The high-flying combination of Sin Cara and Kalisto remain fodder for the New Day this past week, only this time they saved the defeat for Main Event. The Lucha Dragons might produce exceptional and acrobatic performances, but another loss demonstrates that they are not going to be pushing for tag team gold anytime soon.
The Party stopped a long time ago for Adam Rose, and has shown no signs of restarting any time soon. His latest flop came at the hands of Neville on SmackDown with ease, as the Exotic Express rests stationary with little sign of renewal.
It is not often you witness a former WWE Champion get squashed as soundly as the Miz was in his match with Big Show on RAW. Essentially singling him out as the weak, harmless third wheel in the Intercontinental Championship picture, the loudmouth saw his lungs splattered with an elbow drop in a match that lasted barely two minutes.
As Cesaro so aptly put it in a backstage confrontation on SmackDown, Kevin Owens should change his chant to ‘Walk Owens Walk’. The self-professed prizefighter left his footprints up and down the ramp as he chose the easy way out of his matches this week. On RAW, he teamed with Sheamus and Rusev, who proved unwelcome bedfellows, in a losing effort to John Cena, Cesaro and Randy Orton. He subsequently force Rusev on Thursday in another count out loss, but closed the show by demolishing Cesaro with a powerbomb.
The Lunatic Fringe has found his way into the Roman Reigns-Wyatt Family feud, for better and, as SmackDown showed, worse. At least it beats being left on the sidelines as he was on Battleground, and on RAW Dean Ambrose shot to the forefront by helping his buddy Reigns clear the ring of Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper. But, in a clash with Sheamus, he ended up surrounded by the Wyatts, and was thus leveled by a Brogue Kick.
What a difference a week makes, as top of the previous Power Rankings the Prime Time Players fall way down the pecking order following a shock defeat. In a match with Los Matadores of all possible teams, the Tag Team Champions were distracted by the New Day’s presence on the stage. Titus O’Neil was then dropped on a backstabber, ending their previous winning streak in surprising fashion.
Luke Harper launched himself back into the spotlight at WWE Battleground when he reunited with Bray Wyatt, and this led to a match with the man he screwed over at the event, Roman Reigns. In an excellent, physical confrontation between the two brawlers, the action spilled over into ringside, and a disqualification finish as a result. Then on SmackDown, Harper and Wyatt cost Dean Ambrose his match with Sheamus.
Whilst his pursuit of the crown is seemingly over for good now, R-Truth continues to find success with regards to in-ring victories. The veteran fought Bo Dallas on Main Event this week, and once again flattened the Inspirational One with the Lie Detector.
His Family now back by his side, Bray Wyatt is looking stronger than ever as a force. His feud with Roman Reigns shows no signs of stopping heading into SummerSlam, with Dean Ambrose set to be added to the mix. On RAW, the Eater of Worlds interfered in Luke Harper’s clash with Reigns to cause a disqualification, but both were sent fleeing thanks to the help of Ambrose. But on SmackDown, they turned the tables on Ambrose by causing his loss to Sheamus.
The Bulgarian Brute was a victim this week, but his renewal following injury continues to gather momentum. On RAW, poor communication with his teammates in the main event six-man tag left Rusev alone opposite John Cena, Cesaro and Randy Orton, and he unsurprisingly could not overcome those overwhelming odds. Kevin Owens being one of the partners to walk out on him led to the pair battling on SmackDown. Rusev produced another great performance, and secured a victory, albeit by count out.
The New Day continue to take defeats on the chin and bouncing back, which is a good thing considering how often they’ve been pinned to the mat in recent months. But, they restored some credibility on Main Event with yet another win over the Lucha Dragons, and persisted derailing the Prime Time Players by costing them their match with Los Matadores on RAW.
Roman Reigns was left in the rare position of being a beaten down victim at Battleground in defeat to Bray Wyatt, thanks to the unexpected presence of Luke Harper. So on RAW, he challenged the powerhouse in an extremely physical affair. However, Wyatt’s involvement meant Reigns’ victory was only via disqualification, yet he and Dean Ambrose cleared their deranged rivals from the ring at the conclusion.
The comic book feud looks to be continuing for the foreseeable future, as WWE’s resident ‘superhero’ Neville featured on SmackDown in a rapid triumph over Adam Rose. Nevertheless, it was the following promo by Stardust targeting the Man Gravity Forgot and other heroes of the world that demonstrated this rivalry is far from crashing out of relevance.
I’d imagine Big Show has had more difficult contests with his own shadow than his clash with the Miz on RAW this week. The giant athlete dominated his brash opponent, slamming him repeatedly and finishing him off with a leaping elbow from the second rope. That was followed by a promo plugging his Tough Enough appearance, signaling one of the easiest paychecks Show has ever earned.
