For those of you who are new to my columns, my prediction pieces include my straight up picks, but they also include my “fantasy booking” and what I would have happen if I was in charge of things. Sometimes those two things match up, and other times, they’re wildly different. The rest of you already know what you’re in for. There’s a lot to talk about, with two shows happening this weekend, so let’s not waste any more time. We’ll start with Saturday night’s SummerSlam, followed by Sunday night’s NXT Takeover 36.
Drew McIntyre vs Jinder Mahal
To say this match has received a poor build would be an understatement. It probably wouldn’t have been very difficult to do something better. Say whatever you want about these two, but they have very similar stories within WWE. They’re both former members of 3MB, struggling as comedy jobbers, and were then released from their contracts in 2014. They would return to WWE within eight months of each other, with Jinder showing up on Raw in August 2016 and Drew appearing at NXT Takeover: Orlando in April 2017. On May 21st, 2017, Jinder would shock the world by defeating Randy Orton to win the WWE Title. Jinder was still the WWE Champion three months later, on August 19th, when McIntyre defeated Bobby Roode at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 3 to become the new NXT Champion. Drew, of course, would eventually go on to win the WWE Title on two occasions. So many parallels.
Nah, fuck that. Let’s have them feud over a motorcycle and a sword.
There is damn near no desire within me to watch this match. I hope this is the end, and I think it will be. Most people feel McIntyre is Smackdown bound in the upcoming WWE Draft, in an effort to keep him as a main eventer but away from Bobby Lashley. Let’s get him some wins and make him look as good as we can for that move.
What Will Happen: Drew McIntyre Wins
What Should Happen: Drew McIntyre Wins
Alexa Bliss vs Eva Marie
I do not give one one single fuck about any of this.
What Will Happen: Some bullshit
What Should Happen: Eva Marie is released from the company. Doudrop goes back to being Piper Niven. Alexa Bliss goes back to who she was before she ever crossed paths with Bray Wyatt. WWE stops using the cinematic horsefuckery.
The Usos vs Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio – Smackdown Tag Team Title Match
We are family! Twin brothers having a match against a father and son duo. That’s still crazy to me.
I don’t really know how I feel about this match. On one hand, there’s a ton of chemistry on both sides, but on the other hand, Dom has had some iffy moments in the ring during the feud. I continue to stand by my opinion that Dominik should’ve gone away for some extensive training after his initial feud with Seth Rollins, but here we are.
The Draft looming on the horizon makes these types of predictions slightly more difficult. Normally, you could say “The Usos should win and go on to feud with Insert Team Here” and that would be fine, but those teams might not be on the same show for much longer. Right now, I just think there’s more mileage in an Usos reign continuing on. With WWE immediately deciding that it was more important to keep the Roman Reigns storyline strong on television than to punish Jimmy Uso for his legal troubles, it left the door open for Jimmy and Jey to get some more shine.
What Will Happen: The Usos Win
What Should Happen: The Usos Win
Sheamus vs Damian Priest – United States Title Match
Can Shay-moose continue his hot streak of having very good match after very good match? He continues to be motivated, and now, he has an opponent that is motivated by having one of the biggest matches of his career here. I have a good feeling about this match being a good’n.
I’ve seen two sides of the fence when it comes to predicting this match. You have the folks who are 100% sure that Damian Priest is walking out of SummerSlam as the new United States Champion. However, you also have those who feel Priest is going to be the one to dethrone Sheamus, but that it won’t be happening here. One way or another, it looks like Priest is going to be the guy. Being chosen as the guy to team with Bad Bunny at WrestleMania was the first sign that he was going to be a big deal. WWE wouldn’t put their mainstream celebrity, bringing all that publicity in, with someone who wouldn’t be capable of handling the pressure and helping Bad Bunny look good.
If Priest were to beat Sheamus here, that would make him 4-0 over Sheamus in the last month. He defeated him in a singles match on July 26th, teamed with Ricochet to beat Sheamus and John Morrison in a tag match on August 2nd, and then teamed with Drew McIntyre to defeat Sheamus and Jinder Mahal in a tag match at a house show on August 14th. That’s not JUST 4-0 in the last month. It would be 4-0, period. As much as I like Priest, and I do feel he should be the next United States Champion, I think Sheamus should get something. Give him a win through nefarious means, or have the match end without a clear winner, and then give Priest the title victory in the rematch. We all know how much WWE loves rematches. The thing is… I think it ends up being Priest’s night here. He has been built and protected so well, and I think that continues here.
