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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (12/18/17)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Seth Rollins VS Samoa Joe; rescheduled as…
  • Seth Rollins VS Jason Jordan; Rollins wins.
  • 2v1 Handicap Match: Finn Balor VS The Miztourage; Finn wins, by disqualification.
  • Finn Balor & Hideo Itami VS The Miztourage; Balor & Itami win.
  • WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Cedric Alexander VS Drew Gulak; Alexander wins and will face Enzo Amore for the Cruiserweight Championship.
  • Asuka VS Alicia Fox; Asuka wins.
  • 6 Man Tag: Jason Jordan & The Shield VS Samoa Joe & The Bar; Joe & The Bar win.
  • Heath Slater & Rhyno VS The Revival; The Revival wins.
  • 6 Woman Tag: Absolution VS Mickie James, Bayley & Sasha Banks; Mickie, Bayley & Sasha win by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

Last week, the two monsters of Raw did battle!

The Big Red Machine and the Monster Among Men fought for the right to face The Beast at the Royal Rumble, but neither one was backing down. In the end, both monsters were counted out for a draw! But not even that would stop them. They continued after the bell, and it was BRAUN who got the better of Kane. However, what does this mean for the Royal Rumble and the WWE Universal Championship?

 

Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, comes to the ring.

Providence, Rhode Island welcomes The Olympic Gold Medalist with the signature “You Suck!”, Angle welcomes them to the show. Angle reviews the situation, that it was supposed to be either Strowman or Kane winning to move on to the Royal Rumble to face The Beast. However, Brock Lesnar is here tonight, and a #1 contender will be named before the end of Raw, but until then- “BRAUN!!” Yes, The Monster Among Men is here and he storms right out to the ring.

Strowman stares Angle in the eyes as he tells him “I earned the opportunity to face Brock Lesnar.” He was the last monster standing, that’s reason enough to pick Strowman as Lesnar’s opponent. However, Kane now appears.

“I’ve caused more destruction than anyone in the WWE for over 20 years.” Therefore, Kane will NOT let anyone cut in front of him. Lesnar’s “list of victims is impressive”, it even includes The Undertaker, but it does not include Kane. Kane will get his shot, unless the Monster Among Men is man enough to stop him. “Ladies and gentleman, my name is Paul Heyman.” And Heyman will not let this discussion continue without input from the “reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion”, BROCK LESNAR!

Providence is now Suplex City as said champion appears and heads down to the ring. Lesnar stands across from Kane and Strowman, Angle hurries to make his announcement: a triple threat! Oh it’s true, it’s damn true. Angle hurries out of the ring now so that the three titans of Raw can circle each other.

And then it begins! Kane hits Lesnar, Strowman hits Kane, Lesnar clotheslines Strowman out, but Kane grabs Lesnar, only for Lesnar to break out. Lesnar lifts Kane, F5! The Beast picks up his title, how much longer will it be his title? Especially after Kane sits up after that impact…

 

Seth Rollins VS Samoa Joe!

The Architect was one half of the Raw Tag Team Champions until The New Day “pump faked” him and the Lunatic, and would’ve been champions again if not for The Destroyer. Rollins looks to settle the score with Joe tonight, can he avoid being put to sleep by the Coquina Clutch?

But wait, Jason Jordan appears instead?

Jordan knows Rollins wanted Joe, but so does Jordan. The thing is, Jordan is done asking. He respects Rollins, but if Rollins has a bone to pick with Joe, just wait to pick the bones after Jordan gets done with him. Rollins responds, he respects Jordan, too. Rollins understands the pressure Jordan is under, but this isn’t the time. However, Samoa Joe himself now appears!

Joe feels like “the belle of the ball” with so many dance partners. This is a complex problem with a simple solution: Jason Jordan VS Seth Rollins, the winner gets “beat down and put to sleep” by Joe. How wonderful, except the match was made, Samoa Joe VS Seth Rollins. Rollins wants Joe to mosey on down here while Jordan looks for his daddy’s approval somewhere else. Jordan shoves Rollins down! Rollins tries to laugh it off, Jordan dares him to bring it. The match is rescheduled just how Joe wanted it!

