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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Report! (12/12/17)

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All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Cedric Alexander VS Ariya Daivari w/ Drew Gulak; Alexander wins.
  • Kalisto VS Jack Gallagher w/ THE Brian Kendrick; Kalisto wins.
  • Enzo Amore w/ The ‘Zo Train VS Tony Nese; Nese wins, by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Cruiserweight Championship Contender Series was given a “Second Chance” on Raw.

The Outlandish One lost his right to compete for the #1 Contender spot, but that gave four other members of the Cruiserweight Division another shot. Drew Gulak was confident that it wouldn’t matter who won the Fatal 4 Way, he would defeat them to then move on and defeat the champion, Enzo Amore! The Certified G didn’t take kindly to that assumption, but Gulak was still confident even as Cedric Alexander won that “second chance”. Can the Carolina Kid shatter that confidence and finally derail The ‘Zo Train once and for all?

 

Cedric Alexander VS Ariya Daivari w/ Drew Gulak!

“Gabba Gulak” faces Alexander on Monday to determine the new #1 Contender, but tonight he supports his ‘Zo Train comrade in “Daivari Dinero”, can they slow Alexander down just 24 hours after his major victory?

But first, Gulak speaks to the crowd. Since day one, it has been Gulak’s dream to create a #Better205Live. He takes one step closer when he defeats Alexander for the right to challenge his “mentor”, Enzo Amore, for that Cruiserweight Championship. Alexander won a “second chance” but his luck just ran out going up 1v1 with Ariya Daivari. Daivari is not in a holiday spirit after “Cedric the Grinch” stole that victory from him. Daivari will pound Alexander into the dirt! Please, no chanting! Gulak informs us that fellow ‘Zo Train member, Noam Dar, suffered a knee injury, and will need surgery. As a thoughtful gesture to their fallen friend, Gulak has a 93 point plan for a speedy recovery via hiiiiiiiiiis… POWERPOINT, PRESENTATION! Which is again interrupted by an entrance.

Cedric grins, he knows exactly what he is doing. He enters the ring and the match finally begins.

Alexander and Daivari circle, tie up, and Daivari powers Alexander to the ropes. He shoves Alexander and trash talks in Farsi, Alexander brushes it off. Fans chant, Gulak scolds them, the two circle and tie up again. Daivari gets Alexander’s arm, and wrenches with a wristlock while Gulak resorts to using his megaphone to quiet the fans. Alexander rolls and spins to trip up Daivari onto that sore back, fans duel with “Let’s go, Cedric!” “Power Point!” as Alexander speeds things up. He hits the handspring headscissors and dropkick, Daivari’s bad back bothers him again, cover, ONE. Gulak reprimands Alexander for flipping, another violation of #Drewtopia law. Alexander ignores him, bringing Daivari up for an arm wringer and wristlock. Gulak coaches Daivari as Alexander puts on an armlock, fans keep dueling with chants. Daivari gets up, pulls on Alexander’s hair, the ref breaks them up. Alexander ducks the sucker punch to give a chop, then another. Daivari kicks back and puts Alexander in a corner, but misses his chop, Alexander gives him another chop back. Alexander trash talks Gulak but runs in to be put on the apron. Alexander springboards, Daivari gets out of the ring, so Alexander speeds up, only for Gulak to get on the apron and in Alexander’s face.

Gulak orders Alexander to stop using the top rope, Alexander just lets him talk. But that gives Daivari an opening, he grabs Alexander to throw him right into buckles! Alexander hits face first, Gulak says that’s what he gets for being on the top rope. Daivari stomps away on Alexander now, the ref backs him off. Daivari grinds a knee into Alexander’s head now, then backs off again. He brings Alexander up for chops, “How do you like it?” Alexander is tossed out of the ring, the ref keeps Daivari from pursuing, so Gulak takes advantage by running Alexander over with a lariat!

