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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (12/26/17)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Triple Threat #1 Contender’s Match: The New Day VS Rusev Day VS Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable; wins and will face The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
  • Breezango VS The Bludgeon Brothers; The Bludgeon Brothers win, by disqualification.
  • Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad VS Naomi; Ruby wins.
  • WWE United States Championship Tournament: Baron Corbin VS Bobby Roode; Roode wins and moves on to the next round.
  • WWE United States Championship Tournament: Tye Dillinger VS Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers; Mahal wins and moves on to the next round.
  • AJ Styles VS Kevin Owens w/ Sami Zayn; Owens wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown General Manager, Daniel Bryan, comes to the ring.

Chicago greets him with a standing “YES! YES!” ovation, and then a chant of his name. Bryan feels great being back in Chicago, and reviews last week’s “roller coaster” SmackDown. The most unexpected happened, i.e. the newly minted United States Champion, Dolph Ziggler, venting his frustrations before seemingly quitting! Bryan has tried to make contact with Ziggler but there has been no response. Therefore, we can only assume Ziggler vacated the United States Championship. If Ziggler is watching, the WWE Universe wishes him the best, and Bryan personally considers Ziggler an all-time great. But, the show must go on, so the WWE United States Championship shall have a tournament to determine yet another new United States Champion! And that tournament starts tonight! Baron Corbin shall battle Bobby Roode, and- Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin appear.

They are so happy to hear about the US Championship, but what about the SmackDown Tag Team Championship? Chicago thinks “Rusev Day!” deserves a chance. Gable & Benjamin just had their chance at Clash of Champions. But it wasn’t a fair one. They are owed a 1v1 match-up, yet Clash had a Fatal 4 Way. Why!? Gable & Benjamin beat the Usos 2v2 fair and square, which means they would have been the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions. They’ve earned this opportunity and– Aiden English & Rusev appear!

Why does Team Rusev Day deserve a shot? English shall sing it for you. “One, we beat the champs two weeks ago~! Two, at Clash, did we lose? No~! Three, listen cuz you don’t want to miss this~. You know what day comes right after Christmas~!” Boxing Day? No, fool! It’s RUSEV DAY!

Aww Chi-Town!” The New Day is here!

All these other teams are wasting time. If you want to find out who–who? who who?–the real #1 contenders are, take the Kofi Kingston True/False challenge. Did the team of Chad Gable & Jason J– er, Shelton Benjamin… get pinned? True! Did the “oddly charismatic team” of Rusev Day get pinned by The New Day? True! And who–who who?–else but “yo boiz” deserve a title shot? True! Logic therefore states that it’s The New Day~ who are the “rightful” #1 contenders to the… Bryan, please join the New Day for this… W! W! E! World, T– Shut up! Rusev says no one wants to see those swiveling hips. Chicago seems to agree, they want “Rusev Day!” So can Bryan please make up his mind? Or does he have to ask his “mommy”, Shane McMahon? Bryan can make thsi decision himself. They’re all right that they’re all talented. Therefore, it will be a Tag Team Triple Threat #1 Contender to the SmackDown Tag Team Championships! Right now!

WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Triple Threat #1 Contender’s Match: The New Day VS Rusev Day VS Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable!

It’s a lot to say but it all boils down to “win and you face the champs”! Speaking of, The Usos appear!

The SmackDown Tag Team Champions have the Division on lock down, so they want to keep a close eye on who they’ll face in the coming weeks. Xavier Woods, Aiden English and Chad Gable start for their respective teams, and they circle at the ring of the bell. Gable kicks Woods but English puts Gable in a headlock, Gable powers out while The Usos join commentary. Woods rolls English, ONE, Gable shoves Woods. Woods shoves back, Gable shoves again, Gable bounces off of Rusev. Rusev and Gable argue, English points a finger, Big E and Rusev start arguing on the outside. Chicago wants Rusev to tag in but he is busy jawing with Big E and Benjamin. English throws Gable out for Rusev to hit, Benjamin runs Rusev over, Big E runs Benjamin over! English kicks Big E, Woods clotheslines English out. With everyone else gathered in the same area, Woods builds speed and FLIES!

Woods bowls everyone over, then puts English in the ring. He keeps on English with stiff strikes, cover, TWO. Tag to Big E, Woods runs and becomes human weapon, powerbomb style! Big E covers, TWO. Woods climbs up, Big E scoops English, English sips out and while Rusev shoves Woods down, Gable returns. Gable grabs Big E, who still has hold of English, double German Suplex! Gable covers Big E, TWO, he goes to English, TWO. He goes back to Big E, tags Benjamin, double mudhole stomps on Big E. Benjamin keeps stomping, then drags Big E out before booting English down. Benjamin suplexes Big E up and over, but English breaks the cover. English keeps on Big E, tags Rusev, and Chicago goes wild as Rusev stomps a mudhole of his own. Benjamin and Gable drag English off to then stomp him out before throwing him out. English checks on Rusev while Gable tags Benjamin. They whip, knee and knee strike Big E down, cover, TWO. Rusev tags English, Gable tags Benjamin, they go after Big E together. There is a truce–some fans chant “CM Punk!” but perhaps other fans are booing them down?–English and Gable work together to whip Big E to the one open corner. Big E fires out with double lariats! Everyone is down, fans rally with “New! Day Rocks!” Big E tags Woods, Woods rallies on both opponents. Mule kick and a shove to ropes, dropkick to English’s back. Woods then whips Gable but is reversed, he boots Gable away then hits the Honor Roll! Woods keeps moving, roaring elbow to English, Gable breaks it just in time. Gable brings Woods over, tags Benjamin, Benjamin stomps and punches Woods again. Benjamin goes after English before throwing him into Rusev, then gives him a BIG Spinebuster!

Woods hits Benjamin with an enziguri! Everyone is down again, Gable tags in and knocks Big E down. Gable hits Woods with an Exploder, English hits Gable with a shotgun boot! The Usos like what they’re seeing, and know how it feels. Rusev fires up, English crawls over, hot tag to the Bulgarian Brute! Rusev rallies on WOods and Gable, kick after kick, then barreling shoulders into each man corner to corner. Big E returns, Rusev gets running, running windmill kick knocks Big E over! Benjamin returns, MACHKA KICK! The Bulgarian Brute is fired up!

The fans cheer for “Rusev Day!” as he paces the ring. He takes aim at the crowd outside, runs, but runs into Gable’s elbow. Gable gets around but Rusev tags English, Rusev takes the rolling German Suplex! English hits Gable with a lariat. Woods hits a missile dropkick on English, covers, TWO! Woods goes over to Gable and gives him a couple chops. He then whips but is reversed, Big E tags while Woods kicks Gable. Woods whips Gable into Big E, backstabber yurinagi combo! Cover, TWO! Big E can’t believe it, but the Usos are loving it. Big E tags Woods back in and the prepare the finish, but Gable slips out. Gable shoves Big E at the corner, Woods jumps over but falls into Benjamin’s running knee strike! Then Gable hits his moonsault! TWO! The Usos are again loving this.

Benjamin and Gable drag Woods up, the fans declare “This is awesome!” English clobbers Benjamin, then goes after Gable to be caught into the rolling German Suplex, but English grabs Woods by the hair! The three back up together, English fights out and knocks Woods down, Gable tries another German but Gable swing-kicks him off! Step-in Tornado DDT on Gable, but then Widowmaker slam from English! Cover, but Benjamin breaks it up! Benjamin keeps on English, hoisting him up to the top rope. Fans still want “Rusev Day!” so English resists. Gable comes over to help but Rusev gives them DOUBLE POWERBOMBS! English takes aim, FLYING SPLASH!

TWO!? The Usos recognize that move. Rusev Day regroups, and the fans fire up again. English asks what day it is, Rusev says “RUSEV DAY!” He tags in, Woods rolls him up, TWO, MACHKA KICK! Woods and Gable are side by side, Rusev gets an idea. SUPER ACCOLADE!

Gable and Woods endure this special edition of the signature stretch, Benjamin comes in and breaks it up with a knee strike. He drags Gable over, tags himself in and fights English off. Benjamin sees Big E coming in, stops him but then Big E puts him on the apron to SUICIDE SPEAR him off! Big E is fired up, he gets Benjamin in and brings down the straps. “New! Day Rocks!” Big E scoops Benjamin, Benjamin fights out. Benjamin takes a back elbow, Big E hops up, but a high knee strike stuns him! Gable tags in while Benjamin carries Big E out in a powerbomb position, DOOMSDAY! Gable & Benjamin win! Now that it is official, can “American Alpha 2” follow in the footsteps of the original?

 

SmackDown General Manager and Commissioner meet.

