My Wrestling Awards: 2018

2018 was an interesting year for the WWE to say the least. It was full of things we never thought we’d see, like Daniel Bryan returning to the ring, or The Undertaker coming back. 2018 also had its ups, and certainly a lot of downs, but we can look into 2019 with hopes that it’ll be a great year. Last year I wrote my wrestling awards, and I’m looking to keep up the tradition. So without further ado, here are my wrestling awards for 2018.

Superstar of the Year: AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Tommaso Ciampa

Winner: Seth Rollins

While AJ Styles held the WWE Championship for 11 months in 2018, nobody’s had a better 2018 than Seth Rollins. He may have had a slow January, his year kicked off with a monster performance in the Elimination Chamber gauntlet match, wrestling for 65 minutes. He then brought more prestige to the Intercontinental Championship, having barn-burning matches against The Miz, Finn Bálor, Elias, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre for the better part of six months. Rollins would have some more fun with his Shield brothers before Roman left for treatment and Ambrose stabbed him in the back. Seth Rollins is set to have an even bigger 2019, and we should hopefully see him as the Universal Champion soon.

Woman of the Year: Alexa Bliss, Charlotte Flair, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch

Winner: Becky Lynch

Honestly, it couldn’t be anyone other than Becky. It wouldn’t feel right. Becky’s had a slow start to her 2018, with an okay performance in the Rumble, then being on the Mania preshow. She had a good showing in the Women’s MITB ladder match, then SummerSlam happened. After losing to Charlotte, she kicked the crap out of her former friend in a failed attempt at turning Becky heel. Instead, that moment turned Becky into the badass she should have been all along. She won the title at Night of Champions, had a MOTY candidate against Charlotte at Evolution, invaded RAW and had her nose broken, which made her even cooler in the eyes of the fans. Becky Lynch’s sudden rise shows how powerful the fans can be, and that everyone needs to remember who The Man is.

Tag Team of the Year: The Usos, The Bar, The New Day, AOP

Winner: The Bar

The Bar became the second team to win both the RAW and Smackdown tag team titles, and have had great matches against the likes of New Day and the Usos. Yes, they got squashed at WrestleMania, but they’ve bounced back on Smackdown Live, quickly becoming one of the standard bearers of the division. Also, that rap battle was hilarious. They dressed up as Run DMC and parodied Ice Ice Baby. That might be one of the funniest segments of the year. 2019 will look to be a great year for The Bar, and will hopefully be at the forefront of Smackdown Live after the superstar shakeup.

Breakout Star of the Year (Male): Velveteen Dream, Tommaso Ciampa, Drew McIntyre, Buddy Murphy

Winner: Tommaso Ciampa

Wow Ciampa, what a year you’ve had. He did great heel things like cost his former best friend his job, then would have the feud of the year with that ex friend. He’d go on to win the NXT Title and has had great matches against Johnny Gargano, Velveteen Dream, and Aleister Black. Ciampa also loves to eviscerate people on twitter (seriously, his twitter feed is gold). Whenever Ciampa goes up to the main roster, they better get ready for the best heel champion since CM Punk.

Breakout Star of the Year (Female): “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, Carmella, Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax

Winner: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey

Ronda may have had one of the best rookie years of all time. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone naturally grasp Pro Wrestling this well since Kurt Angle. She hasn’t had a bad match. One of my favorite Ronda matches this year was at Money in the Bank, because it showed how great she is at selling, and being able to come back. Ronda could have an even better 2019, and be part of the first ever women’s WrestleMania main event.

Comeback of the Year: Tommaso Ciampa, Drew McIntyre, Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio

Winner: Daniel Bryan

I mean come on. Starting the year retired from wrestling, and ending it as WWE Champion. Yes, his return was dull at first thanks to a crappy feud with Big Cass, but it really began to pick up steam thanks to a feud with The Miz, and D-Bry pulling out of Crown Jewel, which allowed him to win the WWE Championship. Yes he turned heel, but I hope that we get a solid 2019 for Bryan, and a decently long title reign.

Feud of the Year: Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler, AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe, Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa, and Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair,

Winner: Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa

This feud combined both great action and storytelling. The fans unanimously despised Tommaso Ciampa after he stabbed Johnny Gargano in the back, but we had to wait on the feud while Ciampa recovered from ACL surgery. But once he came back, the fire was lit and wouldn’t stop burning. Each of these matches were brutal, and had something different to bring to the table and told the story of Johnny Gargano’s descent into darkness. The first match was about Johnny getting his job back and revenge on his former friend. The second match was about Johnny going to that dark place after Ciampa threw his wedding ring in the arena. Then the third match, was about Johnny going to that dark place, and it coming back to cost him. Now it seems that a heel DIY reunion is in the works, but we’ll have to see about that in 2019.

WrestleMania Moment of the Year: Daniel Bryan’s Entrance, Undertaker’s return, Asuka’s streak ending, Nakamura’s Heel turn

Winner: Undertaker’s Return

While Daniel Bryan coming back was awesome, and Asuka’s streak snapped was a good shock, nothing made me feel more than hearing that bell toll at WrestleMania 34. I had legitimate goosebumps when the lightning struck the ring and John Cena’s being frozen in terror while The Undertaker made his way to the ring. He crushed John Cena in 3 minutes, but man those were an entertaining 3 minutes. His subsequent feud with Triple H & DX was not, but it was still nice to see The Undertaker avenge the biggest loss of his career.

Potential Breakout Star of 2019 (Men’s): Lars Sullivan, Drew McIntyre, Matt Riddle, and Punishment Martinez

Winner: Lars Sullivan

Drew had an okay 2018, and will have a strong 2019. But I’m giving this nod to Lars Sullivan. Lars Sullivan had a great 2018 in NXT, and it didn’t really get going until the 6 man North American Title Ladder Match at TakeOver: New Orleans, where he murdered everyone in the match. Normally, you wouldn’t think of big dudes in ladder matches, but Lars Sullivan, along with Killian Dain had a coming out party in that match. Lars Sullivan would also go on to challenge Aleister Black at TakeOver Chicago, and was put over as the most dangerous challenger to Black’s NXT Championship. He spent the rest of 2018 killing more people on NXT, and now has his sights set on the main roster. Regardless of which brand he goes to, he should go on a killing spree, and as long as he isn’t ruined by the end of the year, he could be in the world title picture.

Potential Breakout Star of 2019 (Women’s): Ember Moon, Lacey Evans, Nikki Cross, and Candice LeRae

Winner: Nikki Cross

Nikki Cross is awesome. She’s the psychopath on NXT, and will be the missing piece for SAnitY to be whole again. She had an awesome match against Shayna Baszler at TakeOver: Chicago, and was a part of the Gargano-Black feud. Although she had a women’s title match against Becky Lynch on Smackdown in October, whenever Nikki gets called up to the main roster, Smackdown better get ready. Things are about to get a lot crazier.

Promo of the Year: Reigns relinquishes the title (10/22 Raw), Heyman’s interview (8/6 Raw), John Cena calls out Undertaker (3/12 Raw), The Usos “Sideline” promo (2/27 Smackdown), Daniel Bryan announces that he’s cleared (3/20 Smackdown)

Honorable Mention: The Bar vs Usos Rap Battle

Winner: Roman Reigns relinquishes the title (10/22 Raw)

This promo literally shook the Wrestling World, and shattered the fourth wall. Roman Reigns announcing to the world that he was battling leukemia for a second time, was one of the most emotional moments in the past few years. There were people crying, and the people who were booing realized that despite issues with Roman Reigns as a character, Joe Anoi’i as a man is the hero WWE has been looking for. I don’t necessarily agree to have this announcement as a part of a storyline, but I liked that Roman got the chance to tell the world rather than a notification on your phone. This promo was the ultimate babyface turn for Reigns, and whenever he comes back the fans are behind him.

Most disappointing 2018 (Male): Andrade “Cien” Almas, Bray Wyatt, Elias, Rusev

Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas

Almas had one of the biggest and sharpest declines of 2018. At the start of the year, he took part in a Meltzer rated 5 star match at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, defending his NXT Championship against Johnny Gargano. He lost his NXT Title in another classic at TakeOver: New Orleans, then everything fell apart. He had a great debut against AJ Styles in a losing effort, then got in an underwhelming feud against Rusev and Lana, then disappeared from TV for months. 2019 NEEDS to be the year of Andrade “Cien” Almas. He is a great heel, and a run at the top of the card would do him a lot of good.

Most Disappointing 2018 (Female): Bayley, Asuka, Naomi, Sasha Banks

Winner: Asuka

Sweet Jesus WWE. They had one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world, then they ruin her. She started the year strong. She won the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match, punching her ticket to a dream match against Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania. Then she lost. Yes, just because Mania was in NOLA, another streak had to end and it just so happened that Asuka was undefeated. Then she ate back to back losses to Carmella, and did nothing for 5 months. She may have won the title at TLC, but now 2019 should be all about repairing the damage that happened in 2018.