The referee doesn’t see it at all, Daivari slips out to fetch Alexander, and even does the ‘Zo Train secret handshake with Gulak. Things return to the ring, cover, TWO. Daivari puts Alexander in a chinlock, fans rally and Alexander feeds off the energy. Alexander gets up, fights out with body shots, then forearms, he whips but is reversed, Daivari gives him a bulldog, TWO! Daivari goes right back to the chinlock to keep Alexander grounded, fans rally again. Alexander gets up, more body shots then a jawbreaker breaks him free. Alexander gives Daivari an uppercut, then dropkicks out a leg to send Daivari into a buckle. From the apron, Alexander gives Daivari a kick to the head!

Gulak frowns, but Alexander grins as he turns around, springboard lariat!

Cover, TWO! Alexander is getting a little frustrated but he isn’t done just yet. He fires up the fans, looks for the finish, but Daivari resists. Alexander throws a stiff right elbow to stun Daivari, but Daivari still counters the Lumbar Check into a headlock takeover pin, TWO! Daivari kicks, Alexander blocks then counters with the back elbow, handspring is caught into the spinebuster! Daivari powers through a bad back to go top rope, but Gulak disapproves. Gulak says to get down, Daivari doesn’t listen, Persian Lion Splash!

Direct hit, cover, TWO! Daivari is frustrated, Gulak is upset, but Alexander is still stirring. Daivari prepares his finish, but Alexander ducks the lariat to roll-up, TWO, handspring for the Neuralizer! Alexander brings Daivari up, Lumbar Check!

Alexander wins! He stares down Gulak as his hand is raised. Will Alexander become THE #1 Contender to the Cruiserweight Championship?

 

205 Live takes a look at the situations developing within the Cruiserweight Division.

Gulak feels he will not only defeat Alexander to become #1 Contender, he also feels he will defeat current Cruiserweight Champion, Enzo Amore, to become the new champion! Enzo keeps it real with Gulak by saying those PowerPoint presentations can be described by one word, and he was going to spell it out, but Gulak didn’t get the hint. At the same time, Nia Jax appeared. How You Doin’? Nia replied by saying she was doing fine, and was glad to see Enzo. She wants to talk with Enzo about something, but couldn’t speak in front of Gulak. What does the Brutal Beauty want from the Certified G?

 

The ‘Zo Train regroups backstage.

Daivari apologizes for the loss, his back is hurting. Gulak says that is all the more reason why he lost: Daivari went for a top rope move with an injury. “Well what do we got over here?” Enzo Amore has returned to 205 Live!

Enzo didn’t call a team meeting. Gulak says he was giving Daivari pointers. Who gave Gulak permission to give pointers? Enzo has an idea for Daivari: start bringing more to the table! Gulak reasons with Enzo, a lot has been going on, Nia Jax has been a distraction, but Gulak has been thinking on what Enzo said. Gulak knows it was wrong to joke about winning. Enzo sees “a foggy mind with a clear thought” for once. Gulak knows he’s meant to be behind Enzo, but it isn’t impossible for Gulak to win against Enzo and become champion. Gulak imagines that, but Enzo gets upset. Enzo says Gulak isn’t even worthy of holding his microphone, let alone hold the title. Tony Nese speaks up, saying Enzo shouldn’t talk to Gulak like that when Gulak is just trying to help. Enzo is surprised that “Tony Abs” has guts! Team PowerPoint, trying to undermine Enzo? No? Good, because that would be stupid considering they’re on the ‘Zo Train, which Enzo built with his own fists. Enzo rebuilt 205 Live, they sit at his table and enjoy the fruits of his labor. How ungrateful! Enzo takes a moment to calm down.

Enzo knows that sometimes you need to look in the mirror, recognize your faults, and work on yourself to be the best you. He needs to take a step back to be the best leader possible, and he will lead by example. Therefore, tonight, be ringside for Enzo’s match against Tony. What? Enzo VS Tony? Now who’s joking?

 

Kalisto VS Jack Gallagher w/ THE Brian Kendrick!

 

The Ungentlemanly Alliance beat down the Lucha Dragon, then talked trash while he was away, but now he’s back for revenge! Can the former Cruiserweight Champion get a 1v1 victory against the “cruel winter”?