What Will Happen: Damian Priest Wins (New Champion)
What Should Happen: Sheamus wins by cheating or match ends in a No Contest, DQ, etc. to set up a rematch
Nikki A.S.H. vs Charlotte Flair vs Rhea Ripley – Triple Threat Match For The Raw Women’s Title
I keep seeing all these stories about the Nikki A.S.H. character not being accepted by live crowds. She’s getting a lot of heel reactions, and people seem surprised. Honestly, I’m not sure why anybody would be surprised. The character is clearly geared to the much younger audience, and what happens when characters are geared to the younger audience? The vocal adults cop a nice squat all over those characters. John Cena, of course, is the prime example of that in recent history. Coming up through the ranks, Cena was one of the most universally popular people in all of wrestling. Then, he switched to the saluting, never giving up, bright shirt wearing motherfather. What happened then? Those vocal adults turned their backs on him. This stuff with Nikki is ten times more sappy and geared to kids. So much so, in fact, that I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the planned reaction.
Nikki has been booked to be a lucky goofball for the most part. Rhea has been hot and cold from the moment she made it to the main roster. Charlotte is, of course, Charlotte. At face value, Charlotte would be the easy favorite here to win and become a 12-time (14, if you count her NXT reigns) champion. It’s not that easy, though. Now that Rhea Ripley has been better defined as a face, she might be a better option if WWE wants a face champion here. At least she gets good reactions from live crowds.
In the end, I think it’s a case of WWE (read: Vince McMahon) being stubborn. They (read: Vince McMahon) want the Nikki A.S.H. thing to take off and be successful. She hasn’t been a complete failure yet or anything. There just hasn’t been the immediate love from the WWE Universe that many would’ve hoped for. I think they’ll give her at least one more chance and see if she can build more of a connection with people. If we can be honest with each other, I think she deserves that.
What Will Happen: Nikki A.S.H. Wins
What Should Happen: Nikki A.S.H. Wins
AJ Styles & Omos vs Randy Orton & Riddle – Raw Tag Team Title Match
Strangely enough, it can be argued that this is the most consistently “over” story taking place on Raw right now. Fans have really taken to Riddle and his pairing with Randy Orton. On the other side, AJ Styles is someone who fans are into, no matter what he’s doing. Even Omos is getting reactions for what he does and brings to the table.
When SummerSlam arrives, Styles and Omos will be on day 133 of their Raw Tag Team Title reign. Since the 2016 WWE Draft turned the WWE Tag Team Titles into separate belts for Raw and Smackdown, this is the second-longest reign we’ve seen for the Raw champs, only behind the 223-day reign for The Street Profits that ended at the 2020 WWE Draft when they were sent to Smackdown. With Styles and Omos holding the titles for over four months now, is it time to see new champions crowned? It sure seems like we’re building to that, doesn’t it?
This R-K-Bro stuff has worked really well for both Riddle and Orton, playing their roles to perfection. Riddle has really adapted to the main roster “style” when it comes to his in-ring work and his promos. There’s so much potential that is still there for Riddle and Orton working together. Styles and Omos have done a good job, but there’s not much more that can be done with their story. Let’s see the new champs get an opportunity to run with the ball and see wrestling’s new “odd couple” do their thing.
What Will Happen: Randy Orton & Riddle Win (New Champions)
What Should Happen: Randy Orton & Riddle Win (New Champions)
Edge vs Seth Rollins
Looking through social media, I’m seeing a lot of mixed reviews about the build for this match. The people who like it mention the long-term storytelling, going back to the segment on Raw in 2014 when Rollins and Big Show were threatening to deliver a curb stomp to Edge on top of the Money In The Bank briefcase. Those who dislike it seem to be focused on the fact that both of these men are kind of jogging in place over the last few months, and they feel this match means a lot less than it could.
