It’s the beginning of another wrestling week, and this time around we are getting ready for ThunderDome SummerSlam!
Confused? Don’t be.
If you missed it, Monday brought WWE’s official release that they were moving from the Performance Center to Orlando’s Amway Center. They’ve also rechristened it ThunderDome and promised us an entirely new experience.
Will it work? Time will tell, but it might just be what the doctor ordered to boost sagging ratings.
I mean…we get back to a true arena? And it’s going to be live?
What’s not to love about ThunderDome, SummerSlam and all the rest (or at least RAW and SmackDown).
So, are you ready for ThunderDome SummerSlam?
WWE hopes you will be by the time RAW is over and done with!
Let’s crack open this Nutshell!
Best Match of the night:
For me, I will take the match between the Golden Role Models and Asuka and Shayna Baszler.
Nothing else was really that great. Or even good.
Worst match of the night:
While that six man elimination match worked as a vehicle to further that whole program…the match itself, purely as a match, was forgettable.
The match between the Street Profits and Andrade and Angel Garza was way too short. Like, if this weren’t a taped show, it would feel like a match that was told to be cut short due to time.
Can also pick on Mickie James and Natalya…I mean, we had this one hyped up as a big return, and we got what, a 3 minute match ending in a count out?
Honestly, a lot of matches felt like afterthoughts. Not a good thing.
Star of the Night
I did like how Shayna Baszler was showcased tonight. Asuka too.
I’ve said this last week, I will say it now too: with Sasha and Bayley confirmed to be defending the tag belts at Payback…hows this for a scenario:
Asuka actually loses both matches Sunday, but in heelish fashion.
Baszler and Asuka challenge the Women’s Tag Team Champions, with a unique stipulation: winners take all. If Asuka and Baszler win, one becomes RAW Women’s Champion, the other SmackDown.
Or, some variation of that, where more than just the tag belts are up for grabs. It could work…
Spot of the Night:
The father and son cane spot was nice.
Bianca BelAir’s slam of Zelina Vega was enjoyable.
The entire exchange involving Marina Shafir, Nia Jax and Shayna was intriguing (even though that horrific camera work detracts from it). I liked Shafir’s submission too.
Jobber of the Night:
Mustafa Ali, losing in like 90 seconds in that elimination tag match? The man was a fractured eye socket away from a spot in a major Elimination Chamber match just a year ago…
Upset of the Night:
Nothing of note.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
Revenge is a dish best served with Singapore canes, is it not?
Predictably, Rey Mysterio returned on the RAW go home show, declared he would be in his son’s corner, and then they got some revenge on Seth Rollins.
— WWE (@WWE) August 18, 2020
Nia Jax showed up to RAW Underground, by way of attacking Marina Shafir. Shayna Baszler came in to take on Jax, and Nia bailed.
Botch of the night:
OK, not of the night…this one started before RAW did…but hear me out.
Retribution (yes, sorry, I have to pick on this again) has not gotten going well, right?
And SummerSlam is Sunday, we know this.
Why not…crazy idea…have had Retribution render the Performance Center not usable for SummerSlam?
Like, have SmackDown this week still, but with escalating violence, the PC isn’t safe, and maybe is in some cases damaged too.
So WWE moves all operations to Amway Center for SummerSlam and beyond, until the PC can be fixed up. One of the selling points of the Amway site could be “improved security and a bigger perimeter”.
Like, let this crazy group of rogues disrupt your broadcast home to the point you have to move? That, to me, is a whole new level of heat.
Plus, it saves the ThunderDome debut for SummerSlam. I assume perhaps FOX was pushing for it first, or WWE wanted a technical test event before Sunday, however.
LOL Moment of the night:
Sometimes, the commentary just shouldn’t be said…
According to Tom Phillips, the “real danger” of an elimination style match…
— mark.?? (@mark007__) August 18, 2020
New 24/7 Champion in Cedric Alexander, kind of getting one back against The Hurt Business. Well, for a brief minute anyways.
This right here? This would be a scary tag team…
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) August 18, 2020
Something to keep in mind: thanks to Apollo Crews’ win on RAW, Lashley and Shelton Benjamin are banned from ringside on Sunday. A Cedric Alexander turn has been teased…and he is not banned from ringside.
Just saying…keep eyes on Alexander on Sunday.
You know how for years people have been expecting a Four Horsewomen of WWE versus Four Horsewomen of MMA battle, but two of the MMA options were green in NXT?
Well, thanks to RAW Underground, Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke have shown up on RAW. Maybe just this week, maybe not.
And that woman who Shafir tapped…wasn’t she in Retribution?
Every major Superstar no-sells at some point, right? So, I get it…but having Drew dodge the RKO, then pummel Orton all over…then mere seconds later Orton pops up and drops him?
It’s groan worthy. Like, anyone watching at home had to see that one coming (even before Orton popped back into view because of the camera angle).
I get wanting to sell the RKO and all…but I just have issues with this? Though I guess they really want to get heat on Orton and make him look like a completely ruthless person (which, that’s heel Orton in a nutshell).
Overall, as far as a go-home show is concerned…this one did seem to leave a lot to be desired. Actually, as a wrestling show entirely.
Matches were too short, too much focus was on the overdone drama outside of the ring…about the only plus was that Retribution wasn’t as heavily pushed this week.
We had less Retribution than I expected.
Interesting turn with Baszler and Jax in RAW Underground. This is worth watching, with Jax suspended and Baszler chomping at the bit for a title shot.
Shawn Michaels was good in the cameo role. Gave Drew a nice rub, got a ton of love from the locker room, and took an RKO and a punt to boot (no pun).
After the final bell:
This one left me feeling…confused?
Like, yes I am ready to see a ThunderDome SummerSlam. But not because this show got me in the mood.
I am ready for ThunderDome SummerSlam more because…hopefully that is the reboot we need? Like, give us something new and hopefully it hypes up all involved.
Then again, it could end up being a nice and shiny package on the same iffy creative execution, in which case…