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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (1/22/18)

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WWE Raw 25 Alexa Bliss Roman Reigns The Undertaker Shawn Michaels

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 8 Woman Tag: Absolution, Nia Jax & Alicia Fox VS Mickie James, Bayley, Sasha Banks & Asuka; Mickie, Bayley, Sasha & Asuka win.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Roman Reigns VS The Miz w/ The Miztourage; The Miz wins and becomes the new WWE IC Champion.
  • Bray Wyatt VS WOKEN Hardy; Wyatt wins.
  • Titus Worldwide VS Heath Slater & Rhyno; wins.
  • The Balor Club VS The Revival; The Balor Club wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE Raw Preshow exclusively on the WWE Network

Renee Young, David Otunga & New York’s own Peter Rosenberg kick us off on this historic occasion in Barclays, but Jerry “The King” Lawler & Good Ol’ JR are in the Manhattan Center!

The fans chant “Twenty-Five! Twenty-Five!” as WWE promises #Raw25 to be historic, unpredictable and exciting!

 

Backstage interview with The APA!

“What is the Raw 25th Anniversary without the APA?” Nothing. JBL & Ron Simmons have been around a long time, protecting people and making cash. Mr. T, Rebecca Romain, and best of all, everyone had to knock on the door regardless of who they are. Should they come back one last night? Simmons wants to show some punk rookies some manners. JBL is onboard, but JBL doesn’t have the keys. Simmons doesn’t either! The APA head out to find the keys, leaving Charly in charge. Is the APA returning for this historic night!?

 

Bayley speaks.

Sunday may be the Women’s Royal Rumble, but the Huggable One is excited for tonight’s 25th Anniversary of Raw! She is star struck, as she meets Trish Stratus! Bayley grew up watching Trish and Lita as the top two women. Trish thanks Bayley and says she’s proud to see Bayley doing the same. Will Bayley get over being star struck long enough to make an impact going into the Royal Rumble?

 

The New Day speaks.

Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston & Big E are all ready for #Raw25! The history, the legends, and the moments, just like their moment of becoming the longest reigning W, W, E , Tag, Team, Champions~! Not to mention it has been ten years of Kofi Kingston himself, “baybyyyyyyyyyyyyyy~….!”

 

Monday Night Raw main show

The Manhattan Center starts us off!

The place Monday Night Raw debuted is just one of the sites where this 25th anniversary celebration takes place!

But the Barclays Center is rocking just as hard!

Commentary returns to ringside, and we welcome both Stephanie and Shane McMahon in the ring.

The Commissioners of Raw and SmackDown stand together and give a shout out to Brooklyn! The McMahons thank the various WWE superstars that have made this show a success, as well as the “unsung heroes” behind the scenes. They also thank fans young and old for their support. Now to take a quick look back on the 25 glorious years of Monday Night Raw!

Stephanie and Shane thank the fans again, but promise Raw is just getting started. There is one very special person they should thank above all. The one person who had the determination and vision to make Raw a success. This one person is why Stephanie and Shane are even here at all, and yes, they mean the Chairman and Creator of Raw, VINCE MCMAHON!

“Twenty-five years, that is truly amazing!” Vince hears the “Thank you, Vince!” chants and Stephanie wants Vince to know it was thank you. Well Vince is normally not the kind to pat himself on the back or smell the roses, but tonight, he’s gonna do it all! But before he leaves, Stephanie & Shane have a surprise! This plaque is a gift on behalf of everyone, from Stephanie to Shane to every fan around the world, that commemorates the 25 years of Raw. The fans again chant “Thank you, Vince!” Isn’t it nice? It’s a plaque.

Yes, a commemorative plaque. That seems a bit cheap. Well, this is Brooklyn. Fans don’t like that. So a bunch of cheapskates gave to “GoFundMe” and only got a plaque? “Yes! Yes!” Plaque is what’s on all your teeth and in your arteries! After all Vince has done and this is what he gets? Vince has one person to thank, and it’s not anyone in his family or in the back! Now Brooklyn calls Vince “Asshole! Asshole!” Stephanie doesn’t need to translate that. Vince thanks himself and only himself! There is not ONE person– GLASS SHATTER!

Stone Cold Steve Austin heads right to the ring! The fans go nuts while Austin stands up on the turnbuckles and gives those iconic middle fingers! Vince has Austin calm it down, but the fans are losing their minds. “Don’t encourage him!” Vince sees the look in Austin’s eyes. It has been some time since they’ve both been in the ring. “What?!” Austin looks great, by the way, but Vince admits he’s not. Vince has heart problems, some kind of murmur, not to mention his brittle bones and arthritis. He even lives in a retirement community now. Vince hopes Austin will go easy on a senior citizen. Not only that, but Vince also points out that Shane is still in his prime! Doesn’t he look great? Shane and Austin shake hands, and Austin even raises Shane’s hand. The fans cheer, then the Stunner!

Vince lets that happen, and even gets Austin those beers. Brooklyn wants that Stunner “One More Time!” Shane can’t take another Stunner. Vince cracks the beers open, and even excuses the splatter on his suit. They drink, then hug, then raise hands, then have another drink and hug, but… “Stun His Ass!” “Yes! Yes!” Vince asks kindly not to, but no dice. STUNNER!

Shane manages to stand up, and has himself some beer, before another Stunner! A truly enjoyable start to the night, what other memorable moments happen before Raw is over?

 

8 Woman Tag: Absolution, Nia Jax & Alicia Fox VS Mickie James, Bayley, Sasha Banks & Asuka!

The Royal Rumble makes history on Sunday with the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble match. Which women of Raw will get the last bit of momentum before this momentous occasion?

Nia goes right after Asuka, and it is an eight woman brawl!

The referee tries to restore order but that’s difficult as he’s outnumbered. The teams settle down and regroup, and it is The Empress of Tomorrow to start against Absolution’s Gladiator. The bell rings and Asuka fires off on Sonya Deville! Asuka runs, and hits Sonya with those hips. Sonya is against ropes as Asuka kicks away. She slips out of the ring and regroups with Paige while we go to break.

Raw returns and Mandy goes after Asuka, only to get kick after kick. Mandy reversee a whip but Asuka uses that wipe out Alicia and Sonya with a hip attack!

Asuka gets Mandy with the pop-up knee strike, then a sliding shining wizard! The fans fire up as Asuka tags in The Boss. They double suplex Mandy, Mandy scrambles to tag Nia! The Brutal Beauty has the fans fired up as she shoves Sasha. Sasha kicks back, kicks low, running knee of her own, TWO. Nia spinebusters Sasha down! She stalks Sasha before flipping her over for a cover, TWO. Nia drags Sasha up and puts her in a corner, Mandy tags in. Mandy stomps a mudhole into Sasha, then tags in Sonya. Absolution works together to mug Sasha with body shots. Tag to Alicia, Ms. Crazy like a Fox gives Sasha the Northern Lights!

TWO! Foxy keeps on Sasha with a chinlock, but fans rally for The Boss. Sasha endures the squeezing and thrashing while Bayley gets fans going stronger. Foxy throws Sasha down then covers, ONE, so it’s back to the chinlock. The fans keep rallying, Sasha gets up while the fans sing for Bayley. Sasha fights and throws Foxy off but Foxy boots her down! Cover, TWO, but Foxy keeps on Sasha with that chinlock. Sasha gets up again and backs Foxy down into a buckle. Foxy throws Sasha down again, then taunts her partners. Mickie rushes Foxy but is kept back, we go to break again.

Raw returns to see Foxy still in control of Sasha. Sasha fights back form a corner, then hops up but Sonya shoves her down! Bayley goes after Sonya, Asuka and Mickie get Mandy and Nia! Alicia gets caught in the Bank Statement!

Alicia taps, Sasha’s team wins! And then Asuka turns on her team to throw them out a la the Rumble! Sasha tries but fails to hit a Bank Statement, Asuka throws her out, too!

Will the Empress remain undefeated even after facing 29 other women?

 

Kurt Angle speaks to a referee in his office.

The Raw General Manager wants tonight to be about celebration, not chaos. With Brock Lesnar in the same ring with Kane and Braun Strowman tonight, Angle wants to keep something from happening. The referee assures Angle things will remain calm. Then Angle is visited by The Coach, Johnathan Coachman!

The former GM is honored to be back and see his old friends again. Speaking of, here comes Harvey and The Brooklyn Brawler! And even Teddy Long! The guests don’t stop there, it’s Brother Love! He loves everyone here! Wait, there’s more. It’s the BOOGEYMAN!! And he’s still eating worms… He shares some with Coach before taking his leave. Awkward…

Who else will surprise us with an appearance tonight?

 

Raw returns to the Manhattan Center.

The Empire State building glows red for Raw, and The King hopes he gets to see some “puppies” in person. That aside, celebrating Raw wouldn’t be complete about celebrating The Undertaker, who has been here since the original episode. Whether he was alongside Paul Bearer, alongside his Brother of Destruction, Kane, or standing alone against any and all challengers, The Phenom is always iconic. And, he’s here! The fans in the Manhattan Center lose their minds as The Deadman walks out to the ring.

