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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? August 20, 2018

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The Good

For Raw, we got to see Dean Ambrose return to in ring action against Dolph Ziggler this week and he looked great. He presented some new moves, showed that he has more strength this time around, and was really smooth in his return to the ring. The ongoing rivalry between Ambrose and Rollins vs. Ziggler and McIntyre is still going strong and it will be interesting to see where they go from there, especially now that the Shield has formed back together.

For Smackdown, there were so many good things Smackdown presented this week, but the ongoing rivalry between Samoa Joe and AJ Styles is really starting to get intense and stuck out this week. After Styles got himself DQ’d at Summerslam for attacking Joe with a steel chair after Joe’s comments to Styles’ family at ringside, Smackdown decided to have an interview with Styles to explain his actions. While Styles was getting fired up talking about the situation, Joe snuck up behind Styles and attacked him. Then, Joe proceeded to throw more insults towards Styles’ family while Styles laid there unconscious. This rivalry has heated up and gotten really good these past few weeks and WWE fans should look forward to this rivalry going into Hell in a Cell.

The Bad

For Raw, they decided to have repeat matches this week and it is starting to make these rivalries feel stale. The matches Raw decided to have for what feels like the 5th week in a row are the AOP vs. Titus Worldwide and the Riot Squad vs. Bayley and Sasha Banks. WWE does realize there are other tag teams in their division that either of these teams could face? At least with the Titus Worldwide storyline, they are hinting that Apollo Crews may go on his own. But, as far as the Riot Squad vs. Bayley and Banks, its been the same story for the past few weeks and it seems like no progress is being made.

For Smackdown, they only had one match that didn’t really entertain much and that was Peyton Royce vs. Naomi. It just felt like filler this week but maybe they are trying to lay out something with the IIconics going forward.

The Final Verdict

Overall, WWE had to move forward from Summerslam and show what the layout is going to be for the rest of 2018. Raw was more about the aftermath from Summerslam while Smackdown went right towards building up Hell in a Cell. Due to that, I will have to say that Smackdown had the better show this week. Honestly, this was one of the best Smackdowns of the year. They already had a match prepared and built up with Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse and they did a really great job of building up some matches that we will more than likely see on the PPV (AJ Stlyes vs. Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton, Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch). Raw will lay out some matches going forward for this PPV, but Smackdown is already off to a great start post Summerslam and fans should look forward to the constant build up for Hell in a Cell.

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NXT UK Premiers on WWE Network October 17

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WWE has officially announced the premier of NXT UK on the WWE Network, in a Twitter post that appeared on Wednesday morning.

Per the announcement, the UK division of the NXT brand will debut on October 17th at 8pm BST and will air weekly, featuring male and female wrestlers in the UK.

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New Japan Pro Wrestling

NJPW Talent Considering Departure, Upset with New Management

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It appears that the new management heading up NJPW, led by Harold Meij, is rubbing talent the wrong way, upsetting their wrestlers so much so that they are considering a departure from the promotion, eyeing WWE as the next destination.

According to Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, Meij is also receiving backlash.

“The initial reaction was that the feeling was that he talks down to the wrestlers, he then continued to say many of the wrestlers are concerned he has no history in the business as well.

There are people who in the past had never even considered WWE who are thinking about it, and others who were completely committed to staying who are probably still leaning that way, but are considering the WWE option.”

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Kaitlyn Discusses Mae Young Classic

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Following her recent return to professional wrestling, former WWE Diva’s Champion Kaitlyn is back in WWE for the Mae Young Classic and is hoping that the tournament can give her a boost to the RAW or Smackdown roster.

Kaitlyn took a hiatus from wrestling following her release from WWE in 2014, and she believes that given her WWE experience, she won’t need to go through NXT to get to the main roster.

“Now that I’ve been there and done it, the stakes are higher, the level of competition is higher, so I see myself just going through it, going through the Mae Young Classic, going through NXT, going through the SmackDown roster, going through the Raw roster” Kaitlyn said, during an interview with ESPN. I know I’m capable of it, and I think the Mae Young Classic is just the beginning.”

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