1. The NXT Debut of Kushida
After weeks of teasers, the former New Japan junior heavyweight ace got in the ring with the new official welcome wagon for big deal babyface signees, Kassius Ohno. The match is a good introduction to Kushida’s fantastic technical ability in the ring, great energy, and baffling obsession with the movie Back to the Future. This was also the most I’ve enjoyed watching Ohno in a long while. It’ll take me a while to get used to Kushida’s new music, but I’m optimistic for now about him in NXT.
2. Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio
Samoa Joe and Rey Mysterio getting me hyped and invested in a match in the final hour of Raw is the kind of ultra impressive feat that is only unsurprising when it’s being done by living legends like Samoa Joe and Rey Mysterio. There’s no way I can possibly overemphasize how talented these two men are at every single aspect of their craft. Mysterio’s win this week should hopefully lead to a rematch at Money in the Bank for the US Championship… and maybe we’ll even get some nonsense with Dominick too.
3. Becky Lynch vs Bayley
The reality of Becky Lynch holding both women’s titles and having to defend them against Lacey Evans and Charlotte Flair is setting in. It’s rough for both weekly TV and the women’s division as a whole, but Lynch is clearly trying. She’s called out multiple women on twitter since winning at Wrestlemania, presumably trying to drum up some excitement about potential matches. If she’s able to face off with people like Mickie James and Ember Moon the way she did with Bayley on Tuesday, we’ll be in for a treat. This was maybe my favorite Becky Lynch match I’ve seen since the Royal Rumble, and got me thoroughly amped for Bayley going for the Money in the Bank briefcase later this month.
4. Alexa Bliss needs to buy shorter shoe laces
After announcing Monday Night Raw’s four entrants into the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, Alexa Bliss tried to get out of a match with Naomi by protested that she was wearing “the wrong shoes” for wrestling (a pair of black Converse with too long laces), and that was pretty much the whole story of the match. Shoelace slapstick and physical comedy in general are very hard to pull off, and Naomi and Alexa Bliss nailed this one. Yes it was stupid and silly, but let’s remember that this is a 3 hour television program where people have fake fights with each other while a briefcase with a fake contract for fake fights in it hangs from a chain on the ceiling.
5. @ Smackdown Live camera guy: thx ; )
The biggest news this week in WWE was probably that Finn Bálor’s ring entrance has reverted to its old framing. That’s right baby, the dick zoom is back. I could speculate about why this change occurred, but it’s not really important. What is important is that it ended up setting Finn up for a stellar performance teaming with Ali against Randy Orton and Andrade! I hope this change is permanent, because it really does seem to boost Bálor’s performance in the ring, and also because it rules.
May the god of dicks bless you and keep you, Finn Bálor.
6. tHe wOrD oF tHe dAy iS: pSyChO XD
Bray Wyatt was back with another episode of the Firefly Fun House. Is it creepy? No. Is it funny? No. Is it cool? No. Is it kind of uncomfortable to watch and clearly still figuring out what it is? Yes. I’m not really sure what they’re going for with it, and to me that’s incredibly exciting. This week, Bray Wyatt wore a little beret and did a painting of a fire before getting berated by the witch puppet. It reminded me of something I would have written when I was 15 and trying to be wEiRd, which is to say, exactly what I want to watch.
7. “Do you want Sami Zayn to quit WWE?”
(I haven’t really had a chance to get into Sami Zayn’s new heel gimmick before, so if you only read my coverage of WWE and have no other exposure to the product: he comes out every week and smugly tells the fans that we’re toxic, entitled brats with no lives. If it was being written by people who actually really knew how to use the word “toxic,” it would be devastatingly funny. It isn’t, so it’s only okay.)
On Monday, Sami Zayn came to the ring and defined “psychological entitlement” for the crowd before teasing the idea that he would quit the company. It was a good bit to do when people are desperately really trying to actually leave this company. He followed it up by saying that he would much rather hold the WWE Universe accountable for our actions than quit, but it was a really odd self-referential moment that I thought was worth commenting on.
#FreeLukeHarper by the way.
Honorable Mentions: Kevin Owens playing with action figures, Court Moore’s missing CD player, the Usos coming out with “secret footage” of the Revival shaving each others’ backs, Kyle O’Reilly’s face 100% of the time, Elias’ referee tank top, the prospect of Mia Yim vs. Bianca Belair, Velveteen Dream’s national anthem.