Sunday, July 17, 2016
Weelkly Wrasslin' Wroundup (Jul 11-14)
Big-ass week for the WWE. A big match on Raw, the announcement of general managers, the Draft on the first regular live Smackdown on Tuesday, more Cruiserweight Classic on Wednesday, and Battleground on Sunday.
Surprising nobody, Shane McMahon was put in charge of Smackdown, and Stephanie McMahon was put in charge of Raw, and so they don't actually have to be around every week, they'll be picking General Managers as their on-camera representatives. If Daniel Bryan isn't the Smackdown GM, I will not actually do anything but I will be surprised. No idea who the Raw GM might be.
Raw also gets a one-on-one title match between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, which can't possibly end cleanly or definitively, but it should be a good match.
Darren Young, having been Made Great Again by Bob Backlund, won a battle royal by default and will challenge The Miz for the Intercontinental Title at Battleground in what promises to be a mediocre match.
In other news, Sasha Bayley has been Bayley asked to Bayley pick a mystery Bayley tag partner Bayley for a mach Bayley against Charlotte and Dana at Bayleyground. I have no Bayley idea who her mystery partner will turn out to be.
Oh, man, that was good stuff. We got Nakamura-Balor this week, and as expected, Nakamura won to cement his claim to a title match and Balor put Nakamura over on what's gotta be his main roster callup this week.
Was the match as good as Zayn-Nakamura? No. Was it perfect? No. As much as I love Nakamura, if the story of the match is "Balor is attacking your knees", show some evidence of that when you're using your knees to attack him. And Balor's ridiculous "THAT WASN'T THREE" face made two appearances and they were identical and they were over the top ridiculous even for the loosest definition of professional wrestling.
But other than that, it was hard hitting, full of emotion, some great spots, some great kickouts, just an all-around great match deserving of most of the show.
Of course they taped the CWC at Full Sail - a crowd full of wrestling nerds is who you need for this. The matches were all solid, but you could tell for most of them that these are guys who don't work together regularly. Always nice to see Ariya Daivari. Someday I want to see him wrestle as a face. And win. Didn't get either of those here. Advancing wrestlers include lucha's Gran Metalik, Hong Kong's Ho Ho Lun, Ring of Honor's Cedric Alexander, and Japan's Kota Ibushi. I could see Alexander or Ibushi taking the whole thing, though not against each other because brackets.
Ibushi's just an entire package. High-flyer with strong-style striking and that pure intensity you don't see often enough. Alexander's relatively local, has tons of natural ability, and if WWE could turn Ring of Honor's Tyler Black into Seth Motherfucking Rollins, they could certainly shape Alexander into a star.