- Not a great day for the United States Champ Jinder Mahal, who showed up on Raw, talked too much, demanded too much, ran his mouth too much, and promptly lost his title to Jeff Hardy. Jinder seemed to be leaning more on the rich asshole trope of villainy rather than the Muhammad-Hassan-lite version that was utilizing when he was World champ, though, so that's probably a shift in the right direction. The crowd did react to him, multiple times through the match, though that could be just because they don't like the idea of Jinder. The positioning of this segment at the top of the show probably took the suspense out of the result, and the match was any Jinder match, except Jeff overcame the interference and won. Jinder's style is straight from the mid-90s, so it's never going to be spectacular, but he worked the crowd and used his physical advantage to good effect. On a side note, if SD doesn't bag Rollins tomorrow, then they are left with no secondary title.
- Jinder then seemed to start a feud with No Way Jose backstage, giving both of them something to do. I think there's much more at stake for NWJ in that feud, as it's going to be a litmus test if he can get sustained reactions.
- Stephanie McMahon did the smart thing, correcting Kurt Angle's mistakes from last week, and hired Sami and KO to Raw. The Miz did the intros for them, but Angle delivered some bad news for HIM, as Daniel Bryan specifically wants the Miz on SmackDown. All of this led to the Teddy Long Special 10-man tag main event, which also introduced Bobby "Bob" Roode to the Raw roster. The match itself was fun and energetic, if fairly formulaic, and the result was never in doubt - the Miz did the honors on his way to Tuesdays when the Miztourage abandoned him in his hour of need.
- What's going on with Our Conquering Hero Roman Reigns? Every week they stick him out there and somehow make him look more and more like a whiny loser. Once again Roman pointed out that he was here and Brock wasn't, but when the two are in the same building, it's been Roman who's been left a bloody mess. Samoa Joe came out to point out exactly this, and continued his verbal annihilation from last week. This week, Roman had a response, calling Joe a "lazy fatass." The crowd didn't take well to that, as you would probably have expected. Joe was largely unperturbed, as one should be when confronted with petty insults, and promised to demolish Roman on his own terms at Backlash.
- Lots of new faces showed up, the most impressive showing of which was probably for the Dolph Ziggler/Drew McIntyre pairing, who destroyed Titus Worldwide in short order. Ruby Riott and her merry band of misfits ruined a Bayley-Sasha match that was just starting heat up. Natalya showed up and professed to be a great friend of Ronda Rousey, then made quick work of Mandy Rose before Rousey came out to save her from the contractually-obligated Absolution Beatdown. Both the wife and I were banking on Natty turning on Ronda to become the new leader of Absolution, but they played it straight, at least for this week. Breezango, fresh off giving Fashion Tickets to the Bar, scored a fluke rollup victory over the Europeans. Baron Corbin showed up (in a video).
- In other tag action, the DelEater of Worlds (what a DELIGHTFUL name) beat the Revival to earn a title shot against The Bar at Saudi, AOP squished Slater and Rhyno like annoying gnats, and Ember Moon wiped out Mickie James with a pretty great Eclipse. Nia was on commentary for that match, and Alexa had a pretty spectacular inset promo where she claimed to be a victim of bullying and promised to take a stand against it.
- Poor Elias was restricted to a backstage performance, but Renee Rachel pre-empted him because there was no time for a private concert.
- Not a great Raw for heels, unless you're Samoa Joe. Of course the crowd cheers him more than the nominal face in that feud, so take that with a grain of salt.
In a coat of gold or a coat of red, a lion still has claws
And mine are long and sharp, my lord, as long and sharp as yours!
Note: Jeff Hardy could also get drafted to Smackdown, bringing that title back with him. I assumed that was the road they'd taken, given the Monday Night Rollins shirts (though I loved the "Yeah, right, he can't go because of a TSHIRT" comment from Corey Graves).
Below is the full list, thus far, of movement:
Moving to Raw
Jinder Mahal Sunil Singh Rudy Riott Liv Morgan Sarah Logan Kevin Owens Sami Zayn Zack Ryder (announced via Twitter) Tyler Breeze Fandango Natalya Dolph Ziggler Drew McIntyre Konnor of Ascension (announced via Instagram) Viktor of Ascension (announced via Instagram) Mojo Rawley (announced via YouTube) Baron Corbin Bobby Roode Mike Kanellis (announced via Twitter) Chad Gable (announced via YouTube)
Originally posted by used2bcoolThe Miz did the intros for them, but Angle delivered some bad news for HIM, as Daniel Bryan specifically wants the Miz on SmackDown.
Miz should have responded to this by pointing out that if wrestlers who hold no positions of power within the company are allowed to request trades, that he's insisting on the Miztourage being traded to Smackdown for a couple of trashcans.
The list of people moving to Raw this week is shockingly underwhelming. I really didn't expect that at all. Will be interesting to see what happens tonight - there are a lot of potential great matches to happen with a change or 2. If there is already Bryan, Styles, Nakamura, Rusev, Orton and now Miz so there are a lot of potentially good matches there. Not sure if Seth goes or not as Monday Night Rollins is good, but if the speculated him and Finn going then that is a great line up of potential match ups. Add Almas and wrestling fans will watch weekly. Not sure if sports entertainment fans will, but it would definitely be appreciated by a lot.
Smackdown was definitely the winner in my opinion. They got Miz, who can be in the World Title picture on Smackdown. Joe should be a force on Smackdown now that he's not behind Roman/Strowman/Lesnar, although the addition of Cass makes me worried he'll get the top big man spot. I THINK Cass is an improvement over Corbin at least.
Almas, The Iconics and Insanity? That's a great group of NXT call-ups.
Then, if they choose to actually use it, the tag division is loaded now with New Day, Usos, Bludgeon Brothers, The Bar, Anderson and Gallows and Insanity.
Oh and they got Asuka I guess. I thought she had already moved to Smackdown.
All that being said, I thought Smackdown won the last Superstar Shakeup and that show still ended up being pretty terrible for several months now.
We've got a loaded show this week, featuring the promised #1 contender triple threat, and so it's straight down to brass tacks with one of our promised matches. American Alpha is taking on one more team of former champions in Blake and Murphy.