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Mitchell’s WWE Royal Rumble Report! (1/28/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kickoff Match, Six Man Tag: Team Lucha Spirit VS TJP, Drew Gulak & Jack Gallagher; Lucha Spirit wins.
  • Kickoff Match, The Club VS The Revival; The Revival wins.
  • Kickoff Match, WWE United States Championship Open Challenge: Bobby Roode VS ???; Roode wins and retains the WWE US Championship.
  • WWE Championship 2-on-1 Handicap: AJ Styles VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn; Styles wins and retains the WWE Championship.
  • WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Best 2 out of 3 Falls: The Usos VS Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin; The Usos win 2-0 and retain the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
  • Men’s Royal Rumble Match; Nakamura wins and chooses to challenge for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 34.
  • WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan VS The Bar; The Bar wins and become the new WWE Raw Tag Team Champions.
  • WWE Universal Championship Triple Threat: Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman VS Kane VS Braun Strowman; Lesnar wins and retains the WWE Universal Championship.
  • Inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble Match; Asuka wins, but does not make a decision for Wrestlemania.

PLAY BY PLAY

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn answer your questions in the Social Media Lounge!

However, neither of the best friends are that happy about it. Use #AskSamiKO to ask them something before their handicap title match against AJ Styles!

 

Alexa Bliss joins the Kickoff Panel.


A small part of the Goddess wants to be in that inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble, but she also likes being the woman the winner might come after. Just like in the Men’s Rumble, the winner of the Women’s Rumble can choose the champion she challenges. That means they could challenge Alexa or Charlotte Flair, regardless of what brand they were before. A poll shows that people think Asuka is the most likely to win tonight, and Alexa chooses Nia Jax. She wants that “Best Friends” championship match, but if it is Asuka, Alexa can prepare and be ready for her. The King notes Alexa is quite possibly the most confident champion he’s ever known, is she really worried about who wins? Alexa knows she has enemies, but she’s a fighting champion, and a smart champion, so she’ll welcome any challenger.

Who does Alexa definitely not want to face? Alexa knows she doesn’t have to fear Asuka. But championship aside, Alexa is excited as anyone for this Women’s (R)Evolution leading to this inaugural Royal Rumble, because it embodies the truth of the movement: it isn’t just one woman, but all of them. She’s sure everyone feels the pressure, because of who they will face at Wrestlemania. King redirects the talk to be more about Alexa, and Alexa thanks him. She then wraps up by saying that whoever wins tonight only wins the right to lose to her at ‘Mania. Will the Goddess eat her words before the end of the night?

 

Jason Jordan finds Seth Rollins backstage.

The Gold-Blooded Son has good timing, as the Architect was hoping to talk to him. Jordan lets Rollins know he’s honored to be teamed with him. That, and his dad Angle knew what he was doing when putting them together. With Jordan’s Olympic pedigree and Rollins’ brains, they’re gonna break The Bar. Angle knew they were going to be great tag team champions! But speaking of great tag teams, Chad Gable and his new partner Shelton Benjamin appear.

What happened to make Jordan into a daddy’s boy? Sorry, Gable, this room is for champions only. The two old friends reveal they’re just joking around and hug it out. Rollins leaves them to catch up, Jordan and Benjamin make proper introductions. They’ve heard a lot about each other, and Benjamin remembers back to his Team Angle days. Speaking of fathers, congratulations to Gable on having another baby. Jordan remembers back to being American Alpha with Gable, or as they were almost known, the new World’s Greatest Tag Team. Oh? “Sounds like a knock-off.” Gable intervenes, and mentions how Jordan still “dumped” Gable to be a “singles wrestler”. How is that going, by the way? Well yeah, he is a tag team champion again, but at least that makes one of them. Good luck with the Usos, though. Benjamin can’t believe that guy used to be Gable’s partner…

 

Kickoff Match, Six Man Tag: Team Lucha Spirit VS TJP, Drew Gulak & Jack Gallagher!


Kalisto, Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik were successful as a trio on Tuesday’s 205 Live, but the “Cruiser-Great” has found himself two new partners to try again. Can TJP turn things around? Or will he once again end up #TJPissed?

The bell rings, and Kalisto leads off against Gulak. The chanting annoys Gulak, even if it is for his PowerPoint. Kalisto and Gulak circle, tie up, and Gulak powers Kalisto the mat. Kalisto slips out and the two hand fight, but Kalisto bakcs off to troll Gulak with “Lucha! Lucha!” Gulak runs at him but Kalisto gets around with a waistlock. Gulak throws Kalisto off and sits on the arm to cover, ONE. The Cruiserweight Crusader brings Kalisto up in a facelock but Kalisto trips him up, for a modified deathlock!

Gulak sits back for a cover, TWO, and the two separate. He tags in the Ungentle Gentleman, and Kalisto tags in the King of the Ropes. There is still history between these two from when Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick injured Metalik’s knee, now Metalik has a chance to settle things. They tie up, Gulak gets a wristlock but Metalik rolls to snapmare and roll, ONE. Gallagher gets all the way out of the ring, Gulak keeps Metalik from pursuing. Gallagher takes his time to reenter, and they circle again. TJP tags in, so the luchadors troll TJP with a group dab.

Lince tags in, he has unfinished business with TJP as well. TJP gets the waistlock, but Lince the standing switch and takedown. TJP reverses again, so Lince handsprings and reverses back. Lince tags Kalisto, Kalisto kicks TJP’s arm. TJP powers out of the headlock but not the takeover, ONE. They stand up, TJP powers out of the hold now, things speed up and Kalisto handsprings to headscissor TJP before a dropkick! Tag back to Lince, Lince climbs up to double knee the arm. Lince chops TJP sharply, whips but is reversed, Lince goes to monkey flip but TJP cartwheels through. TJP feels confident, but that chop takes it out of him. Lince whips but is reversed, Lince slips under to arm drag and headscissor TJP. Trip to standing moonsault, TWO! Lince keeps on TJP with a whip but TJp slips to the outside, only to get dropkick’d out! Gulak runs in, he gets sent out. Gallagher hurries over to regroup with his team, but the Lucha Spirit trio go to the near corner. TRIPLE SUPER Asai Moonsaults!

The fans love the lucha spirit shown while we go to break.

We return to find TJP powers Lince to a corner. He unloads a European Uppercut then whips corner to corner, but Lince boots back. Lince hops up, but gets dropkick’d out of the air! Gulak tags in, he puts Lince in the corner and stomps on him. Gallagher gets cheap shots while Gulak goes after Kalisto and Metalik. Gulak drags Lince out to stomp the knees and tag in Gallagher. Gallagher goes after Lince’s legs, and taunts Metalik before stomping both knees. Cover, ONE, but Gallagher returns to the legs. He wrenches Lince’s foot with a toehold, but Metalik is there to cheer Lince on. Gallager goes to the other foot now, twisting and bending before dropping knees on the knee. Lince endures another knee drop, but then Gallagher drags him over to tag Gulak back. Gulak blasts Metalik off again before stomping on Lince. He stomps Lince in the corner, stops at 4, but Gallagher gets more cheap shots. Gulak tags TJP, they double leg whip Lince down, then TJP puts Lince in his own deathlock variant while a rally builds.

