If this rankings was a popularity contest, it is unlikely Paige would even make it onto them. In her bid to derail the domination of the Bella Twins over the Divas division, she tried to rally the other women to her cause, only to be met with firm rejection. On RAW, the Brit was left alone in a handicap match against both Bella Twins, and was left beaten by the numbers game. And on SmackDown against Brie, interference from Alicia Fox sent Paige hurtling to defeat, and demonstrated the Bella Empire is alive and well.
With the tag team division now headed by new champions, this is the perfect opportunity for the other tandems to step up into the challenge. One of these, the Ascension, took the chance to battle the champs themselves on Main Event. However, the Prime Time Players are riding a high at the moment, and Konnor & Viktor ended up heading back to the Wasteland in defeat.
Another stable that is not too fond of the Prime Time Players as Tag Team Champions, the New Day attempted to channel their frustration into some victories this week. But, this was not the case, as a six-man tag against the new champs and Neville in tow on RAW resulted in a loss. Then on SmackDown, with Xavier Woods alone opposite the Man that Gravity Forgot, he couldn’t keep him grounded and plummeted to defeat.
Adam Rose might have a hot girl on his arm, but without wins to back himself up he is unlikely to have a championship ever adorning his other arm. He at least was able to get close to a belt on Main Event when he competed against the Intercontinental Champion Ryback. But, the power of the Big Guy did not have to flex too hard to wreck the Exotic Express.
The positivity that radiates out of Bo Dallas has not been able to rectify his lengthy losing streak, and that continued on SmackDown. He came out to face Dolph Ziggler with the aim of showing Lana that Dallas was the real man out of the two. However, all that this match illustrated is that no matter how much he Bolieves that fact, he falls way short of Ziggler’s level.
Many people argue that Roman Reigns should have walked into this week’s shows with the Money in the Bank briefcase. So, his focus was fixed onto the man that cost him that accolade, Bray Wyatt. Yet it seems Wyatt will not play second fiddle to Reigns, and made his head games work to full effect on SmackDown. With some veiled threats against his daughter, Reigns was caught off-guard in a tag team match, being kicked and pinned by Sheamus.
Another who missed out on the coveted briefcase last Sunday night has pinpointed his attacks on the winner of the match itself, as Randy Orton still has a bone to pick with Sheamus. On RAW, they traded blows as Orton’s distraction allowed Dean Ambrose to overcome the Irishman. But, thanks to some cheap tactics by both Kane and Sheamus, Orton was Brogue Kicked and beaten by the Corporate Demon later in the night.
It has been a humbling few weeks for the royalty of WWE, as King Barrett’s encounters with the pretender jester R-Truth have left him frothing at the mouth. On RAW, despite surprising Truth in street clothes, Barrett still fell to defeat, and embarrassment no matter how badly he beat his rival following the loss. Fortunately, he was able to curtail this rut on Main Event by squashing former Nexus and Corre teammate Heath Slater.
The Giant has not lost his vigor for the Intercontinental Championship after having his chance at the gold taken away from him by the Miz’s sneaky interference. With Ryback watching on from commentary, Big Show took out his frustrations on the loudmouth superstar in a match on RAW. Yet, he was distracted by a heated exchange with the Big Guy following an unnecessary exchange, and was therefore counted out.
The recent injury to Tyson Kidd has left Cesaro somewhat in the wilderness, but he stepped out of the shadows with intent on SmackDown. The Swiss Superman stepped into the ring with NXT Champion Kevin Owens, and the two former ROH veterans produced a fantastic contest for the blue show. However, Cesaro would be the one that fell short, but he definitely reaffirmed his place on the roster with Authority.
Bray Wyatt made one of his unscheduled arrivals at Money in the Bank to cost Roman Reigns the briefcase. His motives were simple: it was merely revenge for being kept out of that crucial contest by Reigns on a previous edition of RAW. But, layered into that was personal resentment, and thinly veiled attack on his target’s family life and daughter. These mind games continued on SmackDown, as Wyatt’s presence cost Reigns in the tag team main event.
Dolph Ziggler is always one who looks to stand out and show off when given the opportunity. So when NXT Champion Kevin Owens issued an open challenge on RAW, Ziggler was eager to accept. Producing one of his traditionally exceptional performances, the Show Off could not overcome the momentum and power of Owens. However, his results improved on SmackDown, as an encounter with Bo Dallas gifted Ziggler a victory.
The overwhelming concentration and focus on the angle between the Bella Twins and Paige has seen a number of Divas relegated to the sidelines. Fortunately for Naomi, at least she was able to get herself a win out of this scenario. She was paired against Summer Rae on Main Event, and dominated the bout for the most part to come out on top at the conclusion.
R-Truth continues to pursue the King of the Ring crown, but considering the negative effect it has had on his rival King Barrett that seems to be a fool’s errand. Nevertheless, this chase continues to reap its rewards, as Truth once again shocked the Brit with a victory on RAW. Whilst he paid the price for this upset with a post-match beating, it is clear that this pretender has the number of WWE’s royalty.