They give Undertaker a standing ovation as he stands in the center, and then chant his name. Undertaker then speaks, and they fall silent. “The carnage began on this sacred ground of evil, 25 years ago.” And for those 25 years, Undertaker dug holes to bury his foes. For 25 years, Taker would rip legends off their pedestals and throw them down. From Stone Cold to Mick Foley to even his brother Kane, they all “answered to the Reaper.” “They all tried, they all failed.” Undertaker says that on this sacred ground, he declares, “for all of those who have fallen”, it is time to “Rest! In! Peace…!” The Undertaker is cryptic as ever, what do his words here tonight mean for the future?

 

The APA hang out with Slater & Rhyno.

They also play cards. Read ’em and weep, JBL! Pair of Threes! Full House. The APA win the pot. But Slater has kids! Well their daddy’s broke. A knock on the door, and in comes a wad of cash. From the Million Dollar Man, Ted DeBiase! JBL deals him in, for old times’ sake.

 

Raw welcomes back former General Managers!

First, John “People Power” Laurinaitis! Second, current NXT GM William Regal. And the controversial Eric Bischoff! Oh, and a surprise appearance by General Manager of SmackDown, Daniel Bryan!

Of course, The Miz ruins Bryan’s time in the spotlight as he comes out to have his time.

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Roman Reigns VS The Miz w/ The Miztourage!

The Big Dog has the title in His Yard, but the Hollywood A-Lister wants it back. Which man will make history on this historic night?

The bell rings, the two circle, and fans duel over whether or not Roman sucks. Roman and Miz tie up, Roman shoves Miz to a corner. Miz wants Roman to stay back while he gathers himself, and the referee obliges. The two circle again, fans continue to be thunderous both ways. Miz slips out of the ring but Roman grabs his hair, so Miz elbows him away. Miz climbs up, jumps, but gets rocked by an uppercut! Roman looms over The Miz as he gets to ropes, then slips outside. Bo Dallas won’t allow the Drive-By, so he takes a right hand! Axel stays back, Miz mises the wrecking ball dropkick, Roman rocks him with another uppercut. Axel distracts this time, Miz boots Roman down. Miz puts Roman into steel steps!

The Miztourage bark around Roman as we go to break.

Raw returns to see Miz and Roman corner to corner. Roman rallies with big lariats. He whips but Miz reverses, only to get run over by the leaping lariat. Roman stalks Miz into another corner, and gives those close-range clotheslines. He hits all ten, then runs for the boot! The Miztourage looks worried while the fans are a thunderous mix.

Roman takes aim, locks and loads, but The Miz escapes. Roman pursues on the outside, Drive-By! Miz falls down, but Roman keeps eyes on The Miztourage. Roman puts Miz in the ring, takes aim and runs in, only to hit post! Miz uses the ropes for leverage as he rolls Roman up! TWO! Miz recovers, walking off the dropkick while catching his breath. Roman sits up, Miz starts the “It Kicks!”

Miz runs in for the buzzsaw but gets blocked, into a powerbomb! TWO, and Roman is shocked. Miz regroups with The Miztourage while Roman catches his breath. Roman slips out of the ring again, and gives The Miztourage the Drive-By! He throws Axel into the LED apron, and then Bo into the post so hard he goes flying! Roman throws Axel into the timekeeper’s area, but then gets blindsided by Miz’s boot! Miz puts Roman in the ring, hurries for the Finale but Roman throws him off. SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO, and Roman is shocked again. Both men slowly stir, and Roman is the first to stand up. The fans cheer and jeer while Roman gets to a corner. Bo returns to anchor Roman, Miz hits his signature corner clothesline! The referee reprimands The Miztourage, then ejects them!

Miz is devastated, he no longer has his henchmen to help him. Roman rolls him up, TWO, SUPERMNA PUNCH for The Miztourage! SKULL-CRUSHING FINALE!! TWO?! The Miz cannot believe he didn’t steal that win! Brooklyn declares “This is Awesome!” then return to dueling between who likes Roman and who likes Miz. Miz tries for another but Roman powers out with back elbows. Miz staggers, Roman runs in, but into an exposed buckle?! SKULL-CRUSHING FINALE AGAIN! The Miz wins!! He is once again THE Intercontinental Champion! The Miz becomes the second-highest Intercontinental Champion behind only Chris Jericho, can he make this reign last through Wrestlemania?

 

The APA’s backstage poker game has expanded.

Heath Slater, Rhyno, Ted DeBiase Sr, The Usos, MVP and even Jeff Hardy are back there playing. Slater has Ace High, MVP has even higher. Who else will join this star studded game of cards?

 

WWE Presents Christian & The Peep Show!

Captain Charisma hears a lot of Peeps in Brooklyn. He misses the WWE Universe. Christian knows about being a tag team champion, and has seen it all. Or so he thought, because tonight’s guests are the Raw Tag Team Champions, who won their first night as a team. His guests are Jason Jordan & Seth Rollins!

The Gold-Blooded Son and The Architect walk to the ring and shake Christian’s hand before taking a seat. Rollins is happy to be here, Jordan takes over, and fans boo. Jordan knows this is about the upcoming title match, but before that he wishes to say it’s an honor. However, the fans drown him out. Jordan continues on, he’s also honored to be in the presence of all those legends. He also thanks the fans for their “continued support”. Jordan also congratulates his father, Kurt Angle, for assembling such amazing talent, despite what the fans think. He wants the fans to give a round of applause to Angle, the fans aren’t playing along. That’s when The Bar decides to come out!

Cesaro & Sheamus speak. “Jordan, Jordan, Jordan.” He needs to slow down, he has it all wrong. Those superstars and legends are here to hang out with Sheamus & Cesaro, because “we ARE the Bar!” Funny enough, those same superstars and legends all expect Cesaro & Sheamus to take back those title belts, and thanked them in advance. Angle doesn’t suck, Jordan sucks! Brooklyn agrees, “You Suck! You Suck!” Rollins tries to keep Jordan calm, but Jordan still starts a fight! Rollins helps him out, then DIVES on Sheamus! Jordan grabs Cesaro, Rollins flies in, but Cesaro evades!

Jordan goes down from the flying knee, and Brooklyn celebrates. The Bar grins and gloats on their way out, will they leave Philadelphia with gold?

 

Backstage interview with Alexa Bliss.

The Goddess knows history is being made on Sunday with the Women’s Rumble. Does Alexa think she’ll still be champion at Wrestlemania to face the winner? Is that an insult? Alexa is champion and Goddess, but here comes a Champion who is also a Queen! Charlotte Flair lets Alexa know that the only reason Alexa is champion is because they’re on separate shows. Charlotte doubts Alexa will make it to ‘Mania. She doesn’t have the size, speed or pedigree, and “to be the woman, you gotta beat the Woman.” Ask the man himself! Ric Flair appears. Alexa is lovely, she is champion now, but he promises his daughter will be the champion every day until Wrestlemania and even after, all the way until she hangs up the robe! WOO~!

 

The APA’s card game has even more players.

Natalya and even Titus Worldwide~ have joined, and they’re all beating Slater. He has a straight, The Queen of Harts has a Queen of Hearts Royal Flush. Dana Brooke crunches the numbers, Slater’s lost “a lot of money”.

 

Bray Wyatt VS WOKEN Matt Hardy!

The Eater of Worlds comes to the Manhattan Center, but so has the WOKEN WISDOM! The Great War truly begins on #Raw25, who will take this first battle?

The bell rings, Hardy gives forearms and runs, but Bray catches him. Hardy avoids Sister Abigail and rocks Bray to a corner. Clothesline and hammer fists, Hardy then laughs in Bray’s face. Bray shoves Hardy away but misses his clothesline, Hardy gives him a Russian Leg Sweep. Hardy climbs up, fans fire up and cheer “DELETE! DELETE!” as he hist the ax handle. Hardy continues, kicks but Wyatt shoves him away, they run the ropes and Bray runs Hardy over with a body check!

He laughs while Hardy is dazed and we go to break.

Raw returns to Hardy hitting a jawbreaker on Bray. They both stagger, but Hardy blocks and retaliates with forearms. He “DELETE DELETE DELETE” bumps Bray’s head off buckles, then runs in for a clothesline. Bray denies the bulldog, but Hardy evades in the corner. Bray leans back and Hardy says it’s “WONDERFUL~!” The two stare down, Hardy laughs again. Bray runs out, and into a Side Effect! TWO, but Hardy doesn’t’ stop there. “DELETE! DELETE!” echoes out, Hardy kicks but Bray denies the Twist by putting Hardy against ropes. Bray yanks Hardy into the ropes, then hits Sister Abigail! Bray wins this opening encounter! Will the Face of Fear outlast the WOKEN Wisdom in this Great War?

 

WWE welcomes back legendary women!