TJP covers, TWO, Lince keeps his shoulders up. TJP goes to put his full weight on Lince but Lince monkey flips his way to the corner then jumps for a sunset flip. TWO, and TJP denies a tag by hanging Lince up on the top rope. Lince tumbles down to the ground, TJP puts him back in. Cover, TWO, and TJP grows annoyed. The fans rally again, but Gallagher tags in to snapmare and scrape Lince. Gallagher gives a cheap shot to Kalisto, then climbs up to the second rope. Gulak protests, this is against #Drewtopia rules! Gallagher says it’s fine if it’s just the once!

They argue while Lince stirs. Gallagher takes aim as he tight rope walks, but he belly flops!

Metalik rallies the fans, and Gallagher admits Gulak was right. Tags, Gulak and Metalik are in. Metalik moves fast, handspring wheelbarrow arm-drag! He evades then chops Gulak before walking the ropes for the missile dropkick. Metalik fires Philly up as he goes to the top rope, springboard elbow drop!

Gallagher breaks the pin just in time. He gets Gulak up, but Kalisto tags in. He gets them both with the Listo Kick, then Lince handsprings for a DOUBLE Dorado Stunner!

Gulak and Gallagher roll all the way out, Metalik FLIES!

Metalik puts Gulak in, Kalisto covers, TWO! Kalisto keeps his focus but Gulak hits back. TJP tags in, Kalisto dropkicks Gulak but TJP grabs Kalisto. Kalisto escapes, standing switch and roll up, TJP tries the tights but Kalisto rolls through, SALIDA DEL SOL!

Lucha Spirit wins! Will this 2-0 record help one of these luchadors take a step towards the WWE Cruiserweight Championship?

 

Charlotte Flair joins the Kickoff Panel.

The Queen of SmackDown is so excited right now. She can’t think of a better way to start the Road to Wrestlemania than in an inaugural Women’s Rumble match. Just like Alexa, she wishes she was in that match. Charlotte would use the win to challenge Alexa for her title and once again be the WWE Women’s Champion. She also notes that every woman in the WWE has made this movement possible, and this match is the culmination of their work. Who would Charlotte want to face at ‘Mania? Obviously Charlotte knows all 30 women will want at her, she’s the big money. But if Charlotte had to say, her best friend Becky Lynch would be great because of the pure challenge that it presents. Either that, or Nikki Bella, as there is still some “animosity” from how Charlotte took the Divas Championship from her. Then, another natural choice, The Boss, Sasha Banks, to reignite their Raw rivalry.

Is there anyone Charlotte doesn’t want to face? No, she’d even defend her title in the Rumble if she could, so that she can be the first one in and the last one out. She gives herself goosebumps imagining it, though. What about Asuka? Charlotte wants to be the one to break the streak. Tonight makes history one way or another, who will win the Women’s Rumble and who will she challenge?

 

Sami & Kevin are back to answer those questions!

It’s not like they have anything else to do, like prepare for the biggest championship match of their lives. “If u lose, will u break up?” Right, because it takes so much more time to type “Y O U”. Kevin just shifts to blocking accounts. But to actual questions, someone asks if they feel the one who makes the winning pin will be the better of the two co-champions. Kevin answered that earlier, and it’s “No!” The New Day used Free Bird rules, and so will they. Then, they’ll have their own side plates, one on each side? Yes, of course they will! That’s so obvious! And they refuse to talk to Rosenberg, give them The King. One last question: “Do you guys have a straightly for tonight?” Oh obviously that was supposed to be “strategy” but… They’re not stupid enough to reveal it. AJ Styles is eavesdropping in some way to get even a small chance of winning. The strategy will be known to the world when they use it in the match. Kevin hears Rosenberg talk again, he wants WOKEN Matt to help DELETE him.

Renee updates #Kami with news that the handicap match will open the main show. How do they feel about that? They like it, because then they can kick off the Road to KOMania early when #Kami becomes co-champion. Their hometown fans are happy to see them become WWE Champion together, so Kevin & Sami reply in French. Renee can’t keep up but she thanks them for their time. Will Sami & Kevin have a phenomenal night and make history?

 

Kickoff Match, The Club VS The Revival!

The Good Brothers feel right at home in the City of Brotherly Love. Can they defeat Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson again like they did at #Raw25?

The bell rings and Dash starts against The Machine Gun. They tie up, Dash powers Anderson to the Revival corner but Anderson slips away when Dawson makes the tag. The fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” while Anderson gets back to his corner. Dash & Dawson talk strategy quickly before Dawson and Anderson tie up. Dawson puts Anderson in a corner, then gives a cheap body shot, chop and haymaker. Anderson replies with EuroUppers but Dawson kicks low. He snapmares Anderson and speeds up, Dawson knocks Anderson down with a shoulder. Anderson gets back up and knocks Dawson down with a calf kick! Anderson wrenches Dawson’s arm and tags in Gallows. The Club whip Dawson and double body drop him! Dawson bails out and Dash regroups with him on the way back to their corner. Gallows grabs at Dawson but the ref backs him down. Dash tags but not legally, so the ref puts him back. Dawson takes advantage of that as Gallows drags him into the ring, he rakes the bigger man’s eyes. Dawson tags Dash, and Dash stomps away in the corner. Gallows fights back but Dash hooks his nose. Gallows still keeps going, as he throws Dash to an open corner and punches away. A big uppercut and a bigger scoop slam, Gallows even slams Dawson. He whips Dash but Dawson saves him. The Club has control while we take a break.

We return Anderson rallies on The Revival. He unloads forearms on Dash but Dawson’s the legal man. Anderson kicks at Dawson but Dawson turns that into a hotshot on the leg. Dash jumps right on Anderson then Dawson takes his turn, dropping elbows on the leg. Dawson stalks Anderson, smacking that leg against the mat. Dawson gives a low dropkick to Anderson’s head, then drops a leg fast. Anderson ends up in the Revival’s corner, Dawson puts him in a Tree of Woe. Dash tags in and The Revival mug Anderson while he’s upside-down. Dash stomps away on Anderson, focusing on the leg. The fans rally for Anderson, Anderson uses his free leg to fight back. Dash tags Dawson, Anderson pushes Dawson away again and again. Dawson keeps on Anderson, giving that bad leg a fall-back deathlock. He tortures Anderson’s leg, to Dash’s liking. Gallows rallies the fans into things, and Anderson fires himself up. He kicks Dawson right in the face, but Dawson tags Dash and Dash keeps Anderson down. Tag back to Dawson, Anderson fights on one leg. Dawson dragon screws but Anderson sits down, TWO! Dash tags back in and both members of The Revival tackle Anderson down. Anderson is isolated and wounded while Dawson tags back in. They keep focus on the leg but fans rally harder for Anderson. Anderson shoves Dawson out of the ring, but Dash gets Dawson back in for a tag. They are too slow to catch Anderson this time, hot tag to Gallows! Gallows rallies on The Revival, handing out uppercuts and clotheslines to them both. He YAKUZA Kicks Dash down then splashes on him, a roundhouse rocks Dawson. Dash runs, YAKUZA Kick again! Tag to Anderson, Magic- Dawson breaks that up, but he gets a big uppercut for it. Dash goes after the limping Anderson, then reels him in, but SPINEBUSTER from Anderson! Cover, Dawson break sit up. Gallows runs in but is thrown out, so he drags Dawson out with him. Dawson baits Gallows and sends him into the post. Dawson then gets on the apron, Anderson jump kicks him down. This leaves Anderson open to Dash’s chop block!

