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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (11/20/17)

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OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Finn Balor VS Samoa Joe; Joe wins.
  • Asuka VS Dana Brooke; Asuka wins.
  • Dean Ambrose w/ Seth Rollins VS Sheamus w/ Cesaro; Ambrose wins.
  • WWE Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender Fatal-4-Way: Sasha Banks VS Bayley VS Mickie James VS Alicia Fox; no contest.
  • Braun Strowman VS Jason Jordan; no contest.
  • 8 Man Tag: The ‘Zo Train VS Cedric Alexander, Rich Swann, Akira Tozawa & Mustafa Ali; Alexander, Swann, Tozawa & Ali win.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: The Miz VS Roman Reigns; Reigns wins and becomes the new Intercontinental Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

Raw Commissioner, Stephanie McMahon heads to the ring.

 

Raw rallied to win 4–3 at Survivor Series! And so she welcomes Houston to “what is officially known as The A Show”! Her brother Shane knew SmackDown didn’t stand a chance. He thought putting Raw #UnderSiege, it’d be enough, because in a fight, strike first. But Stephanie knows that in a fight, fight to win. Kurt Angle’s job is 100% secure, and now she wishes to bring out the man who led the team to victory… her husband, Triple H!

 

The Game is here even after Survivor Series ended, in which Triple H attacked Kurt Angle and let him be eliminated, to then swerve Shane O’Mac into the winning elimination. Braun Strowman took offense, threatened Triple H, and after Triple H tested him, powerslammed Triple H down. But before Triple H can speak, out comes Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle!

 

But the Kurt Angle that speaks isn’t the GM, but the WWE Hall of Fame superstar. If Triple H ever attacks Angle like that again, “you can take this job and shove it because I’m coming after you.” Fans like the sound of that! But Stephanie reminds Angle that he speaks to the COO of WWE. Angle’s intensity is appreciated, it brought Raw the victory, so do not jeopardize his career again. But then Jason Jordan appears?! His leg is all better, and he’s storming right down to the ring, angry with what Triple H did to remove him from the team. Jordan wants to see Triple H do something now.

 

Angle as the GM has Jordan back down, but Jordan asks the GM to put him in a match against Triple H! Fans want that, too! But Stephanie says Angle doesn’t have the authority to do that. Jordan asks if Triple H is a coward. Triple H takes off his jacket but Stephanie says that Triple H will “tear you apart”. Jordan is too naive to know it, but Triple H isn’t afraid of anyone in that locker room. How about BRAUN!? The Monster Among Men gets right in Triple H’s face, just like last night.

 

The two stare down without a word, but it is Triple H who backs down. And fans chant “Coward! Coward!” at him. Strowman keeps his eyes on Triple H the entire time Triple H makes his way out, fans chant “You’re a coward!” Stephanie sees everyone is so eager for a match, it’ll be Jason Jordan VS Braun Strowman! Fans boo, that’s Stephanie being a coward now. But Strowman doesn’t care, competition is competition. Angle keeps the peace, but this match is going to happen by order of the Commissioner. Jordan barely survived Bray Wyatt last week, can he survive The Monster Among Men this week?

 

Finn Balor VS Samoa Joe!

 

 

The Extraordinary Man and the Destroyer were allies for only as long as the Survivor Series 5v5 match lasted, back to being bitter enemies! The bell rings, they rush each other, Joe catches Finn with those stiff jabs that back Finn to a corner. Joe drags Finn up for a stiff knee to the ribs, then stands him up for a chop. Joe runs, Finn dropkicks him to a corner. Finn grits his teeth as he clubs and kicks away at Joe. The ref backs Finn down, Joe blasts out with a big back elbow. Joe stalks Finn, sits him up and gives him double chops to the shoulders. Nerve hold clamped on as fans duel. Finn feeds off it to get up but Joe sits him back down with a tighter squeeze. Finn endures that grip on his shoulder, gets up but gets chopped down. Joe whips Finn to a corner, Finn reverses, Joe boots back then hops up, but Finn rocks him to the outside with a swing kick. Joe gets up but is woozy, Finn gets up and builds speed, Finn FLIES!

 

Direct hit on Joe! Balor Club in control as we go to break.

We return, Joe is stretching Finn in a half surfboard. Fans rally, Finn gets up but Joe whips him into a corner, back elbow and Pele! Finn down again, Joe covers, TWO. Joe isn’t annoyed, he’s focused. He gives clubbing forearms to Finn before putting that nerve hold again. Finn endures the squeeze on his trapezius, but feeding off the rallies. Jawbreaker breaks the hold, Finn fires himself up but Joe shoves him away and then gives him a stiff forearm on the rebound, PELE from Finn! Both men down, fans rally again, Finn is up first. Finn gets to a corner, Joe gets to his feet, Finn boots him away. Finn dodges then swing kicks from the apron, Joe staggers away, Finn runs in to rally with forearms and dropkicks. Finn throws Joe out of the ring, runs and gives a wrecking ball dropkick. Then from the apron, Finn gives Joe the Penalty Kick, but it’s blocked and Finn is tripped into a faceplant! Joe runs, JOE DIVES! He knocks Finn right into barriers! Joe gets Finn in the ring, Finn gets to his feet, running STO from Joe, TWO! Joe keeps ice cold as he brings Finn up, Joe prepares but Finn fights out of the yurinagi, so Joe gives him a stiff chop. Joe runs, into Finn’s slingblade! Joe dodges the dropkick, back senton! TWO! Joe is getting a bit annoyed now as he stalks Finn. Joe waits, arms ready, Finn stands up, Coquina Clutch sleeper, but then Finn rolls through to double stomp! Finn hurries, blasting dropkick, and then Joe is down in position. Finn gets to the corner, gets to the top rope, Joe is up and trips him up. Joe drags Finn off the top turnbuckle and into the Coquina Clutch!

 

Finn flails, fades, the ref has to call it! Joe wins! Finn didn’t tap but he did go to sleep, who will be next for The Destroyer to dominate?

Raw looks at Lesnar VS Styles.

The first-time-anywhere dream match was certainly Phenomenal, and though The Beast dominated early on, things got a lot tougher for the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion by the end. In the end, Lesnar won, where does he go next?

 

Jason Jordan asks if Kurt Angle really is going to let his match go through.

The Gold-Blooded Son did get hurt, after all. But, JJ said he was 100%. Well, he said that because it was Triple H. Well, Angle can’t cancel, it’s not a good idea. Okay, okay, JJ will compete. Besides, he’s the only guy who can beat Braun Strowman. Angle beat guys way bigger than himself in the past, and his blood is in JJ’s veins, so JJ can do this. JJ ain’t afraid, he’ll make The Monster Among Men tell horror stories about him! Has Jordan gone off the deep end?

Asuka VS Dana Brooke!

The Empress of Tomorrow was the Sole Survivor for the Women’s 5v5 Elimination Match, proving no one on the main roster is ready for her. Can her undefeated streak continue on the road to the Royal Rumble? The bell rings, Asuka is grinning already. They circle, Dana swings but misses, Asuka hits her with a roundhouse. Asuka whips but is reversed, Dana kicks, Asuka blocks but then Dana kicks with the other leg. Arm wrench reversed into an arm wringer, Asuka kicks Dana around on the mat. Asuka unloads kicks on Dana against the ropes, rope-assisted octopus stretch. Asuka lets Dana go, Dana gets to the apron, but gets blasted off by a hip attack! Asuka is feeling good about herself as she mocks Dana’s poses. Dana gets pissed, rushes in, but her takedown is reversed and Asuka kicks Dana over and over again. Dana gets to ropes, Asuka doesn’t let go, Dana yanks Asuka into ropes. Asuka is pissed now, Dana kicks out her legs. Dana gives forearms, fans rally for Asuka, Dana gives her a head pat. Asuka stands up so Dana slaps her. Asuka grins again, and gives Dana open hand strikes and a few spinning back hands before a spinning heel kick. Asuka is all fired up, Buzzsaw kick! Asuka wins! Not like there was going to be any other result, the Empress is ready to reign over Raw, it’s only a matter of when.

 

Time for Miz TV!

The Most Must-See Talk Show in WWE History, and “Bravo, Baron Corbin.” The biggest victory of the Lone Wolf’s career and is more relevant now than he ever has been in his life, all thanks to The Miz. But Corbin’s “brush with greatness” is over, for The Miz is the A-Lister of The A Show, on to something more important. Tonight’s guest led The Shield in victory over SmackDown’s New Day, it’s Roman Reigns! …

 

Let’s try again. It’s Roman Reigns! How unprofessional. This is The Miz’s show! Introduction number 3! “Sierra, Hotel, India, Echo, Lima, Delta.” Not just Roman but the entire Shield are now Miz’s guests!

 

And they enter the ring, but Miz and the Miztourage back up. Miz made it clear he only had one guest, not three. But they can’t get enough of each other, huh? Must feel pretty good right about now. Yes, really good, because The Shield proved to the world that they ain’t missed a step. In case anyone missed it, The Shield proved they are the most dominant trio in WWE history! Three of them together, brothers in arms, are “pretty much unstoppable.” Yes, The Shield~! Back together~! Just like old times, but something is bothering Miz: Where is the “thank you”? To who? To Miz! What? Miz, there was never going to be a situation where The Shield thanks The Miz, ever. No, they understand! Everyone understands that the Shield Reunion Tour started because of The Miz! When Miz’s hand goes up, your mouths go shut. It was in Houston when the inaugural Mizzies that the “Bromance” reignited. With Miz pushing them, they wouldn’t have gotten over themselves and brought out the tactical vests. The least Miz deserves is one “thank you.” The fans are mixed on this. Miz wants it from The Shield. For that matter, Miz deserves a cut of the new merch sales. Sales are doing well, to be honest. But they don’t have their checkbooks, maybe later. For once, the fans cheer “Miz is Awesome!” Houston is making history with that one. Miz should thank Houston. Houston would like that. Miz refuses to thank the fans for anything! Spotlight, please. The Shield is ungrateful. Whoa, hold on. No, no, Shield won. And the ingrate is the one who lost. Oh haha Miz lost, but The Miz is the one with a championship belt! Miz is champion, not Ambrose, not Rollins, not Roman! Well it’s only a matter of time before Rollins & Ambrose get those Raw Tag Team Titles back, but uh… Roman feels left out now. Well, you could take Miz’s title. All nice and shiny. Yeah that does look good. Both of them are free tonight. How about it, Houston? Houston wants that! Bo Dallas speaks up now, to say that you can’t just show up and challenge The Miz. You want at him, you gotta go through The Miztourage. Bo and the still injured Axel step up, The Shield feels so stupid for forgetting. Uppercut for Bo, Miz retreats! And Axel is all alone again… He points out his neck brace, and begs they let him go. Not happening. Kingslayer, Dirty Deeds! And now that Bo is getting back up, he finds himself in a bad spot. The Houston fans say “We Bolieve!” but The Shield still tears into him. And then, TRIPLE POWERBOMB!

 

The Shield went through The Miztourage, will Roman get at Miz’s Intercontinental Championship?

 

Backstage interview with Braun Strowman.

He takes on Jason Jordan, what does he think of JJ not being afraid? Strowman says, “Good. That makes him different than everyone else. Including Triple H.” What Strowman means by that in itself, no one can be sure, but one thing’s for sure, the match is happening and Strowman might just put the fear of him into JJ tonight.

Dean Ambrose w/ Seth Rollins VS Sheamus w/ Cesaro!

 

The Bar is the Raw Tag Team Champions by way of a New Day “Pump Fake” but the brothers in arms still get a title rematch down the way, who can gain some early momentum tonight? The bell rings, they tie up, Celtic Gladiator puts the Lunatic Fringe in a corner, Ambrose pushes his way out and gets a waistlock. Sheaus drop toeholds to a facelock, Ambrose reverses to a hammerlock. They stand up, Sheamus reverses, shifts to headlock, Ambrose reverses to keylock and arm wrench, Sheamus powers out. Sheamus scoops but Ambrose slips out, arm-drag to armlock. Sheamus up quick, but back down all the same. Hammerlock stomp to Sheamus’ arm, but then Sheamus gives knees and forearms back. Sheamus gets Ambrose down, knee drop, Ambrose gets to the apron. Sheamus goes for the Bodhrain, Ambrose blocks and gives some of his own! Sheamus breaks out, hotshot snaps him back, Ambrose chops and whips. Sheamus kicks Ambrose away, Lunatic Lariat meets a boot! Ambrose is out of the ring, The Bar in control as we go to break.

We return, Sheamus deflects a missile dropkick to put Ambrose in a stretch muffler. Sheamus has Ambrose dangling, Ambrose sits up and punches away, but gets a sit-out powerbomb for it. TWO, Sheamus goes right at Ambrose with a Fujiwara armbar. Ambrose endures as Cesaro taunts, fans rally and Ambrose gets up and around to scrape Sheamus off. Ambrose rushes Sheamus but gets a lariat to knock him down. Ambrose is picked up, suplex slam, TWO. Sheamus is getting annoyed, Cesaro keeps him focused. Sheamus kicks Ambrose while he’s down, then suplexes him again for another slam. Sheamus keeps on Ambrose as fans boo and jeer and say “You Look Stupid!” Ambrose dares Sheamus to bring it, so Sheamus stands him up for another suplex, but Ambrose slips out to slap Sheamus in the face. Sheamus runs in, Ambrose back elbows, tries to boot but Sheamus blocks it, so Ambrose just slaps him again! Sheamus runs in a second time but Ambrose dodges to send Sheamus into the post. Cdesaro tries to coach Sheamus into this, Rollins rallies the fans and Ambrose feeds off it. Sheamus turns him arond, Ambrose goes for but is denied Dirty Deeds, so Ambrose unleashes various punches. Ambrose knees Sheamus, gets running and rallies with clotheslines. Ambrose gets to a corner as Sheamus does, corner to corner but Sheamus boots him away. Sheamus rolls to the top rope, takes aim, but Ambrose gives him an elbow to send him to the floor. Ambrose sees his target, builds speed, but runs into Sheamu’s elbow. BROGUE dodged, Sheamus clothesline’d out, Ambrose DIVES!

 

Down goes Sheamus, the fans fire up. Ambrose up, he gets Sheamus in the ring, Rollins keeps Cesaro back. But when Rollins turns away, Cesaro pounces! Roll-up, TWO, stiff kick but the Lunatic Lariat becomes a roll-up, TWO. Drop toehold sends Sheamus into the second rope, down he goes. Ambrose get to a corner, climbs up, Cesaro distracts and Sheamus takes advantage. Sheamus climbs up, positions himself with Ambrose, SUPER ROLLING SENTON! TWO! Cesaro is shocked!

 

Fans rally for Ambrose again as The Bar regroups. Sheamus up, prepares himself, but Rollins DIVES on Cesaro! Sheamus is distracted, into DIRTY DEEDS! Ambrose wins one for The Shield! Can he and Rollins combine to take back those Raw Tag Team Championships?

 

Matt Hardy is arriving when Jason Jordan tells him about his match.

JJ is confident he can beat Braun on one leg. Matt faced him, any advice? Matt has faced big men, like Mark Henry, The Big Show, and even Brock Lesnar. But those are men, Strowman is truly The Monster Among Men. When Strowman grabs you, his strength feels inhuman. Matt knows, it is a humbling experience. Matt has learned a lot in WWE, like dozens of way to use ladders, nothing is more important than family, but most of all: some nights, it’s just not your night. After all that, is JJ still confident in facing the Abominable Strowman?

Alexa Bliss goes to the ring.

 

Raw may have won Survivor Series 4–3, but The Goddess was among the three losses. She speaks now to say she’s read all the tweets and comments, “you couldn’t beat Charlotte but what a great match!” “Kudos for your effort!” “Sorry you came up short.” That last one she hated. Save your pity, Alexa doesn’t need it. She knows she did great, even with only five days of preparation. Charlotte won because she got lucky. Last night wasn’t Alexa’s night but 2017 is the Year of Bliss! And no other woman can hold a candle to her! Mickie James comes out to retort.

 

She has a question, actually: “Who else is sick and tired of hearing the same old, worn-out jibber-jabber from Lil’ Miss Biscuit Butt?” If no one told Alexa, Survivor Series is over, time for more Raw Business. And Mickie wants that Women’s Championship. Wait, this is a joke, right? Bayley comes out now! Sorry to interrupt, Mickie, but for once, Bayley agrees with Alexa. Mickie had her turn, and 2017 has been Alexa’s year, but this year ain’t over just yet! Bayley is not the same woman Alexa beat earlier, so time to skip in line to get at that championship. More jokes as far as Alexa is concerned. So now the Legit Boss, Sasha Banks, appears!

 

Raw deserves better. But not a Huggable One, nor a Seven Time One, but a Legit One! And not some little bee like Alexa. But then Alicia Fox appears! A Boss as Champion? Well maybe the captain should get a chance. Because Raw wouldn’t have beaten SmackDown without Foxy’s guidance. Wow, thanks, Captain Delusional. Alexa thanks them all for wasting time. Not one of these four deserves a championship match. Alexa drops the mic and takes her leave, but Kurt Angle has other plans for her. Alexa will have to face the winner of this upcoming Fatal-4-Way! One woman will get her chance, who will it be?!

WWE Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender Fatal-4-Way: Sasha Banks VS Bayley VS Mickie James VS Alicia Fox!

When we come in, it is Sasha and Bayley alone, roll-up, TWO. Sasha forearms Bayley, Bayley powers Sasha into a corner. Bayley throws in shoulders, rolls back, Sasha boots her back. Sasha runs out, saido suplex from Bayley, but Mickie breaks that pin then kicks Bayley. Alicia Fox dropkicks Mickie, then goes for the scissor kick, Back Stabber into Bank Statement Crossface, Bayley breaks the hold. Bayley goes after Sasha, gets that stiff knee, everyone else out. Mickie comes in, neckbreaker to Sasha, TWO. Mickie brings Sasha up, suplex but Sasha slips out, Mickie bucks her off, double clotheslines bring them both down. Alicia is lurking, but here comes PAIGE!?

 

The Anti-Diva has a mic, and with all eyes on her, the former champion asks “Did you miss me?” Houston says “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Aw shucks. Sorry to interrupt business. But she just wanted to say something to them and everyone watching: “I’m back~!” No no, that reaction wasn’t good enough, make more noise. “Welcome Back!” they chant. But also, she’s not alone. Huh? Paige heads down to the ring, but what is she talking about? Sonya Deville and Mandi Rose of NXT are here!!

 

They disrupt this match, getting it thrown out, and they go after Sasha now. Bayley comes in, she fights them both off, but she forgot about Paige! Thrust kick from Paige knocks Bayley down, and Paige regroups with the Gladiator Girl and the Golden Rose. Alicia Fox is sane for once and runs away! Paige’s Tough Enough Trio gives Mickie a butterfly facebuster, and then a stiff kick for Sasha. Bayley is the only one left, Paige grabs her, for the RamPaige!

 

What will this new trio end up doing to the landscape of Raw?!

 

The three feel great, backstage interview with Renee Young.

Paige explains that it was all just a whole year’s worth of — oh wait, Alexa Bilss interrupts. Paige doesn’t need to explain a thing, “bravo, ladies.” Alexa dismisses Renee, and Paige is flattered but… First day jitters here. Introduction properly, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. Nice to meet you. The feelign doesn’t seem mutual.

 

Alexa feels a bit awkward, she gets attacked! And then put into the sides of trunks and crates and even the garage door!

 

Paige and her new friends leave the champion down for the count, has The Goddess met a new ruling force on Raw?

Braun Strowman VS Jason Jordan!

 

The Gold-Blooded Son got put into this match when The Game wasn’t feeling man enough to face the Monster Among Men, JJ thinks he’ll win, but will he even survive? The bell rings, JJ circles Strowman but Strowman stays in the center of the ring. JJ slaps Strowman!

 

Strowman scares JJ out of the ring! Strowman shouts for JJ to get back in the ring, JJ does so tentatively. JJ is cornered and caught, Strowman throws him corner to corner but JJ dodges. JJ tries power, he gets Strowman up but it’s not enough. That bad leg gives out, Strowman throws JJ again and then crushes him in a corner! JJ is dazed, Strowman scoops him up, JJ slips out quick but that bad leg bothers him again. JJ limps around on the outside of the ring, JJ gives up. But KANE is back! Chopblock! Then with a chair, he rams and smacks Strowman’s body with it! Big boot sends Strowman out of the ring, Kane pursues with that chair still in hand for more SMACKS in the back. Strowman is bounced off the steel steps again and again, The Big Red Machine is back for revenge. He puts the chair under Strowman’s chin, and rams it all into the steel steps! Strowman’s throat might be crushed at this point, Kane leaves Strowman gasping for air. Strowman tells the refs and medics to leave him alone, but he’s still gasping and coughing as he heads up the ramp. Has the Machine finally crippled the Monster once and for all?

 

Enzo Amore heads to the ring!

And he has his ‘Zo Train with him in full! Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Noam Dar and Ariya Daivari join the Certified G, How You Doin’? And for anyone who missed Survivor Series, don’t worry, Enzo will review. “And still your Cruiserweight Champion of the World, Enzo! AMORE~!”

 

His beautiful face is still the face of 205 Live, but it wasn’t easy. There was an army of haters, but it didn’t matter, because Enzo has his army. You should all be thankful this close to Thanksgiving. And what better way to thank his ‘Zo Train than to let you know what they’re thankful for: Enzo! The Scottish Supernova now has more ladies than he can handle. The Premier Athlete has gained even more abs. Looks like he’s up to 20. The Privileged Persian has an even bigger bank account and richer wardrobe. Money can’t buy happiness? That’s a lie. And last but not least, “Gabber Gulak”, keep it real, how many more viewers have seen his message of a #Drewtopia? The infrastructure has grown by 20% alone. However, before Gulak can finish his report, out comes Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali and Akira Tozawa. This Anti-Amore Army is headed to the ring! They stand across from The ‘Zo Train, we’ve got a cuppa haters in Houston.

 

Guess Kalisto lost his luggage. Alexander speaks up, they’re not here to join the ‘Zo Train, they’re here to get at that championship. The difference is, these four earn it, rather than suck-up! Has Kalisto’s been poisoning their minds? Numbers show that The ‘Zo Train is the way to the top! And the top of that, he didn’t fall there. So get on board, or get out of the way. Make them. But he can’t, not without his boys. Otherwise he’s just a catchphrase and a t-shirt. Enzo starts a brawl but gets out of the way, 4v4 chaos! Enzo just watches with a big grin as we go to break.

 

We return to the match in progress, Swann gets out of a headlock but is shouldered down by Gulak. Gulak speeds things up, roll-up counter to Swann, TWO, things speed up again, front flip and dropkick from Swann rocks Gulak. Swann goes for but Enzo denies Rolling Thunder by taking Gulak out of the ring. Swann intimidates Enzo, the ‘Zo Train protects him, but the others get around behind and have a clean shot at Enzo! Enzo runs away, Swann pursues, Gulak intercepts with a knee. Cover, TWO, the teams regroup at their corners. Certified Genius from Enzo, or so he says. Daivari tags in, double suplex to Swann, TWO. Chinlock wrapped on, fans rally, Swann fights out but is denied a tag by Daivari with a big lariat. Daivari drags Swann over, tags Dar, they double whip corner to corner. Dar runs in, misses, Swann tosses Daivari out, Nese drags Swann out but gets an enziguri. Gulak swings but hits Nese when Swann dodges, Swann takes the long way around, and Enzo is unsure what to do. He goes after Swann, Swann jumps over Dar, tag to Alexander! Springboard lariat, Gulak thrown out again, “AH! AH! AH!” Tozawa Torpedo! Enzo gets away, Gulak takes all of that. Dar up, stiff back elbow. Ali tags in, Dar whips but takes the Neuralizer! Ali up top, Nese tries to save the day but he gets a Lumbar Check!

 

Then, 0–5–4! Ali and team win! The ‘Zo Train has been derailed for tonight, but who is it who will be on track for a Cruiserweight Championship match?

 

Kurt Angle checks on Jason Jordan in the Trainer’s Room.

That leg is definitely not good. JJ feels like he let Angle down. Angle says he didn’t. Miz comes in to complain about his Intercontinental Championship defense. How can Angle reward The Shield like this? Now’s not the time, he’s checking on his son! But he’s not going anywhere. Well, Miz better go, to the ring. That match is still happening. JJ admits it, Strowman really is a Monster Among Men.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Elias.”

The Drifter is still in Houston. And Houston still doesn’t want to walk with him. “Hear that? Sounds good. That is the sound of success. Not that anyone here would have any idea what that’s like.” But he’s in a good mood because Raw won. Believe it or not, Elias has a song. Fans interrupt by cheering “Let’s Go, Astros!” The season is over, grow up. Elias is gonna sing now so shut your mouths and listen! He starts again, but then needs to ask fans not to clap, it throws him off. And Matt Hardy interrupts again! So Elias goes right after him! The two brawl, scrapping on the mat. Matt gets Elias in a corner and fans are on his side as he hammers away. Elias knees back, but narrowly escapes the Twist of Fate! Matt wants more, Elias won’t give him any. When will Matt get proper payback for the disrespect?

WWE Intercontinental Championship: The Miz VS Roman Reigns!

 

 

The Hollywood A-Lister didn’t want to, but now he has to defend his title against The Shield’s Big Dog. Will Roman add that title to his Yard and become a Grand Slam Champion? The bell rings, the two circle, Miz gets out of the ring. Miz goes around the outside while Roman watches, Miz milks the ring count since he has Champion’s Advantage.

 

Roman chases him and they return to the ring, Miz runs into Roman’s powerful uppercut! Miz goes down and gets to the apron, Roman comes over, hotshot snaps Roman back. Finale denied, so backbreaker to neckbreaker, but Roman powers out of that neckbreaker, school boy to deadlift powerbomb! TWO, Miz gets out of the ring and we go to one more break.

Back again, and Roman suplexes Miz, both men go down. A ten count begins and gets to about five, Roman up and starts rallying with clotheslines to Miz. Miz flounders to a corner, Roman has fans cheering for him as he gives close-range clotheslines in the corner. Roman gets all ten, backs up and boots Miz! Roman has fans fired up, locks and loads, but Miz sees it coming so he gets out of the ring again. Roman goes out to follow him, jumping- kick from Miz, DDT to the ground!

 

Miz gets in the ring quick, he wants Roman to be counted out. The count gets to 5, Roman stirs. Roman gets up and crawls over, he beats the count at 9 and three-quarters! Miz is shocked, but he gets right on him, low DDT! TWO, and now Miz is getting frustrated. Miz drags Roman up, fans duel, Miz drives in elbows on Roman’s shoulder and neck before wrapping on a chinlock. The fans keep that duel up, Roman starts getting up. Roman fights back with body shots, stiff uppercut. But then Miz turns Roman around, backbreaker to neckbreaker works, TWO! Miz is furious, he argues with the ref. Roman stirs, Miz stalks The Big Dog to ropes and chokes him before giving the running back attack. Miz drags Roman up, Roman revives to give that uppercut once more. Roman runs in, misses, Miz corner to corner for the dropkick. Then again, another dropkick! The third is caught into a fireman’s carry but Miz rolls Roman up, TWO. Roman boots Miz away, Miz runs but is tossed out. Right back in, for another uppercut! Miz is holding himself up on ropes, but runs at Roman, only to miss that A-List clothesline. Roman recovers as Miz tumbles down. Fans keep on dueling, Roman and Miz are up, Roman blocks punches to give punches. Whip reversed, kitchen sink knee takes Roman down. Miz gives Roman the “It Kicks”! Miz misses the buzzsaw, Roman hits the Samoan Drop, TWO! Roman keeps his focus, gets to a corner again, and fans are thunderous as he reloads. Roman aims, SUPER- no, Fin- no, reload, SUPER- Miz trips up Roman, buzzsaw It Kick! TWO!! Miz can’t believe he was so close, he is getting frustrated again. Roman crawls to a corner, Miz gets up, and starts stomping on him. Miz grinds a foot in Roman’s chin, then walks it off as he waits for Roman to get up, A-List clothesline! Miz throws Roman down and climbs up top. Miz takes aim, flying ax hand — SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO! Roman is the one shocked now. Roman is up again, in the corner, but The Bar appear to distract! Skull-Crushing Finale!! TWO!? A screw job didn’t work out, The Shield is here now and they go after The Bar! Back drop for Cesaro, SUPERKICK to Sheamus, and then Sheamus is sent into the crowd! The Shield watches Miz get up as Roman does, too. SPEAR!! Roman wins and is the new Intercontinental Champion! Grand Slam Big Dog, The Shield celebrates together in the ring! Can Rollins & Ambrose now go on to take back the Raw Tag Team Championships to make this a Golden Shield?

 

My Thoughts:

What an interesting Raw to follow Survivor Series. Plenty of good things but also some bad things, as if Raw really does just go back to business as usual now that they don’t have to worry about SmackDown. Stephanie and HHH spark some tension relating to the Survivor Series fallout, which Angle and Jordan add on masterfully, as well as Strowman. Strowman is going to get his hands on HHH eventually, but it seems Kane is not through with him just yet. Strowman-Kane can make for a great Raw special before getting to the Royal Rumble where I would hope Strowman gets his match with HHH, because I’m thinking it’s still going to be HHH VS Angle at Wrestlemania. Finn VS Joe was great, this is a feud that we need on Raw’s Road to the Royal Rumble, and if need be it can even be made into a #1 contenders feud with the winner challenging The Beast at the Rumble. Joe goes over now, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Finn wins in the end. I actually am liking this slight turn for Jason Jordan, he’s not exactly full Heel but he is showing some sort of manipulative traits towards Angle while also trying to give himself excuses as to why things went wrong. Be prepared for Gold-Blooded Son to betray Olympic Gold Father as part of the HHH-Angle angle.

Asuka wins, no surprise. Big surprise in the women’s division was not just Paige returning, but bringing back-up in two NXT Call-ups. And it is just fine Deville & Rose jump the line, they weren’t exactly doing that much in NXT, but knowing that Deville is facing Ruby Riot in this week’s NXT (aka the “dark matches” from before TakeOver) that might be Deville’s good-bye match, meaning she will likely lose. As for what she, Rose and Paige will do on Raw, obviously they’ll make sure Alexa Bliss loses that title and Paige wins it. Solid match for Ambrose, Rollins, Sheamus and Cesaro, even if this is the Nth time we’ve seen something like this, but the process has to start all over again. But then we get to that bad part of tonight, aka how Raw handles Cruiserweights. Enzo may be great on the mic but fans are getting tired of him, and if WWE wants to sell the Division, less is more. That entire 8 Man should’ve actually been maybe two or three men to actually showcase some skills and personality rather than just giving everyone one spot each at best. Otherwise the fans who don’t already watch 205 Live won’t because they don’t know anything about these guys. Then, some more bad: why shove in a random brawl of Elias and Hardy? As fun as it is for Elias to run down the audience and having them respond, did we really need this after that Cruiserweight cluster filler? But hey, at least the main event was something fans actually enjoyed, as Houston fans actually cheered Roman Reigns! There are many factors as to why but that all aside, solid work from Roman and Miz, Roman becomes Grand Slam Champion and we’re one title match away from a #GoldenShield, just like their original run.

My Score: 8/10


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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/21)

And you thought last week was big!

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Coverage 205 2021

205 Live doubles down on historic matches!

Not only are two 205 Live OG taking on a BRUTAL combination in Thatcher & Ciampa, but the WOMEN’S Dusty Cup comes to the purple ‘n’ orange!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade; The Way wins and advances.
  • Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa; Thatcher & Ciampa win and advance.

PLAY BY PLAY

205 Live explains how a certain Dusty Cup match came to be.

It was on NXT that Ashante “Thee” Adonis was in a match with the cruel Karrion Kross. Kross showed no mercy to Adonis as he hit him with TWO Doomsday Saido Suplexes and the blindside forearm smash. Then he would show no mercy to Adonis’ tag partner, Desmond Troy, by wrapping him up in the Krossjacket submission! The damage done was too severe for either man to compete tonight, and now they’re OUT of the Dusty Rhodes Classic! However, there is a new team that has been formed.

The Professor of Pain and the Psycho Killer put each other through torture inside the Fight Pit, and in the end, they found respect for each other. They’re now a killer combination and having their tag team debut TONIGHT, in the tag team tournament! Will they put the Premier Athlete and Persian Lion through similar suffering, all for a shot at history and the NXT Tag Team Championships?

 

Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade!

How is this for history? 205 Live has its first-ever women’s match, and it is for this historic women’s tag team tournament! But will it be even more historic for the two debuting superstars? Or will Candice & Indi Wrestling dominate where the boys, Johnny & Austin, failed?

The teams sort out, Indi starts against Jade and the two circle. They tie up, go around, and Indi throws Jade down. Indi says Jade is NOT #Impressive, but Jade hits back with body shots! Indi knees low, whips Jade to a corner but Jade dodges! Jade tags Gigi and Gigi dodges Indi for a BOOT! Jade BOOTS Indi, then Gigi runs in to spin and ROCK Indi with a forearm! Indi hits back, drags Gigi over and tags in Candice. Candice stomps Gigi down, brings her up and through the ropes to choke her. The ref counts, Candice lets off at 4 to then CLUB Gigi down. Candice stomps Gigi, taunts Jade, but misses the leg drop!

Gigi rams Candice to the corner, tags in Jade, and Jade runs corner to corner to SHINING WIZARD! Jade brings Candice around but Indi is in the way of her run. Candice CLOBBERS Jade then covers, ONE! Candice hammers away on Jade, dribbles her off the mat, and fans boo as Candice drags Jade up with a chinlock. Candice has a neck wrench, fans chant “You Still Suck!” but Jade fights her way up. Candice CLUBS Jade, whips her to the Way’s corner, then runs in for a back body block! Indi tags in and she taunts Gigi before hitting Jade with a forearm! Indi throws Jade down to cover, TWO!

Indi keeps on Jade with a cravat for the neck crank. Jade fights up, fans rally and Jade throws body shots. Jade whips, Indi reverses and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps her cool, tags Candice, and Candice wrenches Jade to snapmare and chinlock. Candice digs her knee in but Jade endures. Fans rally, Jade fights up, throws more body shots, then breaks free to uppercut! Jade runs but wobbles, but she elbows Candice again! Jade baits Candice into her own corner, dodges, but Candice gets Jade’s leg! Jade kicks Candice away, hot tags to Indi and Gigi! Gigi didges, fires off on Indi, KICKS away on the leg, then kicks that leg out! BUZZSAW!

Gigi DECKS Candice for good measure before she BOOTS Indi down! Cover, TWO! Gigi snarls as she drags Indi up and clubs her on the back. Tag to Jade, they bring Indi around together to double suplex but Indi fights it off! Indi BOOTS Jade, kicks Gigi and reels Gigi in for a suplex of her own! Indi holds Gigi up for a count of 10 before the SLAM! Gigi bails out so Indi tags Candice. Candice runs into Jade’s roll up, TWO! Jade Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! Ghost pin, TWO!! Candice flounders up but gets around Jade to roll her up, TWO!! Indi tags in and kicks Jade to then back suplex SLAM! Cover, The Way wins!

Winners: The Way, by pinfall (advance to the next round)

Candice and Indi are making their way into the semifinals! But will Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter be in the way of The Way making history?

 

Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa!

The Premier Athlete and Persian Lion have been here since day one of 205 Live, and were looking strong going into this match when it was against Adonis & Troy. But again, it has only been a couple days since NXT, are the Professor of Pain and Psycho Killer in any shape to face them on their home turf?

The teams sort out and Nese and Daivari seem to laugh at the two former enemies trying to be a team now. Daivari starts with Thatcher, they tie up and Daivari goes after an arm. Thatcher pries him off of that with a chinlock and then grinds into a headlock. Thatcher throws Daivari down, pulls on his head, but Daivari tries to pull hair. Thatcher just smiles that jagged tooth grin as he gets back up and goes after Daivari’s arm! Thatcher wrangles Daivari with a hammerlock, traps it with his legs then gets Daivari’s legs. Thatcher pulls Daivari into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Daivari endures, it becomes a cover, TWO!

Thatcher grabs at Daivari right away and has a facelock. Daivari endures, gets around, waistlocks, but Thatcher pries at the arm. Daivari tags Nese in, Nese rolls Thatcher up, TWO! Thatcher trips Nese and has the foot for a toe ‘n’ ankle. He shifts to a heel hook, then gets the arm but Nese scrambles around. Ciampa wants in, so Thatcher tags him in! Fans cheer as Ciampa wrenches Nese’s arm and drags him down. Nese resists the Fujiwara but Ciampa wrenches through again to a wristlock. Nese chinbars to get the arm, but Ciampa slips through to headlock. Nese throws Ciampa off but Ciampa headlocks and throws Nese down! Fans cheer as Ciampa grinds Nese into the mat.

Nese fights up, gets free to waistlock but Ciampa switches. Nese bucks Ciampa off, runs in and trips Ciampa up to go after the leg! Ciampa kicks Nese away, facelocks Nese in return and grinds him down. Fans rally, Nese moves around, and Nese powers Ciampa to the corner. Nese puts the leg on the rope, tags in Daivari, but Ciampa fights out with forearms and elbows! Ciampa DECKS Daivari but Nese trips him up! The ref reprimands but Daivari drags Nese to the corner to SLAM the leg into the post! And then he SLAMS the other leg! Thatcher storms over as Daivari keeps on the legs but the ref shouts at everyone to get back to their corners.

Daivari puts Ciampa in, drops elbows on the leg then stomps it, then drags Ciampa from Thatcher. Daivari drops more elbows, stomps the leg more, then clamps onto the leg to step through, for a Figure Four! Ciampa endures, Thatcher coaches him and the fans rally up! Ciampa drags himself and Daivari over but Nese gets in to hit Thatcher! The ref has to keep Thatcher back but Nese drags Daivari and Ciampa away! Nese tags in to stomp away on Ciampa, and Daivari finally lets Ciampa out of the hold. Fans boo and jeer while Nese flexes. Nese drags Ciampa over, tags in Daivari, and they split the wishbone on Ciampa!

Nese runs at Thatcher but Thatcher DECKS him first! Daivari has Ciampa’s leg but Ciampa enziguris back! Tag to Thatcher! Thatcher clinches Daivari for a BELLY2BELLY! Then a BELLYBELLY for Nese! EuroUppers for both Cruiserweights back and forth! Nese runs back in but Thatcher has the arm! Thatcher clamps on but has to stop Daivari first. HEEL HOOK! Nese pulls Thatcher’s ears and HOTSHOT BULLDOGS! Thatcher is down, Nese tags in, and Nese hurries to PREMIER TRIANGLE MOONSAULT! Tag back to Daivari and Daivari climbs up, LION SPLASH! Cover, but Ciampa breaks it!

Fans fire up as Ciampa returns to his corner. Daivari and Thatcher crawl, Nese tags in first! Thatcher kicks Nese away, and tags Ciampa back in! Ciampa rallies on Nese and Daivari with forearms and CHOPS! Ciampa CHOPS Daivari again but Nese dropkicks the bad leg out! Nese and Daivari both go up, DOUBLE- DECKED! Nese gets a knee, Daivari gets a forearm! Thatcher and Ciampa glare at each other, Ciampa gives Nese WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Ciampa & Thatcher win!!

Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher, by pinfall (advance to the next round)

These two were tearing each other apart on NXT, but they’re standing together on 205 Live! Will Ciampa and Thatcher tear their way through the tournament to put their names on the Dusty Cup?


My Thoughts:

A good episode, though with some obvious results. While Gigi Dolin (Priscilla Kelly) and Cora Jade (Elayna Black) are very good wrestlers, they weren’t going to beat The Way, and it says a lot that Indi got the pin for this one. Candice & Indi are among the favorites to win the tournament, and I’m betting on a stellar match between them and KC Squared, Catanzaro & Carter. Gigi & Jade still made a good combination, and their aesthetics match up well, I hope they stick together.

Ciampa & Thatcher becoming a team after their Fight Pit match is a pretty cool way to follow up, and naturally they were going to beat the first team they faced. The OG had good combinations, but Nese and Daivari have been perennial jobbers to the stars even before this. Thatcher & Ciampa take on Undisputed Era next and that is going to be a great match that could go either way. Given the history between Undisputed Era and the current tag team champions, Lorcan & Burch, I give it 51-49, UE wins so that they can get a shot at the champions.

My Score: 8/10


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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/22/21)

Will Apollo be able to #ThinkBig and be a champion?

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Coverage SmackDown 2021

Big time challenges go down on SmackDown!

SmackDown goes big as Big E takes on Apollo Crews’ rematch challenge, and Bayley takes on Bianca Belair in the ULTIMATE obstacle course challenge!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay; Charlotte & Asuka win.
  • Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler; Cesaro wins.
  • Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella; Sasha wins.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Crews wins by disqualification, Big E retains the title.
  • Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair; Bianca wins.
  • Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin; Corbin wins.
  • Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns; No Contest.

PLAY BY PLAY

Roman Reigns heads to the ring!

The Head of the Table, with Special Counsel, Paul Heyman, is back to open SmackDown, but no Jey Uso? Roman and Heyman are not in a good mood after the bait ‘n’ switch Adam Pearce pulled over on them with Kevin Owens. Heyman hands Roman a mic as fans boo and give thumbs down on their screens. “So KO said he was going to deliver a message today, huh?” Or is he not? No, we’re not going to see Kevin Owens tonight because Roman said so. Now let’s talk about last week and “card subject to change.” Real clever. A lot of people made comments about Pearce getting one past them, outsmarted them.

But let’s make this clear: “That way of thinking is beneath me.” Card subject to change is how losers think. It’s how people who are scared to come to work think. Roman doesn’t miss appearances, he puts in work! Legitimately! It took Roman’ sown health being at risk during a pandemic to keep him away. So he never wants to hear anyone say anything about him missing appearances. But what if Roma started thinking like “a puss” like Pearce, talking about his elbow and shoulder hurting. No one would doubt it because of the work Roman puts in! Roman’s knees hurt, and so does his neck. But what else? His ankles have been bad since college. And his back… Heyman says just the weight of it all is making Roman’s back hurt, because Roman’s been carrying the WWE for YEARS!

But what if Roman’s back continues to hurt until the Royal Rumble? What if he can’t make it because of that? Pearce walks out and says this is going too far. Heyman says Pearce is being rude not even addressing Roman. Pearce says this is spiraling out of control, and Roman can’t believe he wants to talk about control. We know who is in control. But what’s out of control is that Pearce is going against Roman. That Pearce is doing a favor and putting Kevin back into the Universal title picture. And the fact that Pearce is favoring Kevin! This isn’t even really a favor. Pearce is Kevin’s BITCH! And he’s also Roman’s bitch.

But what Roman really can’t stand right now, is Pearce having the audacity coming out here and complaining about how his body feels. Pearce hasn’t been in a match for six YEARS, but he’s talking about how his body hurts. Pearce is next to the thoroughbred of the WWE, a man who does 52 weeks a year, multiple days a week! Roman never complained, never stopped and busts his ass for this place, and that is why Roman is who Roman is! And Pearce is going to complain, whine, MOAN about stuff? “No wonder you never made it to the WWE.” Heyman chuckles at that one.

Pearce asks if this is funny to Heyman. It is. Pearce can take it from Roman but he won’t take it from Heyman. Oh? Well that’s disrespectful. Disrespecting Heyman is disrespecting Roman. Heyman, straighten Pearce out. Heyman is given the mic to speak. Pearce disrespected the Tribal Chief and his family. Heyman’s known his family 15 years. Roman’s family would not be friends with someone who isn’t tough! Do you know what it is like to be a friend of the Anoa’i family? Everyone buys into Heyman’s persona, that he’s “impotent as a man.” Heyman’s from New York, he whoop yo’ ASS for disrespecting the chief. Wanna stare Heyman down?

Heyman may not be a lawyer but he’s from a synagogue full of them. In Florida, a verbal contract is BINDING. So if you want something big for the main event, how about this? Pearce VS PAUL HEYMAN! What?! Heyman offers a handshake, and Pearce TAKES IT! The challenge is accepted!! Pearce will have his first match in six years, against Paul E. Dangerously! Roman says at the end of the night, Pearce gets his ass kicked. #BelieveThat.

 

Sami Zayn heads to the ring!

He has a sign with #JusticeForSami on it, and he brings out cuffs?! Sami is going to cuff himself to the ringside barriers as a form of protest because he is not part of tonight’s Intercontinental Championship! How will WWE officials respond to Sami’s sudden SmackDown sit-in?

SmackDown returns and Sami claims he is being victimized, but he will enter the Royal Rumble to counter it! Sami says he had Apollo Crews beat, though with hands somehow on Apollo’s tights. But then Apollo does the same thing back to him and Apollo wins?! That is not fair! But then the Empress of Tomorrow interrupts Sami with her entrance, followed by The Queen’s! The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions are here!

Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay!

The Queens of Tomorrow have a lot going on as individuals on Raw, but they return to SmackDown to focus on their teamwork! Meanwhile, Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott haven’t been able to focus with the Femme Fatale frantically interfering. Will Billie be a burden as the Squad has a chance at earning a championship opportunity?

As the teams sort out, Natalya and Tamina are watching from backstage. The bell rings as Charlotte and Ruby start. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Charlotte pushes Ruby to ropes. Ruby pushes back but Charlotte headlocks and throws Ruby down. Ruby keeps her shoulders up, fights to her feet, but Asuka tags in. Charlotte snapmares Ruby, Asuka runs Ruby over with a shoulder! Asuka headlocks Ruby, Ruby fights up but Charlotte tags back in. The Queens of Tomorrow hand Ruby off and Charlotte bumps Ruby off buckles! Charlotte digs her boot into Ruby’s head but lets off at 4. Ruby flounders, Charlotte taunts her to reach for Liv, then CLUBS her down.

Charlotte looms over Ruby, drags her up and whips her to a corner hard! Ruby falls over, Billie protests on the apron but Charlotte runs her off. Ruby rushes at Charlotte but into an elbow! Liv tags in as Billie shouts at Charlotte! Ruby rushes Charlotte but is thrown out, and Charlotte grabs at Billie! Liv apron dropkicks Charlotte back in! Liv hurries up top and leaps to crossbody! Cover, TWO! Billie can’t believe she’s being helpful as SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Charlotte blocks a buckle bump to give a buckle bump! Charlotte stomps away on Liv, backs off as the ref counts, and lets out a “WOO~!” Fans clap on their screens, Charlotte scoops Liv but Liv slips out. Liv runs, Ruby tags in, Liv huricanranas and Ruby runs in to tilt-o-whirl! Charlotte blocks the headscissors but Ruby fires off forearms! Ruby goes up and gives Charlotte DEADLY NIGHTSHADE! Cover, TWO! Tag to Liv, Sami is still filming his protest, and the Squad double SLAMS Charlotte down! Cover, ONE! Liv tags Ruby back in, they stomp away on Charlotte in a corner, and then tag again.

Ruby and Liv bring Charlotte out, double whip but charlotte stops herself to kick and forearm and CHOP! Charlotte CHOPS away, throws Ruby into buckles then kicks Liv low! EXPLODER! And kip up! Charlotte fires up but misses Liv in the corner. Liv runs into the backbreaker and BUCKLE SHOT! Tag to Asuka, SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, Ruby breaks it! Ruby runs but into Charlotte’s BOOT! Liv dropkicks Charlotte and enziguris Asuka! But Asuka has the leg for an ANKLE LOCK! Liv tries to roll through but gets caught to a trapped-leg GERMAN SUPLEX! Asuka kicks but misses, Liv rolls her to swing. Asuka blocks, reels Liv in, but Ruby tags!

Asuka lets Liv go to get Ruby, but Billie distracts! The O’Conner roll is rolled over but Billie argues too long! That costs Ruby, she has to kick Asuka! Liv saves Ruby from the hip attack but falls on Billie! Ruby SUPERKICKS but Asuka counters the Riott Kick to the pop-up KNEE! Asuka runs, tags Charlotte, CODE BREAKER to NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, the champions win!

Winners: Charlotte Flair & Asuka, by pinfall

Billie went from helping to hindering the Squad again! Will this partnership fall apart before Billie’s very eyes?

 

Billie finds the Squad backstage.

She apologizes for, for… For what, Billie? Stopping Ruby from pinning Asuka? Messing this opportunity up for them?! Yeah… Well for someone who doesn’t mean to, she’s pretty good at it. Maybe that should be put on the resume. Well, all the great teams have overcome obstacles! Billie has good news, though. She talked to Sonya Deville and the Squad is in the Women’s Rumble match! They can practice throwing Billie out over the ropes! Billie can pretend to be Bianca or Mella! No, there is no “us” anymore. The Squad works better when it’s just Ruby and Liv. Sorry. Will Billie ever catch a break?

 

Daniel Bryan is here!

And he goes past Sami’s new sign, where SAMI is an acronym: Stand Against Moral Injustice. Clever. Bryan goes to the ring and fans join in the “YES!” fingers on their screens. Bryan says a week from this Sunday is one of the most unique and historic traditions in the WWE, the Royal Rumble match. And even saying that, this time of year, a chill goes down Bryan’s spine. It’s a little hard to explain why but Bryan will give it his best shot. “It’s the uncertainty of what number you’re going to. It’s watching the countdown for every superstar that comes out. It’s waiting for that buzzer to hit, for that music to play, for you to run down, nobody knows that you’re coming, and you don’t know who’s coming out next!

“It’s the exhilaration of competing against 29 other superstars that could go over an hour, and it’s every man for themselves.” One of the most challenging, grueling things you can do in the WWE, and that makes Bryan feel alive. Despite all the pain, all the uncertainty, it is absolutely worth it because the winner gets to face the champion of their choosing in the main event of WrestleMania! Bryan is very proud of his career, he’s accomplished a lot. But the one thing he has never done is win a Royal Rumble! Experts, commentary, Michael Cole even, will say- Cesaro interrupts!

Cesaro thought he beat some sense into Bryan last week, but here Bryan is again talking about how he’ll win the Rumble. Cesaro appreciates Bryan explaining the rules, but Cesaro could’ve done it better and in five languages. But that’s besides the point. Bryan is NOT winning this year’s Rumble, Cesaro is. As the first-ever Andre the Giant Battle Royal winner, Cesaro is an expert on this. Bryan didn’t forget about the loss, but instead of talking, how about putting the mics down, and they can fight it out again? Cesaro says no. Cesaro is sick and tired of proving himself week after week doing the same thing over and over! He beat Bryan, and Bryan isn’t dressed for the occasion, Cesaro issues an open challenge! Anyone who has already declared for the Rumble, come on down!

The one to answer the open challenge is… Dolph Ziggler! One half of the SmackDown Tag Team Champions is here asking about the conversation. Ziggler has been in the second most Rumbles ever. Ziggler can go all night long, ask anyone. And aside from himself and his colleague, Robert Roode, there is no one that can go toe-to-toe with Ziggler except maybe Cesaro. No offense to Bryan but it ain’t 2014 anymore. But if we’re talking about a Rumble challenge, Ziggler wants to win to go to Mania and get paid! So Bryan, scoot over, and Cesaro, consider your challenge accepted. Will the Show-Off show up the Swiss Cyborg?

Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler!

SmackDown returns and Bryan has joined commentary for this great match-up already underway. Ziggler has Cesaro down and has a leg, gets a cover, TWO! Cesaro gets a lateral press but Ziggler keeps his shoulder up. Cesaro pushes him around, gut wrenches and lifts but Ziggler resists by grabbing Cesaro’s leg again. Ziggler shifts, rolls, has a cover, ONE! Cesaro tries a cover, ONE! Cesaro waistlocks but Ziggler gets the ropes. Ziggler elbows Cesaro away then jumps on for a sleeper hold! Cesaro stays up, RAMS Ziggler into buckles and is free. Cesaro runs in to BLAST Ziggler with that EuroUpper! Ziggler flounders into a trip and then a SWISS SWING!

Cesaro brings Ziggler around and around for a count of 10, then maybe 15 even, or 20! Cesaro throws Ziggler, covers, TWO! Ziggler survives the swing, Cesaro stalks him to a corner, then runs in, only to get POST! Ziggler rolls Cesaro up, TWO! Cesaro back drops, Ziggler sunset flips, TWO! Cesaro sits on the cover, TWO! Ziggler sunsets, TWO! Cesaro, TWO! Ziggler, TOW! Cesaro high stacks, TWO! Ziggler pops him to a cover, TWO! SUPER- No, Cesaro blocks but uppercuts into a backslide,. Cesaro slips out, but into a ZIGZAG! Cover, TWO!! And yes, Sami is still protesting. He’s even memeing! “Sami was robbed, change my mind.”

Cesaro and Ziggler slowly rise and Ziggler sleeper holds again! Cesaro gets up, shifts Ziggler from backpack to a front facelock, for a suplex! Ziggler knees free, kicks low then runs, into a pop-up! Ziggler tries to huricanrana, but Cesaro makes it a NEUTRALIZER! Cover, Cesaro wins!

Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall

Michael Cole points out this is two times in a row that Cesaro has beaten a former world champion! Will Cesaro take the Rumble and be a WrestleMania contender?

 

Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella!

It is very rare for WWE to do co-ed matches like this, and certain against a champion like The Boss against the sommelier in employment of The Untouchable Princess of Staten Island. Will Reginald ruin Sasha’s momentum towards the rematch with Mella?

SmackDown returns and Mella makes her entrance to accompany Reginald to the ring, two other assistants bringing the champagne and drinking glasses to the ring for them. Mella and the champagne join commentary as the bell rings. Sasha tells Reggie it’s time to put up or shut up, but Reggie presents her with an orange rose. Sasha accepts the rose but goes to slap Reggie! He blocks, only for Sasha to SLAP him with the other hand! Sasha knuckle locks, goes up and uses the ropes to arm-drag, but Reggie handsprings through! Mella says that’s her Reggie! Reggie waistlocks but Sasha resists the lift and slips out the back to switch. Reggie does the same and rolls right out of the ring!

Reggie plays some cat ‘n’ mouse and does a back flip off the apron! But Sasha wrecks him with a baseball slide dropkick! Sasha whips Reggie at the steel steps but Reggie leaps up and over! Mella applauds the bit of flair, Sasha gives chase, they go in the ring and speed things up with hurdle for hurdle. Reggie shows off with that flip, Sasha goes up and springboards, but Reggie blocks the sunset flip! Reggie wheelbarrows Sasha but she turns that into a BULLDOG! Sasha wants Mella to see why she’s the boss, but Sasha misses the meteora to hit buckles! Sasha avoids Reggie’s elbow drop, Oklahoma roll but Reggie slips out!

Reggie avoids Sasha’s dropkick to bomb lift, but Sasha arm-drags free! Sasha runs in but is put on the apron, but she knees Reggie away! Sasha goes up, leaps, crossbody but Reggie holds her up! Reggie pops Sasha up but into another arm-drag! Reggie is sent out, Sasha hurries to the apron, METEORA! Sasha slaps the champagne out of Mella’s hand! Sasha goes back into the ring with Reggie, brings him in for a backstabber but he rolls through! Sasha kicks him, and knuckle locks to flip up and into another METEORA! Mella sneers but Sasha tilt-o-whirls and drags Reggie down by his arm! BANK STATEMENT!! Reggie taps, Sasha wins!

Winner: Sasha Banks, by submission

Sasha got her revenge on Reggie, and throws him out to Mella! Will Sasha do the same to the Princess at the Royal Rumble?

 

Roman Reigns sits in his private room.

Heyman says Roman was brilliant. They got Pearce! “We? What’re you talking about?” Heyman knew what Roman was up to, he fed right into it. Roman simply passed Heyman the mic to do what he does better than anyone, and that is verbally rip someone to shreds. Roman didn’t say Heyman should challenge Pearce to a match. But Heyman has stepped into it, so he has to do this. Roman didn’t hire some punk to be Special Counsel, he hired a man. So Heyman needs to go out there and represent Roman as a man and handle business. “Paul, be a man. Handle your business.” The Special Counsel has no words, will he have no defense against Pearce?

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews!

Sami Zayn is irate as Big E taunts him with the belt. But Sami is not the champion’s concern, he’s taking on the man in the ring! Big E and Apollo have been in friendly competition, but after what Heyman told both of them over these last few weeks on Talking Smack, will all of that go out the window?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and it’s time to #ThinkBig or go home!

Apollo rushes Big E but right into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Apollo goes to the apron, Big E follows and stomps him, to then run and APRON SPLASH! Big E is fired up and gets back in to run at Apollo. Apollo elbows back, BOOTS back, then runs, into a scoop! Apollo slips off, and ENZIGURIS! Big E wobbles into a BOOT! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Apollo keeps focus as he stalks Big E. Apollo waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES Big E! Apollo holds on to GERMAN again! Big E elbows over and over until he’s free, and he gets Apollo with the Urenag-E! Cover, TWO! Big E keeps his cool as he goes out after Apollo.

Big E and Apollo end up by the announce desk. Big E tells Apollo he’ll never make the mistake of disrespecting him again. Apollo pushes Big E away, then dodges him to go up the apron and MOONSAULT! Direct hit and down goes Big E! Apollo gets Big E back in at the ring count of 8 then climbs up top! Big E hits Apollo first then climbs up to join him. Big E throws forearms, stands Apollo up, but Apollo resists the superplex! Apollo throws headbutts as fans clap on their screens! Big E falls back, Apollo adjusts, but Sami uncuffs himself! Sami’s strike is over as Apollo leaps to missile dropkick Big E!

Apollo resets but Sami HELLUVA KICKS him!! SAMI SCREWS APOLLO!

Winner: Apollo Crews by disqualification (Big E is still WWE Intercontinental Championship)

And then Sami HELLUVA KICKS Big E! And Sami has the nerve to talk about injustice! Sami says HE is the champion, but that this is what Big E and Apollo deserve! Will Sami get what he deserves soon enough?

 

Kevin Owens speaks.

“I showed up to work today, and I was told I couldn’t get into the building because Roman Reigns pulled some strings to make sure I wouldn’t be there. Roman, dude… It’s fine. But just know this: at the Royal Rumble, there’s no more strings for you to pull.” At the Rumble, they will settle this once and for all. And Roman calls Kevin “a cockroach that won’t die,” and tells him to just stop fighting, but Kevin can’t do that. Roman has yet to beat Kevin like the champion he claims to be. Roman did not earn those victories. The family did that for him.

And the other reason Kevin keeps fighting is this. Kevin has a lot of tattoos, and they all have a story behind them. He has his wife’s name on his wrist, his kids’ names on the other side, then one to remind him of his parents. Kevin fights for all of them, but he has tattoos on his knuckles. These are his grandfathers’ initials: M for Melvin, his dad’s dad, and P is for Pierre, his mom’s dad. Those men had Kevin’s back all the way. They were his biggest fans, and nothing made them happier than seeing Kevin in the ring. The biggest regret Kevin will have is that he didn’t make it to the WWE in time for them to see, because they both passed away just before.

But they will always be with Kevin. The mark they left on Kevin will always be there, because both men battled illnesses that should’ve made their lives a lot shorter. Those two men refused to quit, and because of that, Kevin was lucky to have many, many great years with them. So how can Kevin stop fighting? That is why Kevin will not stay away and why he will #JustKeepFighting. That is why come Royal Rumble, Kevin will be the Last Man Standing.

 

The Street Profits have a basket.

Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins see Ziggler talking with Sonya, and have a quick question: Are you ready~, ready~? This is a celebratory basket for congratulating Sonya on her new job and office! But don’t jump the gun! They’re not just congratulating her on the new gig. She sits next to Pearce, looking pretty, but they have business. It has been two, two weeks, since the Profits lost the SmackDown Tag Team Championships against Ziggler & Roode, Entertainment Dysfunction. Put that on a t-shirt, it’ll make millions! But that aside, the Profits- Sonya knows they want their rematch. She’s so smart!

Sonya knows they were champions for 312 days, won two Slammy Awards, so yes they deserve a rematch. But Ford is still recovering from the leg injury. If he gets in that ring too soon, gets hurt and is out of action, that hurts SmackDown as a whole. So hear her out: For now, hang out, keep doing your segments to hype the show, and let another team get the opportunity. Then when Ford is 100%, he and Dawkins get back in the game and back in the title picture. Cool with t hat, fam? yeah, that’s cool. Golly, Sonya, thanks for your concern. Enjoy the basket! It’s expensive. But will the long wait really work out in the Profits’ favor?

 

Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair!

The Role Model wants The EST to prove she’s still got it when it comes to being the strongest, the fastest, the roughest, the toughest, etc. Therefore, SmackDown is setting up a truly challenging obstacle course for them both to run! Who backs up their words, after the break?

SmackDown returns and Michael Cole presides over this special competition, and gives the introductions for Bianca, then for Bayley. Bayley takes over and says DING DONG, BYE Cole. This is her show now! And look, Bianca, this is what Bayley has for her. America Ninja Warrior ain’t got nothing on UAOCC! This is of course timed, starting right here with the “big ol’ 400 pound tractor tire,” which you only need to flip once. Go down the ramp, take on the short hurdles, climb the trio of military walls. And then Bayley even got advice from Chad Gable and Alpha Academy, he will put you through the full body test, the fireman’s carry!

