WWE Week In Review: The Good And The Bad (07/12/15-07/18/15)

ith two days remaining before WWE Battleground, this was a very important week for the company and, overall, they’ve gotten a lot of things right recently. It’s great to see...
Credit: Wikimedia.org
Credit: Wikimedia.org
With two days remaining before WWE Battleground, this was a very important week for the company and, overall, they’ve gotten a lot of things right recently. It’s great to see the return of the monthly Pay-Per-View format, with slow-burning storylines and intensity piling up. Despite an injury suffered on Raw, Sunday’s card looks pretty strong on paper, and with a couple huge superstars rumored to be returning for SummerSlam, the WWE Universe could be in for a memorable month.


Cesaro’s Push

The Swiss Superman has been WWE’s worst kept secret for some time now. Notoriously a victim of questionable booking, Cesaro’s ability has been showcased the past couple weeks on Raw, as he’s suddenly become a key cog in the United States Championship picture. Despite two unforgettable matches against John Cena on back-to-back weeks of Raw, the WWE creative team may be gearing up for a Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens feud.

Tyson Kidd is a quality wrestler in his own right, but if he’s going to be lost to an injury, we can at least look at the bright side: Cesaro is perhaps the most prevalent he’s ever been in WWE. And it’s about time. I’m not sure anyone on the roster other than Seth Rollins can match Cesaro’s in-ring ability

Maybe Cena retains at Battleground, setting up a Triple Threat match at SummerSlam. Either way, I find the U.S. Title picture a hell of a lot more entertaining than the World Heavyweight Championship outlook right now.

Bulgarian Boots

WWE got one of its top heels back from an ankle injury this week.

Rusev, now sporting wrestling boots and accompanied by Summer Rae, was immediately tossed into a Triple Threat match on Raw against Owens and Cesaro for a shot at Cena’s U.S. Title Open Challenge.

However, unlike Cesaro, one can’t help but get the feeling that he won’t remain in the U.S. Title picture for very long. In all likelihood, once Dolph Ziggler recovers from his “injury” (or finishes making a movie), these two will mercifully settle their differences in the ring—perhaps at SummerSlam. It’s been a long-awaited match in what feels like a dragged-out feud due to the unfortunate timing of Rusev’s injury.

Reigns Levels Playing Field

Before this week, the Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt feud was feeling awfully lopsided. Wyatt’s constant mind games had been getting the better of Reigns week after week, even costing him two matches against Sheamus due to count outs. But with one week to go before their showdown, Reigns finally turned the table.

On Raw, Wyatt was on his way to the ring to face Dean Ambrose when Reigns attacked him from behind. Then on SmackDown, Wyatt came out to interfere in Reigns’ match, only to be on the receiving end of a Superman Punch.

It was a much needed week for both Reigns and just the feud in general. With Wyatt consistently making Reigns look like a fool, along with WWE’s tendency to just throw Wyatt into a feud and have him lose thinking he will still be over with the fans, it was important Reigns gain some traction.

NXT Divas

I’ve never had much interest in what goes on in the Diva’s Division. It’s boring, and with so few Divas on the main roster, incredibly repetitive. But when Stephanie McMahon came out to address Team Bella on Raw, I found myself looking up from my cell phone thinking that, for once, maybe something worth watching was about to occur.

I wasn’t disappointed.

NXT has been praised for its willingness to truly showcase its Divas. In fact, the main event on this week’s NXT TakeOver featured Charlotte challenging Sasha Banks for the NXT Women’s Championship. So when McMahon introduced all of the NXT Divas one by one as some sort of a rebellion against the Bellas, it was a breath of fresh air. Not to mention that every single one of them feature a lot more ability than either Brie or Nikki. When was the last time a Divas segment on Raw warranted a “this is awesome” chant?


No Direction For Ambrose

A little more than a month ago, Dean Ambrose had his fingertips on the World Heavyweight Championship atop a ladder at Money in the Bank. Since then, he’s been completely irrelevant.

I understand wrestlers go through transitions and it’s likely WWE has something up their sleeves for the Lunatic Fringe. But it’s odd to me that someone who received that big of a push and who got over so well with the fans has basically been reduced to being Roman Reigns’ buddy whenever he makes an appearance backstage.

It’s totally possible Ambrose shows up at Battleground in support of Reigns, but wouldn’t that make Reigns look weak? We all know WWE doesn’t want that. The possibility of one turning on the other at some point is also still in play.

After Money in the Bank, I wrote that it was hard to imagine what direction Ambrose was being taken in. Creative obviously shared the same confusion, and they haven’t yet recovered. They soon must make up their minds if they want that new line of “Ambrose Asylum” t-shirts to keep selling.

Big Guy Goes Down

I’ve been a little hard on Ryback in this column before, and as much as I’m still not thrilled about the state of the Intercontinental Championship right now, it’s never good for any champion to go down. Fortunately, it was reported that Ryback’s staph infection in his knee was caught in time, and the damage was limited.

If Ryback is going to hold onto the title for awhile, here are my preferred scenarios: R. Truth beats King Barrett this week to win the crown (whatever the hell that even means at this point), and the former king returns to the good ol’ Bad News Barrett moniker, once again becoming a formidable heel and an IC Title contender rather than a weak sideshow.

Or, I would love to see the always under-valued Luke Harper in the picture. He held the title briefly once before, when the creative team initially broke up he and Erick Rowan. Harper is simply too good to be relegated to house shows and Saturday Night Main Event.

If you don’t believe me, YouTube search “Brodie Lee.”

We Want Cody

Even before this week’s episode of Raw, it was rumored that a Stardust/Cody Rhodes return was imminent. Following the passing of his father, the legendary Dusty Rhodes, you would think WWE would have him return as Cody and receive a pretty big push, all in the honor of his father. The story basically writes itself and there’s not a fan in the world who would have taken issue with it. Instead, he returned as Stardust, and as a heel. He knocked off Neville in unspectacular fashion, before losing the rematch in similar fashion on SmackDown.

Corrigan’s Corner: WWE Left Cody Rhodes In The Dust

Of course, this was likely Cody’s preference. Before Raw on Monday, he tweeted out a picture of himself dressed as Stardust with the words, “Finish what you start kid.” That’s a strong indication that it was Cody’s decision—what he thought Dusty would have wanted.

Wrestledelphia.com contributor Tyler Sablich can be reached at . Follow him on Twitter at .

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