How was Shane’s Christmas? Great. How is Bryan? Good. Shane was thinking it over, though, and he was actually upset by something Bryan said: that Shane is becoming Vince McMahon. True, Vince isn’t the easiest to get along with, and Shane realizes he needs to stay focused on “certain things.” Vince can be a “ruthless, cold, calculating and mean S.O.B” but give him his due. Vince built the WWE empire by himself and has made sports entertainment what it is today. And at the end of the day, Vince is Shane’s father. Bryan understands. He’s not undermining anything, but he just wants Shane to realize the more negative aspects of Vince’s personality. Shane brings up this US Championship tournament. Braon Corbin was owed a title rematch, why not just give him that? Same for Bobby Roode. Well, SmackDown is the Land of Opportunity, so Bryan felt it was best that they give several superstars an equal chance. Alright, Shane understands that. But tonight’s main event of Kevin Owens VS AJ Styles? Shane questions this even more. It is non-title but why isn’t Sami banned from ringside? We know how that’ll turn out. Do those two deserve such an opportunity? Perception is reality, Shane is hoping Bryan’s not favoring those two. Shane would hope his GM is “beyond reproach.” Bryan’s reasoning is that Styles VS Owens was one of 2017’s best rivalries, so why not end the year with one more match? Okay then. The tension is still palpable, will SmackDown management make it through the end of 2017?

 

Breezango VS The Bludgeon Brothers!

The Fashion Police received this “rematch for redemption” as a Christmas gift from their “best friends”, The Ascension. The Case of 2B is not yet closed, can the Fashion Files close the season with a win?

Fandango and Harper start, but then Harper tags in Rowan so Fandango tags in Breeze. The four men go at each other in a brawl, Rowan throws Breeze out while Harper whips Fandango to a corner. Fandango boots back and hops up, but his tornado DDT is countered with pure power. Harper catches Fandango in a scrapbuster slam! He throws Fandango out while Rowan gives Breeze an apron facebuster. Rowan hauls Breeze into the ring, then tags in Harper. Harper slaps Rowan and whips him into Breeze for a big corner splash that feeds Breeze to a boot! Tag back to Rowan, The Bludgeon Brothers drag Breeze up for the assisted powerbomb! Cover, but Rowan breaks it on his own!?

They sadistically continue this match, tag to Harper to keep Fandango out. Rowan fetches Fandango to throw him into steel steps and then barriers. The Ascension come to the rescue! They go after the Bludgeon Brothers and then retreat with the Fashion Police in tow. Did Konnor & Viktor realize their gift backfired?

Backstage interview with the Fashion Files friends.

Clearly, Breezango is not in the right frame of mind to speak. On behalf of their friends, The Ascension feel Harper & Rowan crossed the lines. That’s why their friends are challenging Harper & Rowan to another rematch. Get ready for the wasteland! Wait, how is this being good friends?!

 

SmackDown takes a look at Stephanie McMahon’s major announcement.

Everyone woman in the WWE has contributed to the Women’s (R)Evolution, and history will be made with the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble! Who will come out as a Wrestlemania headliner?

 

Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad VS Naomi!

The wild woman of The Squad have looked to dominate SmackDown and now look to make history. Ruby knows a Rumble is really just a Royal Riot, and that’s her expertise. “That glow has got to go”, will Ruby do that here tonight?

The bell rings, teh two swing wild rights but then Ruby knees low and throws Naomi down by her hair. Ruby keeps hammering on Naomi, then drags her back up for a scoop. Naomi slips out, then ducks, springboard roundhouse! Cover, TWO, Liv distracts Naomi right away. Naomi rocks Liv down with a right, Sarah tries but gets a shoulder. Ruby gets up, kicks Naomi in the knee then hits her with the falling Pele, aka the Riott Kick! Ruby wins mean and fast, can she and her Squad do much of the same in the Women’s Royal Rumble?

The Riott Squad isn’t satisfied with just a win, they stomp away on Naomi together! Liv and Sarah drag Naomi up, Charlotte comes out to make the save!

She runs Sarah over, then SPEARS Ruby! Liv goes after her but gets a tackle of her own, then forearms. The Queen turns around, Sarah boots her down, Riott Kick for the SmackDown Women’s Champion. They throw Charlotte out now, but then the Welcoming Committee comes out!

They outnumber The Squad as they enter the ring, so The Squad backs down. But the Welcoming Committee won’t let them, they go right after Ruby, Liv & Sarah on the outside and run them out of the arena. Numbers worked tonight, but a Rumble is every woman for themselves, who will come out THE woman to win?

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

The Phenomenal One made 2017 his year on SmackDown and has one more rematch with Kevin Owens. This time, Kevin will have his “Guardian Angel” Sami Zayn ringside, how does Styles feel? Styles has the same plan for Sami as he did the Singh Brothers, so no problem there. Styles has however heard Shane is accusing Bryan of favoritism. Whenever Styles steps into the ring, he is the favorite and his opponents are underdogs. Styles pushed himself in 2017, he started the year as champion and will end the year as champion. SmackDown is the Land of Opportunity, so he dares Sami & Kevin to earn them. You do not get opportunities handed to you, not with Styles around. If Kevin wants to win, he’ll have to outwork Styles, outsmart Styles and out-hustle Styles, which hasn’t happened yet in 2017 and still won’t. SmackDown will still be The House that AJ Styles Built!

 

WWE United States Championship Tournament: Baron Corbin VS Bobby Roode!

Dolph Ziggler may have left SmackDown and the WWE, but the US Championship didn’t. Will the GLORIOUS One or the Lone Wolf find their way back to the prestigious title?

The bell rings, they tie up, Roode gets headlock control. Corbin tries to power out but Roode holds on so Corbin puts him in a corner. The referee calls for a break, Corbin swings but Roode blocks and retaliates. Roode stomps Corbin, Corbin gets out of the ring. Corbin returns but runs into Roode’s right hands, then a corner clothesline to swinging neckbreaker. Cover, ONE, Corbin slips out of the ring again. Roode doesn’t give him time to rest, so Corbin drags him out of the ring and shoves him into the apron. Then he throws Roode into barriers. “How do you feel now, huh!?” Chicago boos and jeers Corbin while he refreshes the count. Corbin fetches Roode, to suplex him up onto the ropes for a modified Tree of Woe, then punches Roode in the ribs to send him tumbling down. The referee counts, Corbin gets Roode in the ring. Roode gets to a corner but Corbin brings him up for body shots. Corbin backs up to run a shoulder into Roode, then shoves him down with a reverse STO to a running right hand. Fans boo, Corbin says “I can’t hear you!” He brushes off their disdain as he stalks Roode again. Roode fights back with body shots and chops, then runs but into the sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO, Corbin keeps focus as he stomps on Roode’s ribs. Corbin puts Roode in a bearhug to squeeze his ribs. Fans rally for Roode, Roode gets up and elbows his way out, but then Corbin throws him out. Corbin catches his breath as Roode climbs up. Corbin stalks over, Roode shoulders him back but then Corbin rocks Roode down with a right hand. Roode hits the floor, Corbin slides out to then run Roode over!

The Lone Wolf calls the fans and Roode “nobodies” before putting Roode back in the ring. Fans boo and jeer more but Corbin just shrugs it off again. He returns into the ring and runs at Roode, but Roode gets a knee up to knock him away. Corbin tries again, Roode dumps him out. Roode sees Corbin coming, ducks the right hand then forearms him against the ropes. Roode runs again and clotheslines Corbin all the way out. Chicago fires up for Roode while he gets to the apron, for a flying clothesline! A new count begins, Roode gets Corbin up and in, Corbin gets to a corner. Roode runs in, clothesline but the bulldog denied. Corbin runs in but gets boots. Roode hops up, Blockbuster!

TWO! Roode keeps his cool as he brings Corbin up. Corbin fights back and throws him into a post. Corbin drags Roode back out, End of Days escaped, then Roode side-steps the charging Lone Wolf. The former champion slides out then back in, Roode sees him coming, SPINEBUSTER! The fans fire up while Roode winds it up, it’s… GLORIOUS! He brings Corbin up, countered into Deep Six! TWO! Corbin can’t believe Roode survived, he’s getting frustrated now. He stands up while fans cheer for Roode. He brings Roode up and powers him to a corner before hoisting him up top. Corbin climbs up but Roode fights back. Roode knocks Corbin down but Corbin fires back with rights before climbing up again. Corbin prepares but Roode resists, Roode knocks Corbin down again. Roode adjusts and takes aim, but Corbin catches him mid-air. Choke- Sunset flip! Roode wins! A GLORIOUS victory in the first round, can Roode make it all the way to the end?

WWE United States Championship Tournament: Tye Dillinger VS Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers!

Sunil & Samir introduce us to “the next United States Champion”, the Modern Day Maharaja, but can Mahal best the Perfect Ten to join Bobby Roode in the next round?

The bell rings, Mahal and Dillinger tie up. Mahal gets a quick takedown to facelock, Tye gets the standing switch but Mahal elbows out. Mahal runs, Dillinger knocks him down with a back elbow, quick cover, ONE. Dillinger tries a backslide, TWO, Mahal bails out to regroup with his henchmen while we go picture in picture.