The Bella Twins are back, along with Maryse, Kelly Kelly, Lilian Garcia, Jacqueline, Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool, Terri Runnels, Maria Kanellis, and… Trish Stratus!

 

Backstage, Elias encounters CHRIS JERICHO!

The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rollah has a song for The Drifter. May he borrow the guitar? No. That’s fine, he has his own. Jericho doesn’t want to walk with Elias. Why? He’ll give you the gist. Elias is a stupid idiot who just… Just kidding, no he’s not! Elias made the List! “And you’re stupid scarves, too!”

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter still performs for the Barclays Center despite what just happened. And he still asks “Who Wants to Walk with Elias?!” Twenty-five years and WWE finally got it right with him. And yes, WWE stands for “Walk With Elias”. The Royal Rumble this Sunday will be great, but tonight has celebrities and legends. Elias has a song for tonight, so please silence cell phones, hold applause and shut mouths or he won’t sing. The fans like the sound of that! They call him “Stupid Idiot!” after Jericho. In that case, Elias is gonna leave! The fans also like the sound of that! Elias reconsiders, because he spotted Jimmy Fallon!

“Hey Jimmy, let me show you how it’s done.” Elias begins playing and fans clap along. “HBK had his time and now he’s done. Stone Cold saw me coming, and decided to run. Undertaker is a decrepit old man, he should buy a ticket to Elias and sit in the stands.” Fans boo. “Chris Jericho is a big phony, and in the past, he’s stuck. As far as The Rock goes, well I gotta say that, Rocky Still Sucks! Now forgive me if I forget any names, Elias is here and he’s changing The Game. John Cena’s not a legend, not like me at all. John’s more like Brooklyn, because he has no balls. It’s a Royal Rumble, and I’m gonna win–” John Cena appears!

The Leader of the CENAtion is here to mixed reaction as always. Even so, Cena appreciates the noise. “And just so you know, Elias, both myself and Brooklyn have balls, because there they are right there.” Yes, Beach Ball Mania made a return, but only for a moment. Elias tells Cena to “shut your damn mouth! No one wants to hear you. They came to hear me!” Brooklyn continues to have mixed reactions. Cena ruined Elias’ moment? “Do something about it.”

Cena prepares to fight, and waits for Elias’ response. Fans want to see this go down, but Elias says “That’s not how this works, John.” Elias doesn’t take orders from Cena nor does he take orders from “these Brooklyn Scumbags.” Elias turns to leave, then goes after Cean! Cena knew it was coming and rallies with his shoulder tackles. He hits the Spin-out Powerbomb, and then raises the hand to say “You Can’t See Me!” Five Knuckle Shuffle, and the fireman’s carry, but Elias slips down for a low blow uppercut! Elias grabs his guitar, takes aim at Cena, and SMASH!

The guitar explodes off of Cena’s back, Brooklyn actually likes that. He then picks Cena up and hits Drift Away! Elias sends a message to Cena and the WWE Universe, will he make Cena #DriftAway for good?

 

The APA’s poker game is bigger than ever!

The New Day join in, and they serve pancakes. JBL goes all in on this hand! So does everyone else! Slater has a Full House!

How? That has to be cheating! The others protest, JBL shouts everyone to calm down. Simmons agrees, Poker Games aren’t for fighting. If they want to fight, go to the ring! In that case, they will! DeBiase wins this hand, and Simmons has one word to say: “DAMN!”

 

Mark Henry walks the halls of Barclays Center.

The World’s Strongest Man finds The Godfather, and a lovely guest of his, Olivia. Godfather explains that Henry was once known as “Sexual Chocolate”. That was a long time ago. Though, Godfather stayed the same. Her name was Olivia, yes? Yes. Slow down, Henry, this is MRS. Godfather. Things really have changed.

 

Titus Worldwide VS Heath Slater & Rhyno!

Just as The APA suggested, this fight from the poker game spills out into the ring. This match will not only settle their argument, but can also help towards climbing the Raw Tag Team Division ladder!

The bell rings, Titus argues with Rhyno over tagging in Slater. Rhyno chops Titus again and again, Titus puts him in a corner. Titus gives Rhyno a chop, Dana says “That’s what you get for cheating!” Titus gives Rhyno another chop then tags in Apollo Crews. Crews wrenches but Rhyno reverses, then tags in Slater. Slater ax handles the arm then wrenches it more before  yanking away. Crews whips Slater but Slater runs him over. Slater whips Crews, Crews reverses, things speed up and Crews drops Slater with a dropkick. Crews dares Slater to come at him, then kicks him low and into a suplex. He holds Slater up there a good, long time before slamming him down. Titus Worldwide~ are in control as we go to break.

Raw returns and now it’s a brawl! Neither team backs down, the ref throws the match out. The Dudley Boys are here! Bubba Ray & D-Von head to the ring! Titus Worldwide, Slater & Rhyno get out of the way, but Bubba wants to take them all on! The fans chant “E C Dub!” while the stars of WWE figure this out. Fans chant “We Want Tables!” as well. Rhyno forces Slater into the ring! He ends up taking the scoop slam, and then D-Von climbs. “WAZZUP!?”

Flying headbutt! They’re not done here, because Bubba tells D-Von and the fans, “GET THE TABLES!” D-Von has a little help from Rhyno as the table comes out. Bubba sets it up, D-Von grabs Slater, for the 3D!! Will that toughen Slater up?

 

Backstage interview with WWE Champion, AJ Styles.

The Phenomenal One has someone helping him on this interview for the 25th Anniversary of Raw. Charly moves aside for… MEAN GENE OKERLUND! Mean Gene is honored to be here for this. He asks Styles about his 2v1 Handicap Championship match. “Well lemme tell you something, Mean Gene!”

Styles will defend his title against #Kami, who believe they’re better than Styles and that the #YEPMovement is superior to the #YESMovement. #Kami thinks they’ll be the first ever co-champions. Styles won’t allow it, because Styles knows that in the end, they’ll say “And still WWE Champion, The Phenomenal AJ Styles!”

 

Degeneration X reunites in the Manhattan Center!

Shawn Michaels and Triple H head to the ring to give out DX glow sticks and even spit water. The fans chant “DX! DX!” before Michaels speaks. What is HBK’s most favorite moment? He can barely remember even 25 minutes ago. But, he does think back and surely, his favorite has to be the one with the giant sausage- We can’t tell that story here. Then how about that Christmas when- No, can’t tell that one, either. Well y’know what? HBK is really annoyed that he used to be the boss of the team, but now HHH is boss of everything. HBK doesn’t get to do things anymore. Even so, go ahead and watch those days on the WWE Network for just $9.99. HHH knows HBK still has it, but the fans still have it, too. The Manhattan Center started it all! The fans lit the spark that started the fire that became the inferno that is the WWE.

HHH & HBK started something, too, walking out to the ring with Ravishing Rick Rude and the Ninth Wonder of the World, Chyna! DX would do whatever they wanted and say whatever they wanted, and has always been at the forefront. They were here from the first Raw to driving a tank to WCW’s front door and starting the Monday Night Wars, to being here tonight for the 25th Anniversary! This is home. HHH vows that DX will be at the forefront of the next 25 years, starting tonight. “Are you ready?!” Because DX didn’t come alone. “Oh you didn’t know?” The New Age Outlaws are her!

The Road Dog, Jessie James! The Badass, Billy Gunn! But there’s still more, because X-Pac is here!

And while this is a DX reunion, they can’t have a Raw celebration without… Razor Ramon, aka Scott Hall! We go to break while the legend makes his way to the ring.

Raw returns and Hall says “Hey yo!” Everybody knows you can’t have a party without The Bad Guy. Hall was watching the show, and he’s sure everyone agrees, it’s “Too Sweet~!” The Balor Club appears!

Finn, Karl & Luke are here and the fans lose their minds. The Balor Club enters the ring and stands across from DX and Razor Ramon while fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop woop!” They all Too Sweet together.

And if you’re not down with that, “Say Yeah!” The Revival comes out?! Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson head to the ring, because they want their match to start already.

The Balor Club VS The Revival!

The Machine Gun and Director of Chaos are the opponents, but Dash & Dawson don’t wait for a bell before blindsiding them in the ring! Dash stomps away on Anderson before backing off with Dawson. The bell rings and Dash pounces, then tags to Dawson so they can mug Anderson in their corner. Dawson kicks Anderson then whips and runs Anderson over with a back elbow. He mocks the Too Sweet before dropping a legdrop on Anderson. Dawson tags Dash in and bumps Anderson off the knee, then they mug him a bit more before Dash puts on a headlock. Dash grinds Anderson down but Anderson powers out and sends him into buckles. Dash tags Dawson to stop Anderson, but Anderson powers out of a headlock to hit a jumping calf kick. The fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop woop!” Anderson and Dawson tag in Gallows and Dash, Gallows rallies on Dash. Big corner splash, but he has to ditch Dash to boot Dawson down. Roundhouse for Dash, then a tag to Anderson, the Balor Club boys hit Magic Killer! The Balor Club wins! Hall and DX celebrate with this new generation, and give another grop Too Sweet. However, Dawson calls out The Bad Guy. Hall flicks his toothpick, X-Pac hits the X-Factor! Road Dogg gives jabs, Billy gives the Famouser! Dash gets up, to get a Sweet Chin Music and a Pedigree! And everyone turns to Finn, telling him to go up top. In that case, Finn obliges, climbs up and takes aim for… COUP DE GRACE! “And if you’re not down with that, we’ve got two words for ya: SUCK IT!”

 

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

And he takes no chances tonight, he brings out several legends and current superstars to bare witness to this closing segment.

Angle thanks Brooklyn before recounting that the Universal Championship will be defended in a Triple Threat. He first introduces the Monster Among Men, Braun Strowman.

Next comes the Big Red Machine, Kane. Current superstars are needed to keep these two apart from each other.

And finally, “Ladies and gentlemen”, Paul Heyman appears to make sure these “fighters” are ready. Of course Heyman introduces the most relevant man in all 25 years of Raw, “the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion, BROCK LESNAR!!”

The Beast heads to the ring while the mere mortal superstars exit it. Strowman barrels through Kane to then storm up the ramp and meet Lesnar halfway! Lesnar clubbers Strowman then goes after Kane, to hit an F5! The Beast roars, but Strowman returns. Strowman resists the German Suplex to then clothesline Lesnar out. Strowman pursues Lesnar to then throw him into the barriers. He clears off the announce table and the announcers clear out! Strowman hoists Lesnar up and over, to slam him through the table! The Monster Among Men looms over the Beast before returning to the ring. Will Strowman be the last titan standing at the Royal Rumble?

 

My Thoughts:

This was only a pretty good Raw for the 25th Anniversary when it should’ve been great. WWE trying two locations immediately sounded sloppy, but I suppose they did about as good as they could have while still keeping to what they needed to do before the Royal Rumble. First, starting with all the McMahons and Stone Cold was classic and logical because of all the great moments where Austin stuck it to Vince and his family for trying to stick it to him first. The Women’s Division being the first match of the night was fun, but there appeared to be pacing problems with the commercials. We go to a commercial only to return right before the finish of the match, that felt a bit poorly planned. However, having Asuka then turn on her team to remind everyone about the Rumble was great, because she is definitely Raw’s favorite to win. The various moments with legends were also great, and Undertaker’s was most cryptic. It could be a confirmation of his retirement or it could be a confirmation of his return but we won’t know until Wrestlemania creeps closer.

Roman VS Miz was solid stuff in the ring and went as expected, even down to The Miz winning with stealthily underhanded tactics. Of course, Roman being without a title now clears him to face the Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar, at Wrestlemania as is the general theory. It was great to see The Peep Show return while also forwarding The Bar VS Rollins-Jordan just a bit. While the knee strike to Jordan was “inadvertent”, this could be setting up Rollins VS Jordan for them to have something down the line that wraps up at Raw’s Elimination Chamber this year. Wyatt VS WOKEN Hardy was rather sudden but having it at the Manhattan Center was still fine in my opinion. If there was more time, I’m sure there could have been a promo from Wyatt or Hardy about bringing their powers to the birthplace of Raw to frame this match better. Wyatt winning was a nice surprise, and I’m sure they’ll have more matches post-Rumble before finally having something fitting of the BROKEN Universe at Wrestlemania. There were also a lot of dark match/house show moments at the Manhattan Center, which surely made the experience for those fans unique and worth a lot of the wait. Especially when they got the main event match segment where all of DX, Scott Hall and even The Balor Club appeared to join together as Faces to shut up the cocky Revival. Then the closing segment was a bit rushed but still exciting as Strowman stands tall once again. This probably won’t change the plans of Lesnar VS Roman for the title, but it honestly should, as everyone loves Strowman and would be so excited to cheer for him.

My Score: 8/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/19)

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205 Live = Cruiserweight Division

The three challengers to the Cruiserweight Championship will challenge each other in a Triple Threat! Who proves they’re Buddy Murphy’s biggest threat?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Humberto Carrillo VS Gran Metalik; Carrillo wins.
  • Triple Threat: Kalisto VS Hideo Itami VS Akira Tozawa; Itami wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Drake Maverick hypes up the already exciting night for 205 Live!

It will be one of the most intriguing line-ups with some major implications towards the Cruiserweight Division’s future! First, Humberto Carrillo is officially part of 205 Live and has his second match on air against Lucha House Party’s King of the Ropes! Humberto showed heart against the Juggernaut, Buddy Murphy, can he show even more against Gran Metalik? Then the Triple Threat main event pits Akira Tozawa, Hideo Itami and Kalisto against each other in one last match before the Cruiserweight Championship match! Who seizes a big advantage going into the title match?

 

Aiden English joins commentary!

The SmackDown superstar and symphony singer shifts gears to be alongside Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph on the fastest hour of WWE!

 

Humberto Carrillo VS Gran Metalik!

The man formerly known as Ultimo Ninja has been making quite the waves in NXT and even in his 205 Live debut last week. Humberto didn’t win against the Juggernaut, but he did impress everyone enough to earn his Cruiserweight contract! Will he have a better time against the King of the Ropes? Or will he go a quick 0-2?

The bell rings and Humberto shakes hands with Metalik to show respect. Fans like that, and applaud as the two tie up. Metalik gets a waistlock, but Humberto works his way out to a wristlock. Humberto wrenches but Metalik rolls and reverses. Metalik wrenches but Humberto handsprings and reverses back to a headlock. Fans applaud while Metalik powers out. Things speed up and Humberto shows his agility! He dodges the handspring but Metalik headscissors, only for Humberto to handspring through! They both dropkick but those cancel out, and fans applaud the stalemate. Fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” as the two go again.

Metalik dodges Humberto to chop him and whip him. Humberto goes up and over and shows off more, then gets Metalik with an arm-drag. Humberto chops and goes acrobatic for an arm-drag! Metalik bails out but Humberto builds speed to FLY! Direct hit takes Metalik down and Humberto lands on his feet! Humberto drags Metalik up and into the ring, then covers, TWO! Humberto keeps on Metalik with a grounded wristlock, then brings Metalik up for a facelock. He suplexes Metalik down and floats to a cover, TWO! Humberto keeps his cool as he drags Metalik back up. He scoops and slams Metalik to a drop zone, then climbs up top. Fans fire up as Humberto moonsaults, but he gets boots! Metalik gets up and runs to Sling-Dog Humberto down! Cover, TWO! Metalik keeps his cool as he drags Humberto up.

Metalik puts Humberto in a corner, CHOPS him, then whips corner to corner. Humberto reverses but Metalik walks the ropes to missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Metalik is surprised but focused as he wraps on a chinlock. Humberto endures as fans slowly build to a rally. Humberto feeds off the energy and fights out, but Metalik throws him back down. Metalik puts the chinlock back on, but Humberto endures again. Metalik brings Humberto up in the fireman’s carry but Humberto fights out. Hands start flying, then both men duck kicks, but Humberto comes back with an enziguri! Humberto covers, TWO! Metalik rolls to ropes while Humberto grits his teeth. Humberto hurries after Metalik and both men end up on the apron. Humberto brings Metalik up but Metalik boots him back. Metalik brings Humberto in but Humberto boots him.

Fans rally up as Metalik tosses Humberto over the corner. Humberto hits Metalik back then climbs up top. Humberlto hits Metalik with a SUPER Bulldog to the apron! It was a bit double-edged as Humberto hits the floor, but he forces himself back up. Humberto goes up top again as Metalik slowly stands. Humberto leaps for a big crossbody! Cover, TWO! Metalik survives and Humberto grows frustrated. Humberto and Metalik go to oppsite corners, and Humberto runs in. Metalik dodges but Humberto tumbles to the apron. Humberto SLAPS Metalik away, but Metalik comes back with a SUPER HURICANRANA! Both men crash and burn to the floor but fans fire up! The referee checks on them both but they’re somehow okay.

Metalik sits up first and fires up with more “Lucha! Lucha!” Fans echo it as he puts Humberto in the ring. Metalik climbs and springboards, Swanton! Cover, TWO!! Humberto survives and now Metalik is shocked. Metalik refocuses and waits for Humberto to stand. He drags Humberto up and onto the top rope, then CHOPS him for good measure. Metalik positions Humberto and climbs up to throw forearms. He even SLAPS Humberto to see what the young star has. Metalik prepares but Humberto resists. Humberto fights back and shoves Metalik. Metalik lands on his feet but runs into a boot. Humberto adjusts, leaps, and hits a missile dropkick! Humberto doesn’t cover, he headstands and rebounds for an Aztec Press! Cover, Humberto wins!!

Winner: Humberto Carrillo, by pinfall

A huge victory over a 205 Live staple! And Metalik gives him the show of respect he earned. Humberto breaks even at 1-1, but will this first victory be the first of many?

 

Drake Maverick meets with Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher.

