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This week, Smackdown features an unlikely contender, 700lbs of dude explodes on RAW and Kurt Angle is a menacing Daddy.
Welcome in to another Bottom Rope Report! As usual I watched both WWE Monday Night Raw and Smackdown Live so that you don't have to.
Wrestlemania season is over and the dust from the Superstar Shake Up has settled. Usually this would mean the return to the usual tropes and tricks of WWE storytelling, but I'll be darned, I actually enjoyed both of this week's shows! Yeah, I know, I'm scared too.
Anyways, the results aren't going to write themselves, so let's get into it, shall we?
Hey, remember last week when Braun Strowman DESTROYED Roman Reigns and capped off his beatdown of our handsome hero by FLIPPING AN AMBULANCE?
Yeah, like that.
Well, this week the show began with Braun in the ring saying that he's going to prove how dominant he is by destroying everyone in the locker room. Raw GM Kurt Angle joined Strowman in the ring and made it clear that he's lucky he doesn't suspend him! Ooooooo!!!
Angle then made Strowman Vs Reigns at Payback a thing. Strowman laughed and demanded from Angle the one thing that drives him: Competition. Angle told him to take the night off and Strowman stormed off in a huff.
Now, here I'm going to jump around a bit because Strowman then spends the rest of the night beating up people you forgot worked there like Golden Truth, which earns him an awesome scolding from a referee (for some reason):
To which he responds "pfft, whatevs. You're not my real dad, Kevin!" and glowers like a 15 year old deprived of Snapchat for texting his junk to someone.
THEN he goes back out into the arena, bumps into Kalisto and literally throws him in the garbage. This brings over Big Show and if there's one thing we know about Big Show it's that he's big. So he intervenes and challenges Braun to pick on someone his own size! This sets up the night's main event, and I'm like:
Petulant Teenager Braun Strowman might be my favourite thing ever.
Samoa Joe vs Chris Jericho
Joe vs Jericho was a great match. Those two in the ring is always going to be a great match. The only thing that brought it all down was Seth Rollins architecting on commentary. After Joe won the match, he called out Rollins to set up a match between them at Payback. Rollins accepted and then actually said "'Payback' ...will be a bitch!"
So if you had that on your Payback Bingo Card, you're up one.
The Club vs Enzo Amore and Big Cass
The Club were supposed to take on Golden Truth, but they fell victim to Braun Strowman's hissy fit. So The Club demanded new opponents, and since the other two tag teams on Raw were scheduled to work later and New Day is on Smackdown now, the only ones left were Enzo and Cass. The match went as you'd expect with Anderson getting the pin on Enzo.
Up next another MizTV, with guest Dean Ambrose, again. Dean and Miz traded jabs, Miz making interesting points about Ambrose's work ethic and perception of the business. Dean called Miz a silly dumb goober face. So, the usual. In the end the two men brawled and Ambrose stood tall in the ring. So he "won" I guess.
Raw Women's Championship Fatal 4-Way No. 1 Contender Match: Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax vs Mickie James.
Alexa Bliss continued her Cal Ripken-like streak of being the best thing on WWE TV by picking up the win in this match. Alexa knocked Nia Jax out of the ring after Jax had just Samoan Dropped Sasha Banks, leaving her open for Bliss to grab the pin.
I don't know who's going to be the first to win both the Raw & Smackdown Women's titles, Alexa or Charlotte, but my money's on Alexa.
Finn Bálor vs Curt Hawkins
OH, Thank the wrestling Gods! Not only is Finn Balor not dead after last week's mugging by Jinder Mahal, but he's also able to easily dispatch Hawkins without getting hurt. That's almost 7 days without a Finn Balor injury. They should get a sign.
Jeff Hardy vs Cesaro
Match of the show, easily. Jeff Hardy may be a bit more winded when he works now, but damned if he still doesn't work. He and Cesaro have a great match that culminates with Hardy NOT breaking his neck with a Swanton Bomb. After the match, both teams shook hands in a sign of respect. I know that everyone want's the #BROKEN Hardys in the WWE, but I have to say if the Hardy Boyz/Team Extreme can still work like this in 2017, I'm in no hurry to bring the #BROKEN Universe to WWE.