The Singh Brothers coach Mahal back into this but Dillinger comes over to grab at Mahal’s hair. Mahal drags Dillinger out to join him, but Dillinger bounces Mahal off the apron. They return in ring, Dillinger slingshots up and over but Mahal stomps the sunset flip out. Mahal continues to stomp Dillinger, then give him strong body shots and kicks. Mahal gives Dillinger a neckbreaker, then embraces the heat before driving a knee into Dillinger’s spine and putting on a keylock chinbar. Dillinger endures, fans rally, but Mahal keeps wrenching and thrashing the Perfect Ten. Dillinger gets to his feet, fights back with body shots, but Mahal throws him down by his hair. Mahal stomps Dillinger again, then clubs him with a crossface punch before dropping springboard knee after springboard knee. The referee backs Mahal off as we go back to single picture.

Mahal puts Dillinger back in the keylock and chinbar. Dillinger endures again but wills himself back to his feet. Dillinger throws more body shots and forearms, then some chops before a whip. Mahal blocks, throat chops, then shoves Dillinger to a corner. Dillinger boots back, then chops some more. He whips Mahal, but is reversed, so he hits a running forearm. Dillinger rallies, knee strike to lariat to stomp. The fans fire up for the Perfect Ten as he stomps a Perfect Ten Mudhole. Dillinger backs off, pulls down the knee pad and brings Mahal up, but Mahal slips out. Mahal shoves Dillinger to the apron, Dillinger rocks him right with a right hand before climbing up top. Dillinger aims, flying crossbody rolled through, TWO! Fireman’s carry and gutbuster drop! Mahal covers, TWO! The Singh Brothers are just as frustrated as Mahal, they argue with the referee. Mahal grits his teeth and drags Dillinger to his feet, but Dillinger revives for a DDT! Cover, TWO! The Singh Brothers are relieved but Dillinger keeps focus. He climbs up and gives Perfect Ten punches, Mahal trips him up and drags him into the KHALAS! Mahal wins and moves on to the second round!

 

Backstage interview with Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn.

The #YEPMovement will be part of the SmackDown main event, and already have a bottle of champagne. It’ll be for after Kevin defeats AJ Styles tonight.

This is a special bottle, the bottle Bryan wouldn’t take from them. Sami & Kevin aren’t upset, they know the “real reason” he wouldn’t accept it. The last time Kevin faced Styles, there was a “certain special guest referee”, the one who shuffles his feet and flaunts his money. That man had a vendetta against Kevin and made sure Kevin lost that match. That was then, this is now, and now Kevin has his Guardian Angel! Yep. That’s why Bryan didn’t take the champagne, it’s because Bryan believes in them and wants them to have it to celebrate! Kevin is better than Phenomenal because he is Kevin Owens! And Dasha is not invited, and neither is anyone in Chicago. The only guests are Sami & Kevin, because they don’t want to seem like they’re gloating or anything. Yep.

 

Backstage interview with Randy Orton.

The Viper had an up-and-down week, such as the Clash of Champions loss followed by a SmackDown Six Man victory. Orton stops Renee right there. There’s not much to say other than Orton has been dealing with everyone’s issues but his own. Orton wants to focus on himself, and the future. The only thing Orton cares about right now is how to throw 29 other superstars over the top rope. The Viper is entering the Royal Rumble, and… Shinsuke Nakamura appears, to also declare for the Rumble! Will the Viper or the King of Strong Style make it to the end to earn a shot at a world championship?

 

AJ Styles VS Kevin Owens w/ Sami Zayn!

SmackDown ends the year with a rivalry renewed! Can The Prizefighter get a win over the Phenomenal One to earn a shortcut back to the WWE Championship?

The bell rings and Kevin runs right into Styles’ dropkick! Styles brings Kevin up and brings him into a corner for a buckle bump, then another corner for another buckle bump. He keeps on Kevin with haymakers but the referee reprimands him. The fans are thunderous as Styles snapmares Kevin, running knee drop! The fans duel, Styles throws up Too Sweets. Chicago responds with “Too Sweet! Woop woop!” while Kevin gets to ropes. Kevin throws a back elbow then gets a waistlock, Styles pries his way out to a standing switch but Kevin elbows him down again. Styles springs up for a headscissors to throw Kevin to a corner. Styles stomps and punches Kevin, Sami protests, Kevin yanks Styles into buckles. Kevin runs back in, but into a roll for the Calf Crusher! Kevin gets a quick ropebreak, Styles lets go. Sami and Kevin regroup on the outside but Styles comes out to sweep the leg!

Sami backs of but protests, fans are thunderous again while Styles puts Kevin in the ring. Kevin hobbles around, Styles goes after that leg again, yanking Kevin down. Kevin shoves Styles away, Styles goes all the way out and hits the floor. Sami mocks Styles’ pain while the referee counts. Sami advises Kevin come out, Kevin does and runs Styles over. Kevin and Sami are fired up as Kevin puts Styles back in the ring, back senton added on, TWO! Kevin puts Styles into a chinlock to slow things down and grind Styles on the mat. He even drives knees into Styles’ spine. Fans rally for Styles, Styles gets up and fights back. Phenomenal Blitz blocked, elbow drop DDT! Kevin covers, TWO, and both Kevin and Sami are frustrated. Kevin kicks Styles while he’s down, we go to break.

SmackDown returns, fans sing “Ole~ ole ole ole~” for Sami while Kevin grinds Styles with another chinlock. Styles fights his way back up while Sami argues with some fans. Styles throws body shots but Kevin drives in an elbow. Kevin keeps going, another elbow and a boot, then a cover, TWO. Kevin drives in another knee then goes back to the chinlock while fans duel. Styles endures the squeeze again, Sami mocks his efforts. Styles gets up again, fights out again, then hits the wheelbarrow facebuster! Kevin and Styles are both down, Sami coaches his best friend back into this. Fans rally while Kevin and Styles get to opposite corners. Styles runs in but misses, Kevin runs in but gets a boot. Kevin runs into an elbow now, but ducks the moonsault to clobber him with a clothesline, TWO! Sami and Kevin are both frustrated, but Kevin keeps going, neckbreaker to his knee for Styles! Cover, TWO, more frustration. Styles gets to a corner, Kevin backs up to take aim. Kevin runs in, but Styles gets him into the fireman’s carry, Ushigoroshi! Sami panics for his best friend while both men are down and the ref starts a ten count. Styles and Kevin stir, Sami rallies Kevin to his feet. Styles stands up, too, staggers over, and now they brawl with forearms. Back and forth, haymakers now, they throw wild hands! Kevin swings, Styles ducks, Phenomenal Blitz!

Sliding forearm! Kevin rolls to deny the cover, and gets himself to a corner. Styles fires up, runs in, big clothesline. Clash position set but Kevin lifts Styles. Styles fights out, ducks, PELE! Both men are down again, Sami is the most concerned for Kevin. Styles stands up first, runs in at Kevin in a corner but is put on the apron. Styles forearms Kevin back, springboard but caught into the fireman’s, gutbuster! Kevin hops up, Vader Bomb elbow!

TWO! Kevin and Sami are shocked. Styles gets to a corner, Kevin stalks over and hoists him up top. Kevin rocks Styles with a right, then climbs up to join him. Styles slips under, trips Kevin up, and then lifts in a torture rack for the towerhacker bomb! TWO! Sami is relieved, Kevin rolls to the apron. Sami checks on his best friend while fans declare “This is awesome!” Styles stirs while the ref counts, slingshot splash onto Sami! The Guardian Angel is down, Kevin goes to throw Styles at a post but is reversed, Kevin goes into the post. Styles gets Kevin back in the ring, then takes aim from the apron. Sami returns, Styles swings at him, SUPERKICK from Kevin! TWO! Kevin and Sami are irate, but here comes Shane! Shane orders Sami be ejected, and the referee agrees! No more Sami at ringside!

Fans have a mixed reaction, but Kevin & Sami are even more furious about this. Styles surprises Kevin with a small package roll-up! But the referee is too distracted to count! Kevin rolls Styles, Kevin wins!! Kevin pinned the WWE Champion!

Shane just caused the exact opposite of what he wanted. Sami & Kevin get to open that champagne, Styles stares at his SmackDown Commissioner.

Prizefighter and Guardian Angel celebrate the New Year early, will they find themselves fighting for the title in 2018?

 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown did a much better job with their holiday episode and commercial free first hour than Raw. They put on an amazing opening tag team match to help determine contenders to the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Chicago wanted Rusev Day, but per the story from before Clash of Champions, Gable & Benjamin win to keep things between them and The Usos alone. Rusev Day will have their day someday, as they’re already strongly over with fans, but for now, they and others must wait. SmackDown also keeps with its unique US Championship story, not waiting to get confirmation from Ziggler on his status and throwing opportunities to the many great talents in their midcard. They also do well to tie in the growing story of tension between SmackDown Commissioner and General Manager here, and both Shane and Bryan make valid points. However, I think we fans all prefer Bryan’s way of doing this, as we get great matches out of it. Roode-Corbin and Dillinger-Mahal were both good matches, with the first being better than the second. Dillinger himself confirmed that this is an eight man tournament, so we will be getting two more great matches on the first SmackDown of 2018.

The Women’s Division and the Fashion Police matches helped propel those stories forward, if only slightly. Ruby wins with help from her team, which doesn’t really hurt or help The Riott Squad in parallel to Absolution from Raw. The Welcoming Committee coming out as Tweeners was an interesting move, and looks to frame the Women’s Rumble as faction warfare before it breaks down into every woman for herself. The Ascension might be pulling a passive-aggressive move on their “friends” Breezango for all the mistreatment during the Fashion Files saga. However, I don’t see how that’s supposed to pay-off other than Bludgeon Brothers just demolishing Konnor & Viktor along with Breezango. Then, a great main event that again ties back to the Shane-Bryan story, and Kevin getting a win over Styles gives SmackDown a rather logical choice for a Royal Rumble WWE Championship match of Styles VS Owens. There can be “Shane-nanigans” in that match, too, to keep the story going, but it would just make sense that the next phase is Kevin challenging for the title.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/15/21)

The Dusty Cup comes to 205 Live!

Published

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Coverage 205 2021

The Dusty Cup features the Cruiserweight Division… and Killian Dain?

For the first time ever, 205 Live gets to be part of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic! Who will leap out of the sweet sixteen into the second round?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: El Legado del Fantasma VS The Bollywood Boyz; El Legado del Fantasma wins and advances.
  • Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Curt Stallion & August Grey VS Drake Maverick & Killian Dain; Maverick & Dain win and advance.

PLAY BY PLAY

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: El Legado del Fantasma VS The Bollywood Boyz!

Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza want to follow in the footsteps of Santos Escobar, and that means getting titles! But Samir & Sunil Singh want the same, so that they can shine even brighter! Will the lights, camera and Bollywood action be left on the cutting room floor by Death From Above and the Technical Assassin?

The teams sort out and Mendoza starts against Sunil. Sunil and Mendoza circle, fans rally up as they tie up, and Mendoza wrenches to a wristlock. Sunil rolls, wrenches back, but Mendoza wrenches again to wristlock. Sunil gets up, trips Mendoza up and gets a headlock. Mendoza gets up, Sunil wrenches and yanks on the arm over and over! Sunil wristlocks, Mendoza knees low and hard, then whips. Sunil reverses, Mendoza goes up and over and things speed up, Mendoza runs Sunil over! Fans fire up with Mendoza and he runs, but Sunil drops to hurdle then monkey flip! Mendoza flounders up but Sunil clotheslines him out!

Sunil dares Mendoza to come back and Mendoza does, into an arm-drag! Sunil has the arm, Mendoza fights up, but Samir tags in. The Bollywood Boyz double whip, double shoulder and double elbow! Cover, ONE, but Samir keeps on Mendoza down with an armlock. Mendoza fights up, whips free but Samir gets around to crucifix takedown! TWO, and Samir wheelbarrows to arm-drag! Another arm-drag and Samir is back on the arm! Mendoza moves around, Samir keeps on the hold, and fans rally as Mendoza fights up. Mendoza pulls hair to put Samir in the corner, Wilde tags in but runs into a drop toehold!

Samir has the arm, Wilde pulls on an ear and whips, but Samir holds on tight to wrangle Wilde down! Tag to Sunil, they whip Wilde and leap frog, to then double hip toss! Cover, TWO! Sunil wrenches, tags Samir back in and Samir hops up to drop ax handles. Wilde knees low, goes to buckle bump but Samir blocks to give the bump first! Samir ducks Mendoza’s sucker punch to punch back, but Wilde gets him for a DDT! Wilde stomps Samir, brings him up and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Mendoza, he CHOPS Samir then taunts Sunil. Mendoza runs in and clotheslines, tag to Wilde! Wilde clotheslines and tags, then Mendoza repeats the process! Double suplex! Cover, TWO!

Wilde keeps on Samir and throws him out hard! Wilde goes out, Mendoza talks trash, and Wilde bumps Samir off the announce desk! Wilde drags Samir back into the ring as fans rally up. Wilde cravats and cranks on Samir’s neck, but Samir fights up and body shots free! Wilde whips Samir hard into buckles! Tag to Mendoza, El Legado drags Samir up and double whip him to ropes. Samir kicks back, Mendoza clubs him, then a whip, but Samir reverses to send Mendoza into Wilde! Mendoza shoves Samir to the Legado corner but Samir dodges and Mendoza gets POST! Fans rally up as Samir crawls, hot tag to Sunil!

Sunil rallies on Mendoza with forearms and elbows, then a whip! And a BACK DROP on the rebound! Sunil keeps going, atomic drop and a running WINDMILL KICK! Wilde returns but Sunil DECKS him! Sunil goes out to bump Wilde off the 205 Live logo over and over! Mendoza runs out but he gets the same! Sunil puts Mendoza in, climbs up top and leaps, BIG ax handles! Cover, TWO! Escobar is ice cold as Samir tags in. Sunil hoists Mendoza up, FLYING UPPERCUT SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Mendoza is still in this but Samir throws haymakers in the corner. Samir hoists Mendoza up top, climbs, but Mendoza fights back! They brawl, Samir clubs Mendoza but Wilde anchors him!

Sunil YANKS Wilde down, tags in and then Samir SUPERPLEXES Mendoza! Sunil add the MACHO ELBOW! Cover, but Wilde breaks it! Not even the Bollywood remake of Power ‘n’ Glory could do it! Samir goes after Wilde with fury, then whips, only for Wilde to send him into steel steps! The ref reprimands but Mendoza gets Sunil with a FLIPPING DRIVER! Tag to Wilde, Electric Chair FLYING CODE BREAKER! Then the ENZIGURI LEG SWEEP! Cover, and Mendoza intercepts Samir, El Legado wins!

Winners: El Legado del Fantasma, by pinfall (advance to the second round)

Wilde and Mendoza make Escobar very proud, but this was just the opening round. Will Legado del Fantasma grow even stronger as the Dusty Classic continues?

 

Drake Maverick and Killian Dain make final preparations.

Maverick pins up the doodle of him and Dain, only for Dain to pull it back down. Dain puts on his wrist and hand tape, so Maverick does the same. Dain asks why he keeps mirroring him? Maverick says it’s 2021, a new year, a new look as they’re now matching. Look, Maverick’s a denim jeans guy now! Dain wants Maverick to promise him he fixed the music. He did! The new theme has a lot of rock to open, Dain is satisfied. Will Dain do the dance if they win? No. Not even if they win? Maverick quickly pins up the doodle again, will it be a good luck charm for the odd couple?

 

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Curt Stallion & August Grey VS Drake Maverick & Killian Dain!

The Lonestar and #RetroAG did great as a team in their first outing last week, but now it’s the real deal! Will Stallion and Grey ride into the second round with high spirits? Or will they be brought down by Rockstar Spud and the Belfast Beast?

The new music hits, and it’s to Dain’s liking, but then it morphs into a remix of that whistling theme Maverick had in the first place. Well, it’s fitting for their brand of dysfunction. The teams sort out and Stallion starts against Maverick. They circle and tie up, Stallion headlocks but Maverick powers out, only for Stallion to run him over. Stallion stares Maverick down as they reset and start again. They tie up, Stallion headlocks again but Maverick works on an escape. Fans rally, Maverick powers out but Stallion runs him over again. Things speed up, Maverick hurdles then throws Stallion out, to do some skipping.

Stallion runs back in but is sent back out! Maverick does more skip step, but Stallion comes back to tie up. Stallion whips Maverick to a corner, Maverick goes up and over and does his trot. Stallion rushes in, only for Maverick to hip toss and calf kick him down to an armlock! Maverick wrenches the arm, but Stallion pushes free to tag in Grey. Grey is fired up because it’s the Dusty Classic! He dares “big man” Maverick to bring it, and Maverick says one moment. He tags to Dain! Dain is a bit bigger than 205 but Grey still ties up with him. Dain pushes Grey away to a corner! Grey comes back, ties up with Dain again and gets a headlock, but Dain powers out to run Grey over!

Dain runs, Grey ducks and hurdles, but he decides to avoid the punch. Grey leaps but the crossbody bounces off of Dain! Dain tags in Grey, they double whip Grey and Dain uses Maverick to trip Grey up for the back senton! Human weapon, scoop slam senton! Maverick covers, ONE! Maverick clamps onto an arm, wrenches, and Dain tags in. Dain BOOTS Grey down, then fireman’s carries Maverick for the SWINGING BOOTS! Dain even RAMS Stallion with Maverick! Dain lets Maverick go back to the corner so he can CLUB Grey! Dain then fireman’s carries Grey but Grey slips out to tag in Stallion!

The Cruiserweights go after the heavyweight together! Mule kick, front kick, forearm and ROLLING ELBOW! They bring Dain in but Dain DOUBLE SUPLEXES them! Grey and Stallion bail out, Maverick tags in and he says Dain is the one to dive?! Fans want to see it and Dain gives it a try, only to pick up Maverick and TOSS him! Maverick topples Stallion and Grey over and fans fire up! Dain goes out to fetch Stallion into the ring and then puts Maverick in. Dain clubs Grey down and Maverick covers, TWO! Maverick hikes up his pants and brings Stallion up, but Stallion hits a REVERSE NECKBREAKER!

