Another five hours of WWE television is in the books, and what did we learn from them this week?

    Well, Roman “I don’t make excuses” Reigns made a ton of excuses for his latest loss to Brock Lesnar, but in fairness to him he did make some good points. Elias teleported us back to the 1980s with a ridiculous throat injury angle on Bobby Roode. Seth Rollins is truly The Man in WWE, and the only man with a singles title that shows up to work every Monday night. Alexa Bliss is comedy gold. Her latest rant at “bully” Nia Jax was something out of Saturday Night Live. Madness, but brilliant. Oh, and Ruby Riott and Sasha Banks delivered a great encounter. But how long will it be before we see The Boss square off with Bayley on PPV? I actually think Global Warming or even Brexit will come first.

    Meanwhile, over on Smackdown Samoa Joe sent a threat to AJ Styles, while Shinsuke Nakamura continued his quest to destroy The Phenomenal WWE Champion… one ball at a time. The Miz was his absolute best as the wind-up merchant for Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy, and it worked too because The Viper dropped his Backlash opponent with a lethal RKO. Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Asuka reigned supreme over The IIconics and Carmella in the night’s entertaining main event, awkward Avengers tie-in aside. Big Cass attempted to show the world his humorous side but came up shorter than the Daniel Bryan impersonator. And it seems as if Rusev and Lana are back together. That’s great news for us, but bad news for Aiden English who looks to be getting kicked to the curb. At least he can write a song about it.

    Okay then, now the introduction is out of the way let’s get down to the Top 10 things that happened on Raw and Smackdown this week.


    10: Big Cass Mocked Daniel Bryan.

    Someone behind the scenes in WWE really gets a kick out of laughing at small people, don’t they? That’s why we had to endure Hornswoggle for close to a decade. And that’s why we had a mini version of Daniel Bryan show up on Smackdown to be ridiculed by Big Cass in arguably the worst segment in Smackdown history. There’s not many current WWE superstars you can give a live microphone to and hope to succeed, Big Cass is at the bottom of that list. His attempts at humour were as bad as watching a Donald Trump press conference. He’s not funny. He’s not over. And he sells finishing moves worse than Vince McMahon, but enough about Trump. Let’s hope Bryan gets the win at Backlash and sends Cass packing because there’s only one word to describe Cass and I’m gonna spell it out for you….. A… W….. F…. U….. L.


    9: Elias Def. Bobby Roode via referee stoppage.

    The match itself was fine, but the ending was like something from the 1980s. In fact, they did something very similar in that era involving Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage which led to their WrestleMania 3 classic. I know we’re heading to a PPV match between Elias and Bobby Roode but I don’t think even the most optimistic of fans will be expecting a classic. Both men are fine between the ropes, but they both wrestle like heels which doesn’t make for exciting bouts. The throat injury was executed well, but Roode is so miscast in the role of vulnerable babyface that they may as well have put Stephanie McMahon there. The sooner he moves to the dark side the better, and as for Elias, I see big things in his future. Maybe even a run as the Universal Champion.


    8:  Charlotte, Asuka & Becky Lynch Def. Carmella & The IIconics.

    This was Smackdown’s main event. It was good for what it was. Nothing special, but it’s always good to see the women showcased in the headline spots. The Icconics are just brilliant. They’re everything we all hate about modern society but that’s what makes them so great because we’d happily pay to watch Charlotte kick the crap out of them. And that my friend is how wrestling works. Carmella is also doing her part as the arrogant, slippery Women’s Champion. She puts the gold on the line this Sunday at Backlash against Charlotte. It could be a short reign for the Princess of Staten Island, but I suspect The IIconics will ensure her reign goes on. Having Asuka interact with Becky Lynch and Charlotte backstage prior to the bout was a little off-putting. WWE have really reduced the value of Asuka since WrestleMania. She should be like a silent assassin, not cracking jokes in broken English.


    7: Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley Def. Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn.

    Poor Roman Reigns. It’s not his fault, really. It’s WWE and their team of “expert” writers who consistently let him down. We all know he is the true face of the company, simply checking out their online store will tell you that. However, in Vince McMahon’s efforts to try and make us love Roman as much as him (which may not even be possible) he’s put storyline roadblocks in Reigns’ path in an attempt to make us side with him. But having him bludgeoned by Brock Lesnar is not the answer. Seeing a total badass wipe the floor with a whiny corporate is never going to be booed. But WWE don’t see that so they keep having Roman fail so we will treat him as an underdog.

    Case in point came at the Greatest Royal Rumble event where Roman actually defeated Lesnar inside the Steel Cage, but the pair either botched the finish or it was designed to paint Roman as the victim. I’m guessing it’s the latter following what happened on Raw as The Big Dog opened the show to a shower of boos from the Canadian faithful before addressing his “victory” in Saudi Arabia. Rather than just ignoring the fact that the referee made the wrong call and simply say he now knows he can beat Brock Lesnar and when the time comes when he gets his rematch he will take home the title, he rambled on about not wanting to make any excuses before reeling off a whole list of them. Sorry Roman, but being a whiny bitch is never going to get you over. Here’s a tip for WWE: Don’t let him speak. Let him be a silent badass. And when he does speak make sure it’s short and to the point. It’s why we loved him in The Shield.

