Elton's Weekly Wrestling High Spots and Botches: July 5-July 11

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High Spots: Ricochet and John Morrison showed out here once again and did their damndest to impress. They regularly stole the show on Lucha Underground and they made sure to remind everyone that they have it in them to still deliver greatness in the ring. The ending was shit, yes. But it's obviously setting up a rematch for the near future, so at least there’s a silver lining to it all. I’m really digging this whole Mustafa Ali and Mansoor deal. Their match was set up as another teachable moment for the naive Mansoor from the realist in Ali - it looks like Ali is going to push Mansoor further down the path of the dark side and gain a new ally in the process. Color me intrigued then!

Matt Riddle’s wacky demeanor and corny ass promos are annoying as all hell. But the man makes up for it by producing good to great matches on a weekly basis with a nice variety of opponents. He and AJ Styles got into it and ended up providing one of the few in-ring highlights of the evening. But once again, we got a lame finish here so it gets docked a few points for that unfortunate misstep. And for the main event, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods clashed with Bobby Lashley and MVP in a pretty solid tag team encounter. Thanks to Kofi’s winning pin, it’s quite clear that WWE wants us to believe that he may just have a fighting chance at regaining the WWE Championship. I know it’s not gonna happen at Money in the Bank, but kudos to WWE for at least pushing Kofi as a legit threat again.

Botches: Since when did Drew McIntyre become such a history buff? His past stories of Scottish history and him detailing his familial relation to Davy Crockett on this episode were just so...odd. Like, is this meant to get him over in some form or fashion? Can we just get back to him counting down to his use of the Claymore Kick and get away from his penchant for delivering Social Studies lessons? Please and thanks, WWE. Drew’s awkward promo and that whole Miz TV segment did nothing for me, to be honest. Cedric Alexander and R-Truth got shoehorned into Elias and Jaxson Ryker’s atrocious feud during a tag team match that really didn’t need to happen. Elias vs. Jaxson Ryker has already taken home the “win” for Worst Feud of the Year, in my opinion.

The 4v4 women’s tag team match was no good, which is equal parts surprising and unsurprising. Surprising because most of the ladies in there are capable of putting on a great match in their sleep. Unsurprising because of the horrible booking of the more talented ladies in that match and lack of meaningful in-ring action. So Jinder Mahal is back. And he had one of his usual “head to the kitchen to grab a snack” matches against Drew. The meeting of the former 3MB members was hyped up by some fans for some godforsaken reason beforehand - I’m just glad it happened on a random episode of Raw so we never have to see it take up PPV time. Mace and T-Bar continued to flounder as they took an embarrassing L to the Lucha House Party. A woefully short match featuring two teams with no heat behind them combined for another forgettable tag team exhibition from a severely weak division. And finally, Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair continued to produce lame material on the road to their Money in the Bank rematch. How far the mighty have fallen...


High Spots: I know a lot of fans have been turning on MSK as of late, but I still got love for the young hooligans. Sure, they got pushed a bit too hard into winning the NXT Tag Team Championship. And I totally get that they may have been handed everything too fast in that regard. But when they regularly deliver bangers like the one they had on this episode with Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher, how can you really stay mad at ‘em? Fine work from all four men involved. Karrion Kross sucks, so I love it when he gets cooked on the mic with shoot comments that I know get under his skin. “Johnny Wrestling” really told this man he can’t even lace up Candice Larae’s boots, which is facts. So Samoa Joe is going to be the special referee for their NXT Championship match. The only reason I’ll check it out is to see if Kross provokes Joe and forces him to put his overrated ass to sleep.

Cameron Grimes is really one of the top faces in NXT! Yuh love to see it, man. It’s easy to hate a guy like LA Knight, so his win here was the perfect gut-punch that’ll do more to get him even more over as a mega heel. Can’t wait to see all those “Butler Grimes” skits in the coming weeks. So the Breakout Tournament participants got announced - I’m really hyped to see Trey Baxter (Blake Christian) do his thing and (hopefully) walk away from it all as the winner. Man, those NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship belts change hands every two weeks it seems! Io Shirai and Zoey Stark won 'em now and I'm guessing they won’t have ‘em for too long, either. Tegan Nox is back to start a new beef with Candice Lerae, so there’s that I guess. Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly tried to end each other's careers (again), which delighted me as usual. Now both men are tied 1-1 in the win column against each other in NXT, which means another specialty match has to be in order for their eventual tiebreaker.