The Intercontinental Champion did not retain his title in the manner which he would have liked, but maintaining the belt that is all important. Ryback sat back on commentary for a contest between Big Show and Miz, but was soon standing toe-to-toe with the Giant when he tossed Miz onto the Big Guy’s lap. Ryback then was in action himself on Main Event, steam-rolling Adam Rose with little difficulty.
After falling agonizingly without the WWE Championship on his arm, Dean Ambrose was not willing to sit at the back of the line for another shot at Seth Rollins. However, on RAW he had to settle for a match with Sheamus, which he won thanks to an assist from Randy Orton. Things would take a turn for a worse though on SmackDown, as Ambrose first was disqualified after being shoved into a handicap match against Sheamus and Kane. Then later in the evening, a tag team battle alongside Roman Reigns opposite these opponents, it resulted in another loss.
To the victor go the spoils, and WWE Champion Seth Rollins was in an extremely celebratory mood on RAW and reveling in his successful performance. After escaping an irate Dean Ambrose in the opening segment, Rollins did his usual shtick of winding everyone up the wrong way whilst he awaited his next challenger to be named. Although, when Triple H and Stephanie McMahon announced Brock Lesnar as his next opponent, Rollins clammed up quickly, escaping to the back.
The Miz made his loud presence felt at Money in the Bank in the Intercontinental Championship match by assaulting both Ryback and Big Show to cause a disqualification. This led to a battle with the Giant that seemed like a complete mismatch. Yet when the A-List star found himself tossed into the lap of Ryback on commentary, the two huge athletes confronted each other, allowing Miz to take an easy count out win.
The Money in the Bank briefcase is worth its weight in gold, and finds itself mixed with the green of the Celtic Warrior. Sheamus walked out with a smirk on his face on RAW, but that was quickly wiped off thanks to the presence of Randy Orton, which cost the Irishman his match with Dean Ambrose. Sheamus returned the favor later in the night, kicking the Viper’s fangs down his throat with a Brogue Kick to hand Kane a victory over him. More success came on SmackDown, as Sheamus loaded that boot into the face of Roman Reigns to pin him to the mat.
Whilst he is lacking a bit of creative direction at the moment, there is no doubting Neville’s wins and outstanding performances. This week the New Day were in his crosshairs, and alongside the Prime Time Players on RAW, he pulled out another victory. Leading into SmackDown, Neville was placed against Xavier Woods from the clapping trio, and saved a Red Arrow that flattened his former NXT cohort.
With gold circling the waists of Darren Young and Titus O’Neil for the very first time in their careers, the Prime Time Players seem finally worth the millions of dollars they claim. They followed up their Tag Team Championship victory with a win on RAW in a six-man tag, as they with Neville overcame the New Day. They moved onto Main Event to show themselves as the top dogs by defeating the Ascension, and then they were watching Neville’s back from the crafty New Day as the Brit beat Xavier Woods.
Whenever Brock Lesnar makes his return to an episode of RAW, he immediately pushes himself into a focal point of the main event scene. The Beast Incarnate, with Paul Heyman in tow, hadn’t been seen since his suspension kicked in the night after WrestleMania. Now he is back in full force, and thanks to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, is already in line to get his hands on Seth Rollins and recapture the WWE Championship that was stolen from him at WrestleMania.
Although he might be approaching the twilight of his wrestling career, Kane’s position as Director of Operations is beneficial to make the best of his final years. He made his match with Randy Orton no disqualification, allowing Sheamus to enter and Brogue Kick the Viper, handing Kane the simplest of victories. Then on SmackDown, he initially intended a handicap match alongside Sheamus against Dean Ambrose, but even with Roman Reigns evening the odds Kane still came out a winner.
Paige might be right that the Bella Twins rule over the Divas division, but that doesn’t seem to be bothering the rest of the women in WWE. Nikki and Brie didn’t seem in any way threatened by the Brit’s rallying cry, and proved their dominance by decimating Paige in a handicap match on RAW. It was a more even standing on SmackDown as Brie challenged the Anti-Diva alone, but she wasn’t unaided for long, as Alicia Fox assaulted Paige to give Brie the win, and add more power to the Bella Empire.
If you are watching anything on WWE television at the moment, from RAW and SmackDown to NXT, you are likely looking forward to whatever Kevin Owens is doing on the show. It is always spectacular and it always turns heads. On RAW his open challenge was answered by Dolph Ziggler, and Owens flattened the Show-Off. But his night wasn’t over, as he performed an unwarranted (but very well-received) assault on rapper MGK. Then in a classic encounter on SmackDown, Owens pulled out another victory against fellow ROH alumni Cesaro, and showed the world why he is the most exciting performer in wrestling today.
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