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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? December 24, 2018

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The Good

For Raw, it was funny to see Rhyno make a comeback to help out Heath Slater. During Slater’s match with Jinder Mahal, Rhyno dressed up as Santa Claus and was handing out gifts during the match. When it looked like Slater was about to win the match, the Singh Brothers interfered to help out Mahal, giving Slater the win via DQ. Rhyno then came to the ring to save the day. I guess that this means that they are back to being in the tag division.

For Smackdown, we have a new United States Champion! In the main event of Smackdown, Rusev was able to defeat Shinsuke Nakamura in a great match. This match was given a good amount of time and it was able to show what each competitor was about. Overall, this was an interesting change considering Nakamura’s title reign wasn’t really effective, so this is a change to embrace.

The Bad

For Raw, when WWE announced that we would see new matchups, I expected some interesting things to see in the future. But, WWE decided to recycle the Riott Squad versus Bayley and Sasha Banks once again. This matchup was literally shoved down the WWE fans’ throats when the Riott Squad first came onto Raw and now they seem to be bringing it back. Hopefully though, one of these teams moves to another brand during this new era.

For Smackdown, one thing I noticed was how much they edited the crowd and other things during this show. A prime example was during Rusev’s entrance, they showed a clip of a fan chanting Rusev Day, which a shot that was taken earlier in 2018. Along with that, a majority of the crowd noise was edited too, which doesn’t give it much of a authentic feel. 

The Final Verdict

Both brands put on a pretty good show. The Royal Rumble isn’t for another month so building it up extremely wasn’t necessary this week. Both shows were entertaining and helped integrate the Christmas theme too. With that said, I would have to say that Smackdown had the better show this week. With a new US champion, and a very interesting exchange between AJ Styles and Vince McMahon to close the show has questions going into next week. In conclusion, Smackdown continues to roll with solid show week after week so it’ll be interesting to see where this goes for 2019.

All Elite Wrestling

Malakai Black Released from AEW, Pulled from Upcoming Appearances

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Malakai Black

Malakai Black’s time in AEW is at an end, as he has received a conditional release this week after he requested a full release earlier this year, and now Black will be officially pulled from upcoming appearances.

Black was scheduled for the upcoming Northeast Wrestling show on Friday where he was set to face Matt Taven. Jay Lethal and Enzo Amore, but the promotion announced that Black was pulled from the event due to “health issues”.

AEW President Tony Khan stated earlier this summer that Black “has almost five years left on his deal. I wouldn’t expect him going anywhere anytime soon.” However, his release likely came with a non-compete clause to prevent him from jumping back to WWE, where he is likely heading once his personal issues are addressed.

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All Elite Wrestling

CM Punk Out 6-8 Months, Needs Surgery

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CM Punk

CM Punk will be out of action for considerable time, and it may also mark an end to his run in AEW.

After defeating Jon Moxley to reclaim the AEW World Championship, Punk made some harsh comments during the post-event media scrum that prompted a backstage altercation involving AEW superstars The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega, who have since been suspended.

Punk was injured during his match with Moxley, and while he may be out for considerable time, he also could be ultimately fired from the company. AEW stripped Punk of the World Championship on Wednesday’s edition of AEW Dynamite.

“Punk’s out for eight months, or whatever it’s going to be, six months/eight months, whatever” according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio. “If he’s not let go, and a lot of people don’t want him back.”

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All Elite Wrestling

Christian Cage Out Several Months

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Christian Cage

AEW continues to deal with the injury bug and you can now add Christian Cage to the list, as he is expected to miss 6 to 9 months due to injury, according to the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer.

Per the report: “His injury may be the exact same injury as [CM] Punk. So we’re talking again like an eight-month-ish, six-to-nine months of being out.”

Cage was part of a short match at AEW All Out against Jungle Boy, shockingly defeating him with a spear and a killswitch in just 33 seconds. Jungle Boy was attacked by Luchasaurus just before the match began.

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