WWE Wrap-Up

This week in WWE: The MITB build begins with several surprises

Ember Moon upset Banks and Riott to qualify for the MITB match Hour 1. Photo by WWE.com

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

Raw

Kurt Angle opened the show announcing two Triple Threat Matches that would work as qualifiers for the Money in the Bank (MITB) Ladder match. Both Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman were upset to have not been placed in the men’s match, so Angle placed both men in a singles match with the winner qualifying. Braun Strowman bulldozed Kevin Owens in said match to qualify for the MITB match. Baron Corbin and the Revival defeated Titus World Wide and No Way Jose.

Ember Moon defeated Sasha Banks and Ruby Riott to qualify to the Women’s MITB match. A video package and interview of Bobby Lashley aired to give the fans a better idea of who Bobby is, and where he’s been in the last decade. Jinder Mahal defeated Chad Gable and viciously attacked him after the match. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler defeated Heath Slater and Rhyno. Bobby Roode defeated Elias. After the match, he expressed his desire to be in the MITB ladder match.

Seth Rollins issued an open challenge that was answered by Mojo Rawley. The Champion retained the title after hitting Rawley with his signature Stomp. Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt defeated Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas. Finn Balor defeated Sami Zayn and Roman Reigns after Reigns got taken out of the equation by Jinder Mahal. A Coup De Grace to Zayn sealed the win for Balor, and qualified him for the MITB ladder match.

SmackDown Live

Paige opened the show explaining how, much like on Raw, there will be qualifying matches for MITB on the show. The Miz and Jeff Hardy were the first match of the night, and the first qualifier of the night. The US Champion gave it all he had, but Miz stole it from Hardy rolling him up. Nakamura remembered enough English to promise AJ Styles that they are not done. Payton Royce of The Iconics met with Charlotte in the first match of the night to qualify for the Women’s MITB match. Charlotte picked up the win submitting Royce with the Figure Eight.

The New Day stuffed The Bar’s bags with pancakes. Naturally, this led to a match between Cesaro and Xavier Woods, who defeated Sheamus last week. Woods came off the top rope and was caught by an uppercut from Cesaro, allowing him to pick up the win. Paige proved she is not going to show any favoritism to her former friends as she banned Sonya Deville from ring side for Mandy Rose’s match against Becky Lynch. Lucky for Mandy, she did not need Sonya as she upset Lynch with a roll up. Rusev pulled off the biggest upset of the night when he defeated Daniel Bryan in the main event to qualify for the MITB ladder match.

Money in the Bank, which will air on June 17th, is still over a month away and the build is off to a great start.

For the Men’s match, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, The Miz and Rusev have qualified. Balor and Miz have both proved in the last few years that they are great in WWE ladder matches. Both being in this match will hopefully allow us moments where they showcase their talents. Rusev will be an interesting case. He’s obviously a fan favorite, but that has not changed the way the company perceives him, yet. He will be great in this match, though I do not see him winning it. It goes without saying, but Strowman being in this match is absolutely hilarious. He has a clear height advantage over every man that has qualified so far. He probably only has to climb the ladder half-way to reach the briefcase. We’re only half-way though the men’s qualifiers, and I think Miz should be the favorite to win.

The women’s MITB match has two qualified in Ember Moon and Charlotte. It is no surprise to see the former SmackDown champion in this match, though I was surprised to see Moon. Looking at who she defeated, Sasha Banks and Ruby Riott, it is a little surprising that she won. It is an awesome opportunity for the newly ascended Moon. If we get an Eclipse from the top of the ladder, I will be completely satisfied with the match no matter who wins.

I make no gripes about it, MITB is one of my favorite PPV’s. The rest of the card be dammed. The ladder matches always deliver, and this year should not be an exception considering who has been announced so far.

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Houston now focused on postseason

Altuve and Correa homer, Astros drop final regular-season game

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With no playoff impact at stake if the Astros won or lost the game, Houston took Sunday's final regular-season game as a chance to get their lineup a few more at-bats before shifting focus to Tuesday's first game of the post-season. Here is a quick recap of the game against the Rangers:

Final Score: Rangers 8, Astros 4.

Record: 29-31, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wes Benjamin (2-1, 4.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Chase De Jong (0-1, 14.73 ERA).

Houston's main bats get a final tune-up

Knowing they'd only have a couple of at-bats to work with, some of Houston's big bats took advantage, starting with Jose Altuve. He crushed a pitch in the top of the first, a solo homer to put the Astros in front 1-0. After the Rangers tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second, Altuve started the third with a walk before moving to third base on a Michael Brantley single, which improved Brantley's season average to .300.

Aledmys Diaz would pick up the RBI on a groundout to score Altuve, putting Houston back in front 2-1. In Correa's last at-bat in the top of the fourth, he extended the lead to 3-1 with a solo home run of his own.

Rangers hand Astros a loss to end the regular season

After getting the early run against Chase De Jong, the Rangers would put together a big inning against him in the fourth. After two one-out singles, Rougned Odor would give Texas their first lead of the day on a three-run homer to make it 4-3.

De Jong would continue to struggle in the inning, getting just one more out while loading the bases, prompting a move to the bullpen to bring in Nivaldo Rodriguez to try and eat up more innings. The Rangers greeted him with a two-RBI single to extend their lead to 6-3 before ending the fourth. Odor would hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, a solo shot to make it a four-run lead at 7-3.

Rodriguez allowed another run in the bottom of the seventh, making it 8-3. Diaz, who drove in a run earlier, would account for another RBI in the top of the eighth, getting Houston's third solo homer of the day. That would make it an 8-4 game, which would go final as the Rangers would win the regular season's last game.

Up Next: Houston's first game of the playoffs will be on Tuesday, with the start time and opponent TBD while the rest of today's games wrap up, and the schedule is announced. Regardless, the Astros are expected to begin that best-of-three series with Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

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