the floodgates. Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Titus O’Neil, and others attacked whoever was in sight. Backstage, the women of Raw ambushed whoever they could find from the SmackDown roster. The brawl continued in the ring until Braun Strowman and Kurt Angle came out to end it. “How does it feel?” Kurt Angle asked Shane McMahon before The Shield Triple PowerBombed him. Angle, then, hit McMahon with an Angle Slam. The Shield hit McMahon with one last Triple Power Bomb. The red team stood tall over the carnage of the blue team to end the show.

Highlight of the Night:

Ric Flair coming out to celebrate with Charlotte. Maybe my heart is still tender from the Nature Boy 30 for 30, but when Ric cries, I cry. Realistically, the Raw invasion is probably the true highlight, but that moment was too special to not be mentioned again.

How Do They Compare?

Both shows this week were pretty balanced “Go Home” shows. There was, perhaps, too much emphasis in promo packages, but that seems to be the norm now. The element of surprise was present on both shows with the return of Triple H and Charlotte winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship. All that being considered, the Raw invasion was a treat. From The Shield damn near murdering Shane McMahon, to Alexa Bliss hitting Charlotte with a cheap shot. This, technically, gives the edge to SmackDown. Survivor Series is this weekend, and I have to commend the WWE for putting together a great card for the fans in Houston.

 

* Note, this Friday I will be releasing a preview of the WWE weekend ahead of us. Additionally, I will provide a review for every show from NXT War Games to SmackDown Live next Tuesday. 

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Houston's losing streak extended to five games

With key Astros missing, Detroit completes the series sweep

An overall bad day for the Astros on Wednesday. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the Astros received a big blow to their chances in the series finale against Detroit and potentially longer. Five players: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado, and Robel Garcia would all be moved to the IL due to health and safety protocols, leaving them scrambling to get a whole team together for the game against the Tigers.

The Astros would not be able to overcome both the loss of players and the onslaught of another strong start by Detroit in Wednesday's game which put them too far out front for Houston to come back from to avoid a series sweep.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 6-6, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1)

Tigers knock out another starter early

Detroit continued their success of making Houston's starter work hard in early innings, getting after Lance McCullers Jr., and giving him an early exit. After a lengthy fist, they broke through in the second getting two hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an RBI groundout to put up three runs on 34 pitches.

He would have a quicker 1-2-3 third, but after giving up a single, a walk, and hitting another batter to load the bases and reach 87 pitches, he would be removed in favor of Joe Smith. Smith would allow all three of the inherited runners to score, adding those runs to McCullers Jr.'s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 87 P.

Astros try to claw back into it

After Smith would go on to load the bases again in the inning, still with two outs, Houston made another pitching change to bring in Brandon Bielak to get the third out and stop the bleeding at 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the fifth, getting a runner on base to set up a two-run homer by Jason Castro to cut the lead to 6-2.



Bielak remained in the game to try and eat up as many innings as possible. While he continued to hold the Tigers to their six runs through the six innings, the Astros clawed back into the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put their first two batters on base with a walk and single before an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to make it 6-3. They would threaten for more but be held there for the time being.

Astros can't cash in, Tigers complete sweep

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, getting a 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game, as did Brooks Raley in the eighth. In the home part of the inning, the Astros put their first two runners on base on an error and a walk, then loaded them with a one-out single by Carlos Correa. They'd waste their chance to make something happen, though, with an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Pressly, who had no save opportunities in recent games, entered to get some work in the top of the ninth. He worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless inning, sending the 6-3 game to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had yet another chance to make something happen, loading the bases with no outs to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After two outs, Yuli Gurriel would bring one run in with a walk, but that's as close as they'd come, extending their losing streak to five games and getting swept by the Tigers.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off tomorrow to try and leave this poor homestand behind them. They'll pick things up in Seattle on Friday, with first pitch of the opener of three games at 9:10 PM Central. The expected pitching matchup is Jose Urquidy (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for the Astros and Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) for the Mariners.

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