Clearly the ground game lobbyists of the Submission Commission are upset that a high-flyer was the first new Cruiserweight signed. But look at how impressive Humberto Carrillo is! Gulak and Gallagher have no words. They storm off but Tony Nese enters and wants a word with the GM. Nese wants a rematch with Noam Dar tonight. Well yes they are tied, and the fans would love seeing that tiebreaker. Maverick will consider it. Consider it? Well yes, he can’t just jump into it. The Rumble is Sunday, the title could change hands– Nese doesn’t care about any of that. Just consider what will happen if Nese doesn’t get his match. Dar has been running his mouth and Nese is tired of it. If Nese doesn’t get the match, then he’ll make his own opportunity. The Premier Athlete has sent his ultimatum, will Maverick take it seriously?

 

Akira Tozawa and THE Brian Kendrick speak.

Tozawa says that he’s “had some good times and bad times on 205 Live.” But the past doesn’t matter, this opportunity is huge. Tozawa didn’t travel around the world to be a joke, he came to the WWE to make a name for himself. He will become the two-time Cruiserweight Champion. But can he be the top contender after tonight’s Triple Threat?

 

The Lucha House Party speak.

Lince Dorado knows that 2019 will be a big year for the trio. They’re on both Raw and 205 Live, and they spared the joy of lucha libre to the WWE Universe. But the one thing that they’re missing and will take them to the next level is that Cruiserweight Championship! If one of them wins, they all win! And Kalisto is going to show all the others in that Fatal 4 Way that he IS a threat. Kalisto vows to be that two-time Cruiserweight Champion, with the power of “Lucha! Lucha!” But can speed kill when there are multiple opponents?

 

Triple Threat: Kalisto VS Hideo Itami VS Akira Tozawa!

The Lucha Dragon may have his amigos, the Innovator of the GTS may have his hype man, and the Stamina Monster may have the Man with a Plan, but who will have the momentum going into the title match this Sunday?

Before Hideo Itami makes his entrance, he and Ariya Daivari have an interview backstage. What would it mean to finally become Cruiserweight Champion? Daivari speaks for Itami, saying that as the only man who has not held that title, it makes Itami the hungriest and most dangerous superstar. The only thing missing from his already legendary career is WWE gold, so Itami will make an example out of his opponents tonight. Itami speaks in Japanese to say that he is coming for the Cruiserweight Championship by any means necessary. Itami makes his entrance, and we begin this match!

But wait, Buddy Murphy makes his presence known! The champion reminds his contenders what they’re fighting for while also keeping an eye on all three of them. And as a bonus, he joins commentary! The bell rings and Itami goes right at Kalisto and Tozawa! Murphy already knows commentary will talk about how a Fatal 4 Way means he could lose the title without being pinned, but that won’t matter because he’s not losing. In the ring, Itami keeps on Tozawa and throws him out. Itami then goes after Kalisto with haymakers and a whip. Kalisto kicks Itami back then runs to tilt-o-whirl haedscissors! He adds a dropkick, then chops Itami before going acrobatic for the arm-drag! Itami bails out but Tozawa returns, and Tozawa hits Kalisto with a missile dropkick! Kalisto bails out but Tozawa builds speed to DIVE! The Tozawa Torpedo blasts Kalisto into the announce desk!

Tozawa and Murphy stare down, but Itami knocks Tozawa into the desk now! Itami and Murphy stare down for a moment before Itami drags Tozawa up and throws him into barriers. Itami stomps Kalisto thenn puts him into the steel steps! Murphy is confident this won’t happen to him in the match. Itami kicks away on Tozawa then puts him in the ring. Cover, TWO! Itami keeps on Tozawa with a whip, then a kitchen sink knee! Cover, TWO! Tozawa shows his toughness but Itami kicks him in the back. Itami boots Kalisto out and then soaks up the heat. Itami goes to Tozawa but Tozawa hits him back. But Itami still puts Tozawa in a chinlock to grind him down. Tozawa endures and moves around to a ropebreak.

Itami lets him go but drops elbows right on the back. He stomps Tozawa then goes after Kalisto. Kalisto hits back but Itami rocks him with a European Uppercut and a swift boot! Fans respect that with applause, as does Murphy. Itami goes back to Tozawa and covers, TWO. Itami keeps on Tozawa with a chinlock but Tozawa again endures. Fans rally up and Tozawa feeds off the energy. Tozawa fights out but Itami knees low. Itami runs but into a huricanrana! Tozawa gets Itami with a saido suplex! Kalisto leaps in but into a dropkick! Tozawa quickly covers Kalisto, TWO! Now he covers Itami, TWO! Tozawa keeps his cool but both Kalisto and Itami go to the apron. Fans echo “AH! AH!” for Tozawa as he goes after Kalisto with a forearm. Tozawa builds speed again, but runs into Itami’s lariat! Cover, but Kalisto breaks it in time!

All three men are down and Murphy is amused. Fans build to a rally as all three men slowly stir. Kalisto hits Tozawa, Tozawa chops Itami, and Itami hits Kalisto. Kalisto hits Tozawa again, Tozawa hits Itami again, and Itami hits Kalisto again. The rotation continues like this as the three men stand up. Kalisto hits Tozawa, Tozawa chops Itami, Itami kicks Kalisto. Kalisto CHOPS Tozawa, Tozawa CHOPS Itami, Itami kicks Kalisto! The rotation continues as Kalisto kicks Tozawa, but Tozawa fakes Itami out to hit Itami and Kalisto with jabs! Tozawa is the only one standing, and even Murphy applauds that. Fans chant “AH! AH!” for Tozawa as he runs at Itami. Itami boots him away then climbs up to tornado hotshot Tozawa down. Itami climbs up and makes sure Murphy is watching, but Kalisto kicks Itami!

Kalisto climbs with fans chanting “Lucha! Lucha!” Kalisto clubs away on Itami as they both stand. He wants the superplex but Itami resists. Tozawa adds on and helps Kalisto, but then Murphy joins in! This is a Triple Threat, so no disqualifications as Murphy helps make this a Tower of Doom!! The Juggernaut says this is just a preview of the Fatal 4 Way, but the referee still insists he leave. Murphy doesn’t listen as he throws Itami into a corner to stomp a mudhole into him. He then goes after Kalisto with a heavy forearm, and then throws Tozawa into a corner for another mudhole. Fans duel but Murphy soaks it all up. Murphy goes after Kalisto again but Kalisto kicks him away. Murphy staggers into Tozawa’s boot, then into double SUPERKICKS! Kalisto gives Murphy a Salida del Sol! And Tozawa adds his Tozawa Torpedo!

But then things return to the match as Kalisto knee-board sentons onto Tozawa! Kalisto drags himself back into the ring, and Itami boots him down! Itami drags Tozawa into the ring, stands him up, Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO! Itami is furious but he won’t let off Tozawa. He drags Tozawa up for a strike fest, but Tozawa dodges to give his own. The swinging roundhouse hits! But Kalisto springboards for a crossbody! Cover, TWO!! Everyone is down, but Tozawa crawls to a corner. Kalisto runs in at him for a kick to the stomach! Kalisto hauls Tozawa up top and rocks him with another kick. He climbs up to join Tozawa, prepares a superplex, but Itami attacks. Kalisto headbutts Itami then dumps him out hard. He kicks Tozawa again, climbs up again, and SUPER STEINERS! But Tozawa held on and Kalisto hits the floor!

Tozawa stands, leaps, SUPER SENTON! But Kalisto avoids it! Itami blasts Kalisto witht he dropkick, then hits Tozawa with the GTS Mk. II, aka the Sakura Knee! Cover, Itami wins!

Winner: Hideo Itami, by pinfall

If Murphy made this a preview of the Fatal 4 Way, then we just saw Itami survive them all and win! Will Murphy change things when it really is a Fatal 4 Way? Will Itami repeat this performance? Or will one of the former champions become champion again?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A solid go-home for 205 Live here, and Aiden English did great on commentary. Percy Watson was okay, but he does better on NXT because it’s not live. And for whatever reason, there seemed to be more fans and more invested fans than last week. And that was fortunate, as Humberto Carrillo has another great match with Gran Metalik. Humberto wins now that he’s officially part of the Cruiserweight Division, and also because it wouldn’t be good for him to lose twice already. Metalik is safe in losing, it helps build Humberto up. I’m pretty sure Humberto is going up against Gulak & Gallagher soon enough, so that’ll also be great for him. He’s a great talent, so he’ll get to the title soon enough, he just needs to build himself up in the eyes of live audiences.

Nese VS Dar 3 is coming, but with Nese making that threat, it’ll probably be after he attacks Dar backstage. The tiebreaker blow-off should feed into a contenders scenario. If anything, including Nese and Dar in a bigger contenders match would be nice, too. Like a Triple Threat that throws in Cedric Alexander, who has history with both men, or a Fatal 4 Way to include Lio Rush because he needs his chance. Tonight’s Triple Threat turning into an unofficial Fatal 4 Way was smart, too, as it keeps the three contenders relatively equal. Itami wins and could defy the math, but I wonder if this opens the door to a two-time champion in Kalisto or Tozawa. Kalisto implying Lucha House Party is like the New Day with Freebird-ing a singles title would be an interesting story to go with, but maybe that’s why it won’t be him.