The Revival win, SAY YEAH! With the damage done to the Good Brothers, will the Revival return to being #TopGuys in the WWE tag team division?

 

Kickoff Match, WWE United States Championship Open Challenge: Bobby Roode VS ???

The GLORIOUS One won the vacated title through the US Championship Tournament held on SmackDown before the Rumble. But Roode is a fighting champion, and wishes to put his title on the line, also before the Rumble. “Tonight is all about the numbers.” The Rumbles start with 30 and end with one, just like the US Championship Tournament ended with one GLORIOUS winner! The title has such a rich history, and where else better to continue its history than in Philadelphia!? His challenge is accepted by…

Mojo Rawley! Can #MojoRising succeed the second time around?

The bell rings, and they tie up. Mojo powers Roode down, then pie-faces Roode whiles chant “Mojo Sucks!” Roode runs at Mojo, Mojo shoulders him down. Mojo puts Roode in a corner then trash talks but Roode fights back with haymakers and chops. Roode whpis but is reversed, but Roode fires out with a lariat. Now Roode stalks Mojo, so Mojo gets to the ropes for safety. Mojo returns, but takes the atomic drop and Russian leg sweep. Cover, TWO, but Roode keeps on Mojo with the arm wrench. Mojo hits back with a right hand, then throws Roode at the ropes. Roode wants his DDT but Mojo gets away again. Mojo sends Roode out but Roode comes back only to get knocked back out. The #KillerInstinct leads Mojo to the outside, and Mojo runs around the corner to blast Roode into barriers!

The champion slumps to the ground, but Mojo brings him up and into the ring. Cover, TWO, can Roode get back into this while we go to break?

WWE returns and Mojo is still in control as he slings Roode back into buckles again and again. Roode fights back, rocking Mojo with a right. Mojo rams knees back into Roode, but the referee backs him down. Mojo snapmares Roode and rams a knee into his spine before putting on the chinlock. The fans rally for Roode while he endures the stretch and the trash talk. Roode gets up and powers out to a back suplex! Both men are down but stirring. Roode gets to a corner and drags himself to his feet. He back elbows Mojo away then hops up, he jumps but Mojo catches him. Roode slips out of the scoop and runs to rally with forearms and lariats. He then goes corner to corner for a big clothesline and a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO, but Roode keeps focus. He stalks Mojo to a corner and chops away. Roode whips but Mojo reverses, so Roode knees him away. GLORIOUS Blockbuster!

The fans fire up while Roode winds it up. GLORIOUS pose, but Mojo counters the DDT with a fireman’s carry. Roode slips out, sunset flips, TWO, SPINEBUSTER from Mojo! Cover, TWO! Mojo is frustrated from how close that was. He toys with Roode, trash talking that the title is coming home with Mojo. Mojo runs, Roode gives him a GLORIOUS Spinebuster, TWO! Roode stands up and walks off a sore back, but Mojo again denies the DDT, with a body drop. Mojo throws Roode into the post! He runs adjacent, but into Roode’s boots. Roode hops up, tornado DDT! Cover, Roode wins! Mojo’s #KillerInstinct wasn’t enough, because Roode is still GLORIOUS!

 

“Tonight is about one thing: Opportunity.”

The Royal Rumble is about the opportunity to compete, to trail blaze, and to make history. There will be more Rumble than ever! A battle between monsters, a battle between movements, and a battle to become a legend, all on the same night. “But that’s not enough!” The women of WWE make history once again with the inaugural Women’s Rumble match, the (R)Evolution will be televised! The Road to Wrestlemania starts now!

 

WWE Championship 2-on-1 Handicap: AJ Styles VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn!

The Phenomenal One spoke without thinking, and SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan made this match reality! Can he defeat #Kami at the same time to deny them making history as WWE World Co-Champions?

The fans are already thunderous for the champion even before the bell. Kevin starts for #Kami as the bell rings. Styles and Kevin circle but then Kevin tags out to Sami. The Underdog Guardian Angel enters to the fans serenading him, but then tags right back out to Kevin. Styles keeps his cool while Kevin returns. They circle again, fans chant “YEP! YEP!” versus “NOPE! NOPE!” but Styles gets the first hit. he then whips Kevin but Kevin holds onto the ropes. Kevin pushes past the ref to tag Sami back in. Styles circles with Sami, they tie up, Sami gets teh waistlock but Styles gets the standing switch. They go switch for switch, Styles rolls Sami up, TWO. Sami gets up and goes to his corner, now Styles gets annoyed. Kevin tags in, and circles with Kevin again. Styles gets the waistlock, Kevin the standing switch, but Styles switches back, only for Kevin to trip him up. Styles springs up for the headscissors, then stands between Kevin and Sami.

Sami protests and wants Styles out of the way. Styles stays in front of Kevin so Kevin goes outside and takes the long way around. He tags Sami, and fans actually applaud how well #Kami is trolling Styles. Sami and Styles circle again, tie up, Sami gets the headlock. The fans duel between Styles and Sami, Styles powers out. Things speed up, Styles dropkicks Sami down but Sami scrambles away. Kevin tags in again, and makes sure Sami’s face is okay. Kevin kicks Styles and throws hands and stomps in a corner. The referee backs Kevin off, but Kevin says “And that’s why this is MY show!” He keeps on Styles with body shots, then tags in Sami. Sami stomps a mudhole into Styles, then takes a moment to applaud for himself. Kevin gets a cheap shot in before Sami stands Styles up for a swift chop. Sami chops again, but Styles replies with chops of his own! Styles whips but Sami reverses, big body drop throws Styles! Cover, ONE, but Sami drags Styles up and over. Kevin tags in and mugs Styles before whipping him corner to corner. Cover, TWO, so Kevin rains down rights. He also stomps Styles, then walks off his frustration before going outside with Styles. He throws Styles into the timekeeper barriers!

Styles slumps down but Kevin drags him right back up and into the ring. Cover, ONE, so Kevin grinds a forearm into Styles’ face. Kevin double stomps Styles in the ribs, then tags in Sami. Sami brings Styles up simply to punch him back down. He rams a knee into Styles’ spine then stretches him back in a chinlock. The fans rally for Styles and Styles feeds of the energy to fight back. They end up in #Kami corner, Kevin tags in to club Styles down. Kevin toys with Styles, Styles fights back on #Kami! He chops Kevin, but his whip is reversed. Styles boots back, hops up but Kevin clubs him before putting him on his shoulders. Electric Chair facebuster!