Seth Rollins VS Jason Jordan!

Joe moves to ringside and the bell rings, Rollins and Jordan circle. Jordan lunges, Rollins dodges and tries to talk sense into him, Jordan gets the takedown and the throw, then another. Rollins keeps it from being more than a one count, Jordan puts on a headlock. Fans rally, Rollins powers out, Jordan runs him over. JOrdan runs now, ROllins speeds things up, mule kick then he clotheslines Jordan out right in front of Joe. Joe mockingly coaches Jordan back into this as we go to break.

Raw returns and we find Jordan throwing shoulders into Rollins’ stomach at a corner. The referee backs Jordan off, Jordan whips but is reversed, jumps into a mule kick! Rollins clotheslines Jordan out, Rollins goes to the apron and jumps, Jordan catches him to ram him into barriers on the far side! Jordan puts Rollins in the corner, covers, TWO. The Gold-Blooded Son stalks Rollins, puts him in a corner and goes after the midsection again. Jordan now rams shoulders into Rollins’ back, then a corner to corner whip, cover, TWO. Rollins is rammed into one corner, but he chops back on Jordan. Jordan grabs Rollins to put him in a corner again, Rollins writhes and clutches his back. Jordan stretches Rollins, Joe likes that.

Rollins feeds off a fan rally, Jordan picks him up to go corner to corner again with those shoulder tackles. Jordan stares at Joe before running in, big shoulder tackle. Cover, TWO, Jordan gets frustrated. He drags Rollins up to knock him down with right hands, Rollins chops back again. Rollins whips Jordan, Jordan reverses into a backbreaker, TWO. Jordan returns to stretching Rollins, Rollins gets up again, fights back, Jordan gives him a knee, back suplex reversed to a crossbody, TWO! Jordan runs at Rollins, buckle shot!

Mule kick blocked, into an overhead suplex! Joe still likes what he sees as we go to another break.

Raw’s back again, Rollins rallies but is put on the apron. Rollins slingshots to guillotine legdrop Jordan down, then takes aim to springboard clothesline Jordan down!

Cover, TWO, and Jordan gets himself to a corner. Rollins stands up, stares Joe down before giving Jordan a corner forearm smash. Jordan ends up in another corner, Rollins runs in but is caught, and thrown with an overhead suplex! Cover, TWO, Joe chuckles to himself. Jordan goes for his back suplex, Rollins elbows out and goes for his finisher, but Jordan reverses that. Jordan is dumped outside, wrecking ball dropkick keeps him out, Rollins runs and DIVES! Rollins hits Jordan and the barrier, both men go down. Joe watches closely as a ring count begins. The count passes 7, both men in at 9! Rollins returns to the apron, swing kicks Jordan away, then springboards again, but into a Northern Light suplex roll through to a second!

TWO! Jordan grimaces, but he doesn’t lose focus as he stands up and looms over Rollins. Jordan puts Rollins up top, climbs up to join him, but Rollins resists. Rollins fights his way out and forearms Jordan down. Jordan is right back up but then right back down, FROG SPLASH! TWO! Rollins is running out of ideas, Jordan gets himself out of the ring. The Architect jumps from the apron and hits the flying knee attack! Rollins and Joe lock eyes and Joe gets up. Joe dares Rollins to do something or walk away, Rollins throws Jordan into Joe! Joe springs right up, SUPERKICK from Rollins!

Back into the ring, Rollins goes after Jordan, pick up, sunset flip, Jordan sits on it, TWO! Kingslayer knee hits, Rollins wins! But Joe is ready to attack, so Rollins goes after him in return. Things end up in the ring again, Rollins throwing hands but the referee backing him off, cheap shot from Joe before a yurinagi slam!

Now Joe unleashes on his former rival, “this is what you wanted!” The referees back Joe off, Joe and Rollins will meet down the line. Joe takes his frustrations out on Jordan with a clubbing clothesline! “You got what you wanted”, do Rollins and Jordan regret it?

 

Rollins demands a shot at Samoa Joe for tonight!

