Welcome to Slammer Jabber, your weekly look at the biggest stories in professional wrestling from the past seven days. It's been a busy week with both Raw and Smackdown pushing forward with the build to Summerslam, while Riptide wrestling had a huge set of shows over the weekend. Let's start as normal, with a look at this week's episode of Raw.
For the second week running, Raw was all about Brock Lesnar. Although he was not on this show, the situation with himself, his advocate Paul Heyman, and Roman Reigns continued to develop. The show opening with Reigns, Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin was well done and further built the idea that Reigns is ready to take Lesnar down, and actually turn up to Raw. The resultant match between Corbin and Reigns was very watchable, if not a slight too long. However, the most effective segment of the night was dedicated to Paul Heyman, who sat down with Renee Young in a dishevelled state and put over how dangerous Lesnar is in his current state of focus, and cast doubt on his relationship with Lesnar. This was a very good use of Heyman, and more than ever suggests we could be looking at a big swerve at Summerslam. How that goes down is anyone's guess.
The top end of Raw was very female dominated this week, with plenty of good quality action. Ronda Rousey vs Alicia Fox was so much better than it had any right to be on paper. Rousey really is a star despite her relative inexperience. The post-match with Alexa Bliss was really fun and set up Rousey as a massive threat to Bliss' title. Sasha Banks and Bayley (who are apparently just friends now, despite that angle a few weeks back) vs The Riott Squad was an entertaining match, and it's good to have Ruby Riott back involved after her injury. With Evolution only a few months away, we can expect more of this sort of thing at the top of the card, and that can only be a good thing.
The rest of the show was pretty uneventful. Bobby Roode vs Mojo Rawley was fine, but not spectacular, while Rezar vs Titus O'Neill was seemingly just another exercise in pointless 50/50 booking. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler vs Seth Rollins was entertaining but felt like retreading the same ground. That said I like the tease that Roman Reigns would join in to help Rollins only to be forced to leave him to face the two on his own. presumably, this leads to Dean Ambrose, or even Jason Jordan coming back to help him. The B Team vs The Revival was more of an angle than a match. Finally, Bobby Lashley interrupting Elias was fun, although I feel Elias is taking the lion's share of the credit for that, and rightfully so. That said Lashley is playing his part well in what is essentially a throwaway feud.
A decent Raw in terms of the very top feuds, but the programmes further down the card felt a little neglected, or in some cases a little formulaic. Let's hope for more from next week's go-home show.
This week's Smackdown was another really easy watch with lots of good in-ring action and plenty of big storyline development to boot. The two biggest matches on the Smackdown side of things at Summerslam got a major boost. The Miz cut a superb promo on Daniel Bryan before Bryan showed some major fire in attacking Miz backstage. While this feud isn't necessarily everything I feel it could be, what they are doing is well done and it should be a really heated affair when they finally step into the ring together. AJ Styles also cut an excellent promo on Samoa Joe, and while it doesn't feel like Joe vs AJ is being promoted as the main event for the blue brand, which is frustrating, it certainly should be excellent given their past outings together elsewhere.
The rest of the show had plenty to enjoy. Charlotte and Becky Lynch vs The IIconics was an enjoyable bout that served to further the tension between the two, although with plenty of subtlety thrown in. Lana vs Zelina Vega was another surprisingly good affair, and I liked that it kept the storyline with Aiden English and Lana/Rusev moving forward. Randy Orton cut a fine promo on Jeff Hardy, while Shinsuke Nakamura squashed R Truth. Finally, after The Bludgeon Brothers squashed some enhancement talent, The New Day took on The Bar in a fantastic main event. It felt a bit like a foregone conclusion that The New Day would get the win, but the match did plenty to get me invested, which made for a fine main event and sets up an excellent tag title match for Summerslam.
Another cracking show from the blue brand with plenty of solid work all around. While the Raw side of things might be a mixed bag going into Summerslam, the Smackdown side is shaping up nicely.
As we hurtle towards the end of the summer the biggest independent wrestling show of the year, All In, is almost upon us. As such, this week we got some more details on how the show is likely to look and where people can watch it. The biggest highlights of the card are Cody Rhodes challenging Nick Aldis for the NWA heavyweight championship, Kazuchika Okada vs Marty Scurll, Fenix, El Bandito and Rey Mysterio Jr vs The Golden Elite, and Christopher Daniels vs Stephen Amell, star of Arrow. I believe we will also get a match from Kenny Omega, although that is as yet TBC. The card is shaping up nicely, although I have to admit it's not quite as spectacular a line-up as perhaps might have been hoped for. That said, it should be a very solid show and one which will have a red hot crowd. It is also a show being broadcast on WGN in America (just the first hour) as well as on PPV, and the ROH streaming service. We will, of course, have a full preview in the leadup to the event itself, but it looks like it will indeed be quite a big deal.
Last weekend Brighton based Riptide Wrestling held a three-night tournament to crown their first ever champion, and what a weekend it was. After some cracking matches with the likes of Jonah Rock, Walter, Candy Floss and Money vs Everbody including top heel Spike Trivet, we finally got the champion that Brighton deserves in the form of Chuck Mambo. Longtime readers will know that Mambo has been someone that we have championed for a long time and seeing him grow at Progress and Riptide shows, this is completely deserved. For Riptide, this weekend was a huge success and yielded some rave reviews which will hopefully help the company build and grow, which like it's champion is exactly what the company deserves. Thank you Riptide for a great weekend.
Finally this week, Glenn Jacobs AKA Kane was announced as the winner of the Knoxville county Mayoral race. While I may not be a big an of Kane's politics, he has been a huge pillar of WWE for many years, and for that reason alone I'm glad to see him succeed. That said, I imagine we won't be seeing much of him in a WWE ring any time soon and in many ways that is a shame, especially given his lack of a proper send-off if this is his retirement. Good luck to the big red politician, the devil's favourite civil servant.
Well, that is it from me for this week. I will be back at the same time next week with all the news from Raw and Smackdown, as well as touching on any major stories that might break in the next week. In the meantime, keep it locked here at Screenjabber for all the best movie, Blu-ray, DVD and video game reviews, as well as all the latest news, podcasts and more. Until next time, so long folks.