WWE wrap-up

This week in WWE: The Miz makes life tough on Reigns

The Miz and Miztourage pummel Reigns with steel chairs. Photo by WWE.com

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

Raw

Raw began with The Miz’s “hit show” Miz TV. This week, his guest was Roman Reigns. After being antagonized by The Miz, Roman asked the crowd if they’d be interested in seeing him beat Miz tonight. Of course, The Miz was not fond of that idea. As he tried to exit the stage, Kurt Angle came out and announced that they would be in fact facing off. Raw’s first match of the night saw The Mizterouge take on Matt Hardy and Jason Jordan, with the latter team picking up the win via Hardy’s Twist of Fate. Elias would pick up a win after defeating Apollo Crews. Elias would attack Crews’ manager, Titus O’Niel, in order to cause a distraction and pick up the win. Kurt Hawkins would challenge anyone to face him in the ring. He would end up regretting that decision, as Braun Strowman chased him through the arena before slamming him through a monitor. Strowman would, then, return to the ring and ask for “real competition” to make their way to the ring. Raw Tag Team Champion, Dean Ambrose, answered Strowman’s call.

Their match would kick off the second hour of the show. Ambrose did all he could to bring down Strowman, but it would not be enough as Strowman would be the victor via a Power Slam. New Cruiserweight Champion, Enzo Amore would ask Kurt Angle for a party to celebrate his championship. Angle would, instead, attempt to advise Amore, but Amore would not have any of it. Raw Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss, would make her way to the ring to air out her grievances with the WWE Universe. Bliss would explain that the fans were ungrateful for not cheering for her despite her “cleaning out the entire division”. This would prompt Mickey James to make her way to the ring. Bliss would explain to James that there was no place in the division for a veteran like her. This would prompt James to attack Bliss as she cower away. Seth Rollins would defeat Sheamus with a knee to the face. Sheamus’ partner, Cesaro, would watch from the outside after suffering a serious injury to his mouth at No Mercy. Goldust would attack Finn Balor backstage after Balor “took shots” at his expense when talking about their issues with Bray Wyatt.

The match between The Miz and Roman Reigns finally arrived at the start of the last hour. Roman Reigns would go on to win the match, but The Mizterouge would attack Reigns before he could even celebrate his win. The group would stand over Reigns mocking him and his former team, The Shield. Finn Balor would get his revenge over Goldust by defeating him with his Coup De Grace finisher. Sasha Banks and Bayley took on Nia Jax and Emma in a tag team match. Bailey and Banks would go on to win the match after Bayley hit Emma with her Bayley to Belly Suplex. Enzo Amore would close Raw celebrating his Cruiserweight Title win at No Mercy. The entire cruiserweight division could only watch from the ramp since Angle granted Amore a “no contact” clause. Neville, the former champion, would go on to ignore Amore’s clause and attack him. Raw closed with Neville hitting Amore with his Red Arrow finish.

Highlight of the Night: The Miz and The Mizterouge teasing fans with a Shield reunion. Fans have been clamoring for Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins to reunite. Whether it happens or not is still to be seen, but, man, is the Miz making fans want it more.

SmackDown Live

Kevin Owens started this week’s episode of SmackDown Live. His feud with Shane McMahon has been heating up. Owens, again, talked about his attack on Vince McMahon. He explained to Shane that he actually liked and respected his father, and if he could do what he did to someone he liked and respected, then imagine what he “could do to someone he didn’t”. Sami Zayn, Owens’ former best friend, came down to the ring and attempt to talk sense to him. This, of course, wouldn’t work as both men just exchanged insults instead. Before they could even fight, though, Daniel Bryan made his way to the ring to announce they would be facing off in the main event. Baron Corbin defeated Tye Dillinger via count out after throwing Dillinger into AJ Styles, who was on commentary for their match. Corbin would, then, go on to explain he'd be taking no short cuts and challenged Styles to a match at Hell In the Cell. Shinsuke Nakamura attacked Mahal and The Signh Brothers after three weeks of them mocking and insulting him. The Hype Bro’s inability to be on the same page against The Usos would cost them the match. After the match, The Usos antagonized their opponents at Hell in a Cell, The New Day. The tag champs would respond by telling them that their match next month would now be inside a cell.

Rusev started the second hour celebrating his nine-second win against Randy Orton last week. The “mayor” of his hometown in Bulgaria awarded Rusev with a key to a city and declared September 26 Rusev Day. Aden English helped with the celebration by singing a Rusev Day song. The celebration was cut short when Randy Orion surprised English and Rusev with RKOs. Charlotte Flair defeated Carmella. SmackDown Live’s Women’s Champion, Natalya made her way to the ring. She would explain to Flair that she was happy her father was doing better. That way, he could watch his daughter fail at Hell in a Cell. Dolph Ziggler continued his weekly rant about how flashy entrances mean nothing when a wrestler is not as good as him. This time, he imitated The Undertaker. Before he could go too far into his rant, he was interrupted by Bobby Roode who challenged him to a match, which Ziggler accepted, at Hell in a Cell. Owens vs Zayn closed the show with a great back and forth match. The match was stopped when Zayn couldn’t get up after an Apron Power Bomb by Owens. As Zayn was getting carried away by the medical staff, Owens continued to attack him. Before he could devastate Zayn with a chair, Shane McMahon made his way down to the ring for the save. Owens would escape from the ring by throwing Zayn into Owens to close the show.

