Weekly Wrasslin' Wroundup (Aug 14-17)

Night of Champions is tomorrow, and apart from one hoped for outcome and the pre-show match, there's not much I'm looking forward to. On the other hand, the next NXT Takeover is in a couple of weeks, and that's already shaping up to be a decent show.

New Day vs. The Dudley Boyz

New Day retained the belts on Raw in a fairly perfunctory match with the Prime Time Players, mostly notable for the fourth member of the New Day, Xavier Woods' Trombone, being the one to cos Titus O'Neill the match. I just hope the trombone doesn't go through a table on Sunday. That could be a career-ender. Luckily, the trombone sat out the one on one match between D-Von and Kofi on Smackdown. Gotta stay healthy, trombone.

Ryback vs. Kevin Owens

Ryback is awful. Ryback's Elvis line hit the mat harder than Big Show when Brock suplexed him back in the day. Good for Owens for bringing Ryback's stupid-ass "The Secret" promo and throwing it back in his face. Like when Owens first came up against Cena, Owens took the truth and made it all heely. I want Ryback to lose on Sunday so goddamned bad. Ryback interfered in the otherwise pretty great Owens-Ziggler match on Smackdown, yay.

The Wyatt Family Vs. Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Whoever Survives

Hey, Roman Reigns figured something out - if you don't tell the Wyatt's who your partner is, they can't kick his ass ahead of time! Anyway, this all played out on MizTV, which at least means Miz didn't wrestle a match. Usual spookiness followed the tag match on Smackdown.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev

Lana got hurt training and had surgery on her wrist, and will be out of action at least physically for months, so expect even more inept drama if this keeps going. Rusev wrestled Cesaro on Raw in a good but pointless match that focused mostly on Dolph Ziggler giving Summer Rae a present. All of this is leading to what will probably curtain-jerk Night of Champions.

Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte

Called it. Shenanigans. Dusty Finish (for the uninitiated, that''s when the face wins the match but the ending is thrown out or reversed after the fact). Rematch at Night of Champions, with the stipulation that disqualifications and countouts will also cause the title to change hands. So Charlotte's coronation gets put off six days and AJ Lee gets hers for quitting in the eyes of WWE.

Seth Rollins Vs. John Cena and Sting

Rollins took Raw off while John Cena beat Sheamus and then the Sting/Big Show match turned into a Rollins-Show/Cena-Sting tag match in a matter of minutes, which does not give me hope for how well Sting will be able to go in the ring when Sunday rolls around. Especially since Cena wrestled the entire match until Sting came in, did four moves (one of them twice) and won the match. Worst of all, none of this really made any kind of narrative sense going into Sunday. Neithr did Rollins and Sheamus tagging against Ambrose and Reigns on Smackdown, except for the Sheamus-Rollins tension, which might lead to Sheamus cashing in and winning the title, which NOBODY WANTS TO HAPPEN.

Neville and the Lucha Dragons vs. Stardust and the Ascension

The six-man alluded to on Smackdown was teased on Raw but went no-contest in like 30 seconds, so whatever. Fun fact: the Lucha Dragons usic has always sucked. Imagine if Rey Mysterio had been given stereotypical Mexican music in his heyday? Anyway, their music and everything else here is relegated to the Night of Chamions pre-show, which is unfortunate but fair.

Paige vs. Sasha Banks

They wrestled again, BAD interfered again, Sasha won again. Sameon Smackdown only as a tag match.

Loose Ends

Cesaro wrestled his ass off all over and around Big Show on Smackdown, then got KO punched because the WWE sucks.

Meanwhile on the NXT side...

It's amazing what good even a small bit of narrative focus can do on a show like NXT. There were a lot of small, unimportant squashes this week, but they wrapped enough story around them that the show felt like it meant something - a big improvement over the last couple of week.

BAYLEY VS. SASHA BANKS

In the WWE, you haven't truly beaten someone until you've beaten them twice in a row. That's the booking paradigm that's existed for years, and it's why John Cena, even when he loses matches, doesn't lose. Because he doesn't lose twice in a row. Sasha Banks needs to lose twice in a row to Bayley, so at TakeOctober, they get the main event slot (impressive, but would have meant more with an NXT Championship match on the card) in a 30 minute Ironman match. Also, if you weren't at least a little bit emotionally touched by Bayley bringing her biggest little girl fan into the ring with her to pose for the crowd, you're an inhuman bastard.

VAUDEVILLAINS VS? BLAKE AND MURPHY

And speaking of the twice in a row paradigm, guess who else invoked their rematch clause, this time for next week? Alexa Bliss seems to think that Blue Pants is out of the picture. Is this hubris? Is this truth? Or is "Blue Pants" going to be no more and a Vaudevillain-themed Leva Bates? "Blue Jeanne", perhaps? I know every wrestling nerd thinks the WWE should be asking them for ideas, but come on. That shit is gold.

TYLER BREEZE VS. BULL DEMPSEY

I felt bad for Tyler Breeze in all this, but now I feel even worse for Adam Rose. He came out for his match with Breeze, introduced his new gimmick, which is basically saying he's going to poop on stuff because he's now a Party Pooper, and then he got tossed aside, literally and figuratively, to further the Bull/Breeze feud. Since he's in Orlando, rose should probably be looking into Jack Sparrow cosplay gigs in the area at the rate things are going.

THE DUSTY CLASSIC

In the match we got to see as part of the show, Ciampa and Gargano worked their asses off carrying Corbin and Rhyno through an exciting match, but lost in the end because NXT is still part of the WWE. If they haven't signed these guys yet, they really should. The Vaudevillains climb through the Classic seems to be happening entirely at house shows, with their first round match shown in cheapo-cam highlight reel format, and their second round match scheduled for the upcoming Texas tour.

TYE DILLINGER AND APOLLO CREWS AND ASUKA AND NIA JAX

Dillinger's arrogant "perfect 10" gimmick got so over by being so goofy that he worked his squash match this week as a full baqbyface, which is astonishing. And a problem for him, because this falls entirely under the umbrella of "shit that only works with NXT crowds". See also, Emma. And Adam Rose. Apollo Crews continues to look fantastic, but they need to give him a story and some real matches soon. Nia Jax got her fourth "coming soon" promo in as many weeks, while Asuka, a.k.a. Japanese women's wrestler Kana, got a single vignette that hints at the WWE's awesome cultural sensitivity and will be on the show next week. dana Brooke has promised to beat up all the new girls, so I hope this leads to Dana Brooke being kicked in the face a lot.