The Man with a Plan speaks, saying that “over one year ago”, Kendrick’s own Cruiserweight Championship was taken from him. He worked tirelessly towards being champion in the WWE, but that dream was taken with it. Kendrick has yet to be granted an opportunity to win the title back, but all Kalisto had to do was show up in 205 Live to be “gifted opportunity after opportunity after opportunity”! What does Kalisto do with those opportunities? Squander them. Gallagher speaks, saying they gave Kalisto an easy way out: stay away. Kalisto is like the “lazy sods at ringside”, so he should do the smart thing and stay in the locker room. Otherwise, the “little Lucha Dragon” will only springboard into a spider’s web. Kalisto chooses… to appear!

Kalisto upset Gallagher & Kendrick, but his fighting spirit won’t allow him to run and hide, this match will happen.

Gallagher and Kalisto circle, tie up, Gallagher gets the headlock and takeover. Kendrick watches closely as Kalisto gets back on his feet, Gallagher wrenches the arm and puts on a wristlock. Gallagher brings Kalisto down to the mat, cover, ONE. Kalisto resists further attempts, but Gallagher goes to put his weight on Kalisto, Kalisto uses that to monkey flip Gallagher. Gallagher maintains the double wristlock, Kalisto rolls back but now Gallagher monkey flips Kalisto. Kalisto lands on hsi feet, standing switch to tilt-o-whirl headscissors. Gallagher gets in a corner and puts Kalisto on the apron. Kalisto knocks him away to climb up top, high-flying arm-drag throws Gallagher! Gallagher gets out of the ring, Kalisto starts the “Lucha! Lucha!” chants, but Gallagher gets out of the way as Kalisto tumbles over the top rope. Gallagher joins Kalisto on the apron, Kalisto rocks him with a roundhouse. Kalisto runs on the apron, Kendrick saves Gallagher but takes that Penalty Kick himself!

Kalisto looks for Gallagher and spots him crawling around the other corner. He runs at Gallagher again but his kick is blocked, Gallagher slings that leg into the post! Kalisto falls to the floor, writhing as he clutches that leg. Gallagher leaves Kalisto out there, letting the ring count climb past 7. Kalisto hops on one leg and barely makes it back in the ring. Gallagher grabs that leg, and puts Kalisto in half-surfboard to stomp his knees.

The referee checks on Kalisto, Kalisto refuses to quit, so Gallagher rains down right hands. Gallagher stalks Kalisto to ropes, brings him up, and knees him down when Kalisto fights back. Gallagher puts Kalisto in a Tree of Woe, climbs up and wrenches on the bad leg before yanking it down!

Kalisto drops out of the Tree, Gallagher covers, TWO. Gallagher goes back to the bad leg, but Kalisto uses the good leg to kick Gallagher away. Kalisto limps but is caught again, dragon screw twists that knee again. Gallagher tortures that bad leg with a deep toe-and-ankle wrench. Kalisto endures, Kendrick smiles, but Kalisto kicks Gallagher away again. Kalisto can only crawl as Gallagher kicks him down. Gallagher mocks the “Lucha” chant, then scrapes his shoes on Kalisto’s face. Gallagher wrenches Kalisto’s leg on the ropes, even as Kalisto fights back. The referee backs Gallagher off momentarily, Kalisto tires but fails to stop Gallagher from going after that leg again. Gallagher wants Kalisto to quit, but Kalisto won’t, so Gallagher lifts Kalisto in a modified Stretch Muffler meets Horse Collar.

Kalisto endures the bend and stretch caused by gravity, fans rally and Kalisto pulls himself up. Sunset flip to the Listo Kick! Kalisto gets to ropes, then dodges Gallagher to send him outside. Gallagher lands on his feet, and walks off his frustration, but Kalisto can only limp as Gallagher returns. Gallagher grabs Kalisto’s bad leg again, Kalisto rolls to send Gallagher into buckles! Kalisto and Gallagher are both down, but Kalisto manages a boot from the mat. Kalisto uses his one good leg to hop up and hit a quebrada from the corner!

