WWE Wrap-Up

This week in WWE: Post-WrestleMania shows were a breath of fresh air

Paige had an interesting week as she retired on Monday and became the GM of SmackDown on Tuesday. Photo by WWE.com

Raw

Stephanie McMahon opened the show with a sling on her arm after sustaining an injury from her match with Ronda Rousey. She then brought out Ronda to congratulate her and tried to recruit and put her in her corner. Ronda responded by putting her in an Arm Bar on the same arm she injured at WrestleMania. “You deserve it” chants welcomed Nia Jax. Bliss and James antagonized Jax explaining she has a bad attitude which explained why she did not have a partner for their tag match. Jax proved she was wrong though, revealing her partner was NXT call up, Ember Moon. The two would win after Moon hit Bliss with her captivating finisher, The Eclipse. Braun and Nicholas, the 10-year old, relinquished their tag titles. The Bar asked for their titles back. Kurt explained they’ll get a shot at the title against which ever tag team came out of his “Tag Team Eliminator.” The Revival defeated Gallows and Anderson in the first match of said tournament.

Seth Rollins celebrated winning the IC and becoming a Grand Slam Champion. Finn Balor congratulated him, but explained that he wanted a chance to challenge him for his IC title. Rollins accepted, much to Miz’s distain. The former champ raced down to the ring explaining he will get his title back at Backlash, but the two of them can face him and the Mizterouge then, if they were still in the mood to fight. Jeff Hardy made his triumphant return to back up Rollins and Balor. Mandy Rose defeated Sasha Banks with a monstrous knee to the face. Bayley was in Sasha’s corner  and accidentally struck her. Paige, the leader of Absolution, then, announced her retirement from in ring competition. Elias performed a new song for New Orleans. Bobby Lashley made his return to WWE. For the first time in a decade, Lashley stepped into a WWE ring and destroyed Elias. The Authors of Pain defeated Slater and Rhyno after the two made the mistake of calling out any tag team in the back.

Samoa Joe made his return from injury verbally assaulting Roman Reigns, who was out there giving Brock Lesnar the business about his part-time contract. Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt defeated Titus Worldwide in the Tag Team Eliminator. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens face off after Angle promised a job to the winner of a match between the two on Raw. The match ended in a double count out leaving neither men with a job. The team of Finn Balor, Jeff Hardy, and Seth Rollins defeated Miz and The Mizterouge to close out the Raw after ‘ Mania.

SmackDown Live

Shane opened the show giving fans some updates. Daniel Bryan will be stepping down as the GM in order to become a full time wrestler. In his place, Paige will be the new GM of SmackDown Live. As her first order of business, she issued Daniel Bryan vs AJ Styles as the main event of the night. The Usos defeated The New Day to win a shot to challenge The Bludgeon Brothers for their newly acquired Tag Titles. Naomi defeated Natalya in an electric match of two underrated wrestlers.

Charlotte thanked Asuka for the magic they made at WrestleMania before wondering who she will be making magic with next. This prompted the debut of The Iconic, Peyton Royce and Bilie Kay. The two brutally assaulted the champion, and opened the door for Carmella to cash in her MITB contract to finally win the Women’s Championship. Randy Orton defeated Bobby Roode and Rusev to win a shot to challenge Jinder Mahal for the United States Championship at Backlash. A dream match in Daniel Bryan vs AJ Styles closed the show. Nakamura would eventually crash the party, though, hitting Bryan with a knee before focusing his attack entirely on AJ Styles.

Boy, were the post ‘Mania shows a breath of fresh air.

Raw needed improvement in their tag division, so they add one of the most dominant teams from  NXT in the Authors of Pain. The SmackDown roster needed new faces in the women's division, and, boy, did The Iconics deliver on their first night. Returns like that of Jeff Hardy, Bobby Lashley, and a full time Daniel Bryan add so much to the table.

It has been a long time since I have said this, but SmackDown felt like it was above and beyond what Raw did this week. It was quick, it was surprising, and, frankly, every segment felt like it mattered. Having Bryan as a full-time wrestler will do wonders for the show. Not to mention, turning Nakamura heel was perhaps the best decision to come out of WrestleMania. It has given him the edge he has so desperately needed on the main roster.

Of course, all this considered, things could look drastically different a month from now. Next week, The Super Star Shakeup will take place on both shows. Stephanie and Kurt will do their best to one up SmackDown Live, as Shane and Paige try to do the same. I have been an advocate for another shake up for a while now, I just hope it does not disturb what appears to be a newly acquired balance on SmackDown Live.

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The losing streak continues

Mariners get walk-off win over short-staffed Astros

Alex De Goti had an impressive debut. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

After a brutal homestand capped off by losing five players to the IL for health and safety protocols, the once 5-1 Astros brought their now 6-6 record to T-Mobile park in Seattle to try and right the ship. They'd have to do it with new and young players in the lineup using the "next man up" mentality to get some wins against the first-place Mariners.

Though the young bats would work themselves into a lead most of the night, Houston's bullpen wouldn't be able to hold the Mariners down, with Seattle ultimately walking things off in the ninth.

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 6-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Anthony Misiewicz (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (0-1)

After a quiet start, Houston gets three in the fifth

After cruising through the Astros through the first four innings, allowing only a walk over that span, Houston was able to put up a big inning against Yusei Kikuchi in the top of the fifth. Carlos Correa notched the first hit of the night, followed by a walk by Taylor Jones to put two on base.



That brought Alex De Goti, making his major-league debut, to the plate and, in his second career at-bat, would get his first hit and RBI, bringing in Correa from second on a single. A second run would come on the same play on a throwing error, then Chaz McCormick made it a three-run inning with an RBI-double, putting Houston out front 3-0.

Urquidy comes an out shy of a quality start

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was doing well through five innings. On track for a much-needed quality start, the Mariners would tag him in the bottom of the sixth, getting three-straight hits to bring in two runs to lead off the frame and leaving a runner on second base with no outs.

Urquidy would rebound to get the next two batters on strikeouts, but at 90 pitches and with a left-handed hitter up next, Dusty Baker would bring in lefty Brooks Raley to try and get out of the inning with the one-run lead intact. Raley would do his job, putting Uruidy's line final: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 90 P.

Teams trade two-run seventh innings

The young bats for Houston struck again in the top of the seventh, with Jones and De Goti leading it off with back-to-back singles before Jason Castro would load the bases with a walk. With two outs, Aledmys Diaz would push the lead back to three with a two-RBI single, making it 5-2.

With Raley out after facing his one batter, next out of Houston's bullpen was Bryan Abreu to help maintain Houston's lead. Instead, he would give up two runs on two hits and a walk while getting just two outs before Baker moved on to Blake Taylor, who would get the last out of the seventh with Houston hanging on to a one-run lead at 5-4.

Mariners get the walk-off win

Taylor remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth, and after getting an out, would allow a game-tying solo home run to Evan White before injuring himself trying to field an infield single. Ryne Stanek entered and finished off the eighth, sending the tie game to the ninth.

After Houston came up empty in the top half, Stanek remained in the game in the bottom of the ninth, attempting to force extras. Back-to-back walks ended Stanek's night, with the Astros hoping Ryan Pressly could bail them out. He couldn't, though, giving up the walk-off hit as the Mariners would take the opener, 6-5.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set will start an hour earlier on Saturday, with first pitch at 8:10 PM Central. Zack Greinke (1-1, 4.08 ERA) will try to rebound from a poor start his last time out for the Astros, while the Mariners will hand the ball to Chris Flexen (1-0, 4.50 ERA).

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