It is hard not to feel sorry for the New Day this past week, especially Kofi Kingston. On RAW, they participated in an eight-man tag alongside Bo Dallas, and fell to yet another defeat to the Prime Time Players and Lucha Dragons. But that was nothing compared to the ordeal of Beast in the East, as Kingston was the lamb selected to be fed to Brock Lesnar. The Beast demolished the Ghanaian, and saved a pair of F5’s for Big E and Xavier Woods after the match.
The World’s Strongest Man has been unable to utilize his immense strength to earn victories in recent weeks. This continued on both RAW and SmackDown, as Mark Henry waded into the Intercontinental Championship picture, and came up empty. Big Show floored the Texan on Monday, and then Henry proved a significant meal for Big Hungry, Ryback.
With Naomi left in America for a SmackDown taping, Tamina Snuka had an opportunity to place herself in the spotlight as WWE toured Asia. The daughter of Jimmy Snuka challenged for the Divas Championship in a triple threat against Nikki Bella and Paige. Unfortunately, Tamina was the unlucky participant, enduring the pinfall which allowed Nikki to retain.
Whilst Neville has made an extremely positive impact in his opening months of his WWE career, this was one of the least successful weeks of that run. In a battle of the British Isles, the Man Gravity Forgot was sent crashing to the mat courtesy of a Sheamus Brogue Kick. Then, in a dream encounter with the veteran Chris Jericho, Neville could not break free of the legend’s Lion Tamer submission.
Dean Ambrose’s bromance with Roman Reigns was at the forefront of this week’s shows, as he teamed with his former Shield brother against Seth Rollins and Kane on RAW. This would end in defeat due to the presence of Bray Wyatt, and the Lunatic Fringe would renew their rivalry on SmackDown. But, once again this encounter would result in a loss.
The King of the Ring was likely thankful to avoid the pretender R-Truth over this past week, and it appeared to benefit his in-ring record, as he earned a victory against Jack Swagger on RAW. King Barrett then traveled to the Far East on tour, and featured in a main event tag with Kane opposite John Cena and Dolph Ziggler. This would end in a familiar manner to much of this past month, with a loss for the royal Brit.
Kevin Owens has very rarely dropped to the lower end of these rankings, due to the emphatic impact he has made on the WWE Universe. And when he interfered in John Cena’s US title defense against Cesaro, his presence was strongly apparent again. However, his luggage became significantly lighter following Beast in the East, as in a clash with Finn Balor, Owens relinquished his grip of the NXT Championship.
His tension with Bray Wyatt still very much in the back of his mind, Roman Reigns had to turn his thoughts to Seth Rollins over the course of this week. He teamed with Dean Ambrose to battle Rollins and Kane on RAW, but the Eater of World’s interference resulted in a loss. And on SmackDown, even more interference overshadowed his singles encounter with the WWE Champion, though it did mean Reigns won by disqualification and demolished Joey Mercury.
The Corporate Demon was celebrated for his loyalty to WWE and the Authority by Seth Rollins, and showered with gifts and a Hawaiian vacation. This led to a tag team main event, where Kane and Rollins bested Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, thanks in no small part to Bray Wyatt’s appearance. But another tandem battle in Tokyo was not as successful, as Kane teamed with King Barrett in a losing effort to John Cena and Dolph Ziggler.
Still carrying himself as the true King of WWE following his recent success against King of the Ring Barrett, R-Truth faced off against Adam Rose on SmackDown. And his winning run continued in this contest, derailing the Exotic Express with the Lie Detector.
The Lucha Dragons have continued to fly under the radar following the immense success of their debut, but were brought out to compete in an eight-man tag on RAW. Paired with the Tag Team Champions, the Prime Time Players, they battled The New Day and Bo Dallas. Their high-flying exploits assisted their team in earning a solid victory.
Since Tyson Kidd’s serious injury, Cesaro’s momentum has been stalled in WWE. But, the Swiss Superman certainly returned to his best on RAW, as he challenged John Cena in his Open Challenge for the United States Championship. A former champ himself, Cesaro’s exceptional performance came within a whisker of capturing the belt again. But Kevin Owens stepped into the fray, meaning his win was only through disqualification.
The Show-Off made his relationship with the Ravishing Russian Lana official on RAW, and drew the ire of the currently injured Rusev and Summer Rae in the process. It was probably then a relief to escape relationship drama for a trip to Asia, where he competed in the main event of Beast in the East. Teaming with John Cena, Dolph Ziggler triumphed over the combination of Kane and King Barrett.