I’m more the former than the latter. I do dig the fact that this is a personal issue that goes back nearly seven years. Yes, both men aren’t where they’ve been previously, but that doesn’t bother me at all. Chances are, Edge will be back in the main event again before he hangs his boots up again, and you have to think Rollins will be back in that spot soon. All that matters here is that this match is going to kick 34 different types of ass, with a line of other types of asses lined up around the block, waiting to be kicked at Edge and Seth’s leisure.
There’s a lot to look at here. I know that Edge isn’t a full-time wrestler, so this factoid is skewed a bit, but he hasn’t won a match in five months, going back to a win over Jey Uso on the March 19th episode of Smackdown. Rollins, on the other hand, hasn’t had a Universal or WWE Title shot since Money In The Bank 2020, when he would lose to Drew McIntyre. Seth hasn’t been at the top of the card since losing the Universal Title to The Fiend at 2019’s Crown Jewel event. Edge, of course, hasn’t been a World Champion since he vacated the World Heavyweight Title in April 2011 when he was forced to retire. This match is a case where both men could really use a victory. Clearly, there’s only one solution to this problem.
No, but seriously, I think Edge is the more “urgent” case for a win. With him working far less matches, it’s more imperative that he not just lose and lose and lose some more. The problem with Edge right now is the same problem for damn near the entire Smackdown roster right now… Roman Reigns. We can’t have Edge face Reigns again. It isn’t doing anything for him. Now, if Edge or Reigns moves to Raw, or if Reigns drops the Universal Title to someone, then we can talk. Knowing WWE, they’ll just have Edge and Rollins face each other again at Extreme Rules next month, with some sort of stipulation added to the match. That will probably happen, no matter who wins here. At least that will keep Edge busy for a bit, and then we’ll see what happens with the Draft.
What Will Happen: Edge Wins
What Should Happen: Edge Wins
Bobby Lashley vs Goldberg – WWE Title Match
Well, we know this one will be brief, at least. As it should be.
As is the case with any Goldberg match during this current run with WWE, you have to look at his contract. Bill is on record saying that his contract calls for him to wrestle twice a year. He faced Drew McIntyre at this year’s Royal Rumble, which makes this his second match of the year. That would imply, barring more money being thrown his way, that he probably isn’t winning here. Unless, of course, we’re going into super-Brock Lesnar mode here and we’ll have a WWE Champion who won’t defend the title for at least four-and-a-half months. Unless Goldberg’s contract is a new one that was signed in 2018, we’ve already seen him have an addition to his workload. In 2017, he performed three times. He participated in that year’s Royal Rumble match, then beat Kevin Owens for the Universal Title at Fastlane, followed by dropping the title to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 33. My point is that he could work a third match in 2021, because it has happened before.
Every time Goldberg is paraded out in front of live crowds, the company is running the risk of him not getting the reactions they think he’s going to get. He’s still over, and he’s still Goldberg, but even his supporters will admit his act is wearing thin. At what point does Goldberg come out to very audible boos? Lashley is really good in his heel role, which will potentially help fans stay on Goldberg’s side, but would it surprise anyone if the champion got a good face pop from a SummerSlam crowd that is notoriously smarky, no matter what city the event is held in? It wouldn’t surprise me at all. Of course, if Lashley is getting cheered against Goldberg, imagine the crowd reaction if Billy Boy beats him to win the WWE Title.
Personally, I’m beyond sick of the Goldberg routine at this point. Even his booking doesn’t make any sense. He lost the Universal Title to Braun Strowman at WrestleMania 36, so he just shows up and challenges Drew McIntyre for the WWE Title ten months later? Then, after he loses to McIntyre, he just shows up and challenges Bobby Lashley for the WWE Title six months later? So, if he loses here, will he just randomly show up during the Road To WrestleMania and challenge the person holding the Universal Title out of nowhere? If wins and losses don’t matter… and they CLEARLY don’t in WWE… then why aren’t the WWE and Universal Titles basically defended like the 24/7 Title? At the beginning of every episode of Raw and Smackdown, the rosters should just race to the ring, and the first person to make it there is the new top contender for that brand’s World Title. At least we might get some fresh matches out of that. Might. Maybe. Probably not.
Keep Goldberg far, far, farrrrr away from being the WWE Champion.