Braun Strowman Vs The Big Show
Now, I know what you're thinking: "Two big dudes? Great, get ready for a bunch of punches and then one falls down." But, if you remember the match that these two had in Feb of this year, you're salivating and they did not disappoint.
The match was awesome, with both men moving like they were 200 LBs lighter (which in Big Show's case, is actually true). They kept teasing a superplex from the top rope all match and when they finally pulled it off, the ring EXPLODED!
Now, I know we've seen this before with Big Show and Mark Henry and Big Show and Brock Lesnar, but this one was way cooler, simply because Braun was able to get back up after the ring collapsed. He truly is the monster the WWE needs right now and I can't wait to see him eat someone because they looked at him cockeyed.
The Blue Show did not start off great this week, as Charlotte Flair was forced to deliver a promo that had anyone under 40 rolling their eyes. It hit all the "young person" benchmarks, with references to "binge-watching" and "Fast And Furious" but the main point of it was that Charlotte is mad that she's been on Smackdown for a week and isn't the Champion. Seems reasonable.
That brings out the current Champion, Naomi and Shane McMahon who makes a match between the two for later in the evening with the stipulation that if Charlotte wins, she gets a title shot.
Let me run you through that again: If Charlotte beats the Champion, she gets a chance to beat the Champion, but for real.
Six-Pack Challenge: Jinder Mahal vs Sami Zayn vs Dolph Ziggler vs Erick Rowan vs Luke Harper vs Mojo Rawley
Man, they love their Six-Pack Challenges on Smackdown. This match was to determine who will be the #1 Contender for Randy Orton's WWE title after he defends it in a "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah" match against Bray Wyatt at Payback. Apparently that match isn't for the title anymore. Anyways, let's look at the field and their chances of winning:
- Sami Zayn - Not yet, buddy.
- Dolph Ziggler - He has a date with Shinske Nakamura, so no.
- Erick Rowan - No, he just got back and is due for a program with the last remaining former-Wyatt, Luke Harper.
- Luke Harper - See Above.
- Mojo Rawley - hahahahahaha, no.
- Jinder Mahal - ... Holy Shit, he won. Seriously. In 2017, Jinder Mahal is headling the Backlash Pay Per View against Randy Orton for the WWE title. Who knew?
After the match, Mahal cut a promo about how he's better than everyone and deserves this. Then there were some spooooooky shenanigans with Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. But yeah, Jinder Mahal. Wow.
Charlotte Flair vs Naomi
In this non-title match made earlier, Charlotte won by pinning Naomi after hitting the Natural Selection because that's exactly what should happen when a Lion wrestles a Gazelle.
The Shining Stars/Primo & Epico/The Colons vs American Alpha
A new-look, but thrice-named Primo and Epico took on the former Tag Champs in this "We don't know what to call them yet" match and showed a newfound mean streak. The Timeshare pamphlets were left behind on RAW and the match ended when Primo kicked Jason Jordan in the face, allowing Epico to hit a sunset flip to get the win.
Up next, Kevin Owens issued the first of his weekly Face of America United States Championship Open Challenges. It was answered by local talent Gary Gandy. Owens pop-up power bombed him so hard his skeleton popped out, got power bombed, then crumbled to dust as Owens moved to the Commentary table for the main event.
AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin
Styles won this very strange match via countout when he hit Corbin with a phenomenal forearm that sent him into the crowd. It's very odd, I like AJ Styles, I like Baron Corbin, I like Kevin Owens. Normally a segment with them all together would be like Christmas. But this one just didn't do it for me. It was a solid match, but nothing to blow the ring up over.
Tune in next week when Alexa Bliss with continue to be the greatest, Primo & Epico will get a 4th Name and Braun Strowman will... play some video games? Listen to the Chainsmokers? Look, I don't know what teenagers do these days, ok?
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