Highlight of the night: Randy Orton’s RKO out of nowhere to Aiden English. English has embraced his role in the mid card as a singing, comedic, wrestler. Seeing him get surprised by Orton as he sang a song for Rusev Day was absolutely great.

How do they compare? Raw kept the ball rolling after a good pay per view in No Mercy. WWE, typically, does a good job carrying over the momentum from their events to the night after Raw. This was absolutely the case this week. We saw some great tag matches, a great surprise match in Ambrose and Strowman, and even the seeds being planted for a Shield reunion. Raw even closed the show with an interaction between Amore and Neville worthy of a main event segment. With Hell in a Cell two weeks away, SmackDown is continuing to lay the foundation for a good pay per view. Shane and Owens has heated up to be a main event feud, the mid card feuds feel relevant, and we finally get to see Bobby Roode on a big show for the blue brand. Both shows provided fans with exciting matches, good promos, and comedic relief. Despite SmackDown pushing the right buttons as they build Hell in a Cell, I have to give this week to Raw. The way they kept the ball rolling after a good pay per view is very encouraging. With TLC still three weeks away, it will be interesting to see how well they keep up this momentum. But, if these past few weeks have been a true indications of what to come, then we are in for a treat.

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Rockets get another much-needed win. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets went on a redemption tour by beating the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. But the most pivotal win was against the Mavericks as the Rockets finally showed their true potential. John Wall finally made his return from his injury hiatus and played with a lot of energy. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon combined for 61 points. It was great to see Stephan Silas crack a smile as he was able to beat his former team.

The Rockets clearly missed Wall during his eight-game absense. This season, the Rockets are a .500 team with Wall on the court. Wall is the Rockets' floor general that leads, constructs, and also pushes his teammates to become better.

Wall only played 21 minutes in the 133-108 win over the Mavericks but still had eight assists. Even though Wall only had 7 points, his presence was still felt by finding his teammates for open looks beyond the perimeter. Wall made sure Cousins and Gordon got a plethora of touches. He called multiple actions, so they got open looks from three, which was mainly Gordon. Gordon and Cousins' struggles have been similar but with Wall on the court, they were successful against the Mavericks. According to NBA Stats, Wall posted a 111 offensive rating with the starters versus the Mavericks, which included Gordon and Cousins.

"He's the engine to this team. He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy," Cousins told a reporter after the game. "The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with."

Gordon has struggled all season long with three-point shooting and relied on his slashing abilities. Saturday night, Gordon made six three pointers against the Mavericks, which was 66 percent from beyond the perimeter. Gordon increased his three-point percentage from 31 percent to 34.5 percent after Saturday night's game. Gordon's 33 points came from being able to attack the entire Mavericks' defense. Willy Cauley-Stein didn't stand a chance against Gordon as he was burned multiple times. Gordon's been a lifesaver for the Rockets in the last two games, and hopefully he maintains his play.

Cousins played fantastic against the Mavericks scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. This is Cousins' first double-double with the Rockets this season. Cousins became the vintage player from the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. It was extremely fun watching Cousins push the ball up the court and aggressively snatch rebounds. Boogie shot 50 percent from behind the arc by making four three-pointers. He was dominant inside the paint as Cousins went 7/8 from the restricted area versus the Mavericks. This was the game Cousins needed after having a poor performance against the Pistons Friday night.

"It was really, really good. He did it all. He's a physical presence on both ends of the floor," as Silas said on Cousins' performance.

David Nwaba and Mason Jones were big factors off the Rockets' bench by having a combined total of 34 points together. Nwaba has been great in transition for the Rockets the entire season. Keep in mind that Nwaba is returning from an Achilles injury he suffered with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Nwaba has became a great defender, slasher, and is averaging a career-high nine points per game with the Rockets. He finished with 18 points on Saturday night versus the Mavericks.

Mason Jones has become a fan favorite of the Rockets because of his confidence. Silas is loving the usage of Jones off the bench but wants to find more minutes for him. Jones had a breakout performance versus the San Antonio Spurs with 24 points off 66 percent shooting from the field. He continues to get better with his reads from the point guard position. Jones' knowledge of running the offense has helped his efficiency on the court. He is never afraid to take clutch shots in pivotal moments of the game.

"To have a young kid who can come in and not be afraid of the moment, that's big. That's a tough position to be in as an undrafted rookie. I trust him. It's a good problem to have," Silas mentioned after the game. "He's showing me he's ready. He's a confident kid, and he should be. That's why he's good. He's not afraid of the moment, at all. He can get us organized, run plays, and score the basketball."

Hopefully, the Rockets can sustain their level of play when Victor Oladipo returns against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday. It will be interesting to watch Oladipo and Wall play in the same backcourt.

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