Big Show continued to have Intercontinental Champion Ryback in his crosshairs, and looked to prove he could outdo the Big Guy in the ring. The Giant fought with another behemoth in the form of Mark Henry, and sent him crashing to the mat with a Knockout Punch. Show then had to contend with a charging Ryback following the bout, but escaped due to the Miz’s sneak attack.
The Brit maintained her one-woman crusade against the Bella Empire, but could not wrench to crown jewel away from Nikki Bella. Paige returned to RAW after a week’s absence to defeat Alicia Fox, in spite of the Bella Twins stalking around ringside. This led into a title match in Tokyo, with the Anti-Diva part of a triple threat against Nikki and Tamina Snuka. Nevertheless, Paige was left looking on from the outside as the Bella dominance continued with a pin on Tamina.
The host of Tough Enough and iconic performer Chris Jericho made a rare return for WWE’s tour of the Far East. Y2J’s encounters were highly acclaimed, and concluded at Beast in the East with a dream encounter opposite Neville. The mix of styles produced an excellent spectacle, and the veteran Jericho was able to provide the right counters and force his young opponent to tap out.
The current Money in the Bank holder did not have the most active of weeks, but has avoided the fall that often accompanies a winner of the briefcase. Sheamus’ run of victories continued on RAW, as in a clash of Ireland vs England he dispatched of Neville.
The United States Champion restarted his Open Challenge on the latest edition of RAW, with his nemesis Kevin Owens looking on from commentary. His opponent was Cesaro, and the pair produced an exceptional contest that put John Cena’s reign in serious jeopardy. Owens interfered which meant Cena’s defeat was only by disqualification, and he thus walked into the Far East with the belt. He and Dolph Ziggler were triumphant in Tokyo against Kane and King Barrett.
The WWE Champion was in buoyant mood on RAW and SmackDown this past week, with Brock Lesnar absent due to his commitments in Japan. Seth Rollins celebrated his reinvigorated alliance with his Authority cohorts with gifts, and capped it off on Monday night with a tag team win with Kane over Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. Then on SmackDown, Rollins would suffer defeat to Reigns by DQ following J&J’s assault, and managed to escape before Ambrose earned a measure of vengeance.
The Conqueror had an opportunity to release some pressure in the Far East following the embarrassment of being squashed by the Authority last week. Brock Lesnar would participate in his first live tour match since his original WWE run when he battled Kofi Kingston. Yet this was little more than a squash, as Lesnar threw the New Day member all around the ring in this conquest, and provided an F5 for the entire faction after the bout.
The Tag Team Champions have rode the wave of winning the titles for a long time, and this showed no signs of slowing in their latest performances. On RAW, the Prime Time Players combined their forces with Lucha Dragons to overcome the New Day and Bo Dallas in an eight-man tag. A more traditional tag contest took place on SmackDown with the Ascension, and another win was secured in style.
The Intercontinental Champion was in an aggressive mood on RAW, charging the ring to take down Big Show after the Giant’s beating the previous show. This was interrupted by the Miz, leading to a match between him and Ryback, which had the A-List star running up the stage to win via count out. The Big Guy then had to overcome a huge obstacle on SmackDown, but was more than a match for Mark Henry, with a Shell Shock achieving the win.
The Eater of Worlds has targeted Roman Reigns due to his hogging of the spotlight, and has designs on eliminating the former Shield member. Bray Wyatt entered the fray in the main event of RAW, with his attack on Reigns playing a significant role in his and Dean Ambrose’s tag loss against Seth Rollins and Kane. A Sister Abigail was the lasting impression left from Monday night, and on SmackDown Wyatt sent out a warning with a strong win over Ambrose.
The Bella Twins have not seem concerned with the intentions of Paige to break their stranglehold on the Divas Division, and it certainly hasn’t thrown them off their stride. On SmackDown, Brie Bella took advantage of the support of Alicia Fox at ringside to beat Naomi with relative ease. But the real challenge for the sisters came at Beast in the East, with Nikki Bella having to defend her long-held Divas Championship against both Paige and Tamina Snuka. Despite the stiff competition, Nikki’s extensive reign continued after pinning Tamina.
In spite of the drawing power of John Cena, Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar on the card, the biggest part of Beast in the East for many was the clash over the NXT Championship. Finn Balor, still yet to debut on the main roster, went all out with his entrance and body paint as he returned to his second home in Tokyo to challenge Kevin Owens for the belt. And following a long, physical and captivating affair with many close calls, Balor ascended to the top of NXT with a second Coup de Grace, pinning Owens and earning his first title in WWE.
Do you think anyone should be listed differently?