WWE Wrap-Up

This week in WWE: Women’s title matches announced for MITB

Asuka crashed the Mellabration ahead of their match at MITB. Photo by WWE.com

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

Raw

Roman Reigns opened the show demanding Jinder Mahal come to the ring. Instead, GM Kurt Angle explained that he was not allowing Mahal out because management wanted them to avoid each other. Reigns did not back down, though, as he chased Mahal through the back in a vicious attack. Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens put on a spectacular match in Rollins’ IC title open challenge. Rollins retained the title after hitting Owens with a stomp. Nia explained how she has an obligatory championship match at MITB. She, then, challenged Ronda Rousey to face her.

Bobby Roode defeated No Way Jose and Baron Corbin to qualify for the MITB match. The B Team, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas, defeated Breezango. Natalya, Sasha Banks and Ember Moon defeated Riott Squad after Natalya submitted Liv Morgan with the Sharpshooter. The Tag Team Champions, Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt, defeated The Revival.

Alexa Bliss defeated Mickie James and Bayley to qualify for the MITB match after hitting Bayley with the Twisted Bliss. An injured Jinder Mahal attempted to make his way to the ring when he was, once again, attacked by Roman Reigns who speared him through a wall. Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre defeated the unlikely team of Braun Strowman and Finn Balor. Thanks to Stephanie McMahon, Kevin Owens was granted another opportunity to be placed in the MITB match when he replaced an injured Jinder Mahal in the match against Bobby Lashley and Elias. Owens would win the match thanks to interference from Sami Zayn.

SmackDown Live

Daniel Bryan opened the show to an incredible ovation from the crowd. Big Cass came out to insult Bryan. The leader of the Yes movement had heard enough, though, as he viciously attacked Cass’ previously injured knee. The New Day took on The Bar with the stipulation that the winning team would have a member participating in the MITB match. The New Day sealed the win after an elbow drop from Xavier Woods. Paige explained to her former friends that they would have to face each other and Becky Lynch in a qualifier for the MITB match. Andrade “Cien” Almas finally made his debut on SDL defeating an enhancement talent.

Carmella insulted the fans of London for not praising her the way they should. Paige interrupted the “Mellabration” to announce that she will be defending her SDL Women’s title against Asuka. Becky Lynch qualified for the MITB match after submitting Rose with the Disarmer. Nakamura defeated AJ Styles in the main event of the show after pretending to have received a low blow and causing confusion with the referee. With the win, Nakamura will be allowed to pick the stipulation for their title match at MITB.

After this week, the MITB card is taking shape nicely.

It seems like we are going to get a nice grudge match between Jinder Mahal and Roman Reigns. I was on the fence with this match up, but after their interactions this week, I am all in. I do not know if this is a one-off or not, but I am genuinely excited about this match now. Reigns is a great wrestler, no matter how hard it is for some people to admit it. It is really refreshing to see him in another feud now.

Now, let’s talk about why we are really here. Let’s talk about why this week was so good, and why MITB will be so exciting.

Ronda Rousey will be challenging for the Raw Women’s title in only her second match in the WWE. The way they presented the challenge was interesting, but it will not change how the hardcore fans will perceive this match up if she is to win. Ultimately, this is what makes this match so exciting. I do not see Rousey winning the title already, but how will she lose, if she does in fact lose? Could her “friendship” with Natalya finally break? It is truly an intriguing match to follow next month.

Interestingly enough, something similar is happening on SDL. Asuka will be challenging Carmella for her SDL Women’s title. It seems like the WWE is all-in on Carmella’s title reign. So, how do they explain a matchup between her and Asuka? Personally, I feel like Carmella will have some sort of help. That, or, the winner of the MITB match will interrupt and cash in immediately.

Regardless of the outcomes, there are three more matches that were added this week. All of them are intriguing in their own way. WWE left a lot to be wanted with Backlash, hopefully that will not be the case in a few weeks with MITB.

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Another tough loss for Houston. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans lost again as their road game ineptitude continues. Former Texans stars DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt helped the Cardinals to the 31-5 victory.

1. The lack of talent is getting exposed earlier and earlier each week. The Texans have seen games slip away faster and faster from them each week. The team is overmatched almost everywhere.

2. Penalties remain a problem for the Texans. It seems like clockwork the team gets an illegal motion or illegal formation each week. Jordan Akins torpedoed a drive with a chop block. Max Scharping erased a positive play with a hold.

3. Davis Mills had some solid moments, but again, this team isn't good. It is hard to assess Mills with this team. He's making quicker decisions but he doesn't have the time or the players to make big plays.

4. The offensive line stinks. The interior of the line is still a mess and with Laremy Tunsil down the edges find themselves shaky as well. The running backs don't block well. The blocking tight ends don't block well. It is bad football in what was supposed to be a much-improved unit.

5. Desmond King was the best returner in the preseason. The team elected to give Andre Roberts an opportunity for a few games, but with his departure, the duties went to King. King is the most successful returner the Texans have had in a long while. Yes, it is that clear after just one game.

6. Max Scharping was benched in favor of Justin McCray. McCray produced similar levels of success. Scharping was benched last year for a journey-man veteran as well. The former second-round pick isn't getting it done.

7. Speaking of former second-round picks, Lonnie Johnson had an interception. That was the highlight of his day. Otherwise, Johnson frequently has me asking "what is Lonnie Johnson doing?" The former second-round pick at cornerback has been less than impressive at safety. Johnson seems to frequently be out of position or making the wrong choice in coverage.

8. DeAndre Hopkins had a solid day against the team that traded him away. Hopkins hauled in seven catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. After he scored, Hopkins looked to bring his hands together and mimic a prayer motion. I don't anticipate this was a nod to Arian Foster but perhaps could this have been about Jack Easterby?

9. The Texans had some sacks, but little of that action came when the game was close. Jonathan Greenard added two sacks to his total. The success Greenard is having is frustrating when you consider he couldn't get on the field last season. Charles Omenihu returned to action and had some pressures for the defense.

10. During the game reports surfaced that the Panthers might be interested in trading for Deshaun Watson. It was also reported by the Houston Chronicle Watson had vetoed a trade to Philadelphia, so the Eagles will not be involved in the Watson sweepstakes. The Panthers can only trade two first-round picks. The Miami Dolphins have three first-round picks they can trade for Deshaun Watson.

11. The Texans decided on a "culture" head coach in David Culley. His team has looked lifeless on the road. While the Texans took their beating, the Lions gave it their all against a good Rams team. Detroit is winless, but they play harder and better than the Texans. It grows clearer each week "culture" is meaningless if the team can't win.

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