SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AUGUST 1, 2017
CLEVELAND, OHIO AT QUICKEN LOANS ARENA
By Joey Galizia (@RamJam89), PWTORCH SPECIALIST
“WHEN KINGS COLLIDE”
SD Live continues to get weirder and weirder. When the initial brand-split occurred roughly a year ago team blue was without a question the better of the two shows. Since the superstar-shakeup, it has not only fallen flat, but at some points become unwatchable. Not only that, but there PPV’s since Mania have been duds as well. (With the exception of a few gems.) They’ve killed so many crowds that the only way to respond was by redoing some matches on live television. Ziggler and Nakamura was less than decent at Backlash, but their TV bout a couple weeks later was solid. Kevin Owens and A.J. was awkwardly bizarre at Battleground yet last week they tore the house down. (With the inclusion of Y2J.) The point is even when SD seems to be veering off completely into the unknown, they manage to bounce back with some solid in-ring action on Tuesday nights.
Cut to tonight’s show in Cleveland, where the biggest WWE star in the last decade John Cena, faces off against one of the most popular wrestlers in the world, Shinsuke Nakamura. The winner will get a shot at Jinder Mahal and the WWE Championship at the E’s second biggest show of the year. Honestly, these two men are MUCH bigger than the belt at this point, and the idea that this match is about to occur on free television is beyond mind-blowing. That doesn’t mean I won’t be there front and center to tune in though. Will it be a clean finish, or will we see a run-in from the Maharaja himself since Cena called him out? Don’t forget about Mr. Money in the Bank Baron Corbin. Last week Shinsuke decapitated him with a Kinshasa, and you know how the Lone Wolf gets when he loses.
“WITH THE COUNTRY AT STAKE”
I never thought I’d say this, but man am I excited that the Styles and Owens feud will be ending. Both guys are top-notch talents, and fantastic in-ring performers, but there has been something odd about this most recent conflict. A.J. ended the Face of America’s title run at a house show, than lost it in what is still the oddest finish I’ve seen in any wrestling promotion at Battleground, than reclaimed it last week in a triple-threat. One last time these two aces will clash, and hopefully they’ll proceed into a new confrontation for Summerslam. K.O. is rumored to be butting-heads with Shane’O’Mac, but where does that leave the Phenomenal One? Your guess is as good as mine, but if Shinsuke can’t defeat Cena tonight, we might as well jump-start a WrestleKingdom rematch.
“AS FOR THE REST… LET THEM EAT CAKE”
-The mystery of Breezeango’s attackers is supposedly getting solved tonight according to WWE.COM. I wonder if it involves a long-lost love child.
-Sami Zayn has won a PPV match. Will he try to keep this momentum going and manufacture a relevant feud out of it? (He’s another dark horse that could challenge for the U.S. belt IMO.)
-The Usos laid one of the more vicious beatings on the New Day that we’ve seen in a while. Jimmy and Jey are still owed their guaranteed rematch for the tag-belts, but it seems that they’d rather soften the Unicorn train up before they cash-in on it. #WorksFORme
-Speaking of cash-ins, Ms. Money in the bank Carmella teams up with #1 contender Natalya to face off against Becky Lynch and champ Naomi. It seems odd somehow that Charlotte may be on the sidelines for Summerslam, but she still has three weeks to get on the card.
-Will the Great Khali be making another appearance? And if not, how does the Viper feel about losing three PPV’s in a row because of shenanigans?
-Chad Gable will try and get his singles push going as he squares off against the Brute Rusev. Both guys desperately need a win, but it seems pretty obvious who will emerge victorious from this one.
-Will Tye Dillinger or Aiden English make it on TV this week? How about Luke Harper? WHAT ABOUT HOMETOWN BOY DOLPH ZIGGLER? GET WITH IT SMACKDOWN!
-205 Live has me pretty excited tonight, as Ariya Daivari will face Akira Tozawa in a #1 contenders match for Neville’s cruiserweight championship. Considering how things went last week, I wouldn’t be surprised if the King destroys everyone leading to a 3-man affair.
A lot of action packed into tonight’s episode, and a matchup for the ages. Will it live up to the hype? Will you be around to give it a chance?