After what Joe did, Rollins wants Joe, but Angle can’t allow it. Dean Ambrose wants another shot at Joe, then, but now so does Jason Jordan. The Shield tells Jordan to get in line, Jordan says the line starts with him. Angle makes it a 6 Man Tag, The Shield and Jordan against Samoa Joe and The Bar, nothing more. The Shield doesn’t feel like teaming with Jordan, and vice-versa, but will they pull it together to take out their common enemy?

 

Bray Wyatt speaks on Matt Hardy.

What is it that draws the WWE Universe to WOKEN Matt Hardy? His voice? The words he speaks? His childish laugh? Bray thinks it is the funny faces he makes. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, “and that’s where I come in.” Bray is here to make sure the “right people” get hurt.

That means Matt Hardy and the WWE Universe. If Hardy wants to continue this little game, Bray will play along. Bray wants Matt to apologize to all his loved ones, for The Great War must end. “Run.”

 

2v1 Handicap Match: Finn Balor VS The Miztourage!

The Extraordinary Man already defeated Bo Dallas & Curt Axel 1v1, can he defeat both of them at the same time?

The bell rings, Bo starts and circles with Finn. Bo backs Finn down but Finn slips out of the way so that he won’t be trapped. The Miztourage talks strategy, Bo and Finn tie up, Bo tries to drag Finn to Miztourage territory but Finn breaks free. Axel tags in to try his hand, he and Finn tie up, waistlock and Axel powers Finn towards his corner. Finn gets the standing switch and shoves Axel to the buckles, smiling as he knows he’s frustrating his opponents. Another tie up, Axel elbows Finn and finally gets him into his corner for shoulder rams. BO tags in and stomps away, then tags Axel to keep up the stomping.

Axel embraces the heat as fans boo and jeer, Finn fights back! Finn throws forearms and elbows but Axel kicks him down. Axel whips, Finn reverses, sunset flip rolled through for dropkick, TWO. Finn puts on the chinlock, grinding Axel on the mat. Axel gets up and puts Finn on ropes for the ropebreak, Bo tries the cheap shot but gets decked, Axel pounces with a clothesline. Axel stomps Finn in a corner, then drags him up and over to the Miztourage corner, tag to Bo. Another mudhole stomp, then Bo reels Finn in for a lariat, TWO. Bo locks on the chinlock, fans rally, Finn feeds off the energy but Bo gives him a knee and put shim in a corner. Finn boots and chops out, Bo kicks low and whips, Finn ducks and rallies with forearm smashes. Finn trips up Bo, double stomp! Axel breaks the pin and rains down rights. The referee backs Axel off, Bo rolls to the tag, Axel is right on Finn again. Axel puts Finn in a corner, hoists him up, rocks him with a right, then climbs up to join him. Finn fights back, knocks Axel down, Bo saves Axel from the finish. Bo and Axel attack together, the match is disqualified!

The Miztourage doesn’t care, they continue to go after Finn. Fans boo and jeer, Finn takes stomps and knees, HIDEO ITAMI appears! He rushes in and evens the numbers! Itami kicks Axel up and down, then Finn feeds Bo to Itami’s roundhouse!

Balor and Itami stand tall, is their friendship from NXT still strong?

Finn Balor & Hideo Itami VS The Miztourage!

This match was made out of the chaos from a moment ago, can the debuting Itami help his long time friend ruin the night for The Miztourage?

Finn tags Itami, ax handle to Bo’s arm. Itami gives a shoulderbreaker than an arm wrench, Finn tags in. Finn climbs up, ax handle to Bo’s arm again. Finn wrenches that arm, Axel distracts and Bo rakes eyes to then clobber Finn with a lariat. Bo rolls Finn and tags Axel, Axel stomps away. Finn fights back but Axel knees low, whip into the backbreaker, TWO. Axel puts Finn in an armlock and grabs at the chin, fans rally and Finn gets up again, only for Axel to throw him down. Itami protests, Axel knees and stomps Finn again. Axel snapmares and drives in a knee, then returns to the armlock. Fans rally again, Finn gets up but ends up in the Miztourage corner. Bo tags in, clobbers with a clothesline then feeds to Axel’s knee! Cover, TWO! The Miztourage keeps Finn in their corner, tag to Axel, Axel snapmares and puts on another chinlock. Fans start another rally, Axel whips Finn to a corner, Finn dodges and Axel hits buckles. Both men crawl to their corners, hot tag to Itami! Itami rallies on The Miztourage, Tornado Hotshot before a big flying clothesline!

