The most popular guys in the building Monday night were Canadians Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, who teamed up with another Canadian in Jinder Mahal. Their opponents this week were Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman, and Roman Reigns. Bobby still popping up with the WWE heavy hitters in some random matches. Considering his partners, Lashley drew the opening dance to set up his partners thus making him seem like the weak link even though he’s not portrayed that way. If nothing else, he was the victims of the heels’ craftiness. It was the most over guys for the win, and another celebration for the good guys. Still better than Impact. The Backlash tag match was more of the same. Don’t let this get stale WWE.
I would like to nominate Bianca Belair to take the tag of Total Package after she clean and jerked Candice LaRae. Damn how much LaRae weighs; BB picked up dead weight from the floor to overhead in a fluid motion. That wasn’t the only power move that she executed because she scooped her opponent up into the torture rack a la the original Total Package before scoring the eventual pinning victory.
The Bar was open for competition and ragging on the New Day was the mission. Sheamus laid down the challenge to the proverbial little guy in Xavier Woods. Rather than put on a show that would set Woods out to be a worthy in-ring performer, they went the route that would lead the three outside competitors being key to the outcome of the match. Xavier seemed to make out like a bandit by the end of the match and not come out looking like he earned a in in a highly contested match.
Tessa Blanchard made a statement announcing her as Impact’s newest Knockout; unfortunately, the punctuation of said statement resided in Kiera Hogan, who was looking to repay Taya Valkyrie for the Redemption match. The match in itself highlighted Hogan mixing it up with a much more physical opponent and holding her own. Now in Impact fashion, we may never see Hogan and Blanchard in any kind of match that counts.
Jonathan Gresham does his trademark change of pace wrestling. Will Ferrara played into it by working Gresham’s arm through a series of wrist locks and such. Of course, that is the set up because Gresham has a few tricks up his sleeve after he’s worked his opponent over. This was the case for Ferrara, who caught the short end of a leverage pin that Gresham really didn’t need being that these guys were similar in stature.
Shane Taylor beat the holy hell out of a Ryan Nova. Hell, his announcement was longer than the match. It’s good to see Taylor again after being off TV for a while.
The Raw Women’s title match set out to sell Alexa Bliss being able to do something that few women have done, and that is methodically take the wheels and air out of Nia Jax. Bliss fought off several attempts a various Samoan drops. I’m sure it was my expectation of Jax keeping the title; I was not at all worried that Bliss would successfully foil the champ regardless of the action she took. Outside of a DQ, there was no way Bliss should have scored a clean win so soon in this feud.
We don’t want to forget about the Authors of Pain with them not being involved in a heated rivalry at the moment. They made short work of some local, not-so-La Résistance looking guys in the slot following the opening match. I quickly forgot they appeared on the show at all.
I am accepting the fact that it is not for us to know the angle they’re pursuing with Sasha Banks and Bayley. I do know that these seeds were planted many moons ago. The tension was more the same this week with Banks taking on Ruby Riott after asking Bayley to bury the hatchet. With no resolution, Banks faced Riott and her squad alone; she held her own for the time but the numbers eventually caused enough of a distraction to earn Banks a Ri0tt kick while she was perched on the top turnbuckle. Three seconds later, and Ruby is the winner.
On the outside of the US title picture, Shelton Benjamin found himself right in the middle of the conversation when he ran in on the MizTV segment finding himself tagging with the Miz to take on Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy. Both teams meshed during the match and didn’t show any animosity that would tip off the ending. Benjamin was this week’s first victim of the RKO and fall guy. There were post match shenanigans but nothing that involved the Gold Standard.
Coast 2 Coast, Shaheem Ali and LSG, were back to get their tag match versus Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas. You’ve seen high flying acts against bruisers, but have you seen it ROH style? Here’s a sample: at one point in the match, Bruiser caught both members of C2C after they attempted separate cross bodies. The high flyers captured the victory when they neutralized the strength
In the comedy relief section, Titus O’Neil aka Titus Worldslide pulled the assist for No Way Jose when “botched” stepping into the ring. That prompted Apollo to help him to his feet as if he was an elderly man. Just throw the whole segment away.
I could have sworn that this was supposed to be the year of the Street Profits. I suppose not because they’re still getting booked in hokey matches month to month. This week was nothing different with them losing to TM-61 on a dirty pin.