Cover, TWO, and Kevin grows frustrated. He wraps Styles back into a chinlock, squeezing and grinding the champion out. The fans rally again, and Styles stirs. Styles gets to his feet and fights back again. The fans duel now while Kevin throws Styles down by his hair. Styles ends up in a corner, Kevin runs in, but Styles evades the cannonball! That ankle injury aggravates Kevin, forcing him to tag out to Sami. Sami goes after Styles in a corner and then climbs up, but Styles fights back. Styles haymakers Sami before climbing up to join him. Sami fights back and the two brawl up there. Styles somehow manages the SUPER STEINER!

Both men are down but the fans are fired up. Sami crawls while Styles works to get to his feet. Tag to Kevin, but Styles is ready with a PELE! Styles goes down again with Kevin, but Kevin crawls to his corner to tag Sami back in. Sami runs corner to corner, but Styles boots Sami first. Styles hops up, quebrada DDT! The fans love what they see, even as Styles crawls after Sami. Sami tags Kevin back in, Kevin runs back in, but Styles elbows him back. Styles elbows Sami away, but Kevin gives him a monkey flip, that Styles turns into a headscissors on Sami! Styles gets to a corner, Kevin runs in but Styles rolls him for the Calf Crusher!

The bad leg comes into play again! Kevin endures while he reaches for ropes. The fans are thunderous but Sami returns to break the hold! Sami grins and laughs at Styles, but exits at the orders of the ref. Or so we thought! But Styles is ready, he gives Sami the Phenomenal Blitz! Styles throws Sami out, Kevin rolls Styles, TWO! Kevin runs in but Styles sends him into the post! Styles takes this moment to catch his breath, but Sami tags back in. Sami gets behind but Styles resists. They go to ropes and Sami holds onto Styles. The referee counts so Sami has to let go, but Kevin SUPERKICKS Styles behind the ref’s back!

Sami hits the Blue Thunder Bomb!

TWO!! Kevin and Sami cannot believe that! Even so, the fans know “This is Awesome!” Sami stalks Styles to a corner and brings him up for more chops, and even slaps. He hoists Styles to the top rope then climbs up to join him. Sami prepares the superplex but Styles resists. Styles then slips down and out to trip Sami up. Sami hits a buckle while Styles gets separation. Styles runs back in but is put on the apron. He rocks Kevin with one forearm, then Sami with another. Styles adjusts his elbow pad while he takes aim, springboard for the Phenomenal Forearm!

Kevin breaks the pin! The fans keep cheering while Styles and Sami stir. Styles blocks Sami like he did Kevin, then rocks him with a forearm. Sami responds and now we have a brawl. They go back and forth with heavy elbows and forearms, but Styles gets the advantage. Sami gets to a corner, Styles grabs as he tries to make the tag! Kevin gets it by mere fingertips and gets in while Styles throws Sami out. SUPERKICK to Pop- No, Styles reverses into a victory roll! Styles wins!!

Kevin and Sami can’t believe it, and instant replay has a hard time telling if there really was a legal tag. Either way, Styles has the title and denied history. Can Styles keep that title all the way to Wrestlemania in New Orleans?

 

Sami & Kevin complain to Shane McMahon.

They say this isn’t fair! The referee screws them both over now! That tag wasn’t legal, Styles shouldn’t have gotten that pin! Kevin & Sami will not stand for it! They apologize for yelling but this isn’t fair and Shane knows it. Did Shane see it? Yep. Shane leaves the best friends to be furious. Will he leave this issue unresolved?

 

WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Best 2 out of 3 Falls: The Usos VS Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin!

They may not be American Alpha nor the World’s Greatest Tag Team, but the challengers are determined to be champions! Can they shut down the Uso Penitentiary once and for all?

“How do you prepare for two brothers who ain’t got nothing to lose?” “You can’t!” “How do you prepare for two brothers who ride from the womb to the tomb?” “You can’t!” “How do you prepare for two brothers who’ve been down since day one?!” #YouCAN’T and #YouWON’T!

Benjamin and J start with the bell. They circle and tie up, Benjamin drives in knees and forearms. He whips Jey then shoulders him down, tag to Gable and they go for the finish already! Jey slips away, Benjamin lets him know they were that close. Gable comes in as the legal competitor and circles with Jey now. Gable gets the waistlock but Jey the switch, and back again. Jimmy tags in and Jey blocks the rolling German, Gable bails out when he sees the superkicks coming. Now the Usos let Gable know they were that close. Benjamin and Gable regroup to refocus, then Gable returns. Gable and Jimmy circle again. Gable gets the leg, then the waistlock, then the slam. Jimmy ends up in a corner, the ref calls for the break. Gable honors it for a second, but gets a stiff chop from Jimmy, then another. Jimmy whips Gable and Gable reverses, but Jimmy goes up and over to uppercut Gable off his feet. Cover, ONE, but Jimmy keeps focus. He puts on a headlock but Benjamin tags in as Gable powers out. Things speed up, Gable chop blocks Jimmy’s leg! Benjamin drags Jimmy over to the post and slings that leg into it before punching Jimmy and smacking that leg against the apron edge. Benjamin drags Uso up, to chop block that leg again!

He drags Jimmy around to wrench the leg with a toehold. Jimmy endures and fans rally for him. He punches Benjamin back but Benjamin grabs his leg again. Gable tags in and stomps Jimmy before adding onto the leg. Cover, TWO, so Gable goes back at the leg. Jimmy continues to endure, Jey gets fans rallying again. Jimmy kicks free but Gable is right back on him with the dragon screw. Gable tags Benjamin, Benjamin continues going after the leg, saying “this is what you asked for!” He wrenches Jimmy’s knee, then drops knees on it to grind the joint. Jey keeps the fans going, and Jimmy endures while reaching. He uses his free leg again and gets free, but Benjamin still keeps him down. Benjamin tags Gable, Gable clobbers Jimmy. Gable puts Jimmy in a corner and throws hands but Jimmy fights back. Jimmy chops and chops, but Gable goes after the leg with another dragon screw, and another toehold! Cover, TWO, but Gable keeps focus. He drags Jimmy over to tag Benjamin again. They hit double knees, kicks and knee strikes, then a cheap shot for Jey. Benjamin embraces the heat before dropping a knee on Jimmy. Jimmy fires back with uppercuts and chops, and the reverse dragon whip!

Benjamin and Jimmy go down, and Jey gets fans going again. The two men crawl for their corners, hot tag to Jey! Jey rallies, mule kick to uppercut, but Benjamin escapes the Samoan Drop. Benjamin tags Gable but Jey doesn’t see it, so while he dumps Benjamin out, Gable comes in. Even so, Jey clotheslines Gable right back out! Then Jey FLIES onto Benjamin!

Jey returns into the ring, builds speed again, and FLIES onto Gable! The fans fire up while Jey puts Gable back in. Jey climbs up and takes aim, crossbody! TWO! Gable gets to a corner while Jey lets out the “UCE! O!” then hits the running hip attack! Jey goes up top again, but has to land on his feet when Gable evades. Gable waistlocks but standing switch, Jey rolls Gable up, TWO, and Jey is sent into Benjamin’s jumping kick!