TWO, but Itami keeps on Axel. Whip reversed, Itami kicks and then lights Axel up with a strike fest before a bicycle knee! Bo breaks the pin, Slingblade from Finn! Finn clotheslines Bo out, Itami gives a dropkick to Axel. Finn gives a dropkick to Bo at the barriers, taking him out. Itami calls for the finish, fireman’s carry, Go To Sleep!

Itami & Balor win! Now that’s a way to make a Raw debut! Can Itami do the same when he hits the Cruiserweight Division and 205 Live?

 

Backstage interview with Cedric Alexander.

The Carolina Kid is moments away from his Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender Match. With Enzo Amore always looming, is Alexander worried? Alexander wants to be champion so bad, he can taste it. He wants to show Enzo, 205 Live, Raw, and all of the WWE Universe what Cruiserweights are made of. But since that can’t be done in one night, Alexander will just take full advantage of tonight’s opportunity. The only time he’ll overlook Drew Gulak is when he’s looking down at him on the mat with Alexander’s hand raised in victory. Can Alexander make the best of this second chance and become the #1 contender?

 

WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Cedric Alexander VS Drew Gulak!

The ‘Zo Train’s Certified G Conductor wants his lackey to make sure the Carolina Kid does not become his nxt challenger, can “Gabba Gulak” do what is needed for a #Better205Live?

Enzo claims the “G-Force” is strong with Gulak, and even passes him his mic. Gulak sees himself as the JarJar Binks of the ‘Zo Train! And tonight, this is the biggest match of GUlak’s career, which he owes to his mentor and best friend, Enzo Amore! To show his appreciation, Gulak has an “Enzo Amore Tribute Edition” of hiiii– Not even the drum roll?

The bell rings, Enzo takes his leave from ringside to join commentary, Gulak and Alexander circle. They tie up, Alexander backs Gulak to a corner, then honors the break. Gulak circles with Alexander again, Gulak gets the takedown and a toehold, Alexander rolls and slips out to put on a headlock. Alexander holds on, gets the takeover, Gulak gets up and powers out. Gulak swings, Alexander rolls and handspring headscissors to then dropkick Gulak down and out. Enzo is disappointed, Alexander FLIES!

Gulak goes down, Alexander points at Enzo, Enzo gets upset. Back into the ring, TWO, Alexander brings Gulak up for a chop. Gulak gets to a corner, Alexander gives him another chop. Alexander gets caught in the waistlock but slips around to the facelock, standing switch from Gulak. Alexander puts the facelock back on, Gulak reverses, the two fight over who gets to suplex who, they end up suplexing each other out of the ring! Both men down while we go to break.

Raw returns, Gulak has Alexander in a corner and whips him corner to corner hard. Enzo points out the fans chanting for him while Gulak stalks Alexander. Gulak drags Alexander up for another corner to corner whip and then a big clothesline, cover, TWO. Gulak drags Alexander up again, chops him to a corner, then whips corner to corner a third time. Alexander dodges, yanks Gulak in but his own back keeps him from hitting the Lumbar Check. Gulak clobbers Alexander with a clothesline! TWO! Alexander writhes while Enzo brags about his great leadership status. Gulak looms over Alexander again and pulls back those arms in a half-surfboard. Alexander endures, fans rally, Gulak pulls harder. Alexander refuses to quit, he powers up and out of the hold. Right hand rocks Gulak, then a boot, then an uppercut. Gulak runs, Alexander dodges and throws Gulak with a body drop! Alexander fires up, he rallies on Gulak, Gulak fights back, but Alexander shoves Gulak away. Gulak gets under the jump, sunset flip, TWO, high stack, TWO, takedown and jackknife, TWO! They spin around, backslide blocked, Gulak runs, into the Spanish Fly!

