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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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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