My Score: 8.2/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Results & Report! (1/22/19)

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SmackDown cover image

SmackDown prepares for the Royal Rumble in the biggest ways! Rey Mysterio VS Andrade Almas, 2 out of 3 Falls! Who gains momentum while breaking the tie?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Naomi VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville; Rose wins.
  • The Miz w/ Shane McMahon VS Cesaro w/ Sheamus; Cesaro wins.
  • Mustafa Ali VS Samoa Joe; Joe wins.
  • Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Rey Mysterio VS Andrade Almas; Mysterio wins, by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Man starts off SmackDown!

Becky Lynch prepares for her shot at the Empress of Tomorrow at the Royal Rumble PPV, but she’s here in Wichita to say that there’s nothing more than she likes than being in the ring fighting. But The Man has something to say first. It wasn’t too long ago that no one paid attention to Becky. But now everyone has an opinion on who and what she should be. Becky will say this: the only thing The Man should be doing is main-eventing Wrestlemania! Fans agree with that! And she’ll slap the heads off anyone and everyone who gets in her way. That journey starts on Sunday, against Asuka. Becky’s watched Asuka clean out NXT, steamroll the main roster, and is undoubtedly one of the best. “But I’m better.”

Becky reminds us that Asuka never beat Becky for the title. And the fact that isn’t eating her up tells Becky something. The others have warmed themselves on the fire Becky lit, but things change at the Rumble. Becky has dethroned a Queen, and will break the Empress! Becky will walk through fire and brimstone- But speaking of the Empress, here comes Asuka! Asuka stands across the ring from Becky and holds up the belt. She tells Becky in Japanese that she’s not intimidated by the talk. Fans duel as these two argue, but here comes Charlotte! The Queen is going to be in the Women’s Rumble, but she has a mic to tell both Becky and Asuka tonight that “As much as I’m enjoying this, and excited for your match this Sunday”, nothing will be better than her throwing out 29 other women to win the Rumble.

And then the choices she’s got on her plate. Ronda VS Sasha, but Sasha’s someone Charlotte’s beaten so many times, and has beaten the Hell out of Ronda via “Ken” the kendo stick. Then Asuka VS Becky, Charlotte broke the Empress’ Streak, and “The Man” may have gotten her the last few months, but Charlotte has owned the division for four years. And Charlotte IS the Main Event! Charlotte lets out a “WOO~” but Asuka fires off on Becky! A brawl goes down in the ring and Charlotte watches in amusement. Fans cheer but referees come out to break this fight up! Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” and they do fight, but security comes out to try their hand. It’s no good, Becky gets after Asuka now! Asuka throws Becky into barriers then stomps away! The brawl continues, and Becky throws Asuka over the announce desk!

Referees and security reprimand Becky but she uses her own jacket to whiplash Asuka over and over! The Lass Kicker stands tall, to then clobber Asuka back down! Fans are thunderous as Becky finally backs off. Asuka gets up and is furious, but she’ll have to wait for Sunday to settle things. With this level of fire inside both of them, which woman will blaze a trail down the Road to Wrestlemania?

 

The brawl continues backstage!

Asuka caught up to Becky and the fight again has to be pulled apart! Will these two even make it to Phoenix?!

 

Naomi VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville!

The Glow found out about the Golden Goddess trying to seduce and humiliate her husband, but she threw down in the hotel room. This fight finishes in the ring, will Naomi make Mandy #FeeltheGlow in the strongest way? Or will Mandy dim the lights instead?

Naomi doesn’t wait for the bell! She charges through Sonya and gets right at Mandy on the ramp! She throws Mandy into the apron then into the ring. Naomi wants to keep going, but Mandy SLAPS her! The bell rings and now things are official as Naomi fires off slaps of her own! She tops it off with a backhand and Mandy rolls out. Mandy regroups with Sonya while we go picture in picture. Sonya helps Mandy catch her breath and Mandy returns. Naomi is right on Mandy but Mandy puts Naomi in the corner. Mandy stomps a mudhole then backs off at the count of 4. Naomi gets up and SLAPS Mandy! Naomi snapmares and runs for the sliding lariat! Leg drop cover, TWO! Naomi keeps on Mandy with an armlock while Mandy checks her nose.

Naomi wrenches and Mandy endures. But Naomi rubs Mandy’s face into the mat, then pulls her hair before stomping her back down. Mandy checks her nose again as Naomi scoops and slams her. Naomi runs and drops the splits! Cover, TWO! But Naomi doesn’t let up, she’s right back on Mandy with a facelock. They stand up and Naomi whips. Mandy reverses but Naomi slides and shoulders back in. Sonya runs in but gets a kick, Mandy blasts Naomi with a knee! Mandy drags Naomi up and in and covers, TWO! Mandy keeps on Naomi with a rain of right hands! She drags Naomi up for a thrashing chinlock, but now Naomi endures. Naomi fights her way up but Mandy reels her in. Naomi dodges and rolls Mandy up, TWO! Jawbreaker as we return to single picture!

Naomi roundhouses Mandy, then runs for lariats and elbows! Mandy clotheslines Naomi back down then covers, TWO! Mandy glares at Naomi as she stomps her back down. She kicks Naomi to the ropes then chokes her against them. Mandy lets up at 4 while fans boo and jeer. Mandy drags Naomi up for forearms in a corner, but backs off at 4 again. Naomi boots back, and hits the enziguri! She kicks Mandy while she’s down, then stands her up for forearms of her own! Mandy shoves Naomi away, but Naomi come back to hit a huricanrana! Mandy staggers about and Naomi runs, but is put on the apron. Naomi hits Mandy away, but Sonya anchors feet. Mandy takes advantage by shoving Naomi into the post! Cover, Mandy wins!

Winner: Mandy Rose, by pinfall

The duo formerly known as Absolution works together for victory! However, the Royal Rumble is always every superstar for themselves. Will Sonya be willing to help Mandy then? Will Mandy go into business for herself? Or will Naomi get back at both of them with an elimination?

 

Rey Mysterio speaks.

“2006, I was in the Royal Rumble match for over an hour.” He used every trick he had to survive. His speed got the better of bigger competitors. His training gave him the stamina to never slow down. And his will to keep fighting shocked the world. This Sunday, Rey looks to repeat history. But tonight is about respect as he faces Andrade Almas again. Almas took a shortcut to win, but now he won’t have La Muneca ringside. The playing field is even, and Almas will learn that in order to gain respect, he has to earn it. Who will earn massive momentum towards this year’s Royal Rumble match?

 

The Miz meets with Shane McMahon.

Is he ready? He’s ready. The Most Must-See Superstar takes on the Swiss Cyborg up next!

 

The Miz w/ Shane McMahon VS Cesaro w/ Sheamus!

The #BestTagTeamintheWorld challenges The Bar for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships on Sunday, and the Hollywood A-Lister looks for a singles sweep leading into it! He got the better of the Celtic Gladiator on Shane O’Mac’s birthday, and Shane even got to give Sheamus a Coast2Cake dropkick. Can Miz gain his team more momentum tonight? Or will Cesaro save the champs from going 0-2 against 1/3rd Best in the World?

The bell rings and Sheamus distracts right away so Cesaro can blast Miz with big European Uppercuts! Cesaro does not let up on the EuroUppers until the ref counts 4! Cesaro then deadlift gut wrenches and tosses Miz! The Swiss Cyborg taunts Shane then drags Miz up for a headlock. Miz powers out and things speed up, but Miz gets caught into a backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Cesaro keeps on Miz with a whip but Miz reverses. Miz runs, blocks the boot and kicks the leg against the ropes! Miz backs off, but runs back into another EuroUpper. Cesasro dumps Miz but Miz sunset flips to the Figure Four! Miz has Cesaro in the legendary leg lock but he heads for the ropes. Sheamus helps Cesaro get the ropebreak, then helps him escape the ring.

Miz goes for the wrecking ball dropkick, but gets another EuroUpper for it! The Bar is fired up but Shane keeps Sheamus in check while we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Miz fights out of a headlock. Cesaro throws hands but Miz counter punches! Miz backs Cesaro down with rights and lefts, then kicks! Miz goes corner to corner for a dropkick! He keeps going and hits another dropkick! Miz wants a hat trick, and hits the A-List lariat! Fans fire up and Shane applauds while Sheamus panics. Miz climbs up but leaps into another EuroUpper! Cesaro has feet on the ropes but Shane stops that! Sheamus come around and runs Shane over! Miz rolls Cesaro, TWO! Cesaro swings but into a full nelson. He elbows out of the Finale and puts Miz on the ropes. Cesaro chokes, Sheamus gets a cheap shot! Gotch Neutralizer!! Cover, Cesaro wins!

Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall

But Shane comes back with a vengeance on Sheamus! Cesaro goes after Shane but gets those same fast hands! Shane shoves Cesaro into a post, then clocks him again! Fans are riled up for Shane as he clears off the announce desk! Shane puts Cesaro on top then climbs up high. Fans are anticipating Shane’s trademark madness, but Sheamus shoves Shane down at the barriers! Sheamus drags Miz up to throw him into a post, then The Bar mugs Shane! Cesaro feeds Shane to a BROGUE!! Fans boo and jeer as The Bar stomp away on Shane, but Miz shields Shane with his body. Miz gets clubbing hands and then dragged over to the table.

Cesaro scares off the referee while Sheamus drags Shane up. The Bar work together, to body slam Shane through Miz and the table!! Fans lose their minds over this, but does this mean Shane & Miz will lose out on those titles?

 

Mustafa Ali speaks.

The Beacon of Light was meant to face the Destroyer in a match last week, but the Destroyer decided to destroy Ali before the bell ever rang! Joe left Ali for dead, but Ali being a former Chicago police officer, he doesn’t back down so easily. Ali learned that eyes tell the whole story. Joe gave Ali a beating and kept asking “Do you understand?!”

Ali understands, but it wasn’t the punching and post tosses that told him. It was Joe’s eyes. And those eyes said Ali wasn’t worthy. Those eyes said Ali was just an example being made. Those eyes said Ali was nothing in Joe’s eyes. But now Joe will have to look into Ali’s eyes and see a man with no fear. It will be a light so bright the darkness has nowhere to hide. Ali’s eyes say he can win. But will his body back up what his eyes are saying?

 

Vince McMahon sees what happened to his son.

He watches backstage as referees and medics help Shane and Miz get up. Somehow Shane and Miz are okay after what The Bar did, but Vince can’t worry about them right now. He has to keep the peace between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles in their face-to-face encounter, next!

 

Vince McMahon heads to the ring!

Wichita greets The Chairman with an ovation as he enters. He’ll hold his thoughts to himself about what just happened to Shane, but he’s sure that tag title match will be incredible. And that brings him to the two most passionate and athletic superstars on SmackDown having their own title match on Sunday. First, the challenger and former champion, The Phenomenal AJ Styles! Styles makes his entrance, and fans give him an ovation. Then, the champion himself, “The New” Daniel Bryan! Fans boo this time for the man who killed the Yes Movement.

But Bryan doesn’t stand in the ring, despite this being a “face-to-face.” Bryan claims this is a trap, and refuses to step into a ring with the “sociopath”, the same man who slammed Bryan into a bunch of “animal carcasses” last week. Bryan’s too embarrassed to stand in the same ring as a man who pandered to the people. He had a vision of the future of AJ Styles once again being WWE Champion. It is an ignorant future, an impotent future and an illiterate future! AJ Styles cannot be allowed to have the title, because he uses it for fame and fortune. Bryan uses it for the “greater good”! Greater good? Is that “Greater good” Bryan acting like a jackass?

This behavior is why the fans want Styles to be their champion. He makes them laugh and cheer and jump around, but he doesn’t make them think or feel guilty when they should feel guilty every day of their lives! Bryan doesn’t care about their feelings, because he’s not the “People’s Champion”, he’s the Planet’s Champion! The planet doesn’t need Styles, it needs Bryan to use this platform to be its voice. If the planet had a voice, it’d be shouting for Bryan to shut up. Styles doesn’t remember Bryan pedaling a bike here. He probably got on a plane to get here. There’s a word for that: fickle. Fans echo “Fickle!” at Bryan. And Bryan talks of being embarrassed? That’s not the feeling. It’s fear.

Styles stood across from many men and has seen that look in their eyes, too. Bryan is afraid of what will happen at the Royal Rumble. Bryan should be afraid. He’s corrupted himself just to have the title. But what happens when he no longer has that title? What will Bryan have left? “Nothing.” Bryan quotes Carl Sagan, but Vince insists he get in the ring. Fans say “YES! YES!” but Bryan knows Vince obviously doesn’t want to listen. The Baby Boomers are the greatest parasites of this world! These fans bow down to Vince, but they don’t realize that Vince’s entire generation just takes and takes but never gives back! They BOW to Vince for it! It’s like Vince just pulled this incredible illusion to conceal the economic debt, but fans are satisfied with social media garbage.

Meanwhile, Vince hordes the wealth and power! Vince has created such an environment where someone like Styles can be a hero! Damn it, Bryan, get in the ring! Styles knows Vince advertised a face-to-face, but that doesn’t mean it has to be in a ring. Styles chases Bryan on the outside! And catches him! Styles throws haymakers then throws Bryan into barriers! Bryan scampers away but Styles keeps on him, throwing him into steel steps! Styles puts Bryan in the ring, takes aim, and springboards, but Bryan uses Vince as a shield! Styles aborts but gets the Knee Plus for it! Fans boo as Bryan takes the belt and retreats. The New Daniel Bryan won’t have anywhere to run at the Rumble, will the real AJ Styles get that belt back?

 

R-Truth and Carmella talk about their respective Royal Rumble matches.

Truth is excited to be Mr. 30 and book his trip to face the Phenomenal AJ Styles or the New Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania. So not the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar? Brock Lesnar’s champion? No, Truth does not want to go to Sioux Falls City. No it’s Suplex City. Same thing. But Truth wouldn’t mind trying the Cruiserweight Champion, Bobby Murphy. No it’s Buddy Murphy. And there’s a weight limit to that Division, Truth. Oh so he’s fat? No he’s just not 205! As for Carmella, she encounters Charlotte. Charlotte thinks she’s just going to waltz her way into the Rumble and Mania? She wasn’t even in last year’s. This isn’t’ just any match, it’s a tornado. You gotta keep a head on the swivel and hold onto the ropes. Plus, Carmella’s Ms. 30, the #GatekeeperinGucci. No one gets through her.

Charlotte tells Carmella it’s fine to be confident. Being 30th is an advantage, but Charlotte is Charlotte. And with a trip to Mania on the line, the match isn’t a tornado, Charlotte is. Who will survive their respective Rumble matches to headline the Greatest Show in Sports Entertainment?

 

Mustafa Ali VS Samoa Joe!

The Beacon of Light said his peace, but The Destroyer’s expression says it all for him on his way out. This match will finally happen, who will send the biggest message this close to the Royal Rumble?

SmackDown returns as Ali makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. Ali and Joe approach and Joe throws those swift jabs! Joe stomps Ali in the corner, then grinds his boot in. He scrapes Ali out of the ring, then pursues while trash talking. Joe stand Ali for a CHOP, and Ali staggers to the ramp. Joe drags Ali up and says Ali still doesn’t understand. He throws Ali at the post but Ali hops up to fly back for a crossbody! Ali keeps on Joe with fast hands, and both men get in the ring. Ali dropkicks Joe down, then throws haymakers! The ref counts and backs Ali off, but Joe CHOPS Ali off his feet! Joe drags Ali up and headbutts him back down.

Joe drags Ali up by his hair to then throw into buckles. He runs but misses, Ali forearms him away! Ali slingshots but into throat chops! Ali crashes and burns, we go picture in picture. Joe leaves Ali down and out while a ring count climbs. But Joe then goes out to fetch Ali with a grin, and drags him up for roundhouses. Joe paces around Ali like a shark with blood in the water before putting Ali back in. He rains down rights and stomps on Ali, still smirking. He sits Ali up into an arm surfboard and digs a knee into Ali’s back. Ali endures and powers up to fight out! He runs, but into Joe’s elbow! Joe glares down at the dazed Ali before covering, TWO! Ali lives but Joe is just annoyed. Joe drives his elbow into Ali’s head, then looms over him menacingly.

Joe puts Ali in a corner and gives more jabs and elbows. He stops at 4, but Ali crawls after Joe. Joe says Ali asked for this, and throws hands, but Ali counter punches! Ali backs Joe down then whips, but Joe reverses. Joe runs in for the back elbow and Pele! Ali goes down, Joe covers, TWO! Joe grows further annoyed, but he just smirks as he looks down at Ali. He drags Ali up for a neck wrench, but Ali endures again. Fans rally up and Ali powers up. Ali fights back but Joe knees low and backs Ali down. Joe whips corner to corner but Ali slips out to hit back. Ali slingshots for the facebuster! But he’s too tired to cover! Fans rally up as the ref counts. Both men stir and stand.

Ali ducks the punch to dropkick Joe back! And another dropkick sends Joe out. Ali builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit! Joe staggers but Ali pursues, but Joe puts him in the timekeeper’s area. Ali returns with a leaping crossbody! He tackles Joe down and rains down rights! Ali drags Joe up but Joe shoves him into the ring. Joe returns but Ali kicks and SUPERKICKS, and SUPERKICKS again! Joe staggers, Ali leaps, tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! Ali can’t believe Joe lives, but he doesn’t’ give up. He drags Joe over to a drop zone and climbs up. Joe trips Ali up, then drags him into the Coquina Clutch! Ali flails but Joe drops down with the body scissors! Ali taps, Joe wins!