But that’s not all! The very last challenge is grab the basketball, put it through the net, and time stops at the exact moment the ball exits the bottom of the net! The competitor with the shortest time is of course the winner! Let’s get the clock going, and Bayley wants to go first. Bianca says that’s fine, and we begin… NOW! Bayley flips the tire, hurries down the ramp, though not quite that quickly, and takes on the hop hurdles to go right at the military walls. The short one seems to throw her off, and she just weaves around them?! Is that allowed?

Bayley fireman’s carries Gable, and he seems to be heavier than he looks. Bianca “cheers” Bayley on as she goes from one end to another, then she gets the ball to DUNK- no, wait, there! Bayley finishes at 1:12. But she says she did Bianca a favor. “Let’s EST up this course,” all for Bianca. Oh, the hurdles are now full hurdles, and Bianca wraps her braid. GO! Bianca easily flips the tire, runs down the ramp., leaps the hurdles, leaps the walls, but she isn’t carrying Gable, but OTIS! Bianca has 40 seconds, she carries the 330 pound Otis with ease, then gets the ball and even dares Bayley to play D! She breaks ankles and DUNKS! She had 17 seconds to spare!

Winner: Bianca Belair

Sorry, Bayley, but that’s the power of the EST! Bayley is a sore loser and throws the ball at Bianca! And then hammers away with forearms and stomps! The ref reprimands but Bayley doesn’t care, as she POSTS Bianca and knocks down the basketball hoop! Bayley storms off, perhaps having proven she’s the meanest on the roster.

 

Rey Mysterio coaches Dominik backstage.

Rey reviews with Dom that Baron Corbin is a former boxer, so he has to watch out for the hands. Dom says Rey can trust him to have this. Dom is comfortable with his skills and has prepared. Okay, then we’ll do it his way. But if something goes wrong, they do it Rey’s way. That’s fair. Dom heads out, will he be able to trump the Wolf King?

 

Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin!

SmackDown returns as Corbin is already in the ring. Dominik makes his entrance, leaving Rey backstage so he can handle things. The bell rings and Dom circles with Corbin. They tie up, Corbin powers Dom to a corner but Dom dodges the hands to throw hands of his own! Dom rams his shoulder in but Corbin shoves him away. Dom dropkicks but Corbin stays up. Dom whips, Corbin reverses but Dom wheelbarrows and throws Corbin out of the ring! The ring count climbs but Dom slingshots, only for Corbin to get clear and CLOBBER him! Corbin drags Dom up and into the ring, covers, TWO! Corbin already glares at the ref as he grows annoyed.

Corbin stalks Dom, drags him to ropes and stands on him! The ref counts, Corbin hops off at 4, then drags Dom up to throw body shots! The ref counts, Corbin lets off at 4 again, then stands Dom up. Corbin whips Dom corner to corner hard! Dom bounces off buckles to hit the mat, and Corbin takes his time bringing Dom back up. Corbin brings Dom around, reel shim in but Dom slips out to dropkick a leg! Corbin ends up on ropes, Dom dials it up but the call is blocked! Corbin drags Dom from ropes, yanks but Dom lands on his feet, only for Corbin to DECK him! Corbin reels Dom in and hits END OF DAYS! Cover, Corbin wins!

Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall

The Wolf King wins because he did this his way! Will the Mysterios regroup and draw up a winning game plan?

 

Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns!

Scrap Daddy’s switcheroo not only got the better of the Special Counsel last week, it might be why he stuck his foot in his mouth this week! Will Pearce’s return to the ring also get the better of Paul E. Dangerously? Has the Head of the Table truly left Heyman hanging?

Heyman is taping his hands on his way to the ring, but stumbles off the steps? The ref checks on Heyman but he says he’s fine. Give him a minute to walk it off. Heyman fumbles on the steps again and Pearce smells a plot. After all, he let his “bum leg” be why Kevin Owens is back in the title match. And just as he knew, Heyman cites “card subject to change.” This was the trump card Heyman had up his sleeve! Roman did NOT leave the building, he’s heading to the ring! Now that the bait ‘n’ switch is on the other foot, will Scrap Daddy be scrap metal?

Adam Pearce VS Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman!

Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES Pearce the second he’s in the ring! This isn’t even a match because the bell hasn’t rung! Heyman says he has obviously found a suitable replacement, and Roman is pulling steps apart. Pearce throws a haymaker! Roman glares at Pearce, and LOW BLOW KICKS him! And then throws Pearce OVER the barriers! Roman is snarling as he goes around the way to drag Pearce up and throw him INTO ThunderDome screens! And then he drags Pearce up to throw heavy forearms! And then throws him into stage wall! Fans give thumbs down but that’s not going to save Pearce from Roman’s wrath!

Roman fireman’s carries Pearce and puts him on the upper level, the same place he threw Kevin off of. But speaking of, Kevin runs in and attacks Roman! Kevin saves Pearce as he throws haymakers and bumps Roman off barriers! Roman throws Kevin into screens, throws haymakers of his own, then they brawl to ringside! It’s Royal Rumble come early! Roman puts Kevin in the ring, storms in but into a USUPERKICK! Roman SUPERMAN PUNCH- NO! STUNNER from Kevin!! Kevin dares Roman to get back up! Roman sputters as he gets out of the ring but Kevin whips him into barriers! And clubs away on his back!

Referees rush out to try and stop this, and Kevin backs off to cool off. But then Kevin comes back to STOMP Roman into barriers! Roman flounders back up, referees try to talk Kevin down, and even Pat Buck, Pearce’s coworker. But Kevin gets past them to give Roman another STUNNER! Kevin wants Heyman to say something but Heyman has nothing to say! So Kevin brings Roman over, pops him up, POWERBOMB through the announce desk!! Kevin is pulling steel steps apart! The refs keep him from bringing that over to Roman! Kevin says Roman’s lucky the officials are here to stop him, but it won’t happen at the Royal Rumble! Will Kevin truly #StunTheWorld when he is THE Last Man Standing?


My Thoughts:

A great SmackDown that honestly could’ve been a go-home to the Royal Rumble in some cases. Charlotte & Asuka VS Riott Squad was good, but naturally the champions win, mostly because Billie was too involved. She has been kicked out of the Riott Squad, though she wasn’t really a member to begin with, but I feel like they could’ve gone another week, though. Natty & Tamina were watching backstage, I wouldn’t mind seeing them get a match with Charlotte & Asuka, even if they were to lose. The match of Sasha Banks VS Reginald was pretty good, mostly because Reggie is insanely athletic. Depending on how the story goes of him being Mella’s sommelier, maybe he can split off and get into like 205 Live and the Cruiserweight Division to freshen things up a bit.

But of course Sasha wins, she’s the champion. I have a feeling this means the go-home sees Mella standing tall so that Sasha is still the favored to win. The “Ultimate” obstacle course challenge was very clearly going to be won by Bianca, but I commend Bayley for trying to rig it in her favor. Though, shouldn’t she have been penalized or even disqualified for outright skipping those military style walls? Pretty sure we’re getting a match between the two, and Bianca can sell the bad arm to “overcome” it and win, for big momentum going into the Women’s Rumble.

The Profits had a good segment with Sonya, and I like that, at least on the surface, Sonya is being a responsible official and having the Profits wait so they can be healed up. But I wonder if there will even be defenses in that time, as there aren’t many tag teams on SmackDown. It’s mostly the champs, the Profits, Cesaro-Nakamura, and maybe Alpha Academy, aka Gable & Otis. Dom VS Corbin felt like filler just to get things to what Rey was talking about last week, which should’ve just been what we got this week. Unless it was because the person they have in mind (Cain Velasquez) isn’t available right now because of some COVID concerns. That I’d understand.

Sami Zayn “protesting” this episode just so he’d be ringside for the Intercontinental Championship was a pretty good long game for the episode. Sami’s signs were clever, but it does seem a shame for what should’ve been a huge match. Maybe we get another Triple Threat for this title, and that is the way Big E loses. Though, I think it’d work well if Big E won, making his reign feel even bigger from having dealt with two contenders. After that, Big E can face just about anyone else on the roster, such as Nakamura, Cesaro or even Otis. And speaking of, Cesaro had a good promo with Bryan and a really good match with Ziggler, but I feel like all these wins are setting Cesaro up to not win the Rumble. But I said the same thing about Bryan making it his mission to win the reason he won’t, so maybe as far as SmackDown goes, it’s between the two of them as Rumble finalists.

And again, we got a lot of great stuff out of the Roman Reigns story. The opening promo segment was really good, it helped set up the main event, and gave a great tease of Pearce VS Heyman. But Heyman using the fake injury and “card subject to change” back on Pearce was also very clever, and naturally it was Roman who would beat Pearce up to get back at him for everything so far. Kevin had a really good promo, made a great save, and got to stand tall tonight with the table bomb. I’m curious as to Kevin’s part in the go-home next week. I can’t see him standing tall two weeks in a row just to keep the math in Roman’s favor, so maybe Roman turns this around to then defy the math and still retain the title. I’m pretty sure Roman does retain, and we leave it up to the Rumble to decide the rest.

My Score: 8.5/10


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