WWE Wrap-Up

This week in WWE: Raw’s woes continue and SDL is reaping the benefits

The Mixed Tag match gave us the match of the week. Photo by WWE.com

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

Raw

Elias opened the show taking jabs at the Houston fans for the Rockets recent elimination in the WCF. He also mocked Seth Rollins after he attacked him the week before. Rollins raced down with a chair to get some retribution. Before he could get his hands on Elias, Jinder Mahal blindsided him. Reigns came down for the save. Of course, this lead to a tag match which Elias and Mahal won after Elias somehow got away with using a chair right in front of the referee. Kurt Hawkins tried to end his losing streak by facing an enhancement talent named James Harden. Baron Corbin spoiled it for Hawkins, though, attacking his opponent causing a DQ. Hawkins’ streak has now reached 200 losses. Natalya sustained an injury in her loss to Nia Jax. Ronda Rousey and a referee had to carry her to the back as she could not put pressure on her knee.

Braun Strowman took on Bobby Roode, or should I say, Strowman absolutely destroyed Roode with a Running Power Slam. A Tag Team Battle Royal was held to determine the number one contenders for the Raw Tag Titles. Surprisingly enough, the first team eliminated was Ziggler and McIntyre. The surprises continued, as The B Team, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, won the Battle Royal.

Sami Zayn continued to poke the bear that is Bobby Lashley. This week, he accused Lashley of never serving his country like he claims to have. Roman Reigns and Jinder Mahal had another backstage brawl this week. The Riott Squad took on Sasha Banks, Ember Moon, and Alexa Bliss. To no one’s surprise, Bliss eventually bailed on Banks and Moon. Bailey replaced Bliss, and picked up the win pinning Sarah Logan. Kurt Angle found the winning team backstage to inform them that their win did not count because he did not authorize Bayley joining the match. Finn Balor and Kevin Owens closed the show. Balor hit Owens with a Coup De Grace from the top a ladder, which Owens had brought into the ring earlier. For some reason, he did not pin him. Instead, he grabbed the display briefcase elevated over the ring. Ultimately, Raw just ended there. No decision on the match, just Balor celebrating with fans. Okay then…

SmackDown Live

Women’s Champion, Carmella, poked the bear that is Asuka. She reiterated that Asuka has not been the same since losing at ‘Mania. For some reason, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose butted in. Paige, hearing the standoff from backstage, asked Asuka if she was interested in facing off against either Sonya or Mandy. Instead, Asuka chose to take on both in a Handicap Match. Asuka won after submitting Deville with an Asuka Lock. Carmella got the last laugh as she, with the help of Mandy Rose, attacked Asuka. In a preview to MITB, Karl Anderson took on Luke Gallows. To everyone’s surprise, Anderson won the match after rolling up Harper. Jimmy Uso and Naomi defeated Aiden English and Lana in an awesome Mixed Tag match.

Paige held a backstage contract signing with AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura for their MITB matchup. Best friends Becky Lynch and Charlotte faced off. Lynch psyched out the former champion defeating her after countering a Figure Four into a Disarmer. Andrade Cien Almas attacked his former friend and role model, Sin Cara, backstage. The New Day took on The Miz, Samoa Joe and Rusev in a Six Man Tag match. Bodies flew everywhere. The heels looked like they were going to steal the win, but Miz got greedy and decided to use the New Day’s pancakes against them. Instead, he accidentally hit Joe and Rusev with the pancakes and his partners bailed. One Midnight Hour later, the New Day pinned Miz to win the match.

What the hell is going on with Raw?

You mean to tell me, the show with undoubtedly the better roster and the assumed priority is struggling? Overall, I think the Houston crowd was treated to a fun show. But some of what occurred on Raw this week made no sense. Elias somehow uses a chair in front of the referee to no reaction. Finn Balor suddenly just stopping the match to grab the briefcase. These are just two major, head scratching, blunders.

I do not typically like to harp too much on what happens on a show-to-show basis. WWE has to write, produce, and televise more TV than damn near anyone else. That being said, it is starting to become a trend for Raw to leave the audience scratching their heads confused. Let us hope the winner of one, if not both, MITB matches is someone from the red brand. That would open the door for more possibilities and more surprises on a show that is lagging behind SDL.  

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
The Astros suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Yankees Thursday. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

After an impressive two-game sweep of the NL-best Mets at home earlier in the week, the Astros took to the road to begin a four-game series with the league-best Yankees on Thursday night. To little surprise, the series started with a bang (no, not a trash can bang) in more ways than one, confirming that this series should be a must-watch this weekend.

New York's comeback proves no lead will be safe

Right from the get-go, the loud Yankee Stadium faithful had their chance to rain boos down on Jose Altuve before showing some pleasure as he led off the series by being hit by a pitch. They were quickly, though only temporarily, quieted as Altuve would come in to score two batters later on a three-run blast by Alex Bregman.

Three-run homers seemed to be a theme, as New York would get one of their own to tie the game off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton to tie the game, then Yordan Alvarez continued his dominant June by pushing the Astros back in front by three with another three-run bomb in the third, making it 6-3. That lead held through to the bottom of the ninth, where instead of holding it, Ryan Pressly issued two walks to set up the fourth homer of the game to tie things again before Aaron Judge would get a walk-off single to complete the impressive comeback.

Not only will we get to sit back and watch the slug-fest between Yordan and Judge this weekend, but it looks like with Alex Bregman swinging well again to round out the top of Houston's order, the Astros may be getting closer to their full power. So far in June, these two teams sit third and fourth in on-base percentage, with the Astros at .351 and the Yankees right behind at .350. That means we should continue to see scoring opportunities on both sides that can tilt momentum one way or the other as these lineups try to battle against the opposing pitcher.

How will the aces fare

Verlander vs. Judge, and Cole vs. Alvarez, need I say more? Although we won't see Justin Verlander go up against Gerrit Cole in the same game in this series (they should go head to head next Thursday, however), they will pitch on back-to-back days, with Houston's ace going Friday night and New York's on Saturday afternoon. Verlander is coming off his worst start of the year, a three and two-thirds inning outing where the White Sox put up seven runs, four earned, against him and knocked him out early to give him his third loss and increased his ERA from 1.94 to 2.30.

The last time he faced the Yankees was in the Bronx in the 2019 playoffs, in ALCS Game 5, where he went seven frames while allowing four runs, all on two homers in the first inning, which is all New York needed to grab the 4-1 victory to make it a 3-2 Houston lead in the series, which the Astros would go on to clinch in Game 6. So, with the double dose of bad taste in his mouth, it will be interesting to see if he can use that as the fuel to get back to the phenomenal form he's had this year or if the Yankees try to jump on him early like they did nearly three years ago.

Cole, meanwhile, is fresh off of two quality starts in a row against the Rays, where he allowed just one run on six hits with nineteen strikeouts over 13.1 innings of work. He's had his share of strife this season, though, including a seven-run shelling by the Twins earlier this month, along with a start in April where he couldn't make it through two innings against the Tigers. He's had success against his former club, most notably a complete-game shutout in Houston last July with twelve K's and holding the Astros to just three hits.

If the series opener was any indication, we are in for the treat of a playoff-caliber matchup, if not a potential ALCS preview that we may see in October. The Yankees showed why they have the best record and are the hottest team in baseball on Thursday night, but the Astros were only a good outing from their closer away from having a relatively lopsided win. The rivalry is real; the competition is close, and we get to enjoy the show.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome