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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? January 7, 2019

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The Good

For Raw, the main event between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental championship was a great match and a good way to end this rivalry and move forward with both competitors. Ambrose ended up winning after Bobby Lashley interfered and attacked Rollins. This made sense as the show opened with Rollins and Lashley brawling and these two have been at each other for the past few weeks. What’s really good to take out of this is now Rollins can focus on the Royal Rumble and Ambrose can focus on who is next contender is for his championship.

For Smackdown, the push for Shane McMahon and The Miz to go for the tag team championship was an entertaining way to help build this match up at the Royal Rumble. After Shane expressed aggressiveness and prove worthiness to earn a championship match, the Miz tried to impress him by going out there and challenging the Bar to that match by himself. The challenge was accepted and even though that isn’t what Shane meant, they are getting the match that wanted when they first formed.

The Bad

For Raw, the Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar “face to face” segment fell flat. Strowman struggled on his delivery of insults to Lesnar, and the “face to face” was more of just Lesnar walking around the ring over and over again without getting in Strowman’s face. At this point, anybody but Brock Lesnar needs to hold the Universal championship in order to give it a more important feel. 

For Smackdown, there was nothing they had that was really too bad. Smackdown was able to give proper time for all the rivalries they are building up. 

The Final Verdict

Smackdown has been hitting on all the right cylinders with their shows for a while now. Once they establish a championship match for the PPV, they give proper buildup and interesting scenarios for each one. Along with that, when Smackdown wants to build up a rivalry just for their show, they are able to do that effectively as well. While Raw does try to do the same, there segments and matches just don’t have the spark that Smackdown is able to deliver. So, with that said, Smackdown had the better show this week. In conclusion, the Royal Rumble is one of the big 4 PPV’s for the year of 2019 for WWE, and so far it looks like everything is going right for Smackdown while Raw is still trying to find their footing.

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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