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Elton's Weekly Wrestling High Spots and Botches: May 31-June 6

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AEW

WWE Raw

High Spots: Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston’s Power Rangers-inspired attire was too fly, wasn’t it? Them boys forever come out with the most memorable gear and I can’t wait to see what they pull out at Hell in a Cell. Oh, and before I forget! Shout out to Woods and Randy Orton for putting on a pretty solid matchup. Orton used one of Riddle’s signature moves to beat him, so their union has finally been solidified! My girl Nikki Cross caught another shocking W (and this time, it was over Charlotte Flair!). The way it was done was pretty lame, but it’s a victory nonetheless.

I love the duo of AJ Styles and Omos for some reason. Their odd-couple act is one of the few things I enjoy on Raw, so I got a kick out of watching them put Elias and Jaxson Ryker in the dirt. The prospect of seeing such a positive influence in Mansoor get corrupted by the dark moodiness of Mustafa Ali intrigues me greatly. And this episode’s main event between Drew McIntyre and Kofi Kingson was as good as I expected it to be (the end result made me yawn for an audibly long time, though).

Botches: Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley...AGAIN? C’mon bruh. I’ve lost count of how many times these two have gone at it and simply can’t find the energy to care about it anymore. Kofi Kingston should’ve gotten the W and gotten another chance to butt heads with “The Almighty.” I can’t take another minute of Alexa Bliss’s supernatural act - the less I see of it, the better. At least her pyrotechnic hijinks brought that horrid “match” between Shayna Baszler and Reginald to an end. It was nice seeing the Lucha House party pop up again. Too bad they got bodied so fast by Mace & T-Bar. 

Sheamus vs. Ricochet is the type of match that could be amazing with 15+ minutes attached to it. But on this episode, it was barely anything but an all too short segment that didn’t matter that much at all. It led right into another match between Sheamus and Humberto Carillo, but that was also kinda meh. The women’s tag team scene is a wasteland of nothing but missed opportunities and lackluster duos, so I’m completely over it at this point (Naomi will forever be one of my faves, though). Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander are still feuding, which is another thing I’ve lost all interest in. And I’m definitely not checking for the impending arrival of Eva Marie’s “Eva-Lution.” They really let The IIconics go so they could make space for Eva “I can’t land a Sliced Bread No. 2 correctly” Marie? You hate to see it...

NXT

High Spots: Adam Cole ain’t have to do Karrion Kross like that! I’m glad he did, though. Man’s really came out there and successfully “ethered” him with a promo that was filled with nothing but straight facts. Cole needs a “They Ring the Bell” shirt ASAP! I got a kick out of watching Johnny Gargano, Kyle O'Reilly, and Pete Dunne murdering each other for close to 20 minutes. We got a no contest thanks to a furious Cole running in to end the fun, but it led to a five-man war for the NXT Championship being booked at this year’s NXT TakeOver: In Your House. So yeah, that ultimately worked for me.

LA Knight had his best match in NXT thus far thanks to a strong showing against Jake Atlas. Carmelo Hayes (the man formerly known as Christian Casanova) looked pretty solid in his debut match against Kushida, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing what he produces in future NXT performances. MSK and Legado del Fantasma went out there to send the show out on a high note, which should come as no surprise. Them boys know how to keep a rapid-fire pace going and make sure no one’s capable of following whatever they just did in the ring.

Botches: I gotta admit - the main blemish on this show was The Way’s squash match. It was just there, to be honest. Xia Li doesn’t really do anything for me either, so her promo was a definite “go see what’s in the fridge” break time moment.

Impact Wrestling

High Spots: Josh Alexander and TJP made sure to remind everyone that they represent the very best Impact Wrestling’s X-Division has to offer with their 60-minute Iron Man Match. Them boys went in there and managed to keep a great pace from start to finish. Kinda weird how most of their endurance test was put up on YouTube while the last 10 minutes kicked off the show, though. Anyways, it was nice to see Jake Something get a W for once. And he managed to get one from a Tables Match to boot. Hope he continues to stay on the winning side of things for the next couple of weeks, at least. W. Morrissey’s beatdown of Rich Swann did an excellent job of making him look even more menacing than ever before, which has me interested in what’s planned for him at Against All Odds. The women’s tag team match was pretty solid, so kudos to the four ladies that competed in that one.

Sami Callihan and Moose put on a heated main event that entertained and led right into Kenny Omega finding out that Sami’s potentially getting added to his title match at the next PPV. Even though Tony Khan is coming back next week to figure out this whole Three-Way title situation, I hope it’s all a ruse that makes sure Sami keeps his spot. And shout out to my guy Satoshi Kojima - the dude really maintained his ability to compete at a respectable level all these years later. When he and Joe Doering meet at Against All Odds, I’m expecting to see a beefy brute war Puroresu fans (including me) have become accustomed to.

