Friday, November 18, 2016

Weekly Wrasslin' Wroundup (Raw/SD)

Raw and Smackdown have difficult challenges this week,and so do I. How do two shows do go-home stuff for a PPV where all the matches are Raw vs. Smackdown? And how do I recap and predict? Gonna have to go by the card and then talk about what happened leading up to it. And, of course, the predictions themselves are very who gives a shit as a result.

Men's Survivor Series match (Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Braun Strohman vs. AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, Shane McMahon, with James Ellsworth).

On Raw, Reigns and Owens beat Sheamus and Cesaro in a manner not conducive to friendship. And then, at the end, the two teams faced off and brawled. FEEL THE EXCITEMENT. On Smackdown, there's a main event pep talk from The Undertaker, who threatens dire retribution if Smackdown doesn't win.

PREDICTION: Basically, you know they're going to book Survivor Series 50/50 Raw/Smackdown. I'm gonna say Raw wins the big men's match because it's a longer show and because Ellsworth is probably there to cost Smackdown the victory because the WWE still doesn't understand his appeal.

Sami Zayn vs. The Miz, Intercontinental Title

Zayn got a quickie squash on Bo Dallas on Raw. Ziggler and Miz open Smackdown 900 with a strong match that inexplicably ends with Ziggler dropping the belt to The Miz after Maryseference, which is literally what we watched happen for three fucking months before Ziggler won the belt at No Mercy. I kept expecting a swerve or a reversal or something. I even watched Talking Smack.

PREDICTION: What would have been the best match on the card becomes some kind of clusterfuck where The Miz beats Sami Fucking Zayn because the belt's not moving.

TAG TEAMS (The New Day, The Clerb, Enzo & Cass, Shesaro, and the Shining Stars vs. Slyno, American Alpha, Hype Bros, Breezango, and the Usos

FRANCESCA II TURBO! New Day loses to Jericho, Rollins, and Strohman due entirely to Strohman dominance. It included a fun new sequence from the New Day leading into Big E's running splash, and of course, post-match, Jericho eats a Pedigree from Rollins.

In other nws, Enzo, Cass, and The Clerb wrestled Golden Truth and the Shining Stars on Raw for some reason. This is especially awkward since I watched semi-live and this is when I ran out of fast-forward on the DVR. Can't even skip the Golden Truth entrance rap. Meanwhile, somehow Smackdown has nine different tag teams. The non-champions from the Survivor Series team take on Spirit Squad, Ascension, Vaudevillains, and the fucking Headbangers. Jobber teams remain jobbers.

PREDICTION: Gonna give this one to Smackdown as well, probably caused by Clerbshenanigans. Again, mainly to maintain parity, because of my eventual prediction for the Women's match.

Brian Kendrick vs. Kalisto for the Cruiserweigth Championship and ownership of the division

Kendrick tries to inspire the Cruisers and it goes... poorly.  So does his match with Sin Cara, although he does win with the Captain's Hook. But the match is long and dull and helps nobody. Kalisto's match against NXT's Oney Lorcan wasn't much better, but it was much shorter.

PREDICTION: Kalisto wins to take the belt and the division to Smackdown so that it won't seem weird when they air 205 Live on Tuesdays after Smackdown. Plus, the Cruisers aren't doing shit on Raw. Not their fault, just bad booking and apathetic crowds.

WOMEN (Charlotte, Bayley, Nia Jax, Alicia Fox, Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Nikki Bella, Carmella, and Naomi with Natalya)

Tensions as per usual as Charlotte and Sasha manage to defeat Nia Jax and Alicia Fox on Raw. Smackdown gives a feud-continuing match between Nikki and Carmella. Thy have an OK match that's weay longer than it's story can fill, until Charlotte shows up in the crowd with a ticket to watch the show, which leads to her getting attacked by Nikki, which leads to a five on five brawl that makes no sense for someone like Bayley. The SD women run off the Raw women which is very exciting for the three people for whom the inter-brand rivalry matters.

PREDICTION: No way the Raw women don't take this one. I mean, even on kayfabe paper, they have one dud on their team vs. 2.5 on the Smackdown team. Plus Nia Jax is still being booked like a monster.


They borrow the Wall Of Security from last week's NXT for the big face to face between Lesnold and Elderlyberg, the latter of whom needs to make a clear decision about his sleeve length. Heyman talks shit about Goldberg's kid, Goldberg takes out security, Lesnar contemplates entering the ring, but politely declines.

PREDICTION: This is actually a tough one to call. There won't be another match for Goldberg, and the story they're telling really needs him to win for it to make any damn sense, but I can't imagine Lesnar agreeing to lose a second time to an ancient, even more part-time guy than he is. So I'm gonna say Lesnar, because this is the WWE and backstage bullshit trumps narrative cohesion any day of the week.

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