Red's Pro-Wrestling Digest #35: Catching up on WWE Pt. 3 (August)

Welcome, ladies, gentlemen, and nonbinaries. This edition of the Pro-Wrestling Digest gets us through WWE's August catalog and there are plenty of fun hits to be had. This happens to be Hunter's first month on the new job so lets keep that in mind as we move forward. Note that the last digest felt a bit bloated with embedded videos so I trimmed this back down to a more minimalistic style this time around. I also admittedly didn't scroll through check out much in the way of segments this time. I figured I'd let the in-ring content speak for itself. I care far more about the wrestling than the soap stuff anyway.

Thanks to any long time readers that continue to put up with my OCD shit. Consider this major digest post fest I've been on this week or so (most of it was written days ago and is scheduled to go live while I'm on the road to be honest) as an apology if you want.

Oh, and before we get started I should probably address the rumor mill of late. First, note that most wrestling sites are literally worthless outside of whatever entertainment value you get from it. Most of the rumors and stories are manipulated, clickbait over exaggerations of semi real reports done by the few real quality sources in the game. For example, nearly every story coming out right now involving people leaving AEW for WWE and phone calls being made fits perfectly under that umbrella of criticism I just referenced. Be careful what you read and remember who's full of shit, people.

Oh, and remember that WWE loves controlling narratives and trolls are everywhere, too.

That's all I'll say on it. 

Matches

  1. Ciampa vs Styles ***
  2. WWE US Title: Lashley(c) vs Ciampa ***
  3. WWE IC Title: Gunther(c) vs Nakamura ***1/4
  4. McIntyre vs KO ***1/2
  5. WWE US Title: Lashley(c) vs Styles ***
  6. Dolph vs Theory ***
  7. Sheamus vs Ricochet vs Zayn vs Moss vs Corbin ***3/4
  8. Balor vs Dolph ***
  9. KO vs Gable ***1/4
  10. Edge vs Priest ***1/2
  11. Lights Out: Choo vs Stratton ***1/2
  12. Viking Rules: Viking Raiders vs New Day ***1/2
  13. Butch vs Kaiser ***1/4
  14. Street Profits vs Alpha Academy ***
  15. Jey vs KO ***

We start with a big TV match that saw Styles and Ciampa in singles action and the winner slated to get a shot at Lashley and the US belt. They worked pretty well together, showing glimpses of their abilities, but The Miz's involvement and the general layout kept this below must-see territory.

We move on with Lashley and Ciampa for the US strap. It's nice seeing Ciampa getting a shot, even if it was really just a throwaway title defense. I could've done without the Miz/AJ stuff being tacked on, but this IS the house that Vince built and, like I've said before, not as much is going to change as some might think. Still, despite some issues, this was an entertaining enough defense and a nice notch for Bobby as he pushed ahead with his reign.

Not to be outdone, Gunther and Naka had their own TV title clash and this one was actually fairly good, too. Admittedly, both are capable of far, far better but for a throwaway defense this worked well to prop up Gunther. I'd really like to see a PPV rematch, though.

Drew and Kevin Owens had a nice intensity level clash on Raw 1525. In many ways, outside of the DQ finish that occurred when the Usos ran in, this felt like a midcard ppv match. Hell, even with it it still felt like one.

Post, Drew turned things around but KO hit a stunner to set up another attack. Moments later, Drew once again ran off the tag champs. Questionable booking.

Lashley's defense against Styles was good but still had bullshit tacked on along with a layout that held both back, making for a decent yet largely forgettable title defense.

Theory and Dolph's contest from Raw was solid enough and I appreciated the effort for sure, even if it still had the same issue much of the set thus far has had. Simply put, I just didn't give a fuck.

A quality five-way featuring two dudes I don't care about at all followed and it was 22-minutes of entertainment. A good flow kept things largely on the rails and Sami's return, even if it was fruitless, was a fun sight. Everyone got a chance to show what they could do in the situation, too. Great overall!

Hey look, a Viking funeral. Oh, and Hit Row is back now. I'm not gonna link any of the videos because I didn't watch them and I don't care either. The only dude in that unit I cared about is happy in AEW. I admittedly skipped basically any non-wrestling content this time around. I mentioned it above but it felt like something that was worth mentioning again.

Maybe not.

Finn and Zig's Raw encounter was good shit without elevating too far past second gear. Quality, throwaway TV content from two workhorses.

KO and Gable are in the 8 spot. They got to show off a bit, pumping this one up a tad. I wanted to care more than I did, keeping the general tone of the set on track (sadly). After, Owens bested Alpha Academy. Good yet forgettable.

Judgement Day's Priest and the former unit leader, Edge, worked a one on one that was far better than expected. It actually felt like watching a videogame version of the match (in a good way). Props to both for overdelivering.

Gargano is back! It's a logical move and one that I sincerely hope pays off for him.

The lights out match also surpassed expectations and felt a lot like something I'd expect from a DDT show. I had a blast watching the absurd women's hardcore match and thought both workers came off looking better than usual because of the stip.

I'm always excited to see Rowe and Hanson get a real chance to shine and they got one against Kofi and Creed. The former are actually really cool dudes and Rowe, funny enough, once dated an ex of mine. This too felt like a parody visually, but they ran with it so props. Very good hardcore tag stuff.

Dieter and Dunne was a fairly good match of europeans, though it easily felt like watching a nerfed throwaway that will be forgotten in a day or two.

The Street Profits and Alpha Academy was good, but nothing too special. Far more memorable was Kurt sitting at ringside and the post-match celebration that followed.

We closed with Jey Uso and Kevin Owens in singles action. Good stuff and athletic enough with a nice bit of story movement along the way (though it hurt the overall in-ring quality a bit). Sami's hesitancy was noteworthy for those that care about such things.

The Triple H era will be far less different than many expected if we're being honest, but I'm all for more focus on workrate and that's what I feel we're starting to see a bit of. This set was a lot of fun and I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to see more. Expect the next WWE focused digest soon.