Mr. Money in the Bank looked to return to form following his loss to Randy Orton at Battleground in the main event six-man tag on RAW. But, when the going got tough he saw no reason to stick around, as Sheamus floored partner Kevin Owens before walking out of the ring to backstage. But, a win did come on SmackDown, as the Irishman capitalized on assistance from the Wyatt Family to defeat Dean Ambrose.
With the official gang warfare within the Divas division starting at Battleground, the Divas of Tomorrow took the first scalp. And this continued at the outset of RAW, as Charlotte battled Brie Bella once more, only this time in singles action. The second-generation Diva forced Brie to tap out again, cementing their dominance early on. Yet, that momentum was swiftly curtailed later in the evening, as Paige and Becky Lynch suffered disappointment in a tag team bout against Sasha Banks and Naomi.
Los Matadores popped out from nowhere once again and straight into Tag Team Championship contention on RAW this week. The comedic pairing, often viewed by many as the lowest rung on the tag team totem pole, competed in a fine outing against the Prime Time Players. And they scored a shock victory thanks to the distraction of the New Day.
His popularity reaching new peaks on the back of some phenomenal contests, Cesaro is riding a high that shows little sign of dropping heading into SummerSlam. The Swiss Superman teamed with John Cena and Randy Orton to defeat Kevin Owens, Sheamus and Rusev on RAW. Then, after calling out Owens for his tendency to walk out of matches, Cesaro produced another excellent performance against WWE Champion Seth Rollins, but would suffer defeat and a post-match beatdown by an irate Owens.
Team Bella on RAW looked like they were falling flat in the face of the new competition in the Divas division. Brie Bella once again found herself trapped in the Figure-Eight of Charlotte in the night’s opening contest, and tapped out for the second straight night. However, the unit of the Bella Twins demonstrated that they are still the force to be reckoned with among the female wrestlers, beating Naomi and Sasha Banks on SmackDown.
With a win over Sheamus at Battleground under his belt, Randy Orton walked with a swagger into his six-man tag team appearance in RAW’s main event. He teamed with John Cena and Cesaro against his Irish rival, Kevin Owens and Rusev. And, when the Bulgarian Brute was left abandoned by his partners, Orton registered the decisive pinfall with an RKO out of Cesaro’s slingshot.
Team BAD can claim to be the overall victors in the past week of the Divas revolution, as their boastful nature came to the forefront in a couple of solid tag team contests. Naomi and Sasha Banks paired up on both RAW and SmackDown, establishing strong chemistry from the outset. Banks forced Paige to tap out to the Bank Statement on Monday, a strong statement for the NXT Women’s Champion, before Naomi was bested by Nikki Bella in a clash with the Bella Twins on SmackDown.
Still WWE Champion by hook or by crook, Seth Rollins was definitely in a buoyant mood on RAW, and set about demanding the respect of the WWE Universe for ‘surviving’ Brock Lesnar’s onslaught in retaining his title. This drew the ire of US Champion John Cena, who challenged him and led to the Architect’s signature move: running from a fight. Rollins did get into a battle with Cesaro on SmackDown, and thanks to a thumb in the eye and Pedigree, secured a valuable win.
The United States Champion’s reign also persists following his victory over Kevin Owens on Battleground, but his focus this week shifted to a fellow titleholder. John Cena confronted WWE Champion Seth Rollins on RAW, stating he is not a deserving champion for the manner in which he defends it in shady fashion. Cena then teamed with Cesaro and Randy Orton to earn a win in six-man tag team action in the main event against Owens, Sheamus and Rusev.
Predictably, the biggest moments of the week surrounded the Undertaker and his return to gain vengeance over Brock Lesnar. The Deadman has grown wearisome of their constant reminders of the Streak being broken, and his anger has been fueled to the point where the Beast is now in his crosshairs once more. When Paul Heyman came out to the ring to issue a venomous response to the Phenom, he was left at the mercy of the legend. That was until Lesnar charged the ring, leading to one of the most physical and spectacular brawls in wrestling history.
Brock Lesnar might not be the WWE Champion as he merits being following his demolition of Seth Rollins at Battleground. But his hectic appearance on RAW this week propels him to the number one spot, as his feud with the Undertaker heading into SummerSlam captures the imagination of the fans. Using his advocate Paul Heyman as bait, the Beast sprinted to the ring and took down the Phenom. What followed was one of the most captivating brawls ever witnessed in WWE, dragging out security and other wrestlers to break it up. Lesnar’s fury was unparalleled, and cements him as the top performer in WWE right now.
Do you think anyone should be listed differently?