TWO! Even Enzo has to give credit to Alexander for that one. Alexander gets up and takes off the elbow pads, he gives stiff shots to Gulak. Gulak is punch drunk but still shoves Alexander, handspring enziguri blocked into an Ankle Lock, but then Alexander kicks back. Gulak stomps Alexander on the front and back, and into the standing STF! Alexander endures as Gulak stretches him back, but he still crawls for ropes. It becomes a bow & arrow lock, Alexander still gets the ropebreak! Gulak has to let go, Enzo goes to his phone?

Enzo leaves, Gulak notices, Alexander kicks Gulak back. Gulak forearms and chops Alexander, Alexander throws hands as well. Both men are dazed, Gulak kicks but is blocked, stiff back elbow from Alexnader before the springboard flying lariat! Alexander is fired up, Lumbar Check!! ALexander wins and is the #1 Contender! The ‘Zo Train is slowing down, can Alexander hop off with the title?

 

Enzo Amore searches backstage, and finds Nia Jax.

“Well what do we got over here?” Enzo got the DM, Nia wants to finish the conversation. Unless Enzo is worried about his friend. Friend? No, Gulak is his employee. Enzo has thought it over, and knows the answer is on the tip of Nia’s tongue. Gulak appears, bloody nose stuffed up.

He wants to own up to his failings, and wants Enzo to know he lost. That’s fine, just clean yourself up. NO, it’s not alright! Gulak let Enzo down, and the ‘Zo Train down, they need to talk. Nia will let them talk, and will catch Enzo another time. Gulak continues, he wants to review tape. They can go over it together- You did a LOT wrong, Drew! A lot! Enzo storms off, what is Nia after?

 

Asuka VS Alicia Fox!

Since coming to Raw, The Empress of Tomorrow has kept her undefeated streak running, but Ms. Crazy Like a Fox wants to try one more time. Is third time the charm for the Foxy veteran?

The bell rings, Foxy is wary, Asuka is all smiles. Fans know “Asuka’s gonna kill you~” and sing as such. The two circle, Asuka chasing Foxy, but Foxy uses ropes for safety. Fans still chant for Asuka as she pursues Foxy around the ring, Foxy kicks but is blocked, Asuka gets the waistlock. Asuka shifts to a headlock, Foxy powers out, Asuka runs her over. Things speed up, Asuka does a little shake. Foxy runs, Asuka follows, spinning takedown and Foxy gets to ropes to prevent the submission hold. Asuka waits for Foxy in the ring, goes at her at the ropes, Foxy hotshots and boots Asuka down! TWO! Foxy hammers away on Asuka, drags her up, arm wrench then Northern Lights, TWO! Foxy is getting frustrated, she puts on a chinlock to grind Asuka down. Fans rally for Asuka, Asuka endures and fights out, Foxy gives her a forearm, that only fires Asuka up. Another forearm, Asuka fires up more, then fires off forearms of her own. Asuka whips, Foxy reverses, Asuka hops up for the missile dropkick! Asuka keeps going, she hits Foxy with the hip attack in the corner. She throws Foxy by her hair, buzzsaw kick! Roll into the armbar, Foxy taps out and Asuka wins again! Does anyone stand a chance of defeating the Empress?

 

6 Man Tag: Jason Jordan & The Shield VS Samoa Joe & The Bar!

GM Angle made this match because his Gold-Blooded Son, The Architect and the Lunatic wanted to get their hands on The Destroyer. Can Jordan, Rollins and Ambrose put their differences aside to defeat Joe and the Raw Tag Team Champions?

The bell rings, Rollins starts and wants Joe, Joe doesn’t care. Sheamus starts, so Jordan tags in. The Gold-Blooded Son wants to prove himself against the Celtic Gladiator, but gives a cheap shot to Joe before throwing hands on Sheamus. Sheamus whips Jordan, Jordan fights back but gets run over! Joe tags in now, he makes Jordan pay for the cheap shot with stomps and jabs. Joe grounds Jordan with those jabs then grinds Jordan with his hands, tag to Cesaro. The Swiss Cyborg gives Jordan a European Uppercut, then another, tag to Sheamus, Sheamus stomps a mudhole into Jordan. Joe and Cesaro get cheap shots of their own now, Sheamus runs to hit a knee drop, TWO.

