WWE Wrap-Up

This week in WWE: Sami Zayn makes a statement before Fastlane

This week in WWE: Sami Zayn makes a statement before Fastlane
Sami Zayn surprised everyone when he pinned Kevin Owens in the main event of SDL. Photo by WWE.com

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

Raw

An upset Kurt Angle opened Raw. He wants an apology for Triple H’s sucker punch last week. Of course, Stephanie McMahon came out instead and insisted Angle “use his head” and “know his role.” Ronda Rousey came to the defense of her friend. McMahon tried to get back on Rousey’s good side, but the former UFC Champion was not having it. Rousey revealed that her contract states she can have whatever opponent she wants at ‘Mania, and she wants Stephanie McMahon. Triple H rushed to the ring to try to prevent that match from happening. Angle, then, used his pull as GM to issue a tag match-Triple H and McMahon vs Angle and Rousey. The “Power Couple” tried cheap shots, but Rousey got the upper hand after hitting McMahon with a Samoan Drop. Asuka defeated Nia Jax after trapping her in an Arm Bar that Jax could not break, despite her best efforts. The Bar defeated The Revival after Cesaro hit Dawson with the Goch Neutralizer.

John Cena came to Raw to explain how he will break Ric Flair’s record for World Championship titles at Fastlane. That will be his path to WrestleMania. For some reason, Goldust interrupted Cena, and it led into a match that Cena won after an Attitude Adjustment. Bayley came out to explain her issues with her friend Sasha Banks, but was interrupted by Absolution and her opponent of the night, Mandy Rose. Bayley defeated Rose with a roll up. Absolution began attacking Bayley after her match as Banks raced down to the ring to save her friend. Banks tried to embrace her, but was rejected by Bayley who chose to leave the ring instead. Alexa Bliss consoled an upset Nia Jax backstage.

A “Symphony of Destruction” match between Elias and Braun Strowman was scheduled to begin the last hour. Elias tried to escape the arena, instead. Strowman caught him and chased him back. Strowman defeated Elias after collapsing a piano over him and pinning him at the top of the ramp. Matt Hardy teased a visit to the Hardy compound for Bray Wyatt. The Mizzies made their triumphant return. Of course, Miz used these awards to insult people like Balor, Rollins, and Angle. Rollins, followed by Balor, crashed the award show, much to Miz’s chagrin. The Intercontinental Champ, therefore, challenged them to a Handicap Match against Him and the Mizterouge. The two had issues working together, but were eventually able to defeat Miz and the gang. Angle came out after the match to announce Miz will be defending his Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania in a Triple Threat Match against Rollins and Balor. Paul Heyman responded to Roman Reigns’ comments last week. He explained Brock is not the “bitch,” but the Universal Title is “Brock’s bitch.” Reigns, then, closed the show telling Heyman to inform Brock to show up to Raw next week ready to fight, not to talk.

SmackDown Live

Ruby Riott and Charlotte opened the show exchanging words before their championship match at Fastlane. Riott called for her squad when things began getting too personal, but nothing came from it as the Riott Squad left the ring when Bobby Roode came out to watch the first match of the night, Randy Orton vs Jinder Mahal. Orton shoved Mahal into Roode when the two were brawling outside. As Orton was trying to set up for the RKO, Roode pulled up to the rope and caused a distraction allowing Mahal to win the match. Sami Zayn reiterated that he will allow Owens to win at Fastlane if the opportunity presents itself. Backstage, Rusev challenged Nakamura to a match on Sunday. Nakamura accepted, claiming that Fastlane will be Nakamura Day. Becky Lynch submitted Carmella with a Disarmer. Backstage, Naomi challenged Natalya to a tag match at Fastlane, Naomi and Becky Lynch vs Natalya and Carmella.

AJ Styles came to the ring to talk about Cena’s promo on Raw about taking his WWE Championship at Fastlane. He explained that he will walk into ‘Mania a champion, so he can have his dream match against Nakamura. Dolph Ziggler came to the ring to tell Styles he was full of it. The two were scheduled for a match in the main event, but Styles decided he wanted to fight Ziggler then and there. Owens and Zayn raced down to the ring to attack the two. The attack was successful, but it lead to Shane McMahon scheduling a Fatal Fiveway featuring those four men and Baron Corbin. Bodies flew around and eventually the match was won by Sami Zayn, who pinned none other than his best friend, Kevin Owens.

Boy, oh boy, was this week about scheduling matches.

Raw started the week scheduling two huge matches for WrestleMania. I am not sure I want to see anybody wrestle in the tag match with Rousey and Angle, but there is no denying it is a big match. On the other hand, the Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Championship should be one of the biggest matches on the card. Raw did a great job at beginning to form the ‘Mania card, and, man was it exciting.

SmackDown did the same thing, only for the less anticipated Fastlane. The show should be fine, but, frankly, I am ready for the show to catch up to Raw and begin building to WrestleMania. The matches on the card will be good, but except for a few of them, they will not matter in the grand scheme of WrestleMania.

Come next Monday, we will be getting down to the nitty-gritty. More matches will be announced for 'Mania as we turn our heads to New Orleans. Hopefully, SmackDown finds momentum the way Raw has.

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Astros lose to Braves, 6-2. Composite Getty Image.

Reynaldo López struck out seven over six scoreless innings, Orlando Arcia homered and the Atlanta Braves won their third straight, 6-2 over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

López (2-0) allowed four hits and walked one in his third straight sterling outing to start the season.

“It’s like I’ve always said, for me, the important thing is to focus,” López said through an interpreter. “To have the focus during the outings and then, to be able to locate those pitches.”

He has given up one run in 18 innings for an ERA of 0.50.

“He threw the ball really well against a really good hitting club,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “Another solid one.”

Arcia hit a solo home run to left in the second and a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Luis Guillorme and backup catcher Chadwick Tromp each hit a two-run double in the ninth to put the Braves ahead 6-0.

“Tromp has done a good job ever since we’ve been bringing him in these situations and filling in,” Snitker said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in him back there. ... He’s an aggressive hitter. He’s knocked in some big runs for us in the limited time that he’s played.”

Kyle Tucker homered for the Astros leading off the ninth against Aaron Bummer, and Mauricio Dubón had a two-out RBI single to cut the lead to four. After Bummer walked Chas McCormick to put two on, Raisel Iglesias induced a groundout by Victor Caratini to end it and secure his fourth save.

“They pitched well, and our guys are grinding out at-bats,” Houston manager Joe Espada said. “Even in the ninth inning there, we’re grinding, fighting until the end.”

Hunter Brown (0-3) yielded two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks in six innings. Brown allowed nine runs in two-thirds of an inning in his previous start, last Thursday against Kansas City.

Brown said he executed better Tuesday than he had in his previous two starts.

“He mixed all his pitches well,” Espada said. “The breaking ball was effective. He threw some cutters in on the hands to some of those lefties. He mixed his pitches really well. That was a really strong performance.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies was placed on the 10-day injured list with a broken right big toe. IF David Fletcher had his contract selected from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Albies’ place on the roster.

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (right shoulder inflammation) threw a side session Tuesday, but Houston will wait until Wednesday to see how Verlander feels before deciding whether he will make his first start this weekend against the Nationals, Espada said. ... RHP Luis Garcia (right elbow surgery) threw around 20-25 pitches off the bullpen mound, and RHP José Urquidy (right forearm strain) also threw off the mound, Espada said. ... LHP Framber Valdez (left elbow soreness) played catch off flat ground.

UP NEXT

Atlanta LHP Max Fried (1-0, 8.74 ERA) starts Wednesday in the series finale opposite RHP J.P. France (0-2, 8.22).

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