Shocking Moment of the Year: Daniel Bryan announces he’s cleared (3/20 Smackdown), Undertaker’s entrance at WrestleMania, Roman Reigns announced his leukemia, (10/22 Raw), and Bobby Lashley’s return

Winners: Daniel Bryan getting cleared, and Reigns’ leukemia announcement

I normally don’t do co-winners, but I honestly couldn’t pick between those two. One is in a moment of triumph, finally getting a chance to get back in the ring. Then on the opposite side of the coin, is a moment of tragedy, with Roman Reigns being away for an indefinite amount of time. First, let’s talk about Daniel Bryan. Nobody expected Bryan to be cleared to return, and everyone was overjoyed when ESPN broke the news. The one person who the fans wanted back, is back. And he’s had an okay 2018, but he’s gained back the championship that he’s never lost in a matter of seven months. Now, to take things in a more depressing tone. In October, Roman Reigns announced to the world that his leukemia has returned, and he had to relinquish the WWE Universal Championship. Both of these moments are the most shocking moments in the last few years, and I don’t think anything can top them.

Best Pay-Per-View: Any NXT TakeOver, WWE Evolution, Royal Rumble, WrestleMania 34

Winner: NXT TakeOver: New Orleans

Of all the great pay-per-views that happened this year, I’d have to pick TakeOver: New Orleans. It was a perfect show. The ladder match was an entertaining spotfest full of bone shattering action, and made Lars Sullivan into a star. I mean hitting a Freak Accident onto another person crunched under a ladder speaks for itself. Roderick Strong’s shock heel turn was a great swerve for the fans, and kept Adam Cole protected after a brutal ladder match. Shayna Baszler may have sent Ember Moon out on a sour note, but she’s the most dominant woman in NXT right now, and this match was the start to her 2018 dominance. Aleister Black winning the NXT Championship, one year after his TakeOver debut was the perfect way to cap off his first year in NXT. Then the main event, combined brutal weapon shots, great storytelling, and insane action. Gargano-Ciampa was a great feud in 2018, but now I hope they’d be a better team in 2019.

Worst Pay-Per-View: Backlash, Crown Jewel, Extreme Rules, Fastlane

Winner: Crown Jewel

While Backlash was completely awful and even provided storyline continuity, Crown Jewel should not have happened due to the massive political backlash in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Then the show itself was really, really bad. Nakamura was on the preshow, Brock killing Braun Strowman in like 2 minutes, then SHANE. McMAHON. WON THE BEST IN THE WORLD TOURNAMENT. That was ridiculously stupid. Then there was the clusterf**k that was the main event. Triple H hurt himself and finished the match (huge props to you trips, hope your recovery is going well). Kane got his mask punched off, and it was just a slow, really bad match. It was not fitting the return of the Heartbreak Kid, and could’ve been the last time we got to see Kane, who deserves a much better retirement match.

Worst Match of the Year: DX vs The Brothers of Destruction (Crown Jewel), Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe (Backlash), Triple H vs The Undertaker (Super Show-Down), Nia Jax vs Alexa Bliss (Backlash)

Winner: DX vs The Brothers of Destruction (Crown Jewel)

What makes this match truly awful isn’t just how slow, or old the wrestlers looked. It wasn’t the botches or Triple H hurting himself. What is truly damning about this match is that it kicked the legacies of 4 legends to near death. This was a match that was 20 years in the making. Everyone wanted DX to take on the Brothers of Destruction, but once they finally clashed, dear god it shouldn’t have happened. The aforementioned botches, Triple H tearing his pectoral, but still finishing the match because he’s a man, and just The Undertaker and Kane looking like shadows of their former selves. This was a complete waste of Shawn Michaels’ return, and we can only hope that they don’t bring back any other legends for their next Saudi shows.

Match of the Year: Johnny Gargano vs Andrade “Cien” Almas, Gargano-Ciampa Trilogy, Seth Rollins vs The Miz (Backlash), and Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair (Evolution)

Honorable Mentions: Elimination Chamber gauntlet match (2/19 RAW), WarGames Match: Undisputed Era vs Ricochet, Pete Dunne & War Raiders (NXT TakeOver: WarGames), Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs Triple H & Stephanie (WrestleMania), Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair vs Asuka (TLC), Seth Rollins vs Elias (Money in the Bank) Brock Lesnar vs Daniel Bryan (Survivor Series),

Winner: Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa (NXT TakeOver: Chicago)

Honestly, I could’ve picked any of the Gargano-Ciampa TakeOver matches, but this one takes the cake. The action was intense from bell to bell, with no slow point at all throughout the match. There were also some great moments. The fan calling Ciampa the Devil, both men battering each other with weapons, the handcuff spots, and the recreation of Ciampa’s betrayal really tugged at the heartstrings. Tommaso Ciampa spitting on Johnny Gargano’s wedding ring and chucking it across the arena, was one of the biggest acts of heel heat of the year. Ciampa won thanks to a DDT on the exposed ring mat, and honestly was the perfect way to end TakeOver: Chicago. With no music, and the fans’ stunned silence turning into a chorus of boos for Tommaso Ciampa, the best heel in WWE.

Advertisements

WWE Evolution 2018 Predictions

WWE Evolution is a historic night, because it’s WWE’s first ever all-women’s pay-per-view event. If you had to take a shot every time you said that, you’d be in for a bad time. Women from WWE’s past, present, and future will come together for a night of women’s dream matches, and the finals of the second ever Mae Young Classic Tournament. Bur for a night that has so much impact for women’s wresting, you’d think they’d put some time in investing in storylines for the show, huh? Anyway, it’s time to see who will evolve, and who will perish with my predictions for WWE Evolution.

Women’s Battle Royal

This is just a throwaway match to make sure all the women get a payday, which is a shame because of the star power in this match. Kelly Kelly, Maria Kanellis, Asuka, Naomi, IIconics, Torrie Wilson, and more will be in this match, and not a lot will happen long term. I’m picking Asuka to win this battle royal, because DAMMIT THEY NEED TO DO SOMETHING WITH ASUKA!!!

Prediction: Asuka

Sasha Banks, Bayley, & Natalya vs The Riott Squad

Hey, Sasha Banks is back! We missed you Sasha, and your first night back you lost in a throwaway match. What’s next for Sasha Banks? I have no earthly idea, unless Women’s Tag Team Titles are a thing. Natalya has done nothing of note after her speculated heel turn on Ronda Rousey didn’t pan out, and Lord knows what they’re doing with Bayley. But if there is a preshow for WWE Evolution, I definitely see this match on the preshow. I’m picking The Riott Squad to win, because there isn’t much else happening with these six women.

Prediction: The Riott Squad

2018 Mae Young Classic Finals: Io Shirai vs Toni Storm

The finals of the Mae Young Classic is here, and it has been an entertaining tournament. Toni Storm and Io Shirai have been on a tear, and are set to clash for the Mae Young Classic Trophy. Toni Storm almost made it to the finals of last year’s tournament, but fell short to eventual winner Kairi Sane. Io Shirai, is finally making an impact in WWE after signing with them last year, and she looks to be a fantastic addition to the women’s roster. This is going to be one of the better matches on the card, maybe even match of the night. I’m going to pick Toni Storm to finally get over the hump, and win this year’s Mae Young Classic Tournament.

Prediction: Toni Storm

Trish Stratus & Lita vs Alexa Bliss (or Alicia Fox) & Mickie James

There are rumors of Alexa Bliss being pulled from Evolution due to a concussion she suffered at a house show. If she can’t fight on Sunday, then Alicia Fox will step in her place and compete. Regardless of what happens, or who competes, Trish and Lita are getting the W. This gas “Legend’s feel good moment” written all over it.

Prediction: Trish & Lita

Last Women Standing Match for the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs Charlotte Flair

This is where the blood feud between “Stone Cold” Becky Lynch and Charlotte comes to an end in a last woman standing match. Despite WWE’s best attempt to get people to boo Becky, it just makes the fans cheer even harder. Charlotte can’t be a babyface in this feud, and if she actually turned heel, then things would feel right. Although people are thinking Becky is going to do something outlandish to beat Charlotte, I don’t think Becky is going to retain here. It makes too much sense that WWE would have Charlotte win her 8th title at WWE’s first ever all women’s show.

Prediction: Charlotte

NXT Women’s Championship Match: Kairi Sane (c) vs Shayna Baszler

The third match in a brutal trilogy as the Queen of Spades takes on the Pirate Princess in an effort to regain her title. Kairi Sane shocked everyone when she rolled up the Kirifuda Clutch and won the title. I was hoping that Shayna would hold the title for a while, but Sane winning helps progress the feud. This match is going to be a hard hitting affair, and could be another candidate for Match of the Night. I’m going to pick Kairi Sane to retain her title, because it’s too soon for her to lose her title.