What Will Happen: Bobby Lashley Wins
What Should Happen: Bobby Lashley Wins
Bianca Belair vs Sasha Banks – Smackdown Women’s Title Match
Bah gawd, it’s one of the rare instances where WWE doesn’t give us 800 variations of the same match in a two-month span! We got the highly-anticipated Sasha vs Bianca match at WrestleMania, and it took four months to get the highly-anticipated rematch. See you all again at the Royal Rumble for the next one?
I’m only half-joking about that. In these instances when WWE doesn’t spam rematches, it’s like they want to build to something special. In wrestling, that something special is often a match trilogy. Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat in 1989 for the NWA. Samoa Joe vs CM Punk in 2004 for Ring Of Honor. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs The Rock at WrestleMania 15, WrestleMania 17, and WrestleMania 19. Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega quadrilogy in 2017 and 2018 for New Japan. John Cena vs AJ Styles in 2016 and 2017. The list goes on and on. I’d love to see that happen here. Everything is there for this to be as special a women’s wrestling feud as wrestling has ever seen, and no, that’s not hyperbole. With an instant classic at WrestleMania, they have their work cut out for them at SummerSlam, but they’re more than capable of following it up. I’d love to see Sasha come out victorious here, followed by the two women being apart for a while. Put them on different shows after the Draft if you need to, but make it happen. I’ve already seen some similar predictions, with people saying Sasha should win here, followed by Bianca chasing her and chasing her before winning the Royal Rumble again in 2022, giving us the third match in the trilogy at WrestleMania 38. Whether you repeat things and have Bianca win at Mania again or have Sasha win to “end” the feud doesn’t really matter. If done right, it would be tremendous business.
Will that happen, though?
I don’t know if I trust WWE to go that far with things, but I do think we’re getting a new champion here. Sasha aligning herself with Carmella and Zelina Vega finalized that for me. It’s a prime spot for shenaniganery to cost Bianca the title. At the very least, that would provide some hoops for Bianca to jump through to keep her busy for a bit before getting any sort of rematch for the title.
Of course, if you’ve been following the news, none of what I’ve typed in this entry may matter at all. Both Banks and Belair have been pulled from recent live events, with “unforeseen circumstances” being the reason given. That has led to a ton of panic, with speculations ranging from COVID to one of them being injured. As of the moment I type this, the match is reportedly good to go, but there’s still plenty of worry. If we haven’t already figured things out by then, I would assume all of our questions will be answered on this week’s episode of Smackdown.
What Will Happen: Sasha Banks Wins (New Champion)
What Should Happen: Sasha Banks Wins (New Champion)
Roman Reigns vs John Cena – Universal Title Match
Well, here it is… the biggest match that WWE can give us at this point in 2021.
SummerSlam will be the 356th day of Roman Reigns’ current Universal Title reign. On the other side of the ring, John Cena is looking for his 17th World Title reign, which would break his tie with Ric Flair for most officially recognized reigns in history. There’s potential history to be made here.
The only problem I have with this match is the fact that Cena is, like Goldberg, a part-timer that isn’t going to be around to defend the title should he win here. Cena already has multiple Hollywood projects in the pre-production phase, ready to start filming at seemingly any time, and more projects can always be added there. This WWE return is being called the “Summer Of Cena” for a reason. He won’t be around once the summer comes to an end. The official final day of the summer is September 21st, and the final announced date for Cena in WWE is, as of now, September 10th. I think that pretty much screams out who wins this match.
Let’s have some fun, though. You already know where I’m going here.
Why not give the WWE Universe something to talk about? Something to get excited about? I’ve written about the exact scenario in the past, long before this year’s Money In The Bank event. Let’s have Big E cash his title shot in and defeat Roman Reigns to become the new Universal Champion. Even if Reigns defeats Cena here, he’s going to be exhausted. This presents the perfect opportunity for Big E to try and cash in. Throw in The Usos to try and interfere in things, only to be thwarted by Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, and you have a magical moment that could blow the roof off of Allegiant Stadium.
What the hell do you have to lose here? WWE is losing the headline battle to AEW right now. The company could use the buzz that a title change could create. I’m going to play it safe and not make it my official prediction, but it would be a ton of fun. WWE lives for those moments, and they can definitely create one here. I might just type this out every month until it happens.