Botches: Fam! Hit Row makes my skin crawl! They're so cringe, it hurts! That cypher of theirs would have had them catch hell if they delivered it during the BET Hip-Hop Awards. Give me back Killshot from Lucha Underground again! Cause Isaiah Scott and his merry band of horrible rappers/singers are dog shit tier material. And I think I’m over the whole Dexter Lumis/Indi Hartwell lovey-dovey storyline now. It’s gone on too long and just feels needless at this point.

AEW Dynamite

High Spots: AEW Dynamite is on the road again and it feels so good! I got a kick out of this whole 80s vaporwave-themed edition of the show. First things first...TOMMY F’N END IS ALL ELITE! The stiff kicker formerly known as Aleister Black made his shocking debut here by putting Arn Anderson and Cody Rhodes to sleep. Now that he’s running with the name Malakai Black, he’s got a new lease on life and is going to go even darker with his AEW persona. Can’t wait to see what he does next. QT Marshall got the jobber entrance here, which clued me and everyone else in as to who was gonna win that show opening Strap Match. It was better than I thought it would be (that top rope powerbomb spot and Cody’s delivery of three Cross-Rhodes gave it a lotta life). The six-man tag between members of The Pinnacle and The Inner Circle was a fun affair as well - it moved at a nice pace, featured some brutal tag team maneuvers, and gave me some more Jake Hager vs. Wardlow. Got nothing to complain about there.

Jim Ross is better served as a backstage interviewer these days, in my opinion. I’d much rather see and hear him play the host of the sort of segments he was involved in on this episode. Ethan Page and Darby Allin made their violent intentions for each other very clear (they did everything in their power to not mention their time spent in EVOLVE since they both despise Gabe Sapolsky). Shout out to “Queen D.M.D.” for that hot promo of hers, too. Britt Baker dropped that “Blood Money” line and definitely left my jaw on the floor from shock for a few seconds. Ay, count me all the way in for that future FTW Championship match between Brian Cage and Ricky Starks! I don’t wanna see Team Taz break up, but I damn sure wanna see those two come to blows real soon.

Andrade El Idolo had a pretty cool debut that saw him come out in some Black Mask Batman villain-inspired drip. He and Matt Sydal produced a nice showcase that saw Andrade pull off that dope ass Moonsault into a Standing Moonsault maneuver of his. I smell a TNT Championship reign in that man’s bright future! The build to Kenny Omega vs. Adam Page is heating up - I hope this eventual AEW World Championship match builds to them giving us an in-ring classic at All Out. The mixed tag match was a case of “damn...THAT WASN’T HALF BAD!” Kris Statlander landed a sick 450 Splash on The Blade, which was definitely the biggest highlight of the whole deal. I loved the main event, which saw The Young Bucks engage in a heated Street Fight with Penta El Zero M and Eddie Kingston. That Mexican Destroyer into a table spot was insane! Plus the use of the thumbtacks near the closing moments of the match brought everything to a satisfying close.

Botches: Man, I used to be the biggest Tye Dillinger fan. I was all about the “10! 10! 10!” chants back in the day. But now I can’t find it in me to care about anything Shawn Spears is involved in. He and Sami Guevara are gonna get into a match real soon, I guess. I have 0 interest in that whole ordeal, though. So that MMA guy’s whole “AEW SUCKS!” promo was so strange - he was clearly sent out there to get a rise out of the crowd, which he accomplished. But his backhanded compliments of the AEW roster and fans just came off kinda weird. Lance Archer came out there to plant him with his Blackout finisher, so at least it ended on a good note. I don’t think we really needed that segment as a whole, though...

Impact Wrestling

High Spots: It seems like the former Major Brothers will forever be entangled into an unending war (and also deliver a pretty dope weekly podcast about wrestling action figures!). After my boy Jake Something handed Brian Myers an L, Zack Ryder made his return and reignited their feud. I can dig it! Deonna Purrazzo put in a pretty decent effort against Lady Frost (am I trippin’ or did she do a few appearances on AEW Dark at some point?). Gail Kim then arrived to let Purrazzo know that she has a mystery opponent coming her way at Slammiversary - I’m placing my bets on that surprise foe being Kim herself or the returning Chelsea Green.