Prediction: Kairi Sane retains

RAW Women’s Championship Match: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey vs Nikki Bella

Two of WWE’s most mainstream women’s superstars will go one on one for the RAW Women’s Championship. The Bellas’ heel turn was predictable, but where this feud gets its fire from are the promos and Instagram captions. When Ronda verbally eviscerated Nikki on RAW, calling her a DNB (Do-Nothing Bella), and said that the only doors she kicks down are John Cena’s bedroom’s, that showed how good Ronda can be when she can write her promos. This match is going to be chock full of shenanigans from Brie, and Nikki is going to get some cheap shots in, but Ronda is going to break her arm, and retain her Women’s title.

Prediction: Ronda retains

WWE SummerSlam 2018 Review

Roman finally did it. He finally beat Brock Lesnar, and I’m still in shock. The main event, along with several other matches were basically squash matches, or had abrupt finishes. This was certainly a SummerSlam to remember, but maybe not in the best way. Summer’s come to a close, and in case you missed SummerSlam, here’s my review for WWE SummerSlam 2018.

Prediction Score: 10-3

Preshow: Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega def. Rusev and Lana

The two teams taunted each other to start things out before Rusev began to pummel Almas. Almas started to target Rusev’s arm, putting him in an armbar while hanging off of the ropes and keeping the brute down. Rusev tried to make a hot tag to Lana, but Vega pulled her down at the last second. Rusev threw Almas off of the top turnbuckle and made the hot tag to Lana, and the Ravishing Russian goes on a tear, and even doing a very bad spinaroonie. After hitting Vega with her own Machka Kick, she got distracted by Andrade “Cien” Almas, and Vega rolled her up with her feet on the ropes to pick up the win. No Aiden English, but shenanigans cost Team Rusev Day nonetheless.

Preshow: Cruiserweight Championship Match: Cedric Alexander (c) def. Drew Gulak to retain the Cruiserweight Championship

The match started out with some solid chain wrestling between the two, with Gulak trying to keep Alexander grounded. Gulak took control after hitting Cedric with a big boot, and began to target the neck of the champion with various submissions. Alexander caught a second wind, with a flurry of punches and clotheslines. The champion kept momentum going with a top rope suicide dive. After pushing Alexander off the top rope, Gulak locked in the Gulock while wrapped in the ropes, and Cedric fought out of another attempt at a Gulock. Both men tried to pin each other, and ultimately it was Cedric Alexander who managed to get the pin on Drew Gulak to retain his title, and keep establishing himself on 205 live.

Preshow: RAW Tag Team Championship Match: The B Team (c) def. The Revival to retain the RAW Tag Team Championships

I hate the B Team. Their gimmick is awful and I was happy when the Revival destroyed Bo Dallas and hit Curtis Axel with a Shattered Machine right off the bat. Dash and Dawson pick Bo Dallas’ leg apart, but Bo Dallas would throw Dawson into the post, and almost get a roll up, but The Revival went right back to destroying Bo Dallas. Bo would get an opening after hitting a neckbreaker from the top rope, and would make the tag to Curtis Axel. He goes on a tear, and throws Wilder out of the ring. Wilder would roll up Axel, but Bo Dallas would fall on them, flipping Axel over and giving the B-Team the win.

Intercontinental Championship Match: Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler (c) to become the new Intercontinental Champion

This was an interesting choice to start off the show, because it just got a lot more fan interest thanks to a returning Dean Ambrose. Drew McIntyre tried to get some shenanigans going early, but was stopped by the Lunatic. Ziggler kept going outside of the ring whenever Seth would start to get things going. Ziggler would start to attack Seth’s knee, and start to gain some momentum. The cameras would constantly pan over to Drew McIntyre and Dean Ambrose, teasing the inevitable brawl between them. Ziggler takes Rollins down with a headlock, but Rollins would power out, only for Dolph to kick the challenger back down, and reapply the rest hold. Rollins powered out again, and Dolph threw Seth over the top rope, landing on his injured knee. The two fought on the ring apron, culminating with a DDT onto the apron. Seth would almost get counted out, but got back in at a count of 9. Ziggler went for a Zig-Zag, but countered and went for a frog splash, but Ziggler got his knees up. Rollins hit an inverted Superplex and Falcon Arrow combo. Rollins went for the stomp, but Ziggler sidestepped out of the way, and Rollins got busted open. Dean hit McIntyre with a Dirty Deeds, then Rollins hit Ziggler with a superkick, then a stomp to win the Intercontinental Title. No heel turn from Ambrose, looks like that’ll come later.

Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day def. The Bludgeon Brothers (c) by DQ, the Bludgeon Bros are still the Smackdown Live Tag Team Champions

Xavier Woods and Rowan start things out, but the Bludgeons start to dominate right away, keeping Xavier isolated from Big E with constant tags and power moves. The Bludgeon Bros took out Big E, and continued to decimate Xavier Woods. The Bludgeon Bros tried to powerbomb Xavier onto the steps, but Xavier escaped and managed to make the tag to Big E, and started to turn Brooklyn into his own version of Suplex City, but the Bludgeons would come back and hit the double armpit chokeslam, but it wasn’t enough. Harper hits a sitout powerbomb, but Xavier stays defiant. Big E hits a Big Ending on the outside, and throws Harper onto Xavier Woods. Xavier hit a top rope elbow to Harper on the outside and tags back in Big E. Rowan hits Xavier and Big E with his stupid hammer to get DQ’d and keep their tag team titles.

If Braun Strowman loses in any capacity, he loses the Money in the Bank Contract: Braun Strowman def. Kevin Owens to retain his Money in the Bank Contract

Right from the start, Braun Strowman started to murder Kevin Owens, who is trying to lure Braun outside. Braun no-sold a superkick, then Braun chokeslammed KO on the entranceway, then a running powerslam, and it was over. This was just a long squash, and now Braun is the undisputed Monster in the Bank.

Triple Threat Match for the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship: Charlotte def. Becky Lynch and Carmella (c) to become the new Smackdown Live Women’s Champion

Charlotte and Becky take turns taking out Carmella, who keeps driving a wedge between the two. Becky and Charlotte take turns with roll-ups while Carmella is sitting on the outside, throwing Charlotte into the post and taking down Becky, then she throws Becky out, and has Charlotte in a rest hold. Becky tried to roll up the champion, but failed. Charlotte tried to kick Carmella’s head off, but kicked Becky instead. Mella kicked Charlotte out of a figure four, then Becky hit Charlotte with a knee, then Becky took control. Charlotte hit the champ with a spear from out of nowhere, but the champ tried to hit a hurricanrana, Charlotte countered into a Boston Crab, and into a figure four, then Becky broke it up. Charlotte hit a Phoenix Splash from the top rope, and Becky in the Disarm her, but Carmella broke it up. Carmella kicked Charlotte out of the ring, then Becky had Carmella in the DisarmHer, but Charlotte broke it up with Natural Selection to win the Women’s title. After the match, Becky and Charlotte hugged it out in the middle of the ring, then Becky attacked Charlotte, turning her heel.

WWE Championship Match: Samoa Joe def. AJ Styles (c) by DQ, AJ Styles is still WWE Champion

Before the match started, Joe called out AJ’s wife and daughter from the Brooklyn crowd. AJ wrestled Joe down with a side headlock. Joe kicked AJ off of his feet, and rained down punches and strikes, before the champion regained momentum and took Joe down, and escaped to the outside. AJ tried to capitalized, but Joe kicked his feet out from under him. Samoa Joe barreled through the middle rope, and hit AJ Styles with a middle rope suicide dive. Joe keeps the champion down with a bone crunching lariat, and holding him in a headlock. Styles hit Joe with a powerful right, only for Joe to hit one of his own. Samoa Joe hit a diving knee from the top rope, but the champion kicked out. Styles tweaked his knee, and tried to get Joe into the Clash, but failed. AJ rolled through the Phenomenal Forearm, and then Joe hit a breakneck powerslam. AJ Styles finally managed to hit the Clash, and almost botch it. Styles and Joe exchanged heavy punches, and AJ locked in the calf crusher, which Joe countered into the Coquina Clutch. AJ wiggled his foot to the bottom rope, which frustrated Samoa Joe. Joe went for the Muscle Buster, AJ broke out, and Joe enziguri kicked AJ to the floor. Joe picked up the microphone and told Wendy that he’ll be their new daddy, then AJ went ballistic and attacked Samoa Joe with a chair getting himself disqualified.