What Will Happen: Roman Reigns Wins
What Should Happen: Roman Reigns Wins, then Big E cashes his Money In The Bank title shot in and wins (New Champion)
It’s so weird to have a WWE pay-per-view event on a Saturday, and even weirder to have it followed by an NXT pay-per-view event on a Sunday, but what better time to have it than 2021, when everything is weird and nothing makes any sense? Let’s get to NXT Takeover 36, shall we?
LA Knight vs Cameron Grimes – Million Dollar Title Match (If Knight Wins, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase becomes his butler)
As always, I am legally and contractually obligated to mention the fact that Cameron Grimes nearly broke my leg at an independent wrestling show a few years back.
Grimes has done such a great job in this storyline, becoming one of the most popular performers in all of NXT. We all thought he would be rewarded at the previous Takeover event, In Your House, back in June. That didn’t happen. Then we thought he would be rewarded at NXT’s televised Great American Bash special last month. That didn’t happen. Now, people are expecting that he’ll be rewarded at Takeover 36. It makes sense. We’ve seen some entertaining vignettes with Grimes having to be Knight’s butler, as he is leaning into his punishment, instead of seeming like he hates every second of it. It’s time, though. Grimes is ready to be elevated up the card. Well, unless Vince McMahon gets his way, in which case DiBiase will probably get pushed because he’s physically bigger than Knight or Grimes. *shrug*
What Will Happen: Cameron Grimes Wins (New Champion)
What Should Happen: Cameron Grimes Wins (New Champion)
Raquel Gonzalez vs Dakota Kai – NXT Women’s Title Match
If you go through wrestling history, a turn like we saw with Dakota and Raquel usually signals good things for the person who did the turn. The thinking is that it’s pretty dumb to turn on your friend/partner, only to turn around and lose. Can you imagine if Shawn Michaels tossed Marty Jannetty through the Barber Shop window, only for Jannetty to defeat Michaels in their match and then that was that? With that said, though, I am seeing a lot of folks predicting a victory for the champion here. The six-inch height difference and 50-pound weight difference between the two women probably plays a major part in that.
I think we need a title change here, though. Nothing against Raquel Gonzalez. I’m a big fan of hers, and I’ve championed her cause in my columns in the past. She’s a special attraction talent that has been improving a ton in the ring. However, with NXT in the slump that it’s in, I think you need to go with the better in-ring performer here. Dakota Kai is one of the best women under WWE contract right now, not just in NXT. There’s a lot more that can be done with her as the champion. NXT needs that shot in the arm.
What Will Happen: Dakota Kai Wins (New Champion)
What Should Happen: Dakota Kai Wins (New Champion)
WALTER vs Ilja Dragunov – NXT United Kingdom Title Match
In my year-end column for 2020, I gave the WALTER vs Dragunov match from the October 29th episode of NXT UK my “#!!!” award for Match Of The Year. It was beautiful violence that I likened to a Friday The 13th movie, with Dragunov dishing out an ungodly amount of punishment, only for WALTER Voorhees to continue moving forward and dish out his own punishment at every turn. Now, after nearly ten months, it’s time for the rematch, this time on a much larger stage.
When Takeover 36 rolls around, WALTER will have been the NXT UK Champion for 870 days. Yes, a chunk of that has been while the company was put on hold during the initial COVID outbreak, but he still has ten successful title defenses in that span. 870 days is an insane amount of time. When WALTER defeated Pete Dunne to win what was then called the WWE United Kingdom Title, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus were about to set the music world on fire with “Old Town Road.” On the same day, Shazam! was released in theaters in the United States and would go on to become the top movie in the box office for the week. That all feels like decades ago.
If WALTER wins here, you might as well retire the title. He has gone through every single one of the top contenders, sometimes more than once, during his reign. Dragunov has been able to push him to his limits like nobody else can do, so it just makes sense for “The Mad Russian” to be the man to dethrone the champion. I expect another classic here, with a different outcome than their last encounter.