TWO! Kalisto and Gallagher both down, but Kalisto uses that to his advantage for another rolling Listo Kick! Kalisto manages to run and hit a spike-rana! Kendrick coaches Gallagher to get up, Kalisto covers, TWO! Gallagher grabs Kalisto’s mask at the eyes to dig in fingers before giving a stiff headbutt! Gallagher staggers over to Kalisto, Kalisto springs up and gets him in a huricanrana pin! Kalisto wins!

Kendrick stops Kalisto from enjoying his moment by clobbering that bad leg with a chop block! The Ungentlemanly Alliance circles like vultures, ready to pick the bones of the wounded Kalisto. But Gran Metalik comes to the rescue!

The King of the Ropes shoulders and kicks Gallagher and Kendrick away in turn, then springboards for a 2-for-1 missile dropkick!

Metalik handsprings to arm-drag Kendrick out of the ring, SUPERKICKS Gallagher, and feeds him to Kalisto’s Salida Del Sol!

Kendrick & Gallagher are down as Metalik & Kalisto stand tall. Has the Ungentlemanly Alliance’s “cruel winter” just run into a sudden Lucha heatwave?

 

Drew Gulak finds Enzo Amore backstage.

Enzo asks Gulak “why the long face?” Gulak realizes things got heated, but he wants to call of the match and talk things out. Enzo is surprised, why is Gulak worried? Things are okay in the ‘Zo Train. Then why does he have to fight Tony? Fight? Who said this was a fight? Enzo is the best Cruiserweight in the world, like this generation’s Dean Malenko. Enzo promises he’s just going to show Tony some holds, put on a “technical spectacle” and give fans what they want. This is the ‘Zo Train. Look at this way: it’ll be a good learning experience for everyone. Gulak still looks worried about that. What is Enzo really planning for the Premier Athlete?

 

The Cruiserweight Division’s newest addition is Hideo Itami.

The fierce striker from Japan finally moves up from NXT, and he is coming to 205 Live. Who will be the first man forced to show Itami respect?

 

Enzo Amore w/ The ‘Zo Train VS Tony Nese!

The Cruiserweight Champion does not like his authority being questioned, least of all from those within his own group. Nese looks dejected, unsure as to why Enzo wants to have this match with him. He doesn’t even count his abs upon entering! The Certified G and Bonafide Stud recites his entrance as usual, “How You Doin’?” echoes out in Cincinnati. The ‘Zo Train is doing well, especially after hearing about the first ever WWE Cruiserweight Tour happening in 2018. The Realest Champ and his unit are an “unbreakable unit”. Therefore, anyone who thinks otherwise, there’s only one word to describe you, Enzo spells it out for you, S A W F T!

Gulak and Nese seem unsure, but the bell rings. Nese tries to reason with Enzo as Enzo takes off his extra gear. Enzo warms up with a roll, then asks if Nese wants to wrestle. Do the fans want to see a “technical spectacle?” Fans have a mixed reaction. Enzo asks if Nese wants to be in the ring with him. Enzo shows off his fast feet, and wonders if Nese even saw his shoes. He even offers Nese a free leg!

Nese is in the ring with the best (Cruiserweight) in the world, so give it a try. Instead, Nese asks Daivari what’s going on but Enzo says there’s no point in that. Nese wants to talk behind Enzo’s back, is that it? Enzo let Nese do what he does, because Nese can’t face first place. Fans chant for Nese to “Beat him up!” Nese asks Gulak for help on this, Enzo slaps Nese! “What are you thinking, huh?” Enzo trash talks Nese. “There ain’t no Uber to the top! If you want to get to the top, you ride The ‘Zo Train!” Nese contains his rage, Enzo says to think twice before doing something. The fans keep chanting to “Beat him up!” Enzo says that Nese is smarter than this, but Nese keeps stepping closer and closer to Enzo. Enzo takes steps back, he gets cornered. Daivari attacks Nese from behind!?