The Miz def. Daniel Bryan

This match has been 8 years in the making, and it has lived up to the hype. Right from the get go, Miz tried to one-up D-Bry, hitting him with the YES kicks, then Bryan finally got to punch Miz in the face and hit the YES kicks. Bryan had Miz in a side headlock and kept punching Miz in the face. Miz kept stealing more of Daniel Bryan’s offense, with a surfboard, and Bryan retaliated with one of his own. Miz hung Bryan up on the top rope, then hit him with a clothesline that had Bryan land right on the top of his head. Miz kept belittling Bryan, then Daniel Bryan got things going, with his quick offense, and corner dropkicks, and a hurricanrana from the top rope. Bryan leapt down on The Miz from the top rope, and then would hammer on Mia with the YES kicks in the corner, then hit a back superplex from the top rope. Bryan once again teed off with the YES kicks, but MI countered with a DDT. Miz used the YES kicks, but Bryan leaned into them and then kicked Miz’s head off. Bryan went for the knee, Miz countered with the figure four, but Bryan tried to counter into the YES lock, but Miz slungshot Daniel Bryan into the ring post, then hit a Skull Crushing Finale, but Bryan kicked out. Miz went for Bryan’s knee, but D-Bry countered with a high kick. Miz ducked a kick and Bryan’s leg hit the post. Miz capitalized with a figure four, and Bryan managed to flip the figure four over, and Miz got to the rope to break the hold. Miz went for the Skull Crushing Finale, and Bryan rolled through it, finally locking in the YES Lock. Despite Bryan punching Miz in the back of the head, Miz broke the hold by reaching the ropes. Maryse gave The Miz brass knucks, then punched Daniel Bryan with the brass knucks to pick up the win.

“Demon” Finn Bálor def. Constable Baron Corbin

Corbin looked downright terrified, and pleading with the referee not to fight him. Finn hit Corbin with a corner dropkick, and 2 slingblades, and is hit the Constable with a Coup de Grace for the win in a very short squash match.

United States Championship Match: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) def. Jeff Hardy to retain the United States Championship

Nakamura starts playing mind games with Jeff Hardy, and decided to try to murder him with knees, keeping the Charismatic Enigma down with rest holds. Hardy hits a whisper in the wind, but that isn’t enough to keep the champion down. Hardy goes up to the top, but instead eats a knee from Nakamura. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate, but the champion almost countered with a low blow. Hardy hit the Twist of Fate and the Swanton Bomb, but Nakamura reached the rope. Jeff hit another Twist of Fate, but Nakamura rolled onto the apron, and missed a Swanton on the apron. Nakamura hit a Kinshasa to beat Jeff Hardy and retain the title.

RAW Women’s Championship Match: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey def. Alexa Bliss (c) to win the RAW Women’s Championship

Right from the get go, Alexa hid from Ronda, and Alexa got some offense in, but then Ronda decided to kill her with her rolling Samoan Drop, then putting Alexa Bliss in the armbar, and that was it. The third squash match of the night, and we have a new women’s champion.

WWE Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns def. Brock Lesnar (c) to finally win the Universal Championship

Braun Strowman came out and said he’s going to cash in immediately afterward. Roman hits 3 Superman Punches and 3 spears in succession, then Brock put Roman in the guillotine. Roman slammed Brock with a spinebuster and broke the hold. Brock immediately put the guillotine in again, and Roman broke it with another spinebuster. Roman went for another Superman Punch, then Brock took Roman down to Suplex City. Roman went for a spear, Brock rolled out of the way and Roman hit Braun. Brock went out of the ring and F5’d Braun Strowman, then threw Braun’s briefcase and hit Strowman with a chair. Then Brock tried to hit Reigns with a chair, then hit Brock with a spear and shockingly beat Lesnar for the title. I was shocked that Roman finally beat Lesnar, and according to rumors, he’ll be getting his rematch inside Hell in a Cell next month, and Strowman will cash in his contract.

Match of the Night: The Intercontinental Title Match

Once again, the Seth Rollins stole the show in the opening match. Although Ambrose didn’t turn heel, that doesn’t change the fact that this was a fantastic match. The inverted superplex/falcon arrow, Seth getting busted open, and that moment of Dean hitting Drew McIntyre with a Dirty Deeds before Rollins won the title was a great SummerSlam moment.

Overall Review

SummerSlam started out strong, with the IC and Smackdown Tag Titles, but then Braun squashed KO, and that was one of three squash matches tonight. The AJ-Samoa Joe match was pretty good, but although it ended in DQ, it adds to the story. Ronda’s match was a fun squash. Then the main event happened. Brock killed Braun Strowman, then after 4 spears, lost to Roman Reigns, and will have at least one more pay-per-view match before his UFC Heavyweight Title Clash against Daniel Cormier. I rate SummerSlam at a 6/10. What weighs this show down are the squash matches, and the DQ finishes, and Roman winning the Universal title. Now that Reigns has beaten Lesnar, we’re stuck with him as Universal Champion. Let’s hope that Braun Strowman cashes in soon.

WWE SummerSlam 2018 Predictions

The Greatest Party of the summer is finally here, and there surprisingly isn’t a John Cena match on the card. This is going to be another excruciatingly long show, and there will hopefully be some good matches to make it all worthwhile. It’s time to fire up the grill, grab some beers, and kick back as summer begins to wind down. Let’s have one last great summer night, with my predictions for WWE SummerSlam 2018.

Preshow: Rusev and Lana vs Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega

There is some tension brewing within team Rusev Day, with Aiden English costing Rusev and Lana matches against Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega. I think this will be an okay preshow match, with Rusev and Almas doing good things. I think that there will be more tension with Team Rusev Day, as Aiden English will once again cost his best buddies the match, perhaps even leading to a face turn from English.

Prediction: Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega

Preshow: Cruiserweight Championship Match: Cedric Alexander (c) vs Drew Gulak

This match hasn’t had much build after Drew Gulak beat Mustafa Ali, Hideo Itami, and TJP to earn the opportunity. Cedric and Gulak are going to have a serviceable match, but I’m predicting that Alexander retains his title. He should hold that belt for a while.

Prediction: Cedric Alexander Retains

Preshow: RAW Tag Team Championship Match: The B Team (c) vs The Revival

After capitalizing off of the Shattered Machine on Monday, The B-Team and the Revival got thrown together in a throwaway match on the preshow. I’m getting tired of the B-Team’s stupid antics, and now I think that they’ve had their run. The Revival need to get that’s theirs, and that is a lengthy run as the tag team champions, bringing some legitimacy to Raw’s tag team division

Prediction: The Revival win the Tag Team Championships

United States Championship Match: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs Jeff Hardy

Brother Nero is finally getting his rematch after that six second loss at Extreme Rules last month. This should be an entertaining match, but Randy Orton is sure to get involved. There are rumors that Jeff Hardy is working injured, so I see Randy Orton ruining the match, beating the tar out of Jeff Hardy, and writing him off so he can get some rest. Hardy will win the match, but Nakamura will still be United States Champion.

Prediction: Jeff Hardy wins by DQ after interference from Randy Orton

Finn Bálor vs “Constable” Baron Corbin

The Constable is now taking the Big Cass method of feuding, picking on Finn because he’s small, and Corbin is being the bigger man. It’s hard to believe that 2 years ago Finn was fighting for the Universal Championship, now he’s just in a pee break match on a very long SummerSlam show. I’m picking Finn to win this match, and hopefully end this crappy feud.

Prediction: Finn Bálor

Triple Threat Match for the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship: Carmella (c) vs Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair

For the first time in more than a year, Becky Lynch is getting a Smackdown Women’s Championship match. She’s looked really strong in the past couple of months, tapping out IIconics and Charlotte. Carmella, alongside James Ellsworth killed the mystique of Asuka, and the champion has been booked as a woman who can hold her own, rather than rely on shenanigans to win like she has at Money in the Bank and Extreme Rules. I would’ve been fine with Becky fighting one on one, but the triple threat is fine. This match should be a fun triple threat, with Becky and Charlotte being wonderful workers, and Carmella playing the cowardly heel. I’m picking Becky Lynch to finally win back the Smackdown Women’s championship, and gain some much needed recognition.

Prediction: Becky Lynch wins the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship

Intercontinental Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Seth Rollins

Rollins is getting another title match against Dolph Ziggler, this time he has some backup in a returning Dean Ambrose. This is going to be a fun match. Despite the crowd not being interested, the iron match was pretty decent. Rollins and Ziggler have the capability of stealing the show, and the dynamic of McIntyre and Dean should be interesting. Now that Ambrose is finally back in WWE, the question on everyone’s mind is: will he turn heel this Sunday? I believe that he will, after helping Rollins even out the odds and capture the Intercontinental Championship.

Prediction: Seth Rollins win the Intercontinental Title, but gets immediately attacked by Dean Ambrose

If Braun loses the match in any way, Braun loses his Money in the Bank Contract: Braun Strowman vs Kevin Owens

This whole feud has been KO making Braun lose to Jinder Mahal in different ways, and stealing the briefcase. This match will be Owens pushing Braun’s buttons, trying to get him DQ’d, but it ultimately won’t work because Braun is going to destroy Kevin Owens without getting DQ’d or counted out, and keeping his briefcase. Although I would love to see Kevin Owens get the Money in the Bank Briefcase, the WWE aren’t going to take the briefcase off of the Monster among Men, and he’ll be Universal Champion very soon.

Prediction: Braun Strowman keeps the Money in the Bank Contract.

Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship Match: The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs The New Day

The Bludgeon Brothers have beaten everyone there is to beat on Smackdown Live. The New Day, The Usos, and Breezango have all fallen to Harper and Rowan. I was hoping that The Bar would win the Smackdown Tag Team Tournament, giving the former Wyatt Family Brothers a new challenge, and bringing a hint of fresh air to Smackdown Live’s tag team division. Enough of my fantasy booking, time to focus back on the match. Although the Bludgeon Brothers have decimated everyone on Smackdown, I think that The New Day are going to have their number this time, bringing some positivity back to Tuesday nights.

Prediction: The New Day win the Tag Titles

RAW Women’s Championship Match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey

Ronda finally has her opportunity to get her hands on Alexa Bliss this Sunday. After Alexa beat down Ronda Rousey, provoked her to get her suspended, and calling her an “overhyped rookie,” Ronda is going to enjoy beating the tar out of the champion. Like all of Ronda’s matches, it’ll be rapid fire the whole time, with Alexa cowering in fear of th e former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. I’m picking Ronda Rousey to get her revenge on Bliss, and win the RAW Women’s Championship.

Prediction: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey wins the RAW Women’s Championship

Daniel Bryan vs The Miz

This match has been building for two years, starting with that fire promo from Miz on Talking Smack calling Bryan a coward. The feud has been on a slow boil with Miz using the “YES kicks,” and hit the ground running after Bryan got cleared. A match hasn’t had this level of hype in years. The seeds for this match goes all the way back to 2010, and the video packages this past Tuesday were the perfect way to cap off the build for this match. This match will be elevated into legendary status thanks to the crowd, and will be great storytelling with The Miz and D-Bry trading “YES” kicks, and will be a great moment for the crowd when Bryan finally shuts The Miz up.

Prediction: Daniel Bryan beats The Miz

WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs Samoa Joe

Is this 2018 WWE, or mid 2000’s TNA? Two of the biggest indie stars of the past decade are squaring off in Brooklyn for the WWE Championship. Joe has made this match very personal, saying that AJ never wanted a family because he cares so much about being a champion, and also saying that AJ’s family would be rooting for Joe. This match is going to be great, hard hitting and shows just how good AJ and Samoa Joe are. On Sunday, AJ Styles will have held the WWE Championship for 285 days, beating the likes of Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens, and Shinsuke Nakamura. Although he is the cover boy for WWE 2K19, I’m picking Samoa Joe to put the Phenomenal One to sleep, and finally capture the WWE Championship.

Prediction: Samoa Joe wins the WWE Championship

WWE Universal Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Roman Reigns

You’ve gotta be kidding me. For the third time in four months, Roman Reigns gets a title match against Lesnar, who will soon be getting ready to face Daniel Cormier for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. The way WWE has been booking Lesnar, as an uncaring monster who is only out for himself, is a great way to get heat on the Beast, and it is a ploy to make the crowd root for Reigns, that has worked. On the July 30 Raw, Brock F5’d Kurt Angle, teasing a potential match between the two for later on, if Lesnar is ever going to come back. They teased Brock betraying Paul Heyman, and it seemed that the WWE are stripping what little humanity Brock’s character has left, portraying him as a cold, heartless, unkillable monster, and Roman Reigns as the knight that will slay the beast. But it turns out that it was all an elaborate ruse on the part of Paul and Brock. We have been delaying this coronation for three and a half years, and although Lesnar is booked for the Raw after SummerSlam, we all know that Reigns is going to win here. However, the fans will be sent home happy after Braun cashes in on the big dog, reigniting their feud.

Prediction: Roman Reigns finally slays the Beast, but Braun Strowman cashes in and wins the belt

WWE Extreme Rules 2018 Review

Once again, this year’s Extreme Rules was solid show full of great matches despite the lack of stipulations. Extreme Rules did a great job of setting up for the Biggest Party of the Summer, and unfortunately, we didn’t see the return of Dean Ambrose. Maybe he’ll be back for the buildup for SummerSlam. Without further ado, here is my review for WWE Extreme Rules 2018.

Prediction Score: 9-2

Preshow: Andrade “Cien” Almas def. Sin Cara

Remember when Almas put on one of the best WWE matches of the decade? Despite it being six months later, it feels like an eternity. Since his call up to the main roster, he’s had like 2 matches with jobbers and a boring feud with Sin Cara. This was a competitive match, and Sin Cara almost won with a frog splash, but this should have been a very brief squash, and reminding the casual WWE audience how big of a deal “El Idolo” is.

Preshow: Tables Match: SAnitY def. The New Day

Chaos broke out right away, and New Day took over, throwing SAnitY out of the ring. SAnitY took back over, and teased putting Kofi through a table, but New Day countered with a triple team move. Kofi and Wolfe were teetering on the apron, then Eric Young jumped from the turnbuckles and drove Kofi through a table, finally getting their first main roster win.

RAW Tag Team Championship Match: The B-Team def. The Deleters of Worlds (c) to become the new Tag Team Champions

The Deleters of Worlds took control with mind games and their unorthodox offense, with Matt and Axel going back and forth, and teasing Bray Wyatt facing off against Bo Dallas. When they finally got in, Bray Wyatt dominated. The Deleters of Worlds went for the win, and Bo knocked Matt into Bray Wyatt, and hit a top rope neckbreaker to win the Tag Team Championships. This’ll set up a rematch for the titles at SummerSlam, and hopefully WWE will do something with their title reign.

Finn Bálor def. “Constable” Baron Corbin

Corbin took control of Finn, using his power to dominate the founder of The Bullet Club. Any time Finn tried to get some offense in, Corbin clubs him down with power. Balor knocked the Constable down with a step up enziguri, and went for the coup de grace, but Corbin countered with a chokeslam backbreaker, and Finn countered an End of Days into a rollup for the win, making Corbin irate, and meaning that this feud is going to continue into SummerSlam

Smackdown Live Women’s Championship Match with James Ellsworth Suspended above the ring in a Shark Cage: Carmella (c) def. Asuka to retain the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship

Asuka didn’t waste time trying to hit some stiff strikes, and almost immediately James Ellsworth drops a chain down to Carmella, only for Asuka to hand it to the ref, and then Ellsworth dropped down a spray bottle, the same one that was used in the lumberjack match on Tuesday While the action goes on the outside of the ring, Ellsworth escaped the Shark Cage, but his bandana got caught, and Asuka proceeded to murder James Ellsworth. The officials tried to put Ellsworth back up, but Asuka wanted to keep killing Ellsworth. Carmella shoved Asuka into the cage, and then got the win, thanks to Ellsworth shenanigans. After the match, Asuka took out the officials, and then murdered James Ellsworth some more.

United States Championship Match: Shinsuke Nakamura def. Jeff Hardy to win the United States Championship

Before the bell rang, Nakamura hit Jeff Hardy right in the balls, the bell rang and Nakamura hit the Kinshasa for the win. That match was like 5 seconds, and as Nakamura was celebrating, Randy Orton returned and beat up Jeff Hardy, turning heel, and a heel Randy Orton is what’s best.

Steel Cage Match: Kevin Owens def. Braun Strowman

Owens immediately tried to climb up the wall, but Braun kept throwing him down and called Kev-Kev a coward, then Braun immediately took control, but after Strowman rammed into the cage, Owens capitalized with a cannonball and a frog splash. After another failed escape attempt, Owens begged for mercy, but that failed. Strowman threw Kevin into the cage walls like a medicine ball, and Braun slammed the door in KO’s face. Kev-Kev handcuffed Braun to the rope, but still managed to chokeslam Kevin Owens. Owens told Braun “Suck It” and climbed up the cage, but Braun broke the cuffs and chokeslammed him of the roof of the cage. Owens may have won the match, but Braun Strowman won the war.

Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship Match: The Bludgeon Brothers (c) def. Team Hell No to retain the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships

After a backstage assault from the Bludgeon Brothers, Bran had to start this match all alone. Bryan used his speed to avoid Rowan, and tried to chop down the giant in the corner, and Bran dropkicked Rowan out of the ring and managed to lick in the YES Lock on Harper, but Rowan dragged him out of the way and the Bludgeons keep the assault on Bryan with constant tags and brute power. Bryan tried to hit Rowan with a suicide dive, but got caught, and Harper hit Rowan with a suicide dive instead. With all 3 men down, out came Kane in a walking boot. Bryan made the tag to Kane, and he began to clean house, hitting both Bludgeons with chokeslams, and Bryan hit a missile dropkick and the YES kicks to Harper, and went for the knee, but Rowan hit a big kick, and the Bludgeon Brothers hit a clothesline powerbomb to retain the Tag Team Titles.