Gable rolls, TWO, and the two go back and forth with reversals until Gable gets a double chickenwing. Tiger Suplex pin!

TWO! Gable grows frustrated just with this difficult first fall. Benjamin returns to his corner and Gable tags him in. They prepare the signature, but Jimmy comes in while Jey leans back, so Gable adjusts to missile dropkick Jimmy! Benjamin brings Jey up, and powerbombs him into Jimmy!

Then to Jey, PAY DIRT!

TWO!? Benjamin is shocked! Gable returns while Benjamin brings Jey up. Jey fights back, but takes the original dragon whip kick. Benjamin tags Gable in, Gable climbs up and SUPER Moonsaults onto BOTH Usos!

The Usos topple down and Philly fires up. Gable and Benjamin face a dilemma now: Which Uso is Jey? They choose one and put him in, but even the referee can’t be sure. The other Uso returns, and SUPERKICKS Gable! SUPERKICK to Benjamin! Jey climbs up and jumps for the Uce SPlash! TWO?! Now the Usos are shocked at how tough this first fall has become. Jey tags in Jimmy, and the Usos go to opposite ends. They climb up but Benjamin returns suddenly! He goes after Jey, and kicks him off the top! Jimmy jumps over, SUPERKICKS Benjamin, but then Gable catches him in the hanging armbar! Gable lets go, pushes Jimmy all the way to the Uso corner, but that’s where Jey tags in. Gable rolls with Jimmy but Jey bails him out. One superkick avoided but not the second! Or the third! DOUBLE SUPERKICKS!

The Usos finally take the first fall! However, Benjamin returns and tackles Jey before we can officially start the second! The referee tells Benjamin to stop but he won’t, he throws Jey into the post. He gets Gable up and the both go after Jey with stomps. Then they go out and beat down Jimmy with punches. The fans boo and jeer, but Gable & Benjamin don’t care. They still hit Jimmy with Doomsday to the floor!

The referee orders the challengers back to their corner, and then has them wait while he checks on Jey. Jey accepts and we continue.

The second fall officially begins!

Benjamin tags in but Gable still hits Jey with the rolling kick. Benjamin drags Jey up, but small package surprise, the Usos take the second fall!? They win already!! The look on Gable’s face says it all for him and Benjamin.

With a win like this, are the Usos destined to keep the Penitentiary open forever?

 

Commentary is joined by a special guest!

The legendary Jerry “The King” Lawler is here to call the 2018 edition of the namesake match!

The 2018 Men’s Royal Rumble Match!

Out of 30 men, only ONE can win the chance to challenge any champion he wants! The first entrant is… Aiden English?

No, WWE’s Drama King is merely out here for “Rusev Day,” which English also says is every day of the year. English also introduces the true first entrant: Rusev himself!

The second entrant in the Men’s Rumble is… Finn Balor!

Both men will have a tall task ahead of them if they want to be the winner, especially starting against each other. The bell rings and the two circle each other. They tie up, Rusev picks Finn up and goes to push him out already but Finn fights him off. Finn ends up on the apron but shoulders his way in. He punches Rusev but Rusev throws him down and drops an elbow. Rusev scoops Finn but Finn slips out to try and flip Rusev out. Rusev elbows Finn away, but Finn fights back with strikes. Finn runs but Rusev clobbers him against the ropes. Rusev runs, but Finn dropkicks him down! The clock counts down already, and the third entrant is: Rhyno!

The ManBeast of ECW comes out to great ovation. He enters the ring and goes right at the Bulgarian Brute. Rhyno and Rusev trade haymakers, Rhyno reverses a whip and tackles Rusev in a corner. Then a big belly2belly for Rusev, and one for Finn! The fans chant “E C Dub!” while Rhyno drags Finn up to knock him back down. Rhyno goes to throw Finn out but Rusev clobbers Rhyno from behind. Rusev whips but Rhyno reverses. Rhyno lifts Rusev up but Rusev fights out. Things speed up between the two bigger men, Rusev wheel kicks Rhyno down! The fans count down again, and the fourth entrant is: Baron Corbin!

The Lone Wolf wastes little time hitting the ring, or hitting the others. He uses haymaker after haymaker, then throws Finn across the way before booting Rhyno down. Corbin stmops Rhyno but Rusev comes after him. Corbin slides out then in to lariat Rusev down! The fans boo, but Rhyno evades Corbin tot hrow him with a belly2belly! Rhyno calls for his famous tackle, but Corbin gives him a Deep Six! Corbin eliminates Rhyno! Now Philly really boos him. Corbin swings on Finn, but Finn ducks and dumps him out, Finn eliminates Corbin! And the Lone Wolf throws a tantrum. He drags Finn out to throw him into barriers! The referees order Corbin to leave but the damage was done. In fact, the damage continues as Corbin drags Rusev out to give him End of Days! Corbin has muddied the Rumble already, and finishes up by giving Finn a Choke Slam Backbreaker! The countdown returns and out comes the fifth entrant: Heath Slater!

The One Man Band heads for the ring, but gets run over by Corbin on the way! Security continues to pressure Corbin out of the arena, but it doesn’t matter. Everyone is done, despite not being eliminated. The referees check on each man, from Finn to Rusev to Slater. The countdown hits, and we have the sixth entrant: Elias!

The Drifter makes his way to the ring, and has his pick of the litter. He kicks Slater while he plays the guitar. And he still has to ask, “Who wants to walk with Elias?!” It sounds like all of Philly does tonight. Elias says that “Time is just an illusion.” The only thing that’s real is the light within Elias. That clock won’t start until he gives us “the performance of the year.” Please, silence phones, hold applause and shut mouths so he can begin. “When I win the Rumble, I’ll finally show respect to this place. I’ll walk to the Rocky Statue, and spit right in his face! It’s Elias’ night!” But the clock DOES count. The seventh entrant: Andrade Almas?!

El Idolo brings his NXT Championship and Zelina Vega with him in an attempt to make this his biggest weekend ever! He gives Slater a kick for good measure, then rushes the ring and Elias. Elias and Almas brawl, and fans cheer “CIEN!” on. Elias throws Almas to the ropes, but Almas goes Spider-Man to show how Trainquilo he can be. However, Elias kicks him on the return, then whips him into the corner. Almas goes up and over, then pushes Elias into the back elbow. Elias sits down, Almas gives him CIEN KNEES! Almas drags Elias up, Hammerlock DDT denied for a fireman’s carry. Almas runs, Elias counters but then Almas escapes, Elias runs Almas over with a lariat! The Drifter catches his breath while we meet the eighth entrant: Bray Wyatt!

The Eater of Worlds makes his way out, and the Fireflies are there to greet him. Bray creeps up behind Slater, and throws Slater into the barriers! Bray goes after Elias, big yurinagi slam. Philly fires up while Bray goes into his spider walk. He brings Elias back up, but Finn returns to go after his old nemesis. Finn runs, but into the turn-around lariat! Bray also gives Almas an uppercut and then chokes him on the ropes. Rusev returns but can’t get back in because of Bray. The fans still cheer for “Rusev Day!” and it keeps Rusev fighting to return. But now we have our ninth entrant: “Awwww Philly~!” It’s The New Day’s Big E!