W. Morrissey didn’t just catch one body - HE CAUGHT THREE! That handicap squash made the already intimidating giant look even more terrifying, which was cool. Violent By Design is gonna have their hands full at Slammiversary, it seems - The Good Brothers, Rich Swann & Willie Mack, and Fallah Bahh & TJP are definitely gonna pull up to them with extra vigor for that lauded championship four-way dance. The Fatal-4 Way between one of the team’s members was pretty good and kept that whole storyline going quite nicely. Kenny Omega vs Sami Callihan for the Impact World Championship at Slammiversary is gonna be heat, I’m telling you! And judging by the rumors of Omega’s accrued injuries, I think it might be the perfect time to relinquish him of the belt and give Callihan a much-deserved second reign with it. Omega ate that Package Piledriver and Powerbomb through a table like a G. But Callihan left the show as the last man standing. YOU GOT THE JUICE NOW, CALI!

Botches: Susan and Kimber Lee vs. Havok and Rosemary was just...there. Don’t really have anything else to offer besides that, honestly.

WWE SmackDown

High Spots: I’m gonna pray for the souls of Shotzi Blackheart, Tegan Nox, and Toni Storm. I’m all for seeing new blood make their way to the main roster and freshen up the scene as a whole. But the recent track record of NXT call-ups causes me to believe that they may be destined for a less than stellar run. Fingers crossed, folks. It took forever for the powers that be to revive the mostly deceased women’s division on the Blue Brand, but better late than never I guess. 

It sucks that Bayley came down with such a debilitating injury just a week before the crowds return - here’s hoping for a speedy recovery, Miss “Ding Dong!” Roman Reigns and The Usos have seemingly put all the squabbling behind them and have united as the strong family unit they were always meant to be. That group hug was simply...beautiful. To the surprise of no one, Seth Rollins and Cesaro had another banger. Even though the end result broke my heart, I still left their match mostly satisfied. Edge and The Mysterios have linked up like Voltron to go to war with the “Tribal Chief’s” army at the end of the show, which was quite the hot closing segment. Count me in for a six-man tag on the next episode!

Botches: Yo, why am I feeling bad for Baron Corbin? Once he got embarrassed during his Money in the Bank cash-in and cut his hair, I lost all hope for him. Then after he became King of the Ring, I stopped caring about him entirely. But the way he’s getting disrespected by “Kingsuke'' Nakamura and his boy Rick Boogs has both guys lookin’ like heels outchea. I really wasn’t all that pressed about Nakamura and Corbin’s match, to be honest. So we’re gettin’ Bianca Belair vs. Carmella next, huh? Whatever...

Random Rumblings Around the Squared Circle

High Spots: You know what really broke my inner wrestling fan during the pandemic? A total lack of brand new Pro Wrestling Guerrilla event highlight vids. Since the Southern California-based indie promotion was forced to go on hiatus, that meant me and plenty of other PWG diehards were left without highlights for the remainder of the pandemic. But good news from the beloved wrestling fed is finally upon us - PWG is making its highly anticipated return to the Globe Theatre on Sunday, August 1 with Mystery Vortex 7. My soul has been repaired and all is now right in the world now that PWG is coming back.

Kudos to Ring of Honor for putting on a hell of a show for its returning live fanbase at Best in the World. It would feel so weird to watch Dalton Castle pull off that extra flamboyant entrance of his without anyone in attendance, so shout out to them for bringing fans back into the fold for that special occasion. The matches themselves were memorable in their own right, especially the hard-fought war between Jay Lethal and Brody King. ROH could really use some of those recent WWE castoffs so they can drum up some more excitement for its future shows and make the ROH brand hot again.

Botches: Yeah, it might be time for WWE to seriously consider sending Jimmy Uso to rehab to get his alcohol issues in check. Once again, the Uso twin got busted for a DUI violation that resulted in him blowing a shocking BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of .205. I seriously worry for the guy and hope he finds a way to confront his alcohol abuse habit before it’s too late...

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