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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Boston's two grand slams in the first two innings were too much for Houston to overcome in ALCS Game 2. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a win in ALCS Game 1 that had the prototypical fingerprints of this Astros team all over it, Houston returned to Minute Maid Park on Saturday, hoping to take a dominant 2-0 series lead if they could grab another victory. The Red Sox dashed those hopes very early, though, scoring eight runs across the first two innings to build the lead they would hold on to even the series.

Final Score: Boston 9, Astros 5

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): tied 1-1

Winning Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Houston met with disaster to start Game 2

You couldn't have drawn up a much better start for the Red Sox or a worse one for the Astros in Saturday's ALCS Game 2. Luis Garcia met early disaster in the top of the first inning, allowing a leadoff double, then got two outs while issuing two walks to load the bases. That brought up Boston's designated hitter, J.D. Martinez, to the plate, and he delivered a crushing blow to Houston, launching a grand slam to put the Red Sox up 4-0 before Houston could even get to the plate.

After a scoreless bottom of the inning by his offense, things got worse for Garcia in the top of the second, as after issuing a four-pitch walk to start the frame, he would become the center of a meeting at the mound with trainers, ultimately leaving the game with an injury. Houston opted to bring in Jake Odorizzi for the emergency call to the bullpen, but things did not start well for him either. He would put two of his own batters on base with two singles, then gave up the second grand slam in as many innings, this one to Rafael Devers to double Boston's lead to 8-0, doubling down on Houston's disastrous start to the game.

Odorizzi rebounded with a 1-2-3 third, but with one out in the top of the fourth allowed a solo homer to Kiké Hernández, his third homer of the series so far. He would still get the job done of eating up a few innings, finishing the fourth, and retiring Boston in order in the fifth, giving Houston just four more innings to cover with the rest of their relievers.

Astros get a few runs back

Over that span, Houston did trim the lead by three runs, getting an RBI double by Kyle Tucker and a two-RBI single by Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the fourth, making it a six-run game at 9-3. Their next reliever was Blake Taylor in the top of the sixth, and he would keep the score where it stood by sitting down the three batters he faced that frame.

The Astros threatened again in the bottom of the sixth, getting two singles to put two aboard, but would come out empty, sending the game on to the seventh, where Taylor would remain on the mound. He faced three more batters, getting two out while allowing a single before Yimi Garcia would come in to get the third out.

Red Sox even the series as it shifts to Boston

Garcia returned in the top of the eighth, getting through that inning despite a walk and hit by pitch, stranding both runners. Boston's bullpen kept Houston from getting any closer in the bottom of the eighth, then Ryne Stanek came in for the Astros in the top of the ninth. Stanek allowed a leadoff double, but with a groundout and double play, held the score at 9-3. Yuli Gurriel and Jason Castro did their part to keep the Astros alive in the bottom of the ninth, each hitting solo homers to make it 9-5, but that's as close as they'd come, dropping Game 2 to tie the series at one game apiece.

Up Next: The ALCS now moves to Boston for the next three games after a day off on Sunday, with Game 3 on Monday at 7:08 PM Central. While the Astros have named Jose Urquidy as their starter, the Red Sox have not yet determined theirs.

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