Tag to Grey and Grey whips Maverick. Leap frog into HEADBUTT, then the BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Grey clamps on tight with a chinlock and Maverick endures. Fans rally up, Maverick fights up, but Grey keeps him from Dain. Maverick keeps trying but Grey wrangles him away. Fans duel now as Maverick fights up. Maverick throws body shots, backs Grey down, but Grey CLUBS Maverick first! Grey back suplexes, Maverick lands on his feet, and boots Grey away! Maverick hits Stallion for good measure, slides under Grey and hot tags Dain! Dain rallies with big clotheslines, then he TOSSES Stallion in! They both get LARIATS!

Dain brings Grey around for an OVERHEAD suplex! Dain runs in to corner splash Stallion, then does the same to Grey! He whips Grey into Stallion and SHOTGUN DROPKICKS them both down! Stallion staggers, but into an URENAGE! SLINGSHOT SENTON! Dain has the fans fired up as he aims at Grey, but Grey dodges, only to get the DIVIDE! Cover, but Stallion breaks it! Dain grabs Stallion and whips him to a corner, but misses to get buckles! Stallion runs at Maverick but gets double boots! Maverick rolls Stallion to his feet for a JUMPING NECKBREAKER! Grey staggers, blocks a kick and KNEES Maverick! Dragon sleeper to a SPINNING POWERSLAM! But Dain drops a senton on Grey!

Fans fire up as Grey runs but Stallion gets around him to waistlock. Stallion tries to lift, Grey SUPERKICKS Dain into the GERMAN! Bridging cover, ONE! Stallion tries a lateral press, but Maverick breaks it! Grey and Maverick brawl, Maverick hits him and Stallion back and forth! Fast hands and feet, but he gets mugged 2v1! Stallion and Grey stomp Maverick in the corner, CHOP him, then whip him corner to corner. Dain puts Maverick on the outside to BOOT Grey and buckle bump Stallion! Tag to Maverick, BOOTS at the corner! Dain drags Stallion up, Maverick LEAPS to take out Grey!

Dain POWERBOMBS Stallion! Maverick wants a high-five, but he gets used as a human weapon again, POWERBOMB SENTON! Cover, Maverick and Dain win!

Winners: Drake Maverick & Killian Dain, by pinfall (advance to the second round)

One of the more unique combinations in this year’s Dusty Cup gets through to the next round! But they’re going up against a couple of rascals in MSK, will the dysfunction fall apart?


My Thoughts:

A pretty good 205 Live that at least got over half an hour this time. Legado VS Bollywood Boyz was a good opener, and it makes sense for Legado to advance. There is always a good story behind a faction wanting to have title belts for each member, but there’s a good chance they’re facing Imperium next round. Imperium wants to do the same thing between both NXT and NXT UK, and Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner will definitely want to get back to the titles. In the end, I don’t see Legado or Imperium being Dusty Cup winners, though.

Maverick & Dain VS Stallion & Grey was a good match, but with Stallion having the Cruiserweight title shot in his back pocket, and with Maverick & Dain being a fan favorite combo, it makes sense Maverick & Dain won. I just knew that Maverick’s new choice for a theme was really just a swerve. Dain & Maverick are probably losing to MSK, though, as MSK are new and it’d mean a lot more if they got into the semifinals. Though again, I wouldn’t see Dain & Maverick winning the cup, even if there is some story there between them and Lorcan-Burch. Though that would be a great shocker.

My Score: 8.3/10


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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/15/21)

Will Scrap Daddy sign on the dotted line?

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Coverage SmackDown 2021

SmackDown sets a contract signing for Roman Reigns VS Adam Pearce!

Despite being furious with the WWE official, the Head of the Table made Adam Pearce the new #1 contender for his WWE Universal Championship! But will Scrap Daddy find that that’s punishment enough?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jey Uso; Nakamura wins.
  • Natalya w/ Tamina VS Liv Morgan w/ Ruby Riott & Billie Kay; Natalya wins.
  • Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin; Corbin wins.
  • Cesaro VS Daniel Bryan; Cesaro wins.
  • Apollo Crews VS Sami Zayn; Crews wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Roman Reigns sits in his room.

He looks over the contract for the WWE Universal Championship match, and Paul Heyman says it’s the same stuff all the time. Cookie cutter, boiler plate WWE garbage. This one just happens to be for the Royal Rumble 2021. Heyman hates it, too, didn’t like it from the moment he started reading, but the match does need a stipulation. It needs the stipulation of letting Roman be Roman. Heyman can take this off Roman’s hands to bring to Adam Pearce. Roman silently hands the contract over and Heyman says he can consider this handled. But what exactly will Heyman suggest as a stipulation for The Head of the Table VS Scrap Daddy, a man who hasn’t wrestled in roughly six years?

 

Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jey Uso!

The King of Strong Style’s rise through the gauntlet last week was epic, but also abruptly ended as Roman Reigns and his cousin got involved. Jey welcomes us to SmackDown, and says it’s The Bloodline Show! Because Jey and Cuz Roman run this! Not Adam Pearce! Not Kevin Owens! Not nobody in the WWE Universe! Their family calls the shots, Uce! Pearce, be careful. You’re going to wish you kept that suit on. But if you thought they’re just satisfied with SmackDown, think again! Roman Reigns, the Universal Champion, the provider, needs to be thanked by all the talent in the back! The food in catering, “Thank you, Roman!” You being relevant for the first time in your careers, “Thank you, Roman!”

Jey says as far as being the right hand man, he’s trying to get his, too. The family is expanding! Step one, Jey officially declares for the Rumble! Step two, he’ll win the match! Step three, he’ll whoop Drew McIntyre, “Oldberg” and any WWE World Champion so that the Bloodline WILL be the entire WWE! But first, there’s business with Nakamura. Everyone talks about Shinsuke in the gauntlet. He did good, had to survive and advance, facing one man after another, match after match. Nakamura beat Mysterio, he beat Baron “Big Head” Corbin, and even Daniel Bryan! But as soon as they said, “NOPE, not tonight, Uce!” DONE! Out like a light!

So Jey tells Nakamura to thank them! They let him survive! Now he wants to step up and fight? King of Strong Style? Let’s see how strong you really are then, bruh! You know as soon as you cross the family, you leave the ThunderDome on a stretcher! But here comes Nakamura! And Nakamura has a mic to respond, “If your cousin, Roman Reigns, is the Big Dog, that makes you… His little puppy!” And then Nakamura ROUNDHOUSES Jey down! They have their match after the break, will Jey be able to get this for the Bloodline?

SmackDown returns, the bell rings, and the two fire off forearms! Nakamura backs Jey down, Jey shoves but Nakamura knocks him down! Nakamura drags Jey up, snapmares and drops a knee! Cover, TWO! Nakamura keeps on Jey with a grinding headlock, but Jey powers up and powers out. Things speed up, Jey drops then knocks Nakamura over with an elbow! Jey drops elbows on Nakamura and Nakamura gets to a corner. Jey is after Nakamura at the ropes, scoops him and slams him! Cover, ONE! Jey drags Nakamura up, throws haymakers, but Nakamura body shots back! Nakamura backs Jey down with forearms but Jey hits and whips hard!

Nakamura writhes on the mat but Jey brings him up to whip again. Nakamura reverses, break frees, misses the roundhouse but not the windmill kick! Nakamura follows up with knees into Jey’s shoulders and ribs! Nakamura bumps Jey off buckles, brings him up and suplexes for a gourd buster! Then he throws in more knees! Nakamura stomps Jey to the corner, the ref has Nakamura let off. Nakamura comes back to stomp Jey again, then lets off for a moment. He brings Jey back up into a sleeper hold! Jey endures as Nakamura shifts to a chinlock and grinds him down. Jey fights his way back up, but Nakamura throws knees.

Nakamura puts Jey in the corner to give some Bad Vibrations! But wait, Cesaro is heading to the ring! Cesaro is Nakamura’s tag team partner so maybe he’s showing support. Nakamura dropkicks Jey then POSTS him! The Swiss Cyborg cheers Nakamura on as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Nakamura stomps Jey around at the ropes. Jey goes to a corner, Cesaro is on commentary and Nakamura whips Jey corner to corner. Cesaro knows he has his match with Daniel Bryan later but he wants to cheer his friend and tag partner on. Nakamura runs corner to corner but Jey throws him out! Jey kicks, Nakamura blocks and spins but Jey dragon whips him down! Michael Cole wonders where Cesaro was last week when Nakamura was getting beat up, but Cesaro says Tropicana Field, the new home of the ThunderDome, is very big. He was too late getting here, the cameras cut away and Michael Cole probably left.

Jey puts Nakamura in the ring with some force, then glares at Cesaro before going to Nakamura. Jey ROCKS Nakamura with the uppercut then clubs him down! Jey stomps, Cesaro says HE is entering the Rumble, and Jey stalks Nakamura to a corner. Jey digs his claws in, stomps away, but lets off as the ref counts, only to get around and fire off forearms and stomps! The ref backs Jey off, but Jey comes back to HIP ATTACK in the corner! Jey stomps Nakamura more, the ref counts but Jey stops at 3. Fans give thumbs down on their screens, Jey goes back to a corner, then runs corner to corner again, into the DYNAMIC DROPKICK!