Roman Reigns def. Bobby Lashley

The fans immediately dumped on this match while both men locked up. This match was deserving of an Extreme Rules stipulation, but it didn’t get one. Lashley jumped over Roman, but that didn’t stop the fans from booing. Reigns hit a drive by, and threw Lashley into the barricade, but the fans didn’t care because they were chanting “Rusev Day.” Roman tried to get himself DQ’d and hit Lashley with the steps, but Lashley caught them and threw Roman down. Lashley started to pick up the pace with a suplex and shoulder tackles, and countered a Roman clothesline with a powerslam, and hit Reigns with a crossbody. Roman had Lashley on his shoulder, and threw Lashley over the top rope, and hit a leg drop as Bobby got into the ring. Lashley countered the superman punch with a spinebuster, and hit his crappy suplex, but Roman kicked out at 2. Lashley tried to hit he spear and Roman countered with a picture perfect Superman Punch, and tried a spear on the outside of the ring, but Lashley countered with a belly to belly over the table. Reigns hit a top rope Superman Punch, then Lashley hit the spear from out of nowhere for the win.

Extreme Rules Match for the RAW Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss (c) def. Nia Jax to retain the RAW Women’s Championship

Why is Natalya ringside for Nia Jax? Backup? It doesn’t matter. Alexa slapped Nia, then Bliss hit Nia with a kendo stick, but Nia broke it. Bliss tried to hit Nia with a bunch of weapons, but the challenger caught them and threw them into the ring. Nia threw Alexa onto a garbage can, and Bliss capitalized by hitting Nia a bunch of times with a garbage can lid, Nia ran into a chair into the corner. Natalya attacked Mickie James, then Ronda attacked Mickie James, hitting a swinging Samoan Drop then continuing to assault Mickie James, then turned her attention to Alexa Bliss. Just as Ronda was about to kill Bliss, Mickie cut her down with a kendo stick. Mickie and Alexa teed off on Nia, then Bliss hit a DDT onto a chair to retain her title.

WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) def. Rusev to retain the WWE Championship

Styles gets the match going right away, trying to take the big guy’s leg out, but Rusev would counter with his power. Rusev attacked the core of AJ, locking in a bearhug along with clubbing forearms. Styles once again worked on the leg, kicking Ru-Ru down from the top rope to the outside. Styles goes for the clash, but Rusev rams Styles into the corner. Styles tried to lock in the calf crusher, but Rusev countered and almost locked in the Accolade. Styles finally locked in the calf crusher after rolling through a fall-away slam, and Aiden English pushed the ropes a little closer to help Rusev out. Styles tried to take out English, but Rusev intercepted with a belly to belly suplex, and hit the Machka kick, but it wasn’t enough to keep the champion down. Styles countered another Machka kick with a Pelé kick, but Rusev tried for the Accolade, but his leg gave out. English removed the turnbuckle cover, and Rusev ran into it. Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm, and retained his title against Rusev, sorry WWE Universe. Rusev will have his day, very soon.

30 Minute Iron Man Match for the Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler (c) def. Seth Rollins 5-4 to retain the Intercontinental Championship

The match started with solid chain wrestling, and both men trying for pinfalls early. Ziggles went out of the ring to recuperate, and Seth was doing jumping jacks in the ring. Rollins hit a buckle bomb, then rolled Ziggler up to get the first fall about five minutes in. After a sequence full of pin attempts, Rollins hit a stomp from out of nowhere and got another fall, going up 2-0. McIntyre attacked Seth Rollins, giving Rollins a DQ win, and McIntyre continuing his assault. Then after the ref kicked McIntyre out, Ziggler pinned Rollins, and hit a super kick, getting 2 quick falls making the score 3-2. Ziggler threw Seth into the post and hit a Zig-Zag to tie it up. Ziggler got a fall with his feet up on the ropes, making the score 4-3. Ziggler then began to wear the champion down, locking in a sleeper hold for ages before Rollins rams Zigs into the post. Rollins hits 2 Suicide Dives, and then hits a springboard clothesline, but couldn’t tie it up. Rollins hit the ripcord knee but it wasn’t enough with 8 minutes left. No matter what Seth does, Ziggler keeps kicking out. Rollins pinned Ziggles after a slingshot to finally tie it up with three minutes left. Rollins locked in a sharpshooter, then Rollins countered with a Crossface with a minute and a half left. Ziggler tried to escape, and capitalized with a Famousser, but couldn’t get the fall with under 45 seconds left. Rollins hit a super kick with the stomp, but time ran out before Rollins could get the pin. Just as it looks like Ziggler is going to walk away with his title, Kurt Angle announces Sudden Death, and right as the match restarted, McIntyre distracted Rollins and Ziggler hit the Zig-Zag to retain the Intercontinental Title.

Match of the Night

The Match of the Night easily goes to the Iron Man match. Tons of falls, a crazy overtime finish. This match lived up the hype and is a definite MOTY candidate. The best match both of these men have wrestled this year for sure.

Overall Review

This was a very solid show, with lots of great matches and the death of Kevin Owens. For the second show in a row, the fans have ruined a Roman Reigns match, and tonight’s match was actually pretty decent. While Rusev didn’t win the WWE Championship, tonight’s performance put him over with the fans as a main event player. Then the main event happened. That was a fantastic Iron Man match, and will go down as one of the best matches of 2018. I would rank Extreme Rules at a 7.5/10. The matches were fun, and seeing Braun Strowman continue his bullying of Kevin Owens was fun, and was a close second for Match of the Night. Ronda going on a killing spree was also a good moment from the crowd. What brings the show down, is the fans dumping on the Roman-Lashley match, and The B-Team winning the tag belts. What’s next for Team Hell No? Will they get another shot at the tag titles, or will Team Hell No just split up and Bryan just go on to feud with the Miz? SummerSlam is the next show, and it looks like we have an interesting show on our hands.

WWE Money in the Bank 2018 Review

Money in the Bank was a huge improvement from Backlash last month. RAW won both ladder matches, and even had a cash in two hours after the women’s match. Alexa Bliss is a six time champion, and James Ellsworth came back. If you cashed out and missed Money in the Bank, I’ll get you up to speed with my review of WWE Money in the Bank 2018.

Prediction Score: 6-5

Preshow: Smackdown Live Tag Team Match: The Bludgeon Brothers (c) def. Gallanderson to retain the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships

If I took a shot for how many times the announcers said the word “brothers” in this match, I wouldn’t have been able to watch the rest of the pay per view. Gallanderson put up a fight, and even almost hit the Magic Killer, but ultimately the Good Brothers still came up short of winning the gold. No run in from SAnitY, or anything. Just a normal tag team match, with the Bludgeon Bros. going over clean.

Daniel Bryan def. Big Cass

Bryan took a couple of warm-up laps around Big Cass before chopping the big guy down. Bryan kept hitting Cass’ surgically repaired knee, and took a bad looking hit to the barricade outside. Cass used his power to take control with haymakers and keeping Bryan grounded. Every time Bryan tried to get some offense, Cass used his size to stop his momentum. Bryan started to gain some momentum, dissecting Cass’ knee. Bryan turned a hurricanrana into the YES Lock, but Cass didn’t tap out immediately this time, and managed to get a rope break. Cass hit a middle rope fall-away slam, but Bryan kicked out. After ducking the Big Boot, D-Bry chopped the giant town with the YES Kicks, and Cass countered the knee with a Boot, but it wasn’t enough. Bryan flipped out of the torture rack, hit the knee and made Cass tap out with the heel hook. Looks like this feud was over quick. Now for WWE to get started on the build for the impending Miz-Bryan feud.

Bobby Lashley def. Sami Zayn

Sami Zayn annoyingly plays mind games with Lashley by constantly escaping the ring in an attempt to get the upper hand and using some good old heel tactics. Sami is stomping Lashley down, and dominates the early part of this match, until Lashley catches Sami’s hand it’s time for Zayn to die. Lashley catches Sami midair after attempting cross body and counters it with a fall-away slam. Lashley hit that stupid delayed suplex three times and got the win. A quick, dominant match on Lashley’s part, and hopefully this feud is over.

Intercontinental Championship Match: Seth Rollins def. Elias to retain the Intercontinental Championship

This Chicago crowd sure does love Elias, until he called them scumbags, to which the crowd responded “We’re not scumbags!” Elias stopped his concert, to which Corey called him Axl Rose, harking back to a 1992 concert where GNR wouldn’t play, and riots broke out. I didn’t notice until the match started, but Seth Rollins and Elias look a lot alike. If they both wore the same gear, it’d be hard to tell them apart. It didn’t take too long for Rollins to start flying, and take control with punches. Elias hit a nasty clothesline onto the apron, where Seth landed on his neck, and now Elias shows his mean streak. Rollins coughed up blood, and Elias kept the king slayer down. Rollins caught a second wind, hitting a slingblade and a suicide dive, but Seth’s knee buckled, but the champion kept valiantly fighting, but his knee was a big target for Elias. Seth tried to hit a frog splash, but Elias had his knees up. Rollins went for the stomp, Elias rolled out of the way, sidestepped a suicide dive, threw the champ into the steps, and even hit a top rope elbow, but it wasn’t enough for The Drifter to win his first title. Rollins countered a Drift Away into a roll-up, Elias rolled him up, then Seth grabbed the tights to pull Elias down and roll him up for the win. Once again, Seth Rollins had an incredible championship match and while Elias lost, he got put over pretty strong in defeat.

Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Alexa Bliss def. Natalya, Lana, Naomi, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Ember Moon to become Ms. Money in the Bank

Chaos breaks out right away, with Becky all alone in the ring kicking anyone trying to get inside. Ember threw Natty into the steps, and takes control, taking out Sasha and Naomi, including a crossbody onto a ladder. Lana takes Ember down with an X-Factor onto a ladder, then is neutralized by Natty. Charlotte and Becky have a face off, having a tug of war with a ladder, then Naomi jumped off the ladder and onto Natalya. Becky pulls a Kofi and scrambles up a ladder while Ember and Naomi are fighting over it, only for the two women to throw the ladder down onto Becky, then Ember and Naomi start fighting, only for Sasha to take them out, then Sasha and Charlotte have a moment, harking back to their rivalry in 2015. Charlotte went for a Razor’s Edge, Sasha escaped and climbed the ladder, only for Becky to take them out, and everyone is trying to get the briefcase on 2 ladders, but Natty powerbombed Sasha onto a ladder and caused it to fall. Charlotte goes on a tear, powerbombing Ember onto a ladder, and throwing Lana down. Lana hits Alexa with a Machka kick and locks in the accolade before climbing the ladder, and just like Seth Rollins, Naomi jumps on the ladder, and almost brought down the briefcase, but couldn’t do it. Becky and Charlotte fight on top of the ladder before Bliss knocks it down, and everyone is scrambling to the top of the ladder. Becky Lynch was all alone at the top of the ladder, and was going to unhook the briefcase, but she stopped, and Alexa threw her off and took the briefcase for herself. This ladder match was pretty fun, full of great spots and Alexa winning was unexpected, but she didn’t really need the briefcase. She’ll always be in the title hunt, and while people didn’t want Natty to win, she made sense because it would feed into a feud with Ronda.

Roman Reigns def. Jinder Mahal

The boos were pretty loud for the Big Dog. The crowd also didn’t care about this match, chanting “CM Punk” and showing general indifference in this match. Roman hit the ground running with right hands, and after Roman missed the drive-by, Sunil Singh threw Roman into the ring post and Jinder held Roman down with rest holds, which made the crowd sh*t on this match even more, chanting “Let’s go Cena, CM Punk!,” “Delete,” and were even distracted by a beach ball. Roman countered the Khallas, then Roman went for a spear and Jinder countered, throwing him into a ring post. Sunil once again tried to cause some more shenanigans, but Roman caught him, and hit him with a spear on the outside, then speared Jinder for the win. This match was straight ass, and may be the worst pay per view match of 2018.

Smackdown Live Women’s Championship: Carmella (c) def. Asuka to retain the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship

Mella ducked under Asuka’s strikes and started to moonwalk and trash talk, but then Asuka decided to murder Carmella, kicking the champion out of the ring, and while Mella tried to walk away, Asuka hit her in the face with a stiff knee, but the champ threw Asuka into a ring post and the tide began to shift in her favor as she locked in a double chickenwing, but was countered by the challenger. Mella continued to play mind games with Asuka, and avoided her strikes while countering with her own. Asuka began to get into that “I’m gonna kill you” mode and hit some strong strikes to the champion, and Mella kicked Asuka from the apron to the floor, and hits the challenger with a suicide dive. Then right as Asuka was about to win, JAMES F*****G ELLSWORTH dressed up in Asuka’s gear, and allowed Carmella to get the win. James Ellsworth is back, and now I’m sad.

Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) def. Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the WWE Championship

The match started off well, with Styles hitting a phenomenal forearm early, and Nakamura hitting a northern lights suplex onto the entrance ramp. Nakamura took control, doing his best to keep the WWE Champion down, and letting the ref do his job. The fighting goes into the crowd, with AJ trying to get a comeback, but the relentless challenger keeps the Phenomenal Champion down. Styles hits a Pelé kick, but Shinsuke quickly countered with a kick of his own. AJ went for the clash, and Nakamura tried to hit AJ in the balls, but Styles dodged it, and kicked Nak down. Nakamura tried for the Kinshasa, but Styles countered it with a flying forearm, keeping the challenger down for a count of 8. Nakamura countered a phenomenal forearm with a stiff kick to the face. The pace is quickening, with Nakamura hitting a Kinshasa on the announce table, with the champion standing up at a count of 9. The challenger decides to honor the Dudley Boys by getting a table, and set it up in the middle of the ring. Nakamura tried to hit a superplex onto the table, but Styles was able to escape, so Nakamura instead threw AJ Styles into the table. It wasn’t enough to keep AJ down, as he got up at a count of 9 and a half. Shinsuke tried to prop Styles up on top of an exposed turnbuckle and knee his ribs into oblivion, but the champ rolled out of the way and Nakamura’s knee met the metal. Styles then proceeded to destroy Nakamura’s knee with the calf crusher. AJ grabbed a chair and gave Nakamura’s leg a good smack, and hit Nakamura in the head as he begged for mercy. Styles was going to hit him again, but Nakamura hit AJ in the balls for the umpteenth time, and in response, the deranged challenger hit AJ with a Kinshasa, but Styles once again got up at 9. Styles hit the clash off of the stairs onto the floor, but after Nakamura got up, Styles kicked Nakamura in the nuts and hit a Phenomenal Forearm through the announce table for the win. This was a good last man standing match, and was a great end to a terrible feud.

RAW Women’s Championship Match: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey def. Nia Jax (c) by disqualification. Nia Jax is still the RAW Women’s Champion

Nia hit the ground running, throwing Ronda across the ring, and while Ronda hit a couple of strikes, Nia just kept the onslaught going with her raw power. Nia had Ronda up for a Samoan Drop, then Ronda tried to lock in a Kimura then an armbar, only for Jax to counter into a powerbomb. Nia threw Rousey into the barricade, but Ronda kicked out. Ronda locked in a guillotine, but Nia used her power to escape and lock Ronda in a bear-hug. Ronda’s selling is incredible in this match, really putting over the bear like strength of Nia Jax. Nia managed to lock in the armbar while hanging on the outside, Nia couldn’t tap out. Ronda went to the top rope and hit a great crossbody, only for Nia to throw her across the ring when she kicked out. Ronda hit some stiff punches and a knee strikes, culminating with a judo throw. Ronda tried once again to lock in the armbar, but Nia countered with a pinfall, forcing Ronda to break it up. Ronda hit a modified rock bottom, but as she’s about to lock in the armbar, she gets assaulted by Ms. Money in the Bank, Alexa Bliss.

Alexa Bliss cashed in her Money in the Bank Contract to become the new RAW Women’s Champion

Alexa assaulted Ronda and Nia, then cashed in on Nia Jax, hitting her with a DDT and a Twisted Bliss, and that was all she wrote. Alexa Bliss is once again the RAW Women’s Champion, and now there’s an interesting dynamic with Ronda, Alexa, and Nia going into Extreme Rules and SummerSlam.

Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Braun Strowman def. The Miz, Bobby Roode, Kofi Kingston, Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, Finn Bálor, and Rusev to become Mr. Money in the Bank

I didn’t expect Kofi to be in the ladder match, but that makes sense because Kofi + ladders = aerial fun. Right out of the gate, everyone tries to take Braun out, but Strowman overpowered them, only for everyone else to bury Braun under a bunch of ladders. Miz tried to steal the briefcase, but Samoa Joe foiled his plans. Kofi hit a Boom Drop onto Miz under a ladder, and Kofi gets taken out by Kev-Kev. Finn and Roode prevent each other from climbing the ladder, then Owens hits Finn with a ladder, and before he can take Finn out for good, he tries to prevent Rusev from climbing up the ladder, only to eat a fall-away slam for his troubles. Kofi tried to take everyone out, he got caught only for Finn to dive on all of them. Then Braun Strowman is back and decides to murder everyone. Owens, Rusev, and Joe all take out Strowman with Joe locking in the Coquina Clutch. Kev-Kev is at the top of a super tall ladder, only for Braun to throw him from the top of the ladder through a table. Braun murders Kofi, and broke a ladder by running into it. Miz, looking absolutely terrified, tried his darnedest climbing up the ladder and had his hands on the contract, but he got caught by Braun. Joe takes Strowman out, and Roode throws Finn out of the ring and squares off with Samoa Joe, just like in the good old days of TNA. Rusev goes on a tear, hitting Kofi, Joe, and Roode with Machka kicks and had Roode and Kofi in a double accolade, before stacking Miz on top for a triple, before Joe locks in the clutch, only for Ru-Ru to counter. Rusev climbs the ladder, only for The Miz to climb the ladder, warring with Kofi atop the ladder for the contract, only for Roode to tip the ladder. Finn hits a Coup de Grace onto Roode from the top of a ladder, then Braun hits Miz and Joe with Powerslams. Kofi launches himself on the back of Braun Strowman, Braun throws Kofi off his back, and grabs the briefcase. He has nobody to cash in on, as much as I am a fan of Lesnar, Brock may end up missing SummerSlam if the rumors of him fighting the winner of Cormier v Miocic are true. Whenever Braun does cash in, it’ll be when we least expect it.

