26/02/2024

Picture: WWE

WWE’s next Premium Live Event Crown Jewel is taking place next Sunday, but it wasn’t a prominent focal point on Raw and Smackdown this week. Instead, the women’s division for both brands received upgrades and everyone is talking about The Bloodline’s unmissable segment.

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 period ahead.

Bayley pins Bianca Belair with the help of a returning Nikki Cross

Not much happened on a ‘filler’ episode of Monday Night Raw this week, but the show concluded with the re-emergence of Nikki Cross and her former psychotic personality.

Cross teased a return to her previous gimmick weeks ago when she removed her superhero mask in frustration following a loss to Candice LeRae.

It was obvious that this persona was going to be in danger after Triple H took creative control of WWE and it finally unfolded in the main event of Raw between Bianca Belair and Bayley.

Towards the dying stages of the non-title match, Dakota Kai and IYO SKY were instructed by the referee to remove themselves from ringside until a mysterious figure launched from the top rope and landed on the trio.

The Raw Women’s Champion then delivered a K.O.D to her opponent, but there was no referee to make the count and the figure to be revealed as Cross attacked Belair.

Bayley took advantage of the situation and pinned the E.S.T when a new official made her way to the ring, but Cross then returned to the scene and assaulted the victor before Raw went off the air.

While she doesn’t pose as a legitimate threat to win the Raw Women’s Championship, Cross is still an option for a potential one-off or rivalry post-Crown Jewel for the title.

Meanwhile, it was confirmed on Friday Night Smackdown that Belair would defend her Raw Women’s Championship against Bayley at the Saudi event in a last-woman-standing match.

It will be the latter’s last chance at the title, before a possible WarGames match at Survivor Series between Damage CTRL and a group composed by the E.S.T.

Tommaso Ciampa reveals injury and surgery

Tommaso Ciampa’s last televised appearance was on the September 20 edition of Monday Night Raw and it was unknown why he hasn’t been seen since. However, the former NXT Champion announced on Instagram that he had undergone hip labrum surgery after suffering from back pain.

His previous tag team partner, Johnny Gargano broke the news on Raw that Ciampa was injured, but it was unspecified until the Instagram post two days later what was exactly wrong. While a timeframe of return hasn’t been set for Ciampa yet, hip labrum surgery typically requires a nine-month recovery period.

Ciampa had a notable role on Raw, having The Miz as his mentor and being involved in the A-Lister’s feud with Dexter Lumis. There was also the potential for him to reunite with Gargano and reform D.I.Y, as WWE’s tag team division at the moment still needs some star power to challenge The Usos.

MORE WRESTLING NEWS:

‘I’m the Tribal Thief’: Logan Paul outlines Crown Jewel plans

Foxtel Group to become home of all WWE content in Australia

The 10 most important heel turns in WWE history

Emma arrives back in WWE to accept Ronda Rousey’s open challenge

Five years since she was released by WWE, Emma made her way back into the company on Friday Night Smackdown and accepted Ronda Rousey’s open challenge for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.

It was the Baddest Woman on the Planet’s first defense since winning the title back at Extreme Rules from Liv Morgan, as Emma had an impressive showing against Rousey until the tide turned late into the match.

The champion was able to rake the eyes of her opponent while the referee wasn’t looking, which opened the door for Ronda to hit the Piper’s Pit before she forced Emma to submit in an armbar.

Although the majority of the crowd didn’t give Emma a warm reception, she was quite popular in her early days with WWE and certainly strengthens the Smackdown women’s division, which has been struggling recently in comparison to Raw’s.

Sami Zayn and Jey Uso discuss their differences in fantastic Bloodline segment

Apart from the intrigue of Bray Wyatt’s return and the direction that storyline is heading towards, The Bloodline and Sami Zayn has been the best element of Friday Night Smackdown and this week was no exception.

Zayn and Jey Uso haven’t been able to see eye-to-eye since the former has been serving as The Honorary Uce of the group and Roman Reigns finally ordered the two to sort their situation out.

Zayn and Solo Sikoa competed in a tag team match against The Brawling Brutes and when Sami received an assist from Jey during the contest, he disagreed with how the Undisputed Tag Team Champion conducted it, leading to another altercation between the two.

The Honorary Uce and Sikoa then lost the match, which prompted The Head of the Table to make his way to the ring and address the hostility within The Bloodline. Zayn offered his apology to Jey Uso, but the latter didn’t accept and ranted about his dislike towards the former for not being blood.

When Zayn addressed that Reigns is calling for peace, Jey said he doesn’t care what the Tribal Chief thinks and it angered the Undisputed Universal Champion.

The Honorary Uce then diffused the tension by defending Jey, before Roman declared Zayn will have a more prominent position in The Bloodline if the tag champion doesn’t change his attitude.

All members involved in the segment also broke character as a result of Zayn’s actions, which wasn’t the first time something like this has occurred. They all shared a laugh together and the crowd equally enjoyed it, before Paul Heyman turned the attention toward Reigns’ championship match against Logan Paul at Crown Jewel.

It was then announced later on Smackdown that The Usos would defend their Undisputed Tag Team Championships against The Brawling Brutes at the Saudi show, due to Butch and Ridge Holland’s victory earlier in the evening.

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