Sheamus tags Cesaro, Cesaro then climbs up for a falling stomp. Cover, TWO, Cesaro is right on Jordan with a chinlock. The Shield coach Jordan, Jordan reaches then suplexes Cesaro off him. Jordan crawls, Rollins tags in and springboards to rally on The Bar. Slingblade for Cesaro, a shot for Joe, Cesaro rolls up but Rollins reverses into his own, TWO, mule kick! TWO, Rollins keeps moving as he stalks Cesaro. Cesaro elbows Rollins and puts him on the apron, slingshot guillotine brings Cesaro down. Rollins slingshots again, Ambrose backs him up against Joe and The Bar, we go to break.

Raw returns as Sheamus gives Rollins a knee into a corner, then a sharp forearm into Rollins’ back. Rollins goes to ropes, Sheamus chokes him, the referee backs him off. Sheamus brings Rollins up, tags Joe, Rollins fails to escape before Joe clobbers him down. Joe brings Rollins up for knee strikes that back Rollins down, Joe jabs away in The Bar’s corner. Joe snapmares Rollins into a modified cobra clutch, Ambrose tries to get Rollins back into this. Fans rally, Rollins gets up and hits a jawbreaker, but Joe runs him over again!

Cover, TWO, Joe tags Sheamus. Sheamus drags Rollins over, up, tag to Cesaro, elbow drop backbreaker! Cesaro covers, TWO, so he chokes Rollins on the ropes. The referee backs Cesaro off, Sheamus gives Rollins a stiff knee! Another cover, Jordan protests, TWO! Ambrose and Jordan both protest but calm down while Cesaro brings Rollins up. Fans boo and jeer, Sheamus tags in but Rollins fights them both! Sheamus still gets the Irish Curse backbreaker, then drags a limp Rollins up for a second! Fans boo and jeer again, Sheamus brings Rollins up but Rollins slips out to DDT Sheamus! Jordan and Ambrose fire up, as do fans, Rollins and Sheamus crawl, hot tag to Joe, Joe intercepts Rollins. Joe whips Rollins then hits the back elbow and PELE! Jordan breaks the pin then goes after Joe, The Bar goes after Jordan and throws him out. Joe returns, drags Rollins over, tags Sheamus. Sheamjs lifts Rollins, Rollins slips around to a sunset flip, TWO. Sheamus runs at Rollins, Rollins dodges, Sheamus hits post!

Ambrose is hyped up, Rollins crawls, hot tag to Cesaro who intercepts Rollins again. Cesaro has Rollins in a facelock and on the far side of the ring. Fans rally, Rollins feeds of it and powers Cesaro back once, then twice, then a third time, the two are evenly matched until Cesaro knees Rollins and throws him out. The ref keeps Cesaro back, that allows Sheamus and Joe to attack, so Ambrose and Jordan go after them! The four men brawl, Sheamus goes into a post, Joe puts Jordan into the timekeeper’s area, Ambrose clobbers Joe. Then Cesaro comes in, gets a body drop to the floor! Ambrose gets Rollins int he ring, then himself to the corner, calling for the tag! Rollins crawls as fast as he can, but Cesaro boots Ambrose down. Rollins clotheslines Cesaro out, then dumps Joe out, then builds speed to DIVE!

He wipes out everyone, even Ambrose, Ambrose flails in pain. The referee needs a medic to check on Ambrose but the match must continue. Rollins in, BROGUE! Cesaro covers but the ref is slow tot he count, The Bar & Joe still win! Will Jordan, Ambrose and Rollins be able to avenge this loss?

 

Who is this arriving at Raw?

The limousine door opens to reveal… Raw Commissioner, Stephanie McMahon! What business does she have with her Red Roster tonight?

 

WOKEN Matt Hardy responds to Bray Wyatt.

Hardy plays chess, and has Napoleon in checkmate. His forces have been ERADICATED! But there is no need for the foul language, fish of gold.

