After a much improved Raw and SmackDown Live last week, the hope was that WWE would continue their momentum with this week's television output. The July 8th, 2019 episode of Raw and the July 9th, 2019 episode of SmackDown Live did not disappoint.
Sterile and formulaic no more; both shows were raw (pardon the pun), dynamic and logical. Crucially, they were entertaining go-home shows for this Sunday's pay per view extravaganza, Extreme Rules. SmackDown Live, in particular, was unpredictable and exciting with previously directionless performers all suddenly having a purpose and a vital role to play on the show.
There are now plenty of reasons to be optimistic about both brands. There are some familiar as well as some first-time entries on the list this week, owing to the increased profile of previously underutilized performers.
Without further delay, let's delve into the last week's television and see which WWE performers earned some vital momentum ahead of Extreme Rules.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!
#5 Shinsuke Nakamura
Yes! Finally, Shinsuke Nakamura played a pivotal role on WWE television once again on the July 9th, 2019 edition of SmackDown Live. After months in the wilderness, the 2018 Royal Rumble winner and Japanese legend, recently resurfaced on main roster television.
The former United States Champion defeated Balor in a crisp, dynamic and immensely entertaining bout which was Nakumura's best in-ring effort in eons. Could this be the start of a career resurgence for "The Artist" in WWE after he seemingly bounced off the proverbial glass ceiling last summer?
The signs seem promising. Perhaps Nakamura and Balor could clash for the US Championship either this Sunday or at SummerSlam. If that happens, the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion will likely be on this list again pretty soon.