Big E runs to the ring, spots Slater, and brings the poor man up. And offers him pancakes. Big E gets in the ring but Wyatt goes right at him. E dodges and slams Bray with a belly2belly, only to get rocked by kicks from Elias and Rusev! The fans cheer for Rusev while Elias goes after Finn. Rusev goes after Almas, and now Finn and Almas both resist against their attackers. The six men in the ring pair off, and it’s time for the tenth entrant: Tye Dillinger! But, where is he? He’s getting mugged by #Kami!

Sami & Kevin take out their frustrations on the unsuspecting Perfect Ten! Then Sami takes Tye’s spot! While everyone else fights in the ring, Sami appears. He wipes out Slater and enters the ring. Whether or not this is legal, it is happening. Sami goes after Finn, Rusev goes after Big E, and Elias goes after Almas with Bray’s help. Finn escapes elimination, as does Almas. The eleventh entrant: Sheamus!

The Celtic Gladiator may be part of the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship match later, but he wants to get singles glory while he can. He finally puts Slater in the ring, but Slater springs up to clothesline Sheamus right out! Slater eliminates Sheamus! The fans are all fired up for Slater, including Slater. But then Bray hits him with Sister Abigail, and throws him out! Wyatt eliminates Slater, and the fans boo the buzzkill. Rusev goes after Finn, Elias goes after Bray and Almas goes after Sami. Big E gets up and goes after Elias while Finn escapes elimination again. The fans still cheer for “Rusev Day” while we get the twelfth entrant: The New Day’s Xavier Woods!

Woods hurries to back up his friend and also goes after Wyatt! Sami goes after him, but Woods whips Sami into Big E, yurinagi backstabber! The New Day works together, wheelbarrow splash on Elias! Together, they work on Elias at the ropes. They get him over but Rusev goes after Big E. The eight men pair off, but then Bray bumps Sami and Woods off each other. The countdown brings out the thirteenth entrant: Apollo Crews!

Titus Worldwide’s top client runs right in and goes after Bray. Sami struggles against Rusev, Apollo catches Bray with an enziguri. Crews goes after Sami but Rusev goes after Crews. Finn and Almas fight, Finn giving El Idolo some sharp chops. The New Day work over Elias while Bray moves around and finds Finn. Bray wants but is denied Sister Abigal, to instead take Finn’s double stomps! The clock brings us the fourteenth entrant: Shinsuke Nakamura!

The King of Strong Style promised #Knees2Faces, and in his first Rumble ever, he gives Sami a dynamic dropkick and Rusev a strike fest. He ax kicks Bray, then reverses Crews into the spin kick. The ring starts filling up while Nakamura drops a knee on Elias. The fans cheer for Nakamura while he goes after Elias with knees, and then gives him Good Vibrations. Sami misses his Helluva Kick, Nakamura makes him pay with the Top Shelf knee! Sami topples out from that, Nakamura eliminates Sami! Bray goes after Nakamura but Nakamura fights him off. The New Day goes after Rusev, and we get our fifteenth entrant: Cesaro!

The Swiss Cyborg is Mr. Halfway Point as he jogs out to the ring. He rocks everyone with European Uppercuts! Cesaro goes to throw Finn out while Bray goes after The New Day. Almas bails Finn out by going after Cesaro and then tries to throw him out. Cesaro escapes and rocks him with a EuroUpper. Philly still rallies for “Rusev Day!” as he throws hands on Cesaro. Rusev thinks he’s eliminated Cesaro, but Cesaro survives to give more EuroUppers. He and Rusev brawl, Rusev actually gets the “YAY!” Now we have the sixteenth entrant: The New Day’s final member, Kofi Kingston!

Kofi runs into the ring, but into a EuroUpper! Crews trophy lifts Cesaro to bring him to the ropes. Cesaro escapes, then dumps Crews to the apron. He rocks Crews with rights but Crews shoulders and shovels Cesaro. Cesaro slips off and gives Crews one last EuroUpper, Crews hits the floor! Cesaro eliminates Crews! The New Day work on Shinsuke and Elias while keeping Rusev down. Nakamura fights back while Cesaro takes over for Rusev. The seventeeth entrant: Jinder Mahal!

The Modern Day Maharaja marches right to the ring and Woods is ready for him. At least, it seemed so, but Mahal blocks and counters with a haymaker and a snap suplex. Mahal drops a knee on Woods, then an elbow. Cesaro fights off Rusev while Finn returns to going after Elias. Woods slips out an dropkicks Mahal, but Mahal throws him out hard! Mahal eliminates Woods! Big E gets revenge by throwing Mahal to the apron, but Mahal drags Big E out with him! They brawl on the apron, Mahal thrust kicks Big E! Mahal eliminates Big E! Now we get the eighteenth entrant: Seth Rollins!

The Architect may be a Raw Tag Team Champion but he still wants a singles title for himself! He runs right down to the ring and springboard lariats Bray! Rollins rallies, Slingblade to Elias, then Slingblade to Finn! Cesaro clobbers Rollins and goes to throw him out. Rollins escapes, and monkey flips Cesaro out! Rollins eliminates Cesaro! The Architect waves to say “see you later”, but then Rusev picks Rollins up! Rusev can’t quite get Rollins out, and meanwhile Kofi tries to eliminate Mahal to avenge the New Day. While Nakmaura fights Elias off, Bray goes after Almas, and Mahal throws Kofi over! But wait! Woods keeps Kofi’s other foot off the ground to keep him alive!

Kofi thanks Woods, but how is he to get back in the ring? Big E brings out a platter of pancakes for him to stand on!

Kofi uses the pancakes to pivot around, but Mahal blocks his reentry. The New Day have an idea: they’ll give Kofi a boost! Kofi leaps right over Mahal and is back in the ring! He dodges Mahal, and hits Trouble in Paradise, sending Mahal flying! Kofi eliminates Mahal! The New Day assault Mahal with more pancakes, but them Almas hits the Hammerlock DDT! He drags Kofi up and around, the New Day are in the way, so Almas throws him out the other end, Almas eliminates Kofi! The nineteenth entrant: WOKEN Hardy!

He vows to DELETE the remaining competitors, and starts by bumping Elias’ head off the buckles. Then he comes face to face with his “eternal enemy” in Bray Wyatt.

While Finn goes after Rollins, Matt and Philly chant “DELETE! DELETE!” But Rusev disrupts the madness by going after both Hardy AND Wyatt! Oddly enough, Hardy and Wyatt fight together and double clothesline Rusev! Hardy & Wyatt eliminate Rusev! The fans are displeased, but Hardy and Wyatt keep working together! Wyatt feeds Almas to the Side Effect, then they brawl! The alliance didn’t last long, but neither does this battle, as they tumble out together! DOUBLE Elimination! Rollins goes after Eilas while we get the 20th entrant: JOHN CENA!