Match of the Night

This is hard to pick, but I’m going to give it to the men’s ladder match. Everyone had their moments, but ultimately it was the Braun Strowman show, with him murdering everyone in the match en route to winning the briefcase, meaning he’ll cash in when Hell freezes over.

Overall Review

Money in the Bank was a fun night, with four standalone great matches. Rousey-Nia, AJ-Nak, The men’s ladder match, and Rollins-Elias. Alexa cashing in was a great moment, but what doesn’t make that cash-in feel as special is that the fans knew the women’s winner was cashing in, we just didn’t expect it to be Bliss. Speaking of, I hope that we will remember the match preceding it, because it was fantastic. Ronda showcased how good she is not just from a wrestling standpoint, but her selling. She really put over that Nia is this unkillable monster. Now, from the blue brand, I was shocked that Carmela beat Asuka, but I was also shocked and angry that Ellsworth is back. I hate James Ellsworth, and the fact that he’s back makes me want to cry, but I think I’ll be okay. The ladder matches were good, with the men’s match being full of great carnage. I’ll rate Money in the Bank at an 8 out of 10. What really dragged the show down was the fans completely dumping on the Reigns-Jinder match. The last man standing match was great, the only great match in that feud, and I’m glad it’s over. Up next we have Extreme Rules, and that means that we’ll be in for a great train wreck of a night. Braun Strowman is Mr. Money in the Bank, and while there were more deserving people to win, but we can’t say we weren’t surprised with Braun winning.

WWE Money in the Bank 2018 Predictions

The build to this show has been pretty weak. Title matches were announced with no fanfare, and this show is jam packed with lackluster feuds. This is shaping up to be yet another awful pay-per-view, and that’s especially bad because Money in the Bank is WWE’s fifth biggest show of the year. But, the Chicago crowd will either help elevate this show, or bury it in the dust. With that being said, here are my predictions for Money in the Bank 2018.

Intercontinental Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs Elias

After Elias smashed a guitar over Seth Rollins’ head because his concert got interrupted, Elias has a title match at Money in the Bank. Elias has been brilliant on RAW, and while I would love to see him as Intercontinental Champion, Seth Rollins is going to pick up the win here because he’s red hot at the moment, and I don’t think that WWE are taking the belt off of him soon.

Prediction: Seth Rollins Retains

Bobby Lashley vs Sami Zayn

Bobby Lashley’s return has been flat, and his hanging suplex finisher is really terrible. I guess only Roman Reigns can use the spear nowadays. All Bobby Lashley has done is talk about how much he loves his three sisters, and have a crappy feud with Sami Zayn. All Zayn has done is make fun of Bobby’s sisters, and question if Bobby served in the Army, and Bobby hasn’t looked angry, but rather annoyed. I can’t blame you, I’m annoyed with this too.Although this match won’t be bad from an in ring perspective, what weighs this down is the lack of fan investment. I’m picking Bobby Lashley to win this match, it’s his first singles feud since coming back, and WWE are going to put him over strong.

Prediction: Bobby Lashley

Smackdown Live Women’s Championship Match: Carmella (c) vs Asuka

Man, how far has Asuka fallen since her streak was snapped? She lost her first match on Smackdown, and ate the pin. After bragging that she beat Charlotte yet again, Paige named Asuka her next challenger. Rather than cower of the impending doom headed her way, Carmella laughed and said that Asuka is nowhere near as scary as she used to be, which is true since she ate a couple of losses. I’m picking Asuka to win the title, which is what she should have done at Mania in the first place

Prediction: Asuka win the Smackdown Live Women’s Title

Roman Reigns vs Jinder Mahal

Does anyone really care about this feud? Jinder cost Roman an opportunity for the MITB ladder match, and in retaliation he speared The Modern Day Maharajah through a freaking wall. Jinder hit Reigns with a chair, and now they’re fighting at Money in the Bank. When I heard that this was main eventing house shows, I laughed. The fans don’t care about Jinder Mahal, and they couldn’t care any less about the Big Dog. No amount of shenanigans can save Jinder from the mighty spear of Roman Reigns. I’m picking Roman to win a very dull match

Prediction: Roman Reigns

Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship Match: The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs Gallanderson

Gallanderson are getting a push! Yay! I love Gallanderson, and think that they’d be great tag team champions, but they aren’t the team to beat the Bludgeon Brothers. I think that the Bludgeon Bros. hold the titles until at least SummerSlam, and I think that after the Bludgeons retain, Sanity come out and attack the champs to set up a future title match

Prediction: The Bludgeon Brothers Retain

Daniel Bryan vs Big Cass

Daniel won’t be in the ladder match because he might hurt his neck, and while WWE have their best interest in heart, it’d be better than having a crappy feud with Big Cass. Cass said that he’s gonna win because he’s tall, but he lost at Backlash last month. Really quickly. The arena that is hosting Extreme Rules said on twitter that Bryan vs Cass is advertised for the show. That means that Big Cass is going to get the win here and set up the blowoff match.

Prediction: Big Cass

Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Ember Moon vs Alexa Bliss vs Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch vs Natalya vs Lana vs Naomi vs Sasha Banks

This is going to be a decent ladder match, and one thing I want to see is Ember hitting and Eclipse off of the top of a ladder. Natalya is the current favorite to win because an action figure was just released with her holding the briefcase, and fans are speculating that Ronda’s next feud is with a heel Natalya. Natty could win, and cash in on Ronda, but only if this match kicks off the show.

Prediction: Natalya becomes Ms. Money in the Bank

RAW Women’s Championship Match: Nia Jax (c) vs “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey

I didn’t think Ronda would get a title match until at least SummerSlam, so why are they rushing this? The buildup started at a red carpet event for NBC Universal, where Nia Jax called out Ronda for a match at MITB, and Ronda reluctantly accepted. This match doesn’t feel like as big of a deal as it should, considering it’s for the title. The buildup for this match had Nia be a heel one week, and a face the next week. She told Ronda “You can’t lock in the armbar on me, you’re too small!” and Ronda responded with locking in the armbar on Monday night. While it’s too soon for Nia to lose her title, Ronda isn’t going to be losing any time soon, and will hold the RAW women’s title for a good long while to set up an epic match against Charlotte down the line.

Prediction: Ronda Rousey wins the RAW Women’s Title

Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura

WWE has ruined this feud. This is the fifth time these two are fighting each other in 2 months. This was supposed to be the feud of the decade, and give WWE one up on New Japan. Speaking of, look at how NJPW booked their top feud, Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada. They just fought for the fourth time in a year and a half. There has been time for the story to build, and anticipate hype for the fans, on top of that all of their matches were wonderful. Not so, AJ-Nak. They had a match ON F****G SMACKDOWN to decide the stipulation for this match. Nakamura won with some shenanigans, but it was the best match in this lackluster feud. Since then, Nakamura has constantly been counting to 10 and playing some mind games with the WWE Champion including pissing AJ off because of a pen. Man this feud sucks. I’m picking AJ Styles to give this feud the sweet, merciful death it deserves and retain his title.

Prediction: AJ Styles Retains

Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Braun Strowman vs Finn Bálor vs The Miz vs Samoa Joe vs Rusev vs Bobby Roode vs Kevin Owens vs One Member of The New Day (Big E, Xavier Woods, or Kofi Kingston)

This is a pretty stacked MITB match, and while Daniel Bryan isn’t in it, this could still be one of the best ladder matches in a long time. There are three frontrunners to win, and they are The Miz, Braun Strowman, and Samoa Joe. Everyone should have their moments in this match, and there should be some epic spots from Braun Strowman, as well as some shenanigans from The New Day. For this match I’ll make two predictions: the winner, and whichever member of The New Day enters the match. I think that Big E is in the ladder match, although I would love for it to be either Kofi or Xavier. Big E and Braun Strowman throwing people and ladders around in a contest of one-ups manship writes itself. As far as the winner goes, it’s pretty hard to pick, but I’m going to go with The Miz. He is due for another WWE Championship run, and since he’s got an impending feud with Daniel Bryan, what better way to add fuel to that fire than to cash in on Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam?

Which Member of New Day is in the match: It seems obvious that Big E is going to be in the match. He is the muscle, and rumor has it he has a singles push in his future. A great showing in this ladder match should get it on the right track

Prediction: The Miz becomes Mr. Money in the Bank

Will anyone cash-in on Sunday?

If anyone will cash-in, it’ll most likely be Natalya if she wins, but that’s only if the Women’s ladder match kicks off the show. I don’t think the men’s winner will cash-in that night because the men’s ladder match will most likely close the show.