Botches: So that big tease of a new wrestler coming in was for...the man formerly known as Steve Cutler? I’ma keep it real with you, Chief - don’t nobody care about all that.

WWE SmackDown

High Spots: I’m sure you guys knew this already, but Roman Reigns is untouchable on the mic these days. I usually hate talking segments opening up any wrestling show, but I have no issue with it when the “Tribal Chief” is doing it. The Usos and Rey & Dominik Mysterio’s two-match series produced some decent little sprints. You gotta feel for The Usos though, man - Roman really made them feel lower than dirt when he dropped that line about them just taking an L to a child. Roman recovered for his family's bloodline by beating the ever-loving ish out of the Mysterio’s to close the show, which was pretty satisfying.

The tag team wasteland on SmackDown is pretty depressing, but I’m not all that mad at watching the Street Profits come to blouse with the Alpha Academy...again. And finally, I enjoyed the Intercontinental Championship match between Apollo Crews and Kevin Owens. I gotta hand it to SmackDown for providing a pretty interesting set of players for the IC title scene these days. I’m expecting a call-up from NXT soon that’ll add a fresh element to that whole midcard championship ordeal.

Botches: I never thought I’d say this but...I think I’m arctic cold on that Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro feud. I watched his promo and was completely disinterested in everything that was being said. Which is crazy to say because I loved their WrestleMania 37 match. I guess the ending from WrestleMania Backlash and the dry promos from Seth have dulled my interest in the whole matter.

Carmella and Liv Morgan put on a bathroom break match that reminded me just how dire the women’s division is on the Blue Brand. This beef over a gimmicky crown between Shinsuke Nakamura and King Corbin is a monumental waste of time. And I wasn’t the biggest fan of the announcement of yet another match between Bianca Belair and Bayley (especially with that nightmare fuel moment where Bayley’s face took over every screen in the ThunderDome.

AEW Dynamite

High Spots: That opening tag team match was the perfect way to kick things off. You can always rely on The Young Bucks, Penta El Zero M, and PAC to get the crowd excited at the start of any show. ANDRADE IS ALL ELITE! My jaw dropped when he walked out in that drip-approved green suit and made his intentions known. Just think of the matchup possibilities - Andrade vs. Kenny Omega, Rey Fenix, PAC, Adam Page, etc. I can’t wait to see what the man formerly known as La Sombra can do in AEW. It would have been nice to have seen Anthony Ogogo KO Cody Rhodes back at Double or Nothing, but at least he got to do it on this episode to get some of his heat back.

I wonder who Darby Allin is going to choose as his partner for his next encounter with Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page. Is another surprise signing in the works for that particular feud? Hope so. Christian Cage and Jungle Boy got a W together, which was cool to see (shout out to Private Party for mocking “Double C” with him and his partner’s old 5-Second Pose). Red Velvet looked pretty good out there in her match with The Bunny (that middle rope dive almost looked like it broke Red’s neck, though...BIG YIKES!). It looks like The Inner Circle is going to split off into singles and tag matches against The Pinnacle now - count me all the way in for the first-ever in-ring meeting between Santana & Ortiz and FTR. As for Miro’s recent promo work? It’s awesome...that is all. The same goes for the new Women’s Champion, Britt Baker. You can’t go wrong with the notorious “D.M.D.” and flying cheeseburgers.

Botches: That main event did nothing for me. Plus the end result made little to no sense to me. So Dustin Rhodes gets powerbombed through a table and still kicks out at two? Fam...that’s not it. The match was a snoozefest, plus the wrong man won. I love Jake Hager and Wardlow’s ongoing beef, but I’m not sure if an MMA Cage Match is the best route to go for their next meeting.

Random Rumblings Around the Squared Circle

High Spots: All these announcements of wrestling shows that will take place in front of a live crowd definitely uplifted my mood a bit. WWE SummerSlam is going down in the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Impact Wrestling Slammiversary will be emanating from Nashville with limited fans, and the same goes for ROH Best in the World (which will be taking place in Baltimore). It’s going to be a while before live events as a whole get back to full capacity - in the meantime, I’m happy to see the sport I love so much get back on the road to get the ball rolling on that endeavor.

Botches: Yo is WWE getting sold to another company or something? ‘Cause the names they released last week have me thinking they’re trying to save as much money as they can before a huge buyer comes in to obtain them. The fact that WWE got rid of Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, Murphy, and Ruby Riott is just wild to me. WWE’s ineptitude when it came to properly handling these talents or not striking while the iron was hot is seriously upsetting. Imagine - Strowman was in a WWE Championship match not too long ago and Black showed up a week prior to kickoff a new feud with Big E. And now they both got their walking papers. Le sigh...

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