What Will Happen: Ilja Dragunov Wins (New Champion)
What Should Happen: Ilja Dragunov Wins (New Champion)
Kyle O’Reilly vs Adam Cole – Two-Out-Of-Three Falls Match
The first fall will be a regular singles match, and that will be followed by a Street Fight. If (lol) the match makes it to the third fall, it will take place inside of a Steel Cage. Oooh.
If you’ve ever seen a Kyle O’Reilly and/or an Adam Cole match, you know what type of quality to expect here. That’s not a concern to me whatsoever. I am VERY interested in seeing who wins this, though. It’s not exactly a secret that Adam Cole’s WWE contract is expiring this weekend. He is reportedly being courted by Vince McMahon himself for a main roster run, but there’s probably 482 other wrestling promotions that would line up for his services. If Cole loses this match, does that signal that he’s out the door and everyone will start fantasy booking his AEW debut? What happens if Cole wins? You have to think that, one way or another, this could be his final match for NXT. He has nothing left to accomplish there. If he stays with WWE, it’s because he was able to receive some sort of assurances that his main roster run won’t be fumbled and bumbled like countless other NXT call-ups in the past.
I don’t think it matters, anyway. If you ask me, which you technically did, I think he’s AEW-bound. Some of his best friends work for AEW, including The Young Bucks, and he just so happens to be dating the current AEW Women’s Champion, Britt Baker… D… M… D. The move to AEW can provide a fresh start for a guy who has been stuck in neutral for a bit in NXT.
I would love to see him get a chance to shine on Raw or Smackdown, but I have zero faith that it would go well. Let’s just say he isn’t Vince McMahon’s type.
What Will Happen: Kyle O’Reilly Wins
What Should Happen: Kyle O’Reilly Wins
Karrion Kross vs Samoa Joe – NXT Title Match
This will be Samoa Joe’s first match in 559 days. It won’t be the 559th day of Karrion Kross’ NXT Title reign, but it sure feels that way sometimes.
Kross has been booked as an absolutely dominant champion in NXT. He has a record of 17-1 there, with his only loss being in a tag team match where he wasn’t involved in the pin. His ring entrance in NXT is one of the best that wrestling has seen in recent memory. As a member of the Raw roster over the past month, he has already been pinned twice, and he has lost every bit of that ring entrance that made it memorable… all while this match was supposed to be built up as something epic and special. It has been one of the more absurd examples of the left-hand-right-hand bullshit that we see in WWE these days.
If you’ve read my work before, you know my thoughts on Kross. He’s a lot better in the ring than he tends to get credit for. His work in Lucha Underground, Impact, and other places proves that. He sometimes gets unfairly critiqued because he’s such a vastly different type of worker than the guys that are usually at the top of the NXT card. NXT fans have gotten used to Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano, Finn Balor, Andrade “Cien” Almas, Aleister Black, and people like that as the NXT Champion. It makes Kross stand out even further, but not necessarily in a good way.
With that said, I’ve also said that the Kross “experiment” needs to come to an end. As I said, he’s been on Raw for a month now. He fits in a lot better on the WWE main roster, anyway. If you’ve paid attention to my predictions for this show, I’m thinking that it’s time for something of a new era in NXT. I have all four title matches on the card seeing new champions crowned, as well as the final match of Adam Cole’s NXT career. Focuses can shift, and new directions can be taken. Time to see what NXT has in store for all of us in the future.
What Will Happen: Samoa Joe Wins (New Champion)
What Should Happen: Samoa Joe Wins (New Champion)
Your turn, ReaderLand. SummerSlam, NXT Takeover 36, or both… I want to see your predictions of the goings-on that will take place this weekend. As always, hit me up in the comments section below, or on Twitter (@HustleTheSavage), and let me know what’s on your mind. Now, let’s get to the rankings!
Weekly Power Rankings
- Kenny Omega vs Christian Cage: Helluva way to kick off the very first episode of AEW Rampage. Great match, lava hot crowd, and an effort to show that anything can happen on Rampage. It was the first time Omega has lost an AEW singles match since losing the Lights Out Match to Jon Moxley at Full Gear 2019. Christian Cage now gets the Impact World Title and the momentum heading into his match with Omega at All Out for the AEW World Title.
