Ring of Honor
I had to give a round of applause to the main event of the week. Kenny King put his Bullet Club silencing run up against Cody with Jay Lethal, King’s future opponent, on commentary. King made several attempts to cause the ejection of Brandi Rhodes by faking as though she interfered with the progress of the match. In the ring, he and Cody never got much of an edge over the other. The slick ways of Kenny would eventually lead to him pulling an Eddie Guerrero with the IWGP US Title followed by the senior ref coming down to clear up what actually happened. King, not one for snitching apparently, took Todd Sinclair and prompted the DQ. He followed that up with a low blow to Cody; Brandi would intervene before he could strike the American Nightmare with the title. What followed was a wild “Move your ass out the way!” and hair grab. All this sent Lethal, who had been stating his dislike for the new Kenny King all the while, on a mad dash to stop King. King would listen long enough for Lethal to turn his back; for that, Jay got the title to the back of his head, and Kenny partied as the show went off the air.
Sasha Banks and her team of Bayley and Natalya tangled with the Riott Squad in a match that was designed to set the table for Survivor Series. That doesn’t bode well for Banks being involved in the elimination match because she did not have much of a role in the match that went for nearly 30 minutes. At the same time, it was a good sign, because Banks didn’t cost them the match either. Matter of fact, the match didn’t have an ending for some weird reason.
Calling his own shot, Apollo Crews set out to make an example of Jinder Mahal. It was his standard reel of moves; nothing too impressive while commentary went on about him being a human highlight. His overhead press into the standing moonsault, which ended the contest, came off a bit awkward. It’s normal for at least one competitor leaving a faction to be elevated. Titus is noticeably absent, and Dana is still jobbing in the women’s division. Naturally, it should be Crews. We shall see.
Anyone who has followed this recap knows that I have been begging for a union between Tamina and Nia Jax for almost a year now. You had to expect something to happen during the rematch between Ember Moon and Jax after Snuka’s run in last week. Moon avoided the traditional break falls to put the hard sell on Jax’s power moves. She was flopping and flailing like your favorite NBA star in between working in her own offense. That made it seem as though Moon would get a win before getting cornered by Tamina. What really happened was even better. After a pop-up Samoan drop to win, Tamina would interrupt the Nia Jax celebration to add another Samoan for good measure. My vision came together with a hug between Jax and Tamina right after a Boston Crab from Snuka and Jax dropped repeated elbows to Moon.
I am still high on the plan for Bobby Lashley. The execution is a bit “meh”, but the WWE has offered something that his Impact persona needed so badly. Taking the mic out of the big man’s hand is a plus. Look no further than the pre-match antics of Lio Rush while Lashley posed for the camera. File that away for the day that Lashley challenges Brock Lesnar and both men have advocates speaking on their behalf. This current Finn Balor feud is a great way to put Finn back in the Universal Title picture given Lashley takes the title off Brock. The heavyweight who came to dominate picked up another win this week following his less than impressive results from Crown Jewel.
The tag team elimination match needs captains, and rather than award it to a team, there should be a match. The two candidates were the New Day and the Usos, and it was filled with the carnage per usual. Big E used his body as a missile on two different occasions taking out the timekeeper area on one particular instance. This was not a match that the Revival would like because there were plenty of flips as well. Kofi Kingston tried to handle both members of the Usos while E took a moment to recover and Xavier Woods watched from ringside. After the win, the Usos extended the hand of fellowship to the trio welcoming them to Team SmackDown.
Naomi gave Mandy Rose something to think about when she dropped Jim’s name in her rant about being left off the Survivor Series team.
In the six-man main event, Ashton Smith was recruited to help Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster find some retribution against the Coffey Brothers and Wolfgang. Smith gets in off the tag, and I noticed he has a distinct height advantage over all the competitors. It was the size of the Coffey Bros and Wolfgang that would be the difference during his moment. He’d spell his partners for a bit before getting back to the corner. Smith would have a couple more spots that included a double suicide dive with Andrews, but he was absent during the final moments of the match.
Being impressive is a blessing and a curse. The Velveteen Dream continues to do good work and is getting an NXT Title opportunity for it. This week, though, he had business with Lars Sullivan that stemmed from a previous confrontation. Dream attempted to take the fight right to Sullivan’s face as soon as the bell rang. It hasn’t worked for anyone before, and it didn’t work for Dream. Sullivan would fall victim to the Death Valley Driver but Tomasso Ciampa came down just before the Purple Rainmaker could be delivered. The Freak Accident that followed put the punctuation on a match that was dominated by Sullivan for the most part. Dream had a postscript for Ciampa that ended with a DDT onto his coveted title.
First, Lio Rush stepped in on a Cedric Alexander training session to heckle the former champ. This exchange set up the dance between the two for the coming week, and because we haven’t seen Rush in a while, they threw him in a squash match for fun. Rush tried to play around with his competition. After getting the sense kicked into him, Lio went ahead and put the finishing touches on the match for goodness sake.
Mixed Match Challenge
This is nothing more than a weekly ad for the WWE Shop at this point. I don’t recall if the show is supposed to benefit any cause like the first season. Bobby Lashley had an opportunity to continue the energy from the night before while also sporting some new Country Dominance tees. Lio Rush took a moment in the match to get Finn Balor’s attention long enough to cause a chase around the ring that almost ended with him catching a double stomp. Meanwhile, on the SmackDown side of things, R-Truth and Carmella challenged Jimmy Uso and Naomi to a rap battle. There were more antics in both matches than actual action, but it’s all for Facebook Live.
The conflict between Moose and Eddie Edwards added a page to its book in NYC. Edwards came out and attacked from the jump, and what ensued was nothing more than two guys tussling in a bar that looked like a ring. I don’t recall much wrestling as I do sheer brawling. There was this a really long exchange of chops that seemed to never end. At some point, Edwards’s wife appeared on the ramp to the ring trying to convince Moose to go easy. Moose would get a victory in this chapter, but I feel like this is going to continue like many of his overdrawn conflicts.