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.  

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TEXANS HAVE ZERO DEPTH AT CORNER

Here's what Davante Adams' big day against the Texans really proved

Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Seven weeks into the season, Bradley Roby has been the sole bright spot playing for a secondary that has been subpar at best. He entered Week 7 against the Green Bay Packers trailing only Eric Murray for the most tackles as a defensive back, while owning the Houston Texans' only interception of the season.

During his media availability on Thursday, Roby spoke about having the Texans' confidence to trust him as the primary defender shadowing the opposing team's best receiver.

And with Davante Adams coming to NRG Stadium with Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, Roby had an opportunity to illustrate why Houston's coaching staff have so much faith in him.

Three plays into the game, Roby sustained a knee injury that sidelined him the rest of the afternoon. In his absence, the Texans felt his importance competing with a depleted secondary.

Adams would go on to have a career day against the Texans. He recorded a career-best 196 receiving yards on 13-of-18 targets and two touchdowns — as the Packers handed the Texans a 35-20 loss on Sunday.

Had the Fort Worth native avoided the injury, would it have resulted in a victory for the Texans? Perhaps not. It is always hard for a team to come away victorious after going scoreless during the first half, but Roby would have limited the destruction caused by Adams. Rogers completed four deep passes where he recorded 28 or more yards, with Adams being the recipient of three.

Not only did Houston have to deal with the effects of not having their best corner shadow one of the league's premier receivers, but the team was not prepared to battle without Roby, according to Michael Thomas following the loss.

"When you lose your starting corner like that, it's going to affect [the team]," Thomas said. "Anytime you have to make adjustments. If you're not prepared, and you don't have the right mindset, then you're probably not going to get the right results you want. Maybe we could have done it a little sooner, but you definitely miss a guy like Roby. You plan on having your number one guy go against their number one guy all the time."

Roby's premature exit left the Texans with a gaping void to slowdown Rodgers and the Packers without two of their projected starting corners. Gareon Conley — who revived his career during the second half of last season — has yet to play a single snap for Houston in 2020 as he continues to recover from offseason ankle surgery.

Their lackluster performance on Sunday showcased the lack of depth and talent the Texans have in the secondary. And with the trade deadline a week away, it may be in the Texans' best interest to invest in a young defensive back they can build around in the future — especially considering the timetable on Conley's return remains unknown.

Interim head coach Romeo Crennel said on Monday that the team is hoping Roby's injury is short-term and hopes to have their top corner make his return following the bye.

At 1-6 on the year, all the Texans have left to play for is pride as they close out the remaining nine games of the season, and the best way is to prevent another receiver from recording nearly 200 yards in a single game.

For this vulnerable secondary, it is a feat easier said than done. And with the talents of Jarvis Landry, T.Y. Hilton, and A.J. Brown remaining on the schedule, it is only best for Roby to make his return to the field sooner rather than later.

"I take pride in it. It's an opportunity that not a lot of guys get throughout the league, and I'm thankful for that. Just to be able to go against the best and try my best for the team and see how I match up. I'm very thankful for that." — Roby.

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