You always had a complex. When Napoleon inhabits another human vessel, Hardy will be up for a rematch. The vast battlefield that is the WWE is much like a chessboard. Everything must be precise, because one wrong move leads to ANNIHILATION! Hardy and Wyatt have been doing “this twisted little tango” since the beginning of time, his light shines brighter than any shadow Wyatt’s darkness may cast. “Now that the new battlefield has been set”, Hardy stands beside his WOKEN WARRIORS in this Great War. Wyatt and his evil Highness, Queen Abigail, must be stopped. They must be… DELETED!!

 

Medics check on Ambrose’s arm.

That’s when Joe & The Bar attack him and Rollins backstage! The Destroyer and the Raw Tag Team Champions let Rollins know “you are never safe” before crushing Ambrose’s arm inside a trunk door! If Ambrose’s arm wasn’t broken, it might be now. What will the consequences be for this heinous attack?

 

Heath Slater & Rhyno VS The Revival!

Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson are finally back on Raw, can they continue where they left off?

The bell rings, Rhyno starts with Wilder, Wilder powers out of the headlock but gets run over. Rhyno tags Slater, double whip and double elbow, cover, TWO. Slater grabs Wilder but Wilder reverses, we see that Titus Worldwide and new statistician Dana Brooke are watching closely.

Wilder clubs Slater, tags Dawson, boot bump into some mugging. Dawson gives a big uppercut, whips Slater corner to corner but is reversed, Slater hits a forearm smash. Slater is fired up as he whips Dawson corner to corner, Wilder saves Dawson, Dawson clobbers Slater with a lariat. Dawson rains down fast rights, then brings Slater over to tag Wilder, for a double yank and slam. Cover, TWO, but The Revival keeps Slater isolated. Slater tries to fight out but Wilder clobbers him with another uppercut before wrapping on a chinlock. Wilder keeps Slater down, Slater throws Wilder down by his head. Hot tag to Dawson, Dawson intercepts but takes a heel kick! Wilder stomps Slater down, goes after Rhyno but gets knocked into Slater. Rhyno rallies for Slater, Wilder trips him off the apron. Slater clobbers Wilder, then throws hands with Dawson. Dawson headlocks, Wilder tags, Slater runs into the SHATTER MACHINE! The Revival wins their return, how will they change Raw’s tag team landscape?

 

Raw Commissioner talks to Raw GM.

We can’t hear what they’re saying, but it can only mean big things for Raw.

 

Heath Slater & Rhyno encounter Kurt Angle backstage.

That was a tough loss, Angle appreciates the effort. However, these two need to step it up before the end of the new year if they want more opportunities. Wait, what does that mean? Is Slater getting let go? He’s got kids, man! Rhyno tells Slater to relax, and explains that Angle wants them to change. Into new clothes? Slater just got these tights! No, not that way. Their attitudes need to change, in order to keep up with The Bar and The Revival. Slater needs to toughen up, and Rhyno knows how. Is this gonna hurt…?

 

“Ladies and gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter has come to Providence, and seems to be in the Christmas mood. “Who wants to walk with Elias?!” Providence gives a solid response. Elias mentions Tom Brady, they’ve crossed paths. Tom came up to him once and said “your music is the soundtrack to my success.” Tom listens to Elias during pregame rituals, such as deflating footballs and manipulating the rules. If Brady is a legend, then so is Elias. Elias has taken Roman to the limit, survived Braun Strowman, and Angle is afraid of what Elias can become. Angle should be, for Elias vows he will put on the performance of the year by entering and winning the Royal Rumble match! But for tonight, this song isn’t for New England, but for a good friend of his: Roger Goodell. But his song, is interrupted by #BossTime!

Elias greets Sasha and wants to continue, but then Mickie James makes her entrance. The Drifter lets this interruption slide, “All the women want to walk with Elias.” But then Bayley appears!

Elias takes his guitar and walks, and even refuses a hug. The Drifter’s mood aside, it is time for The Boss, the Hugger and the veteran to team up again and face Absolution!

6 Woman Tag: Absolution VS Mickie James, Bayley & Sasha Banks!

There is a war within the Raw Women’s Division thanks to the Glampire returning with the Gladiator and Golden Rose by her side to beat down those who did not give her credit for the Women’s Revolution. However, this resulted in the Raw Women’s Division uniting against Paige and her allies, will Absolution be halted already?