Nakamura fires up as he sees Jey get up. Nakamura KICKS Jey back down, then KICKS away on his legs! Nakamura whips, kitchen sink knees then sliding KNEES to add on! Jey gets up, Nakamura stalks him and runs in but into a boot! Jey boots again but Nakamura spins him into the ropes, SLIDING GERMAN! Cover, TWO! Nakamura grows frustrated but he drags Jey back up. Jey fights off the exploder and throws forearms. Jey shoves, fireman’s carries, and SAMOAN DROPS! Cover, TWO! Cesaro admits Jey is a great wrestler because of their history in tag team competition, but never underestimate Nakamura. Speaking of, Nakamura fires off a strike fest!

Jey ducks the forearm to mule kick then uppercut! Back suplex to a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Nakamura survives but Jey heads for a corner. Jey sees Nakamura get to a corner so he goes back in and runs in, but into buckles! Nakamura KICKS, climbs up, FLYING KNEE! Cover, TWO! Nakamura fires up and aims from a corner! “YAO~!” SUPERKICK FROM JEY!! Jey heads to a corner, climbs up top, and USO SPLASHES onto knees! Nakamura saves himself and rises as Jey goes to a corner. Nakamura runs in but only gets post! Jey rolls Nakamura, has his feet on ropes, but the ref sees it just in time!

Jey protests that the ref was already counting three! The ref says it’s at his discretion when the bell rings, but Nakamura rolls Jey to a KINSHASA! Cover, Nakamura wins!

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall

The Swiss Cyborg celebrates with the King of Strong Style! Cesaro is in the Men’s Royal Rumble, gunning for Roman Reigns, will Nakamura look to do the same?

 

Sonya Deville talks with Adam Pearce.

They’re going over a copy of the title match contract, and she says she’s looked up his past stuff on YouTube. To her, he’s still got it. Pearce appreciates that, but he hasn’t been that guy in a long time, and even that guy couldn’t handle Roman Reigns. Sonya says he shouldn’t think like that. But then in walks Heyman with his copy of the contract. Heyman presents the agreement from the Tribal Chief. Pearce now holds “the opportunity of a lifetime!” Not only does Pearce get to main event the Royal Rumble PPV, he has the opportunity that was never presented to Scrap Daddy.

This opportunity is not only at the Universal Heavyweight Championship, but against the single biggest star in all of sports entertainment, Roman Reigns. And not only that, but the stipulation, “my GOD,” Sonya’s perfume is effective. But that said, this is actually tilted in Pearce’s favor. This is a match under NO DISQUALIFICATIONS! So this is the part of the pitch that it’s somehow for Pearce’s benefit. He’ll still sign it, even though we all know it’s ridiculous. This only means Pearce gets injured, which is exactly what Heyman wants. But Pearce put his name on the contract, will he be able to prepare now that he knows what’s coming?

 

Jey Uso shouts at referee Charles Robinson backstage!

Three is three! Shoulders were on the mat! How long has he been doing this job?! Yes, Nakamura’s shoulders were on the mat, but Jey’s FEET were on the ROPES! You don’t think Jey knows rules? Charles has to do his job! Didn’t his daughter just get married? He’s about to get fired by The Chief. What? Jey’s veiled threat is clear, is no one safe from Roman’s wrath?

 

Backstage interview with The Street Profits!

Kayla Braxston asks Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins if it was wise to put their SmackDown Tag Team Championships on the line against Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler only a week after the vicious attack that injured Ford’s leg? Ford says you can call them a lot of things, like playboys, honorary Vikings, and “two dudes who’re dying to get drawn up as Simpsons characters,” but one thing they cannot, will not and shall not be called is scared. “On March 2nd, in the Year of Our Lord 2020,” the Profits became World Tag Team Champions! For 312 historic days, every single team that stepped up got dealt with! So for them not to accept a challenge would be disrespecting the very legacy they’re trying to build!

There are a bunch of names for the new champions. Roode-Dolph. The Two Aces. The Dirty Dawgs. ED. Whoa, whoa, keep it PG. No, it stands for “Entertainment Dysfunction.” That’s good! And now… Champions. But you best believe the Profits will run it back! It ain’t no rerun, fam. What they did to Ford had him limping for a minute. But when the sequel happens, they’ll drop bodies like they’re entering the Blood House. Tell ’em why, fam. Because the Profits are UP, even though they’re down right now. And #WeWantTheSmoke!

 

Roman Reigns talks Apollo Crews!

“You’ve gotta believe it. It’s all about control.” If Apollo doesn’t get it, then who will? Understood? Apollo does believe. Heyman returns and has the contract “sign, sealed and delivered.” Roman allows Apollo to stay and watch this and learn from it. The stipulation is No Disqualifications. Pearce signed? Yes. Well Roman chooses not to sign. He never wanted No DQ, never said he wanted No DQ. He wants it as… a LAST MAN STANDING MATCH.

What?! But Adam Pearce will never go for that! Oh he will. Because Heyman will make him. Heyman needs to tell Pearce that they’re going to sign this in the ring tonight. And then it’ll be considered “Handled.” Roman continues to talk with Apollo about how this is about control. Is Roman going to control this entire situation so it plays out how he wants it?

 

Natalya w/ Tamina VS Liv Morgan w/ Ruby Riott & Billie Kay!

The two second-generation superstars ditched the Femme Fatale and became a duo themselves, but now Billie’s hopped on a new bandwagon! Will she be able to help the Riott Squad keep things on track? Or will this mismatched trio fall apart before it gets going?

Billie joins commentary and the bell rings. Liv and Natty tie up, go around, and Natty puts Liv on the ropes. The ref counts, Natty lets off and shoves Liv. Liv pushes back! Liv counters the punch to a headlock, Natty powers out but Liv dodges and huricanranas! Billie cheers Liv on as she runs in and back body blocks Natty in a corner! Liv whips, Natty reverses but Liv stops herself and elbows back. They knuckle lock, Natty pushes and turns Liv, then throws her up and over. Liv lands on her feet to monkey flip! Both women are down but they spring up! Natty trips Liv, Liv pushes back and wheelbarrows, but Natty makes it a STUNGUN!

Billie and Ruby are worried but Billie says to walk it off. Natty fires off on Liv in the corner then tells the ref to shut up. “You think this is a joke, Liv?!” Natty pushes Liv, drags her up, and snap suplexes! And then KICKS Liv in the back! Liv crawls, Natty brings her back up but Liv resists the suplex to cradle counter! TWO, and Natty LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Billie cheers Liv on more but Natty brings Liv up to a Canadian rack and backbreaker stretch! Natty tells Billie to shut up as she jams Liv harder. Liv fights with elbows, gets to ropes and then the apron. Natty throws a haymaker but Liv hits back! Liv slingshots and sunset flips, TWO!

Liv kicks low, front kicks then enziguris! Natty goes to a corner, Billie cheers Liv on again, and Liv runs in to SHINING WIZARD! Liv stomps away on Natty in the corner, the ref counts and Liv lets off at 4. Natty throws Liv into buckles! Then DISCUS LARIAT! Billie panics as Natty covers, TWO! Billie shouts as Natty tries for the Sharpshooter, and Liv cradle counters, TWO!! LIV BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Natty survives and Billie protests. Tamina is there and Billie gets a little too close. Tamina gets after Billie and Billie says she didn’t do anything. Billie gets in the ring?! And in everyone’s way! Natty rolls Liv up!! Natty wins!!

Winner: Natalya, by pinfall

Billie realizes what happened and she apologizes, but still says the ref wasn’t counting right earlier. Will Billie ever get it right on SmackDown?

 

Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin!

The moment the King of Lucha was eliminated from the gauntlet by the King of Strong Style last week, the Lone Wolf King attacked them both! Corbin added insult to injury but now Rey wants payback! Will Rey trump the King of the Ring on the road to the Royal Rumble?

SmackDown returns as Corbin goes to the ring and Dominik joins commentary. The bell rings, Mysterio and Corbin circle and approach. Rey slides under, Corbin gets him with a choke grip but the choke slam is turned into a huricanrana! Rey rams Corbin in a corner but Corbin whips him away into buckles and then CLOBBERS him! Corbin mocks Dominik on commentary then puts Rey in a corner. Corbin ties an arm up on the ropes, throws body shots then throws haymakers. Rey goes to the other corner, Corbin stalks him and back suplexes high and hard! Cover, ONE! Corbin is annoyed already and he drags Rey up for another back suplex, only for Rey to counter with a BULLDOG!

Rey goes after Corbin but Corbin knees low and slides Rey out! Corbin slides out to then CLOBBER Rey again! Corbin stares Dominik down as the ring count starts. Dominik stands up but Corbin shoves him down! Corbin says Dominik’s not going to do anything to cost Rey and then he puts Rey in to cover, TWO! Corbin keeps Rey in the ring, brings him around to choke on ropes and taunt Dominik at the same time. Dominik say she’s going to let Rey fight his fight because he trusts in him. Corbin drags Rey up, talks some smack, then runs to DECK Rey with a right hand! Corbin says Dominik’s only good as a cheerleader, but then Rey gets up to dropkick the legs out!

