13/04/2024

Picture: WWE

Following his victory over Drew McIntyre at Clash at the Castle, it was unknown who Roman Reigns would be challenging next for his Undisputed Universal Championship. However, it became clearer this week who would be stepping up to the Tribal Chief and it has the WWE Universe torn.

Welcome to the WWE Weekly Round-up, where The Inner Sanctum will take you through this week’s most pivotal moments on WWE television and preview what shapes to be a huge week ahead.

In an eventful and newsworthy week for WWE, there were many highlights showcased on both Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown. Title matches have been announced for next week and a fan favourite has made his main roster in-ring debut.

Dakota Kai and IYO SKY capture gold, Bayley seeks Raw Women’s Championship

In a rematch from two weeks ago, Dakota Kai and IYO SKY of Damage CTRL finally claimed the Women’s Tag Team Championships from Raquel Rodriquez and Aliyah on Monday Night Raw.

Kai and SKY have been dominating the red brand’s women’s division along with Bayley and even defeated the team of Bianca Belair, Asuka and Alexa Bliss at Clash at the Castle.

They have been riding on a wave of momentum since SummerSlam, but surprisingly lost their first chance at the vacated titles two weeks ago to their opponents.

However, they were issued another opportunity due to the controversial finish of that contest, as Aliyah pinned Dakota Kai for the win when she was not the legal competitor in the match.

Fans were shocked at the outcome of the bout, but knew it was all a grand plan to eventually give Kai and IYO SKY the championships at a later date.

The match on Raw was not of great quality, but the right women won as Damage CTRL continue to stay on top of the women’s division. While Kai and SKY are now draped in gold, Bayley is still left without a title.

However, the leader of the faction is eyeing Bianca Belair and her Raw Women’s Championship, with a match between those two expected to take place at Extreme Rules.

Not only did Bayley pin Belair at Clash at the Castle, but she is also owed a title match since she was supposed to have one at Money in The Bank against the E.S.T last year.

An ACL injury sidelined Bayley before the show, which cancelled her match against Belair and she hasn’t been given a championship opportunity since making her return in July.

Johnny Gargano makes long-waited in-ring Raw debut, Kevin Owens puts Austin Theory in his place

In his first match since December and main roster debut, Johnny Gargano made an emphatic return to the ring on Monday Night Raw by successfully defeating Chad Gable.

Johnny Wrestling made a grand comeback to the WWE three weeks ago and was only involved in promo segments up until this week’s episode of Raw. While he was in NXT, it was never known when or if he would join the main roster and it became less likely once he was declared a free agent last year.

However, the change of administration in WWE had made this prolonged possibility a reality.

The long-term role he will have on Raw is unclear at the moment, but he seems to be engaging in a rivalry with Austin Theory for now, as Mr. Money in the Bank attacked Gargano from behind with his briefcase.

The two have a history together, as they were both involved in a faction in NXT called ‘The Way.’

When Theory made his way to the ring after assaulting Gargano, he was delivering a promo that was cut off by Kevin Owens.

The Prizefighter and Mr. Money in the Bank have also been going back and forth in recent weeks, but the former gave Theory a scathing assessment of his current position in WWE.

Owens passionately exclaimed that people like him and Johnny Gargano are the heart and soul of professional wrestling, while Theory is expendable and needs to create his own moments instead of having them gifted to him.

The two then engaged in a wild brawl, until Theory exited the scene with a bleeding nose. Both superstars are now slated to have a match against each other next week on Raw.

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Edge seemingly written off TV

In the main event of Monday Night Raw, Edge attempted to evoke revenge on Dominik Mysterio after the latter’s assault at Clash at the Castle. However, the Rated-R-Superstar was attacked by The Judgment Day mid-match and now seems to be off TV indefinitely.

Last week, Dominik aligned with Finn Balor, Damien Priest and Rhea Ripley after betraying his father and Edge at Cardiff. He had his first match since joining the group against Edge, who he seemed to be jealous of after the relationship he had formed with Rey Mysterio.

Towards the dying stages of the contest, Edge was delivering multiple blows to his opponent until Rey stopped him in his tracks. He pleaded for his friend to stop hitting his son, but the Rated-R-Superstar was committed to teaching Dominik a lesson.

Priest interfered and removed Rey from the equation by assaulting him on the outside before Balor attacked Edge to force the conclusion of the contest. Soon after, The Judgment Day targeted their rival’s left leg with multiple steel chair shots followed by a coup de grace from Balor.

It now seems apparent that Edge will be taking some time off television, leaving Rey Mysterio on his own to feud against his son’s group. The Judgment Day also teased a potential feud with Matt Riddle, as they asked the Original Bro to join them before he declined.

Logan Paul doubles down on quest to face Roman Reigns

Social media sensation and global phenomenon, Logan Paul signed with WWE on a multi-year agreement in July and it was unknown what his role would be on television.

However, it has been made official that he will face Roman Reigns for the Undisputed Universal Championship within months of joining the company.

Paul hosted the Tribal Chief on his podcast, ‘Impaulsive’ this week and said he would beat Roman Reigns in a fight after the champion left the building. It sparked some controversy, but no one really thought it would come to fruition.

However, Paul made his Friday Night Smackdown debut and followed up on his comments by inviting Roman Reigns to a special press conference to potentially challenge him for the world title. A returning Paul Heyman confronted the YouTuber and told him to focus his attention on someone else, but Logan refused.

A day later, the clash was confirmed in that said press conference; Roman Reigns will be defending his Undisputed Universal Championship against Logan Paul at Crown Jewel in early November, a move that has the WWE Universe divided.

Some say it is a mega-money match and brings a larger-scale audience to the Saudi show, while others are of the belief Paul is taking a spot from someone who is more deserving of a title shot.

Nonetheless, it is certainly a topic that has everyone talking and has generated huge interest from varying sectors.

Championship matches set for next week

In a highly intense and enjoyable main event for Friday Night Smackdown, Butch and Ridge Holland of The Brawling Brutes emerged as the new number one contenders for The Usos’ Tag Team Titles.

The team was victorious in a fatal-4-way tag team match that consisted of the victors, as well as The New Day, Hit Row and Imperium. A match was held last week on Raw with the same stipulation between a different combination of teams, but Braun Strowman made his comeback and interfered in the contest.

On Smackdown, it looked like Imperium were going to advance towards Jimmy and Jey, as they controlled the later stages of the match. However, Holland tagged himself in for Keiser at the last second before pinning Kofi Kingston for the win.

It was a consolation prize for The Brawling Brutes against Imperium, as Gunther defeated Sheamus in a classic at Clash at the Castle for the Intercontinental Championship.

Meanwhile, it was confirmed that Bobby Lashley and Seth Rollins would collide for the former’s United States Championship on Monday Night Raw next week. The Visionary is coming off a strong performance against Matt Riddle in Cardiff and has made it clear it’s been too long between championship reigns for him.

Expect the Original Bro to cost Rollins his title shot, as Riddle has been demanding for a rematch against the Visionary, to which it is being refused.

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