Weekly Wrasslin' Wroundup (July 13-17)

One week from Battleground, and the WWE has one, count it, one match that I'm even remotely interested in. All other matches pale by comparison. Kevin Owens, and to a lesser extent, John Cena, is making the rest of the roster dull by comparison and also dull because of a bunch of shitty booking.

LUCHA UNDERGROUND IS STILL AWESOME

The MYSTICAL AZTEC MEDALLIONS make a long overdue return. Weird pacing to string them out the way they did then give away three in one night. Infrequent Temple visitor Bengala gets one by beting Daivari surprisingly convincingly and quickly. King Cuerno busts out a new submission to wins one over Killshot in a great match. And the Sexy Star / Superfly rivalry gets folded into the third one. And in what may be a nod to Rhonda Rousey in UFC, Sexy Star wins with a rana into an armbar in about 30 seconds, only to be challenged by Marty "The Moth" Martinez. He challenges on account of it being the Moth medallion, and Star slaps the armbar on him too after a few minutes. Short matches, but Star looked better, crisper, and more credible than she has her last half dozen outings, and it's nice to see.

In other news, Vampiro accepts Pentagon Jr.s challenge for Ultima Lucha, and it's a testament to how well they've built this story that while i'm probably not interested in seeing Vampiro wrestle, I'm excited to see him fight. And the contenders for the big belt, Puma and Mil Muertes, faced off. Shit broke down, of course, and Mil Mueres gets the upper hand. Puma's manager, Konnan, ends up in a casket, and Puma ends up laid out.

Two more episodes before Ultima Lucha, and the card right now stands at:
Johnny Mundo vs. Alberto El Patron
Tejano vs. Blue Demon Jr.
Anjelico/Ivelisse/Son of Havok vs. Disciples of Death for the Trios Championship
Drago vs. Hernandez
Vampiro vs. Pentagon Jr.
Prince Puma vs. Mil Muertes for the Lucha Underground championship

WWE

One more week of shows before Battleground and here's where things stand.

KEVIN OWENS VS. JOHN CENA
Oh, man. I don't know why the Atlanta crowd wasn't losing their collective shit over Owens/Rusev/Cesaro for the chance to face Cena in the open challenge, but sweet goddamn it's like the three of them went out there and reinvented power-based pro wrestling forever. The biggest flaw is the weird optics of a bouncy Cena picking apart an exhausted, wounded Rusev until a key reversal and interference. It made Cena look almost heelish, even against Rusev.

CESARO VS. RUSEV
Cesaro and Rusev followed their Raw match with another solid match on Smackdown, where Cesaro became the second person ever to pin Rusev clean. Huge win for Cesaro, and whenever these two lock horns, it feels like a kaiju battle from Pacific Rim. There's just so much impact.

SETH ROLLINS VS. BROCK LESNAR
Hey, a contract signing, an attempted beatdown, and a beatdown reversal. Not much to further this feud except Brock's cockiness and Paul Heyman's vocabulary, but that's enough.

PRIME TIME PLAYERS VS. NEW DAY
A mixed tag with Mark Henry on Raw, followed by yet another New Day / Lucha Dragons match with PTP on commentary. Bleah.

ROMAN REIGNS VS. BRAY WYATT:
I feel bad for Dean Ambrose. He's been the third wheel in this feud all month, and on Raw, he just disappears after Reigns attacks Wyatt during Wyatt's entrance ostensibly to wrestle Ambrose. Hope Ambrose is resting or something and not just spinning his wheels. Smackdown featured some spooky talk from Wyatt and some tough talk from Reigns and some yawning from me. Then Wyatt interfered in the main match and Reigns kicked his ass and speared Sheamus and normally that would mean a Wyatt win on Sunday, but Reigns' booking is different.

DOLPH ZIGGLER & LANA VS. RUSEV'S HEART AND SUMMER RAE
Sorry, Dolph, Lana, and Summer. Rusev was buys kicking ass in a triple threat to further another feud. I guess they're writing Dolph out with the injury angle until Summerslam.

RYBACK VS. BIG SHOW VS. THE MIZ
SHEAMUS VS. RANDY ORTON:

This giant pile of bullshit got mashed into a single, easily fast-forwardable match on RAW. Bad for the Intercontinental title, good for the DVR audience. Then Ryback got a staph infection in his knee, the match on Sunday got cancelled, Sheamus and Big Show ended up wrestling Reigns and Ambrose,

NEVILLE VS? STARDUST:
I'm happy with how this new feud was set up. I'm not happy with the timing (six days before a PPV), and I dread the general lack of attention and build an undercard feud like this will get from the powers that be, but both guys are great and should work well together. Neville got his win back in a quick Smackdown match. I hope this is going somewhere. The post-match attack helped but was also really quick.

OH SHIT I HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE DIVAS NOW, but

What's this? Revamping the moribund Diva's division and pitting the great women wrestlers from NXT - Paige, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks - against the considerably less talented Bella Twins and company? Hey, maybe we rename it back to the Women's Championship and redesign it so it looks like a real sports championship belt and not some Monster High prop while we're at it, since Stephanie McMahon wants to name drop women's soccer, UFC, and tennis?

Smackdown had a long recap and a surprisingly good heel promo from Naomi, Tamina, and Banks, given that Naomi did a lot of the talking.

And the NXT Roster Feuds/Stories:

SASCHA BANKS VS. CHARLOTTE

The championship match set up last week was telegraphed by the RAW Diva's segment and the fact that NXT is pre-taped, but there's a reason I'm looking forward to the NXT women tearing through the Raw Divas, and matches like this are a big part of that reason.

KEVIN OWENS VS. FINN BALOR
The Comicon announcement for Owens-Balor II at Takeover during Summerslam weekend is all we get this week. It's got a bit of Kevin Owens being a dick, so at least we got that. Charlotte's a better wrestler than everyone currently competing for the Intercontinental Championship, and while I've never really connected with Sasha as a character, there's no denying she's an incredible worker. And holy fuck, that powerbomb! And Charlotte using some of her accidentally-detached weave to slap Sasha with. Banks won as expected, by basically bending Charlotte in half backwards with the Bank Statement. Dayum.

SAMOA JOE:

Joe gets a "Remember I'm sill here" squash match this week. Joe's started going to the rear naked choke from the Muscle Buster as his finisher, which is new for WWE.

SAMI ZAYN:

Zayn, sporting a sling, came out to tell an appreciative crowd that he'd be out of commission probably until early 2016. And that'll be when he's gonna get his revenge on Kevin Owens. Sami Zayn in a sling with a microphone is still worth about ten Baron Corbins.

BARON CORBIN:

Corbin gets a video package for his heel turn, attempting to turn his "we're bored with you" heat into "I'm awesome and arrogant so boo me all you want" heat. The video shows him getting his fiftieth tattoo instead of learning his fourth move, so it's probably not gonna work.

BLAKE AND MURPHY VS. THE VAUDEVILLAINS:

The champs get a squash against a pair of guys in generic tights with generic names... wait, sorry, that's both teams. One of them just has the belts. Blake and Murphy couldn't even wake the crowd up with a post-match beatdown until they threw Alexa Bliss on their defeated foes.

JASON JORDAN AND CHAD GABLE:
After weeks of pestering Jason Jordan, Chad Gable gets his shot as Jordan's tag partner. The outcome is totally telegraphed by a pair of even bigger jobbers as their opponents, but Gable, who's kind of a cross between the stoner from Cabin in the Woods and a young Kurt Angle, is fun to watch.

EVA MARIE:
Eva Marie came out to announce that she'd be wrestling next week. Full Sail took that as badly as you'd expect.