Rey goes to a corner, climbs up top and leaps, seated senton! And then a springboard, but into Corbin’s arms! Corbin pops Rey up to a fireman’s carry but Rey sits up to rain down rights! Rey spins and ranas Corbin onto ropes! Dial it up, DEEP SIX!! Cover, TWO!! Corbin is furious as Rey survives! Rey crawls to a corner and gets to his feet. Dominik says he’s learned resilience from his father, and Rey dodges Corbin. Corbin slides out, in but into a boot! Rey runs, slides, but Corbin ducks under to throw an elbow! Dominik stands up again and Corbin taunts him again. Corbin puts Rey in then SUCKER PUNCHES Dominik! But Rey 619’s Corbin at the apron!

Rey keeps Dominik calm and out of the ring but then Corbin shoves Rey into Dominik! END OF DAYS!! Cover, Corbin wins!

Winner: King Corbin, by pinfall

The Wolf King used father and son against each other quite literally and he took the win from them! Will he continue to play on the “family drama” as the Royal Rumble approaches?

 

Adam Pearce comes across Paul Heyman in the hallway.

Has Roman signed the contract? Heyman says there’s a bit of a wrinkle. No, Roman hasn’t signed the contract. But Heyman says it’s because Roman agreed with Pearce’s concerns. What does that say to the WWE management and the fans to deliver a No DQ match as the main event of the Royal Rumble for the WWE Universal Championship and Adam Pearce’s return to wrestling? No DQ is not enough! Where is Heyman going with this? Roman VS Pearce, at the Royal Rumble, LAST MAN STANDING. What is with these people?! Oh~ Pearce wonders who that favors. Well Heyman isn’t really into spoilers.

Heyman says Pearce can take his time because they can address this in the ring later tonight. Heyman will leave Pearce to his thoughts, and considers this business “handled.” Will Pearce do what Roman wants?

 

Rey and Dominik talk backstage.

Rey wants Dominik to calm down but Dominik says he’s been fighting giants like Corbin his entire career. Now, NOW Rey backs down? Rey didn’t back down, he’s being smart. He suggests Dom do the same. You don’t pick a fight without a plan. Corbin has been a WWE United States Champion, Mr. Money in the Bank and King of the Ring. He’s even a former Golden Gloves boxer! Dom doesn’t care about what Corbin’s done! Well if Dom wants to take care of Corbin, Rey knows just the guy to talk to. Who is it that will give the Mysterios the upper hand on the Wolf King?

 

SmackDown presents Bayley’s brand new talk show!

DING DONG, HELLO~! Bayley walks in through the door, has an arm chair and a plaque commemorating her 380 day reign as SmackDown Women’s Champion. She welcomes us to HER talk show, which is already bigger than Marvel’s WandaVision. Now let’s welcome the EST of WWE, Bayley’s first guEST ever, Bianca Belair! Bianca makes her entrance and joins Bayley in the ring, and Bayley insists she go through the door. Ring the bell, too. DING DONG, who could that be? Bayley, c’mon. Bayley opens the door and lets Bianca in. Bianca then takes the arm chair and Bayley says that’s her. Well she has good taste, this is very comfortable.

Bayley would take the stool meant for guests, but y’know what? With the Women’s Rumble match, Bayley will probably be in it for a full hour so she might as well get her legs stronger now. Bayley congratulates Bianca on her WWE Chronicle premiering on the WWE Network on January 24th! And after everyone sees it, there will be so many Bianca Belair believers. Here’s a special sneak peek! It was when Bayley beat Bianca about a month ago. Oh, sorry, that wasn’t the right footage. Bayley says move on from that and go to the hard hitting questions.

Why does Bianca call herself the EST? It is her nickname based on her accomplishments in various things, such as track & field, sports, school- But those are all things from before the WWE. Isn’t that disrespectful to those that built the division? Bianca asks Bayley why Bianca’s confidence threaten Bayley so much? Bayley is mad at a nickname when Bianca doesn’t even brag, she’s just being herself. So when Bianca says she’s the strongEST, fastEST- Wait, hold on, doesn’t that make Bayley the best now? She beat Bianca in that match! And was a champion for 380 days. Bianca tells Bayley to take her talk show and go put on some dusty go and give Bianca a rematch right now.

Bayley knows Bianca is just trying to play mind games, but she’s not falling for it. She has nothing to prove. But Bayley has an idea! We can figure out who is the superior with an obstacle course! Yes! Imagine it! The Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course Challenge! YES! Oh wow, really? Bianca can’t even argue with that, challenge accepted! Bayley has her EST, but there ain’t no way she can whoop Bianca. Now ding dong dat! Will Bianca prove it to Bayley and the world that she is then, now and forever THE E S T?

 

Daniel Bryan continues his training with the Alpha Academy!

It was earlier tonight that Bryan and Otis were backstage, and they got those hips moving left and right! Chad Gable has them explode up to their feet, and Kayla comes by. How has this training helped ahead of the Royal Rumble? It’s going great! “The pursuit of excellence” never ends. That’s what Bryan likes about Chad and Otis. And if training with the Alpha Academy makes Bryan even a little bit better, he’s all in. A great attitude to have, but did Bryan’s loss in the gauntlet hurt his confidence? Chad says no negativity. Nakamura is a former Rumble winner, there is no shame in losing to him. Bryan has a lot of respect for Shinsuke, and surely he has that same respect for Bryan.

But Cesaro barges in and says Bryan cannot speak for Nakamura because Bryan is not Nakamura’s friend. But Cesaro is so he will. Cesaro says Nakamura only shook Bryan’s hand was because he felt sorry. It was more a pity handshake. And Bryan would’ve had more of a chance at winning if he trained with someone who could teach him something more than that stupid hip thrust Macarena stuff. Then how about Bryan show Cesaro how that works firsthand later tonight? That is to say, NOW!

Cesaro VS Daniel Bryan!

The Swiss Cyborg won the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal but Bryan has never won a battle royal ever! Anywhere! Will Bryan show Cesaro that the Alpha Academy knows what it’s doing?

SmackDown returns and the bell rings! These two tie up, Cesaro headlocks and hits a takeover. Bryan tries to headscissor but Cesaro pushes that off. They stand up, Bryan powers out but Cesaro runs him over! Cover, ONE, but Cesaro keeps Bryan down with another headlock. Bryan fights up, powers out again, and drops to then arm-drag Cesaro to an armlock! Bryan grinds Cesaro down, wrenches to a wristlock, then wrenches more and hits an elbow breaker! Bryan drags Cesaro down to a hammerlock but Cesaro backs him to a corner. The ref counts, Cesaro elbows Bryan with the free arm! Then he throws EuroUppers!

Cesaro whips Bryan corner to corner and EuroUppers again! Cesaro pushes Bryan around, drags him up and wrenches to whip corner to corner. Bryan dodges and Cesaro hits buckles, then Bryan fires off kicks from all sides! Bryan runs corner to corner for a dropkick! Armlock BULLDOG! Bryan keeps on that arm, hammerlocks it and drops knees on it! Bryan pulls on the arm and twists the wrist! Cesaro rolls, gets up but Bryan wrenches. Cesaro scoops and SLAMS Bryan down! Cesaro shakes out the bad arm and he brings Bryan up to shove him to ropes, and CLUB him hard in the back! Cesaro stomps Bryan, drags him up, shove shim again but Bryan ROCKS Cesaro back!

Bryan fires forearms but Cesaro hits a standing STO! Knuckle lock cover, TWO as Bryan bridges! Cesaro goes to put his weight on Bryan but Bryan counters to monkey flip Cesaro into ropes! A rough landing and Cesaro tumbles out of the ring! Bryan goes to a corner, climbs up top and leaps, BIG CROSSBODY! Both men get up and Bryan fires off kicks! The ring count is climbing as Bryan KICKS Cesaro against post! Cesaro ducks the next one and Bryan kicks POST! Bryan goes down, clutching his shin, and SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Cesaro stomps away on Bryan in a corner. Cesaro is after the leg but Bryan scrambles, so Cesaro double stomps Bryan down! Cesaro stomps Bryan’s leg again! Cesaro drags Bryan up but Bryan throws a EuroUpper! Cesaro EuroUppers, Bryan fires off kicks and uppercuts, only for Cesaro to ROCK him! Cesaro whips Bryan corner to corner, Bryan goes up and over but the leg jams! Cesaro runs in but Bryan manages a drop toehold! Bryan PENALTY KICKS Cesaro’s bad arm! Bryan runs back in, tilt-o-whirl and takedown! YES LOCK!! Cesaro endures, moves around, pries free of the hold and stomps Bryan’s legs!