Paige and Mickie start, the bell rings, Paige runs to ropes. The referee backs Mickie off, Paige gets a cheap shot, Mickie fires off forearms and kicks to rock Paige. Mickie brings Paige over, tag to Sasha, double suplex. Sasha covers, ONE, Paige rocks Sasha with a forearm. Paige whips Sasha, Sasha kicks back, Mandy gets involved as a distraction, Paige kicks Sasha down. Paige covers, TWO, she brings Sasha over. Tag to Mandy, she stomps a mudhole into Sasha. Tag to Sonya, she throws hands on the former Raw Women’s Champion. Sonya tags Paige, Paige stomps away on Sasha. Paige roars, “This is MY house!” Sasha fights her way out of Absolution’s corner but Paige runs her over, cover, TWO. Paige brings Sasha back, stomps her out, Sonya and Mandy get cheap shots while Paige goes after Mickie and Bayley. Paige kicks Mickie right off the apron, then sicks Sonya & Mandy on Bayley & Mickie, respectively.

Bayley and Mickie hold their own, but Absolution eventually knocks them down. Meanwhile, Sasha is climb up top, she aims at Paige, flying seated senton! Mandy breaks the pin, Absolution pounces on Sasha. The referee shouts at them, he has to throw the match out because of the pack mentality. Paige has Absolution get Sasha up for another kick, but Nia Jax comes to the rescue!

The Brutal Beauty stares Absolution down, it snaps off! Paige hides in a corner while Nia shoves and knocks Sonya and Mandy down in turn. Mandy and Sonya are stacked in a corner, Nia takes them both for a DOUBLE Samoan Drop!

Paige chop blocks and hits a Shining Wizard! Paige stomps away on Nia, then demands her sidekicks get up. Absolution stomps 3v1, the rest of Raw’s women flood the ring! Absolution is outnumbered once again, so Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon comes out to bring order.

Stephanie tells every woman present that “Three years ago, a revolution started in the WWE.” And now this has become an evolution, Divas became Women Superstars, main-eventing everything from Raw to SmackDown to NXT and Pay-Per-views. This year alone saw the first ever Women’s Hell in a Cell, the first ever Women’s Money in the Bank, and even the first ever women’s match in the Middle East. “This is hope!” They inspire fans around the world by passion and talent, “but that’s not enough.” The women will make history once more… in a Women’s Royal Rumble!! The fans chant “YES! YES!” at this exciting news! WWE’s women will be making history, but who will make the biggest impact as the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble winner?!

 

My Thoughts:

This was an interesting episode of Raw. It appeared to be going in a sour direction but then somehow kept from turning into a slosh. Angle plays his part perfectly in the opening segment, he was as scared of Lesnar, Kane and Strowman being in one area as anyone would be, and wanted to get out immediately. The triple threat makes the most sense, because feeding Strowman 1v1 a second time is a shame, and Kane isn’t believable 1v1 anymore. At the same time, it makes Lesnar come off even stronger if he overcomes both behemoths in one match, or smarter if he uses them against each other. Jason Jordon continues to evolve his character in a good way, and continues to make enemies of everyone since he gets in Rollins’ way as well as Joe’s. Joe and The Bar “injure” Ambrose to perhaps throw a twist where Rollins must team with Jordan in order to defeat their common foe.

Itami’s debut surprised me, we only heard he was appearing on 205 Live. Cruiserweights show up on Raw, sure, but I was actually hoping The Club would finally side with Finn. Itami & Finn win to keep both men strong, especially Itami, and now we look to what Itami will do on Tuesday’s 205 Live. The Cruiserweights also impressed again in the #1 contender’s match, Alexander wins because it is again a little too soon for Gulak to turn Face (apparently). Gulak’s turn will still be something great, and perhaps it’ll come during the Cruiserweight Championship match. Then the filler appeared. Asuka wins because she’s Asuka and no one is ready to break her streak, The Revival wins because they’re finally back and just need to win. I thought Elias was going to have a filler match, but nope! The women close Raw with a match that is really filler to set up Stephanie’s massive announcement! The Women’s Rumble will be great, gives both Raw and SmackDown something to talk about, and I for one look forward to it.

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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