Winner: Samoa Joe, by submission

But Joe won’t let go until Ali falls asleep! Joe sends his message to Ali and the other 28 superstars entering the Men’s Rumble. Will Joe destroy the entire field? Or will there be a shining light in his way?

 

The New Day do Royal Rumble research.

They watch the many saves of Kofi Kingston’s career. Kayla Braxton comes in to ask them about The New Day going every man for himself. Everyone asks this question! Tom Phillips, Renee Young, Mike Rome, now Kayla? Is Tony Chimel gonna ask next? He does! Chimel, be gone! Be gone, Chimel! “Every man for himself”, but that doesn’t matter to The New Day. When one of them wins, they all win! Now, they’ll dog walk erryone, but Kofi wonders if this is the year he can’t save himself. Woods and Big E keep Kofi’s chin up, and Kofi gets an idea. He has a new idea! But he’s not telling you, Kayla. Kayla, no no no. What will Kofi do to keep himself in the Rumble this time? Will this finally be the year he actually wins?

 

Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Rey Mysterio VS Andrade Almas!

The King of Lucha Libre and El Idolo have gone back and forth, and now they’ll settle things in the main event before the Royal Rumble! Without Zelina Vega, can Almas stay tranquilo? Or will Mysterio show Cien how it’s done?

The bell rings and we begin the first fall. Almas and Mysterio approach and Almas fires of kicks and punches. He whips and elbows Mysterio down, then drags Mysterio up for a shove. Mysterio kicks back then runs again, but into a torture rack. Almas swings but Mysterio makes it an arm-drag! Mysterio aims at Almas on the outside for a flying huricanrana! Almas is down and we go to break!

SmackDown returns again, and Almas looms over Mysterio. Almas whips but Mysterio reverses, only to be put on the apron. Mysterio shoulders in then swing kicks Almas away. Almas is dazed while Mysterio catches his breath. Mystiero springboards for the seated senton! He keeps moving to springboard again but into a dropkick! Cover, TWO! Almas keeps his cool as he drags Mysterio back up. Almas hammerlocks but Mysterio slips out to sunset flip DESTROYER! Cover, TWO! Mysterio keeps calm and heads to a corner. He hops up as Almas crawls over, flying wheelbarrow to victory roll, but Almas counters! TWO, and Almas puts Mysterio on the top rope. Mysterio adjusts but Almas trips him up! Almas climbs now, but Mysterio trips him up!

Mysterio goes to the outside, CHOPS Almas, then climbs up to join him. Almas fights Mysterio then gets a fireman’s carry. Mysterio stops Almas, then adjusts to SUPER- No, the Steiner is blocked to a SUPER SIT-OUT POWERBOMB!! Cover, Almas gets the first fall!

Almas – 1; Mysterio – 0

But this is just the first! The second fall begins, but both men have already given so much. Fans know “This is Awesome!” as both men catch their breath. Almas stands while Mysterio leans on the ropes. The ref gives the signal, and Almas kicks Mysterio. Powerbomb lift, rebound, another sit-out! Cover, TWO!! Mysterio survives this bomb, but Almas just fires himself up. Almas drags Mysterio up for another bomb, but Mysterio pops through for another DESTROYER!! Cover, Mysterio gets the second fall!

Almas – 1; Mysterio – 1

Things are tied up faster than a hiccup, and now it all comes down to this third and final fall! Both men are down and catching their breath, so we go to one last break.

SmackDown returns once more, and Mysterio dodges Almas in the corner! Almas crashes and burns from corner to floor! Mysterio recovers in the ring while Almas is down and out. Mysterio takes aim, builds up speed, and slides, but into the facelock! Almas drags Mysterio out but Mysterio shoves him into barriers. Mysterio adds an enziguri, but the 10 count climbs. Mysterio returns to the ring at 6, but he’s not gonna leave Almas alone. Sliding sunset bomb into the barriers! Mysterio drags himself away from Almas and gets himself some water. Fans are loving this as Mysterio returns to Almas. He puts Almas in the ring then takes aim from the apron. Fans fire up as he springboards, West Coast Pop! Cover, TWO!! Almas lives but both he and Mysterio are exhausted.

Fans rally up with chants of “619!”, and Mysterio goes to Almas at the apron. Almas drags Mysterio into the draping armbar! Almas lets go at 4, and fans boo as Almas fires himself up. He goes after Mysterio, and throws him into buckles hard. Almas soaks up the heat, and even shimmies like Latino Heat, as he drags Mysterio up. He throws Mysterio at the corner again but Mysteiro stops himself. Mysterio puts Almas on the apron but Almas forearms him back. Almas shoulders in but into Mysterio’s knee. Mysteiro slingshots for another sunset flip powerbomb, but Almas back flips through! Mysterio rolls up but into a bomb to the post! ALmas puts Mysterio in fast, drags him up, hammerlock DDT! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Mysterio survives and Almas cannot believe it! Almas grits his teeth while fans rally for Mysterio again.

Almas goes after Mysterio’s arm with a Fujiwara! Mysterio endures and rolls around, but Almas holds on. Almas brings Mysterio back down but Mysterio refuses to quit. Mysterio drags himself over but Almas drags him away! Almas adds leverage with his legs but fans cheer Mysterio on. Mysterio keeps moving, rolls through, but Almas pushes for a cover. ONE, and Mysterio springs up to the ropes. But Almas trips him up, only for Mysterio to make it a roll up! TWO, and Almas quickly puts Mysterio up on his shoulders. Mysterio hits a reverse-rana! He crawls to a cover, TWO! Both men are exhausted, but Mysterio forces himself back tot he apron. Springboard huricanrana puts Almas on the ropes! Mysterio dials it up, 619 connects! But wait, Samoa Joe!? He apron bombs Mysterio!!

Winners: Rey Mysterio, by disqualification

Mysterio gets the second fall but not the way anyone wanted! But Joe isn’t just after him, he goes right after Almas, too! He throws Almas right into the post, then goes back to Mysterio on the outside. Joe puts Mysterio in the ring, and drags him into the Coquina! Mysterio can’t tap, he’s got nothing left! Joe lets Mysterio go and demands a microphone. “I told you people I came here to make a statement!” And what he just did is exactly what he’ll do to 24 other Rumble entrants. “Because my name is Samoa Joe”– RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!! The Viper returns after being gone for weeks! Randy Orton is another of the Rumble participants, is he going to be the one in Joe’s way?

 


 

My Thoughts:

What a great SmackDown go-home! We have another opening talk segment, but it was to great effect with Charlotte coming out to stake her claim, and then we get that awesome brawl. It was great to have the return from commercial have even more brawling, it really boosts the heat between Becky and Asuka. I’ve been talking about a Triple Threat at Mania, but it really is a shame if it’ll be at the expense of Asuka. The title match will be great, but a part of me wouldn’t mind if Asuka retained and Becky found a different way to go after Ronda. And with hyping Charlotte and Carmella for the Women’s Rumble, I bet Charlotte wins after all to complete the Triple Threat.

Naomi VS Mandy was a surprisingly good match, but that recap package, I feel like this entire story has been about paralleling USA Network’s original reality show, Temptation Island. Ugh. Things like this are why it’ll be better for SmackDown to get on Fox. But as for this story, it’s probably not over since Mandy and Sonya had to cheat. Naomi might find herself a tag team partner to go against them both, and even be part of the Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber match, and that will serve as the blow-off.

Vince McMahon’s presence was better used here than on Raw. He helped the show transition from the great Miz VS Cesaro and subsequent beat down into the champion-challenger face-to-face. With the beating The Bar gave Miz and Shane, I’m really hoping Miz and Shane win the belts. It’s not burying The Bar but pushing the Miz-Shane story further. I almost don’t want them to fight each other now, Miz and Shane are doing pretty good together, but it might still happen. And then things can truly be freshened up in the SmackDown Tag Division so a team like SAnitY or Heavy Machinery can come into prominence. Then the Styles-Bryan face-to-face was good, with Bryan’s newest Eco-Heel promo and Vince just not having any of it. Bryan gets away while standing tall, I wonder if that means Styles wins.

Ali VS Joe was good, but naturally Joe won. Ali is talented, and he had a great video promo a la his 205 Live promos, but he’s just not at the level to defeat Joe yet. Mysterio VS Almas was incredible, but Joe attacking at the end was both awful and perfect. Mysterio VS Almas can’t settle just yet, not on a go-home, and Joe makes himself a real threat for the Rumble. But wow, what a great way for Orton to return! RKO Outta Nowhere is classic and effective. I don’t really want Orton to win the Rumble, but there were rumors of Orton VS Styles at Mania. Even if Rollins wins to give us Finn VS Rollins 2, Orton can still find a way through Elimination Chamber or Fastlane. It’s not really the match I want, but it might be coming after all.

My Score: 8.5/10


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