Philly lets him know they think “John Cena Sucks~!” but he takes it all in stride as per usual. Cena throws his merch to the fans and rushes the ring! However, everyone from Finn to Rollins eyes Cena.

They all go after Cena for a 5v1! Then things pair off again, but Elias keeps on Cena. Cena denies The Drifter’s signature, and tosses him out! Cena eliminates Elias! He gives shots to Almas then Nakamura, and now we have our 21st entrant: The Hurricane!?

The former Cruiserweight Champion has returned to the WWE for the biggest opportunity possible! He and Cena are face to face, and fans are on Hurricane’s side! Hurricane runs, dodges, and grabs Cena around the throat, but Cena denies the choke slam to lift Hurricane up and throw him out! Cena eliminates Hurricane! Philly has even more reason to hate Cena… Though he’s eliminated, Hurricane is still in a good enough mood to pose for the fans. Cena works on the remaining four opponents, then focuses on Rollins. Rollins fights him off while Finn goes after Nakamura. We have the 22nd entrant: Aiden English!

The Drama King returns to officially participate. He enters and goes right after Rollins, and the fans return to cheering for “Rusev Day!” English stomps out Finn, then rocks Cena with a right. Almas fights off Rollins while English rallies on Cena. English goes after Finn again but Nakamura comes over. The fans duel over whether or not “Cena Sucks!” while Cena goes after Finn. Now we have the 23rd entrant: ADAM COLE, BAYBAY!

Despite being battered and bruised from his Extreme Rules match at TakeOver, he is here to make a name for himself against main roster superstars! Cole goes right at English, then Finn, then English again. Rollins goes after English but gets elbowed away. English gives Finn a second-rope ax handle. Finn kicks him down and English falls out! Finn eliminates English! Rollins returns to attack Finn, Almas goes after Cole but Cole enziguris Almas down. Cena goes after Nakamura while the clock counts. The 24th entrant: Randy Orton!

The Viper has won two Rumbles already, including last year’s, and wants the hat trick. Cena knocks down Finn while Orton rallies on Cole. Powerslam! He wants the RKO but his old foe Cena denies it. Almas swing kicks Orton, but then Almas jumps into an RKO!!

The Viper drags El Idolo up and throws him out! Orton eliminates Almas! He then stomps on Rollins, hoisting him up. Cole goes after Finn while Nakamura goes after Cena. The 25th entrant: Titus O’Neil!

The leader of Titus Worldwide heads to the ring and goes after Cena. Finn fights off Orton while Cole goes after Nakamura with Rollins’ help. Orton stomps on Finn and catapult guillotines him into the ropes. Titus shifts from Cena to Cole, throwing him over but having to scrape him on the apron. Nakamura goes after Titus but TItus powers him to a corner and sharply chops him. Now we have teh 26th entrant: The Miz!

The newly minted Intercontinental Champion has The Miztourage in tow. The A-Lister runs in and gives his A-List combination on Rollins before booting down Finn. Cena lifts Miz but Miz fights out, low DDT plants Cena! Nakamura and Titus work over Cole while Miz gives “It Kicks” to Cena AND Rollins! Miz powers up the buzzsaw but misses, Cena lifts but gets the Skull Crushing Finale! Rollins SUPERKICKS Miz down, then throws him over. Miz stays on the apron and survives. The 27th entrant: Rey Mysterio?!

The King of Lucha hits the ring, goes after Miz and tilt-o-whirls him down! He fires off shots, but Cole comes after him. Rey kicks Cole while the fans lose their minds, rolling headscissors! He keeps going, to huricanrana Cole out! Mysterio eliminates Cole! Miz rushes Rey but Rey is ready and shoulders him away. Springboard seated senton! Then the dropkick to the ropes, the fans know what’s next! Rey hits the 619!!

Orton goes after Nakamura while Rey reenters the ring. Here comes the 28th entrant: Roman Reigns!

Philly is NOT happy to see The Big Dog back in the Rumble after the last time. That aside, Roman enters the ring and goes right at Cena with an uppercut. Then an uppercut for everyone! Roman then eyes The Miz, the man who took the IC title from him. He goes after Miz with clotheslines, even though the fans boo and jeer. Roman unloads the close-range clotheslines, but then evades Titus to throw him out, Roman eliminates Titus! Roman goes after The Miz, but The MIz has the Miztourage save him! So they get a SUPERMAN PUNCH! Rollins gives Miz the Curb Stomp! The Shield Brothers stare down, and decide to work together to Shield Bomb Miz, onto the Miztourage! Rollins and Reigns eliminate Miz! Then Roman throws Rollins out, Romans eliminates Rollins! Philly boos and jeers but the Shield Brothers simply laugh it off. The 29th entrant: Goldust!

The Bizarre One enters his 12th Rumble, the second all-time! He goes after Orton, atomic drop to uppercut. Goldust goes to throw Orton out but can’t, so he stomps away on The Viper. Cena and Finn go back and forth, then Goldust goes after Roman. Cena brings Goldust up but GOldust slips out, atomic drop and uppercut again. And finally, the 30th entrant: DOLPH ZIGGLER!

Just when it seemed The Show-Off was done, he’s come right back! He takes his time heading to the ring, before going right at Cena! He swings a superkick but Cena blocks. Cena lifts Ziggler, but Ziggler lands on his feet out of the AA to SUPERKICK Cena after all! Ziggler works to put Cena out but Orton comes over. Orton blocks one kick but not the second SUPERKICK! Goldust walks over, Ziggler gose at him, but gets the powerslam. Goldust throws but Ziggler reverses, only for Goldust to punch Ziggler again. SUPERKICK outta nowhere! Ziggler eliminates Goldust! Nakamura goes after Ziggler but gets elbowed away, then the Zig Zag! Ziggler tunes up the band a la HBK, which the fans don’t really like. Nakamura blocks and goes for the inverted exploder, but Ziggler lands on his feet on the apron. Ziggler hits back, but Finn forearms and eliminates Ziggler! There are no more new entrants, we are down to a final six: Finn, Roman, Nakamura, Rey, Cena and Orton! Everyone regroups, and we have a bit of a 3v3 situation of legendary veterans and rising New Era stars.

Tension mounts as two generations of WWE wrestlers stare down. Then things explode into three brawls! Orton goes after Nakamura, Cena goes after Finn and Rey goes after Roman! Finn unloads on Cena but Cena still gives him the AA! Rey gets Roman down, 619 number 2! Orton whips but Nakamura reverses, yet RKO! The modern legends stand tall, but then RKO denied again! SUPERMAN PUNCH for The Viper, then Roman throws out and eliminates Orton! Rey dropkicks Cena and Roman, double 619!! Springboard seated senton, but then Finn throws out and eliminates Rey!