    With all that said, the opening promo predictably led to a multi-man match later on in the evening after Owens, Zayn, Mahal, Lashley and Strowman all got involved. The match itself was decent with The Monster Amongst Men going over. I’d have had Owens or Zayn sneak the victory considering they were in their hometown but WWE never like to send fans home happy these days.


    6: Rusev and Lana back together?

    Rusev Day may all be over but don’t cry just yet because it seems as if Lana is back by her man’s side to resurrect his career. Let’s be honest, without Lana, Rusev sucks. He may have gotten over with the whole “Rusev Day” gimmick but it was never going to get him back in the main event picture was it? Aligning him with Lana again makes perfect sense. The old Rusev was buried by The Undertaker at the Greatest Royal Rumble, and now it’s time for The Bulgarian Brute to start crushing superstars once again, starting with Aiden English. Sorry Aiden, but someone has to be the first victim. Maybe he could join forces with Roman Reigns and sing over his entrance in order to drown out the boos? Well, it’s a thought.


    5: Alexa Bliss blames Nia Jax for ruining Disneyland for her.

    WWE need to stay on the right side of the line with this one if they’re going to continue down the bullying angle with Bliss and Jax. So far so good. Sticking to comedy is the best way forward. Alexa has surprised me with how good she is at cutting these ridiculously over the top promos. She’s saying things funny, not saying funny things. That’s the mark of a true comedian. She’s doing a fine job. The stories are so laughable that it’s easy to see she’s lying which helps WWE be able to continue this angle. No one likes bullies, but this is entertainment. By shedding a light on it, WWE are helping promote anti-bullying as long as they keep having Nia Jax go over which I’m sure they will. And whoever is writing Alexa’s promos deserves a raise because they’re great.


    4: Samoa Joe sent a clear warning to AJ Styles.

    Okay, this was more about Shinsuke Nakamura and Styles continuing rivalry, but not for me. This was all about Samoa Joe in my eyes. His steely-eyed intensity driven promos are a breath of fresh air in a WWE world where everyone kind of speaks and sounds the same. Joe’s ominous warning to Styles that he is coming after the WWE Title once he’s done decimating Roman Reigns at Backlash was great to watch. Not so great was Nakamura sneaking up behind Styles and dropping him with yet another low blow. How long’s it going to take before AJ invests in a cup? Their Backlash rematch with the No Disqualification stipulation should make for a better match, but if it fails to deliver again then WWE really should cut their losses on Nakamura, who has been a dud since debuting on the main roster.


    3: Ruby Riott Def. Sasha Banks.

    Sasha Banks really is The Boss isn’t she? I might be biased because I’ve met her a few times but she is freaking awesome. As is Ruby Riott. The pair had a sizzling battle on Raw which could’ve easily turned into a classic if given a bit more time, but we really needed to see Titus slip over a few hundred more times instead, right? Banks is still feuding with Bayley in the longest rivalry not to have a PPV match in history. WWE have to be careful not to go too slow with this one. Things change so quickly these days and people get bored easily, so WWE need to jump on this while it’s hot. Back to Riott, she is a master between the ropes and someone that should be showcased more. Her getting the win here will give her plenty of bragging rights moving forward.


    2: Miz TV turns into Randy Orton & Jeff Hardy defeating The Miz & Shelton Benjamin in tag team action.

    Give The Miz a live microphone and you can’t go wrong. Throw in a wild crowd and you have the recipe for success. Add to that two super over babyfaces for The Miz to rile up and you have the potential for segment of the year. Okay, maybe I’m getting a little crazy but you get my point. The Miz has become awesome. Where was this Miz at WrestleMania 27?  Anyway, Smackdown opened with The Miz trying his best to get Orton and Hardy to fight each other before Backlash but it backfired and they ended up hitting him instead after Shelton Benjamin arrived on the scene demanding a US Title match after beating The Viper last week. He had a point, but it’s a shame Shane McMahon doesn’t really take the “land of opportunity” gimmick for his show very seriously. The ensuing tag bout was fun for what it is, and Shelton doing the honours was the right thing. Orton dropping Hardy with an RKO outta nowhere afterwards was expected but still cool to watch. They should have a great encounter Sunday.


    1: Seth Rollins Def. Finn Balor to retain the Intercontinental Championship.

    He goes by the moniker of Monday Night Rollins, and it’s hard to argue with The Architect on this evidence. Since the turn of the year he has been incredible. In my opinion, he has taken the mantle as the best wrestler in the world. Sorry AJ, but you’ve been saddled with Shinsuke Nakamura. The Intercontinental Championship match headlined Raw and it was an action-packed affair. Balor and Rollins have outstanding chemistry. It’s only a matter of time before Balor snaps and turns heel, which will only benefit these matches even more. The Intercontinental Championship really has become the flagship for Raw, helped by the fact their World Champion makes fewer appearances than Father Christmas but it’s a great achievement nonetheless. Rollins will defend the title this Sunday at Backlash against The Miz. Don’t expect the gold to change hands but do expect a showstealer. That’s just what Rollins does these days. The Man is back.