The match ends but the “lesson” doesn’t! Enzo “checks” on Nese as he and Daivari stomp Certified Mudholes into him. Gulak is confused, what is happening before his very eyes?

Enzo tells Nese to remember his place! He and Daivari stomp away more and more, Gulak is frozen in place. Fans boo and jeer, Daivari drags Nese to the center of the ring. Enzo asks Nese, “Do you know who I am?! I’m the best damn Cruiserweight in the world!” Enzo is the Conductor of the ‘Zo Train! Nese needs to know his place. Fans boo and referees tell Enzo to stop. Enzo acknowledges their disapproval, but he still puts his foot up against Nese’s head. Enzo notices Gulak is still outside the ring.

Gulak asks “What?” Enzo lets go of Nese and walks over to Gulak, telling him to “get in and prove your worth.” Gulak asks “Why?” Why? Because they’re The ‘Zo Train! Is Gulak on The ‘Zo Train or not? Gulak paces, conflicted on what to do. Enzo waits, Gulak gets on the apron. Good boy, Gulak. Enzo tells him to “use your head”, but Gulak is still conflicted. Gulak says this isn’t right, Nese doesn’t deserve this. Enzo asks what Gulak is going to do about it, then. Is Gulak gonna “pony up”? Is Gulak gonna man up? Gulak paces, still conflicted, Enzo dares him to do something. Fans also shout for Gulak to choose a side, but Enzo says not to listen to them. The referees insist things stop, but Enzo ignores them. Gulak and Enzo stare down, Gulak asks “You wanna get hard?”

He kicks Nese in the head!?

And Enzo says the kick is good.

Gulak betrays his Team PowerPoint pal, Daivari says he did what he had to. Enzo says he’s better than everyone, but doesn’t think Nese is alright. Make sure he’s “alright”. Gulak does, by punching and stomping Nese more. Enzo applauds, he has Daivari fetch his things. Gulak stomps a mudhole into Nese, Enzo cheers him on, but fans disapprove. Enzo asks if Nese is gonna run his mouth again. Daivari picks Nese up, and Enzo says things are alright. Enzo “shows mercy” by giving Nese a Jor-DONE-Zo.

The Certified G made an example of the Premier Athlete, Gulak and Daivari have fallen in line. Will Gulak do what Enzo wants him to by defeating Cedric Alexander this Monday? Or will the ‘Zo Train run itself into the ground?

 

My Thoughts:

This episode was really close to being something great, but perhaps timing was what limited its quality. The side story of the Division is still going strong, as Kalisto does great in toughing it out against Jack Gallagher. Naturally, Kendrick attacks Kalisto afterward to emphasize how the Ungentle Men are sore losers, but then just as logically, Gran Metalik rescues his fellow luchador. I really look forward to the tag team match between these four, it’ll be even more acrobatic than the Kendrick-Gallagher VS Swann-Alexander match, and I hope they add a stipulation to allow there to be even more aggression. Those two qualities combined should get great attention for the Cruiserweight Division.

The Cruiserweight Championship story was both the strongest yet weakest point of tonight. It built up strong with Gulak supporting Daivari in a losing effort to Alexander to give the True Face of the Division momentum towards the #1 Contender’s match next Monday. However, the real focus of the story was The ‘Zo Train, where Enzo makes his 205 Live return to see what has become of his stable while he was away. The tension between leader and followers is great, and even Nese felt on the brink of a Face Turn. And that is where the problem lies. Everyone played their roles perfectly to build that tension between Gulak and Enzo, and fans were practically begging Gulak turn on Enzo. Unfortunately, with the Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender match still to happen on Raw, Gulak couldn’t turn Face just yet, or else that would make for a Face VS Face match and WWE dislikes doing those. Gulak instead breaks and betrays his good pal so he can stay in Enzo’s good graces. He can still turn Face after defeating Alexander, but in the moment, it was a disappointment as fans turned on Gulak by chanting “This is Boring!” That chant is inaccurate, there was a lot of complexity going on, but “This is Disappointing” is too much to chant.

My Score: 7.5/10


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Coverage

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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