- Ilja Dragunov vs Roderick Strong: Oh, no big deal. Just two men beating the shit out of each other, preparing us for the NXT United Kingdom Title match at Takeover 36, where two men will beat the shit out of each other. Wrestling, man.
- Keith Lee’s Health: After months of being quiet about things, Lee finally went public with the details of why he was away from WWE for so long. After going through a bout of COVID, he was found to have an inflammation of his heart, which led to his doctors strictly forbidding him from doing any sort of activity beyond a light walk. The fear was that anything more than that could’ve led to his death. Things improved, and he’s back to being an active competitor as he works out the kinks in his cardio. I’m glad to see him back. Now, hopefully Vince McMahon figures out what the hell to do with him.
- MSK vs Imperium: Another clash of styles for MSK, and another entertaining match that came out of it. My math might be off slightly, but I believe this is now the 56th consecutive NXT Tag Team Title match that Imperium has lost, but don’t quote me, boy, cause I ain’t said shit.
- InDex: Pro wrestling can be incredibly silly. Sometimes, that silliness is the bad type. Other times, that silliness can provide entertainment. This storyline with Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis is one of those entertaining times. It is beyond ridiculous, but both of them are totally committed to that ridiculousness. Now, we have the stage being set for the first “pro wrestling wedding” in NXT. 104 out of 100 times, those weddings end in some sort of disaster, but I’m kinda pulling for this one to be a success. There’s still a ton of juice that can be squeezed from this story.
- Matt Sydal, Mike Sydal & Dante Martin vs Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks: Exactly the type of wild, non-stop action you’d expect with these guys involved. Dante Martin, even in matches where he loses, continues to have opportunities to shine. His brother has been out of action after surgery to repair a torn ACL, but Dante has been putting in work. There’s no word when Darius Martin is set to return to the ring, but his surgery was four months ago, so the clock is ticking. With Dante doing his thing, Top Flight may be a team to watch out for once Darius is back.
- Fuego Del Sol Is All Elite: Do I care if it was a shoot or not? No, I do not. It was still a very cool moment to see cult favorite Fuego Del Sol get a contract on live television, making him an official member of the AEW roster. He and Sammy Guevara were very good in showing emotion, which was definitely genuine, even if the segment wasn’t a shoot.
- Apollo Crews vs Shinsuke Nakamura: A good match, for sure, but I’m still a little sad to see Apollo’s Intercontinental Title reign come to an end. It never really got the traction that I hoped it would get, but of course, that’s 100% due to the company’s faults and shortcomings. Now, we await what will happen with Nakamura’s reign.
- John Cena & Roman Reigns Having A Promo Battle: It wasn’t quite on the level of Cena’s promo battles with The Rock, where it seemed like they genuinely hated each other. I still enjoyed this, though. They’ve had their little shots at each other, but they turned it up a notch or two here.
- King Of The Ring & Queen Of The Ring: Not only is King Of The ring reportedly returning, but we’re also getting a Queen Of The Ring tournament, as well. Rumors are that the finals of both tournaments will take place at WWE’s return to Saudi Arabia in October. It will be interesting to see a Queen Of The Ring crowned in Saudi Arabia, that’s for sure. Congratulations to Charlotte Flair, I guess.
This Week’s Playlist: “How I Could Just Kill A Man” by Cypress Hill… “Hand On The Pump” by Cypress Hill… “I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That” by Cypress Hill… “Insane In The Brain” by Cypress Hill… “Tequila Sunrise” by Cypress Hill & Barron Ricks… “Dr. Greenthumb” by Cypress Hill… “Take My Breath” by The Weeknd… “Death Row East” by Nas… “EMPD 2” by Nas, EMPD & Eminem… “YKTV” by Nas, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie & YG… “Nobody” by Nas & Ms. Lauryn Hill… “No Phony Love” by Nas & Charlie Wilson… “Brunch On Sundays” by Nas & Blxst… “Enter Sandman” by Weezer… “Enter Sandman” by Metallica… “Wanna Be A Baller” by Lil Troy, Fat Pat, Yungstar, Lil Will, H.A.W.K. & Big T… “Still Fly” by Big Tymers… “Lately” by Jodeci… “Don’t Disturb This Groove” by The System… “Want You Bad” by The Offspring