Cesaro gets both legs, for a SWISS SWING! Then a SHARPSHOOTER! Bryan endures as Cesaro sits deep! Bryan crawls, drags himself and Cesaro over, but Cesaro reaches back to get an arm! CROSSFACE! Bryan rolls it over, and gets the arm again! Cesaro holds off the Yes Lock but Bryan fish hooks Cesaro’s face! Bryan gets the YES LOCK! Cesaro reaches, ROPEBREAK! Bryan lets go, but he wrenches to an elbow breaker! Cesaro goes to a corner, Bryan kicks him and puts him up top. Bryan climbs to SUPER- NO! Cesaro blocks the steiner to bring Bryan up and into a TWISTING SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Bryan survives and Cesaro is furious!

Cesaro gives Bryan EuroUppers, then rains down forearms! Cesaro reels Bryan in, Gotch but Bryan back drops out! Bryan boots from a corner, runs, but into a pop-up, only for Bryan to backslide! TWO and Bryan unleashes a Yes Kick and a BUZZSAW! Cesaro already has a cut on his head so the ref checks. Bryan and Cesaro go to opposite corners and Bryan pops up with Yes fingers, only to run into a POP-UP UPPER! GOTCH NEUTRALIZER!! Cover, Cesaro wins!!

Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall

Incredible! Cesaro beats a Grand Slam Champion in Bryan and is rolling towards the Royal Rumble! Will Bryan’s dream of finally checking off a battle royal win be only dreams?

 

Backstage interview with Carmella!

The Untouchable and her sommelier, Reginald, are here and Kayla asks her about what she said last week. Mella says she was telling the truth about Sasha Banks. When it comes to natural talent, Sasha can’t touch Mella. Yet here Mella is here, where is Sasha? Why haven’t we seen Sasha back? Oh, of course. It’s because Mella proved she’s better than Sasha in every way. Maybe Sasha’s hiding from Mella. But then Sasha comes out and shoves Mella over! Sasha isn’t hiding from anyone! Reginald keeps this from getting any more physical, and Sasha tells him to tell Mella that they’ll have the title match. So long as Sasha gets at Reggie first! Will Mella agree to this deal at the expense of her assistant?

 

Apollo Crews VS Sami Zayn!

Both men want after Big E and the WWE Intercontinental Championship, but we saw earlier tonight how Roman Reigns was giving Apollo some pointers. Will Apollo take control and have another shot at the title? Or will he not see the next trip Sami has up his sleeve?

SmackDown returns and Sami makes his entrance, accompanied by his documentary film crew to have evidence of the “Anti-Sami Conspiracy” Sami claims exists in the WWE. Big E is ringside, lounging on a couch and having a fruit salad from is minifridge!? Sami is upset because he never got anything close to that as champion, and as the bell rings, Sami runs into Apollo’s dropkick! Apollo counter punches Sami, whips him to ropes but Sami reverses to knee low. Sami runs, Apollo hits an OVERHEAD THROW! Big E respects that but his version is better. Apollo waistlocks but Sami elbows him away, then dodges to clothesline Apollo out!

Big E says he doesn’t believe in Sami’s conspiracy theories and says he didn’t really need the pep talk Heyman gave him like he gave Apollo on Talking Smack. Sami tells Big E to watch this as he JABS away on Apollo. Sami goes to bump Sami off the desk but Apollo blocks to bump Sami off the desk! Apollo then uses the desk for a MOONSAULT to knock Sami down! Apollo puts Sami in at the count of 8, climbs up top, but Sami trips Apollo up! Apollo hits the mat, Sami stomps Apollo into a corner! Sami digs his boots in, the ref counts and Sami lets off. Apollo staggers, Sami hops up and leaps for a flying elbow! Cover, TWO! Sami keeps on Apollo with another cover, TWO! Another, TWO!

Sami tells his personal camera crew to focus on this as he climbs back up. Sami leaps, Apollo gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down but Sami got folded! Sami goes to a corner, Apollo runs in, blocks a boot, and trophy lifts Sami up to throw him into the buckles! ENZIGURI! Apollo STANDING MOONSAULTS, but onto knees! Sami covers, TWO! Sami dodges Apollo and rolls him up, but the ref sees him grabbing tights! Sami is upset with the ref, similar to Jey and Charles Robinson, but Sami still catches Apollo to an EXPLODER into buckles! Sami goes corner to corner, but Apollo rolls Sami, and has TIGHTS! The ref doesn’t see this one, Apollo WINS!

Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall

Did Sami’s cameras get Sami’s butt crack like WWE cameras did? Apollo walks over to the couch, picks up the belt, and grins as he tosses back to Big E. Big E says Apollo can keep coming for it but he won’t touch it again. They’ll see each other down the line, but who wins when the title is back on the line?

 

Roman Reigns heads to the ring!

The Head of the Table leads the Special Counsel, Paul Heyman, and #MainEventUso to the table that’s waiting in the ring for this contract signing. And then Adam Pearce quietly makes his way out with the official contract. Pearce takes a seat at the table, Roman takes his time circling around the table, and Heyman moves the chair to the head of the table. Roman doesn’t want that chair. He wants the chair Pearce just sat in. Heyman asks Pearce that he give up the chair, but Jey just takes it from Pearce. Roman takes a seat and Heyman helps Pearce into the chair Roman didn’t want.

Roman says Pearce needs to go ahead and sign. Heyman says this sitting around is not good television. Pearce looks at the contract as he holds the pen, and signs it. Heyman smirks at the passive aggressive behavior as he hands Roman his own pent to sign with. Roman signs his name, gives the pen back, and it is done. Roman says that’ll be the last contract Pearce ever signs. Pearce says, “I’ve waited all night for you to do that.” What’s that supposed to mean? Pearce leaves with the contract in hand, goes up the ramp, and then seems to have a problem walking. Pearce says his knee has been bugging the hell out of him all day. An old injury that just creeps up on you at the worst possible time.

But Pearce says it’ll be fine. After all, we all know that standard contracts say the same things. As a WWE Official, Pearce reserves the right to have a substitute, should he not be medically cleared to compete at the Royal Rumble. In fact, Pearce already has one in mind. It’s KEVIN OWENS! Roman sighs, perhaps disappointed he didn’t see this coming. Kevin signs his name to the contract, and it’s all but a given that the Prizefighter is back in the fight! Will Kevin finally #StunTheWorld and end Roman’s reign as Universal Champion?


My Thoughts:

A really good episode for SmackDown, with some interesting developments in the different stories. The story of Roman Reigns and all those related took an expected yet perfectly executed twist. It was clear Adam Pearce wasn’t really going to compete against Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble, but how he tricked them into a trap like that was great. We’re getting another Roman VS Kevin, but now Last Man Standing, and if Jey is in the Royal Rumble, he might have to consider not interfering. And even if he does, maybe Pearce gets involved so that Scrap Daddy at least gets one great moment WWE PPV moment? Or maybe it’ll be Bryan or Nakamura, depending on who wins the Rumble.

Jey VS Nakamura was a good opening match and I was worried Cesaro showing up when he did was going to mean he costs Nakamura. But Cesaro stays on commentary, stays Nakamura’s friend, and yet also stays a bit Heelish as he still talks smack on Bryan, Otis and Gable. Bryan VS Cesaro was a great match, and it was a great surprise to see Cesaro win. It works for both men going towards the Rumble. Bryan wants to win so badly but that alone could be why he’ll lose, and Cesaro needs a little something to keep him afloat. Cesaro really is a great talent, we all know that, but who knows when and where he’ll get the world title nod.

The Profits had a good promo and they’ll eventually have that rematch with the Dirty Dawgs, but who knows if they win it. Natty VS Liv was alright, but Billie was a highlight of the whole thing with her wannabe punk rock outfit and behavior. She did more of a Spider-Man web shooter hand than the rock ‘n’ roll fingers, and then she costs Liv the match, adding more tension to the tenuous friendship. Maybe Billie does something big to make it up to the Riott Squad and that’s how she wins them over. Bayley is great, Bianca is great, and maybe Ding Dong, Hello was being awkward on purpose, but it didn’t quite land. And I don’t think their obstacle course challenge will, either, even if Bianca does an amazing job with it. Just give us a 15 to 20 minute NXT level match on SmackDown with them.

Rey VS Corbin with Dom on the side was good, but I almost thought Dom was going to find a way to Eddie Guerrero Corbin out of the win. I’m very curious as to who Rey is talking about when it comes to dealing with Corbin. I’m thinking it’s Cain Velasquez given the established relationship between him and Rey. Though that does bring up the question of what happened to A) the relationship of Murphy & Aalyah, and B) the Knights of the Wolf King. The former is probably one of those many cases where WWE gave up on it because they couldn’t figure it out. The latter is probably COVID concerns, and then some of the former.

Mella and Sasha had a decent segment, and they set up the obvious rematch. But I really like the idea that Sasha is getting a co-ed match against Reginald. I have a feeling Mella will interfere in return to put Sasha behind the 8 ball for their match. Apollo VS Sami was good as a main event match, but we did not need that much Sami butt cheek… I like that Big E now has a couch and fridge, oddly. Apollo is slowly starting that turn to Heel given what Heyman told him on Talking Smack last week, I’m just waiting for that moment when it’s complete. Then we’re really going to see some stuff from the already athletic and charismatic Apollo and Big E for the workhorse title of the WWE.

My Score: 8.3/10


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