There's something weirdly... special about episodes of Raw the WWE knows nobody is going to watch. The holiday (and Japan tour) is clearly why Raw opened with a badly miked, clumsily staged Fourth of July food fight, and why it ended with a properly miked, but just as clumsily staged 16 man elimination tag match between Americans (mix of faces and heels) and Foreigners (even more volatile mix of faces and heels).
Also this week, Xavier Woods' unease with the idea of fucking with The Wyatts finally took hold, as he expressed his issues with his teammates and walked off. I hope they're not deciding to break up The New Day a year and a half into their run and a year, really, into their proper run, but that's the kind of thing WWE likes to do.
Otherwise, things tick along without much happening. Dudes wrestle. Oh, Enzo and Cass are now teamed with John Cena against The Clerb officially at Battleground, which is fine. This once, it'll elevate Enzo and Cass even more, and we all know it won't go beyond that to the point where our boys are hurt by their association with The Hated Cena.
Anyway, clearly The Draft has put everything else in cruise control, but at least there's a lot of entertaining work going on in the shows, with lots of talented people in key spots. And no Roman.
American Alpha lost in a great 2/3 falls match to The Revival on this week's NXT, which leads me to possibly being unsurprised when Alpha ends up drafted to the main roster. I hope they get better music and a slightly more dynamic finisher in the process, because those are really the only two missing pieces of the puzzle to me.
Bayley beat Alexa Bliss and will be moving on to a rematch with Nia Jax as she chases Asuka and the title. On a related note, the tweaks to move names, additions to the moveset, and general overal improvement have taken Alexa Bliss from very good to great, so I suspect she'll be part of the next big wave of title contenders in NXT.
Next week is the big Balor-Nakamura match, which should be a treat. They're also advertising the return of Samoa Joe next week, which means he'll definitely be staring down the winner (cough Shinsuke cough) after the match.
The CwCj doesn't start until next week, but they ran a special this week introducing some of the competitors and running down some of the brackets. They seem pretty high on the characters and/or personal stories of Jack Gallagher and TJ Perkins, the fame of Kota Ibushi, and hit up the diversity angle big-time. They also spent some time on current and former WWE talent - Tajiri, Brian Kendrick, and the first round match between NXT tag team Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. Looking forward to this.
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