The final four are now Roman, Cena, Nakamura and Finn! The fans are loving this great Rumble, especially with Finn still in it when he started second. The four each have a corner, and stare across the way at the others. The tension mounts again as they all stand up. They approach each other, clearly working out who is with who. Roman and Cena glare at Nakamura and Finn, and it’s another brawl! Roman and Cena stomp out Finn and Nakamura respectively, and they both look at each other. Each man wants to return to Wrestlemania, but Philly tells them “You Both Suck!” That keeps Cena and Roman distracted long enough for Nakamura and Finn to rise up! Now Finn and Nakamura, familiar foes from NJPW and NXT, stand together. They feel it out, Finn gets the first strikes while fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” Nakamura turns it around, Top Shelf Knee! But Finn stays alive on the apron. He swing kicks Nakamura and reenters to knock Nakamura down. Finn whips but Nakamura reverses to knee and roundhouse Finn. Nakamura gives more knees, then throws but Finn turns it around. Sunset flip rolled through for a dropkick! The fans applaud and rally, but Roman and Cena return to run them over! Things return to “You Both Suck” but Cena says that’s all talk. They brawl, fans booing the whole way. Cena rallies with those shoulder tackles but ends up in a Samoan Drop from Roman! Roman stands up and fans boo stronger than ever. He locks, loads and takes aim at Cena. SUPER- Spin-out powerbomb! And that means “You Can’t See Me!” Slingblade from Finn! Finn then blasts Cena with the dropkick, and hits Roman with a Slingblade and another dropkick! Nakamura gets up, he gets a slingblade but gives back his own dropkick. The Rockstar fires up, runs but Finn jumps for double stomps! Cena gets up, throws Finn out, Cena eliminates Finn!

The fans boo as they see the Final Three are Cena, Roman and Nakamura. Therefore, Nakamura has all of Philly’s support. However, Cena and Roman focus on Nakamura with clubbing blows and big stomps. But then Roman turns on Cena, and the two go at it again. Cena rallies with those shoulders, and the spin-out bomb. “You Can’t See Me”, and Five Knuckle Shuffle connects. Cena lifts but Roman slips out, SUPERMAN PUNCH! Roman takes aim at Cena but has to shove Nakamura out of the way. The Big Dog lets out the battle howl, but Cena counters with an AA! Nakamura grabs Cena but Cena fights out. Cena goes to suplex Nakamura, but Nakamura resists. Nakamura suplexes Cena to the apron, then kicks at him. Cena shoulders in but misses, KINSHASA! Nakamura eliminates Cena!! That makes it just Nakamura and Roman!

And the fans are loving Nakamura’s chances! Roman can hear all the fans chanting for only Nakamura. The two stare down, and Nakamura dares Roman to “C’MON~!” Roman uppercuts but Nakamura forearms back and it is a big brawl! Nakamura gets the advantage, they speed up, SUPERMAN PUNCH from Roman! The Big Dog sees that Wrestlemania sign and drags Nakamura up. He throws Nakamura but Nakamura survives. Roman realizes he hasn’t won yet, so he wakls back over, to take a roundhouse! Nakamura climbs up and wraps Roman up in the ropes with a hanging triangle hold!

The King of Strong Style is working to choke Roman out, but Roman powers Nakamura back in, for a powerbomb! Both men are down from exhaustion, but the fans keep supporting Nakamura. The two stir, and Roman stands up first. He takes aim at Nakamura then lets out the howl. Nakamura knees the spear away, then boots Roman before a flying knee attack! Then, with the fans all fired up, KIN– SPEAR!! But Roman can’t capitalize out of further exhaustion. He sits up and gets to his feet, dragging Nakamura up with him. Nakamura resists by holding onto the ropes. Roman throws him off, they run, KINSHASA!! Roman is dazed, Nakamura throws him out and WINS!! The King of Strong Style is going to Wrestlemania!!

Renee Young holds an in-ring interview with Nakamura.

She congratulates the winner of this year’s Men’s Rumble, and asks the big question: Which title will he challenge for at Wrestlemania? Philly says it should be “AJ Styles!” and Nakamura agrees! It’ll be Nakamura VS Styles for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania!!

 

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan VS The Bar!

The Architect may have failed to win the Rumble, but he refocuses to keep the gold he won with the Gold-Blooded Son. Can they finally #BreakTheBar here tonight?

The Swiss Cyborg starts against the Kingslayer, as a revisit for their Rumble encounter. Cesaro knees and clubs Rollins down, then puts on a hammerlock. Rollins endures then snapmares out, things speed up but Rollins counters Cesaro with arm-drag after arm-drag. He even dumps Cesaro with a back drop and throws him with a huricanrana before dropkick’ing Cesaro down. Cesaro gets to the ropes for safety, so Rollins waits. Sheamus tags in, the two circle, and the Celtic Gladiator elbows out of a waistlock. He knees Rollins and whips him to ropes, but Rollins evades to crossbody and punch Sheamus on the mat. Rollins chops Sheamus, wrenches an arm, then goes to tag Jordan but Jordan gets distracted by Cesaro. Sheamus takes advantage with a knee and then carries Rollins to The Bar’s corner. Cesaro tags back in and The Bar mudhole stomps Rollins together. Sheamus embraces the heat before tagging back in. The Bar go Super Saiyan mule kick. Cover, TWO, but Sheamus keeps on Rollins by stomping on his legs. He yanks Rollins up but Rollins lansd on his feet to PELE Sheamus! Cesaro goes to stop Rollins but misses and is sent outside. Sheamus goes to stop Rollins but Rollins shoves him away. Rollins turns around but Cesaro yanks Jordan off the apron and shoves him to a ring post!

Sheamus then goes to Brogue but Rollins evades and sends him to the outside. The Bar regroups and Rollins DIVES onto them!

Rollins checks on Jordan, but has to fight off The Bar alone. Sheamus throws Rollins into barriers and then puts him into the timekeeper barriers. They go back into the ring, Sheamus climbs up top and takes aim. He waits for Rollins to stand up, to bring him down with a flying lariat! Cover, TWO! The medics check on Jordan while Sheamus tags in Cesaro. The Bar mug Rollins in their corner, not worrying about JJ. Cover, TWO, so Cesaro wraps on a chinlock. Jordan flounders around while fans rally for Rollins. Rollins stands up and fights back, but Sheamus tags in. Sheamus helps Cesaro whip and Bar Lariat Rollins down. Knee drop added on top, Sheamus stalks Rollins to a corner. Rollins gets to the apron, so Sheamus brings him up for the Beats of the Bodhrain! Rollins fights out and hotshots Sheamus, then gets to a corner. Springboard, Sheamus catches Rollins. Rollins fights out but he bumps heads with Sheamus. While the referee checks on Sheamus, Cesaro clotheslines Rollins down!

Sheamus tags Cesaro and they drag Rollins up, backbreaker elbow drop! Cover, TWO, so Cesaro chokes Rollins on the ropes. Jordan is still on the ground while the referee backs Cesaro off. Sheamus gives Rollins a cheap shot knee! Cesaro covers, TWO! Sheamus tags in, The Bar double whips Rollins and hits a double backbreaker! Cover, TWO, and The Bar grows frustrated. Sheamus fixes his Mohawk before tagging Cesaro back in. The Bar taunts Rollins with a tag because JJ clearly isn’t back. Cesaro slaps Rollins around but Rollins fires up and fights back! He still gets clubbed down, and Sheamus tags back in. Cesaro lifts Rollins while Sheamus climbs up, but Rollins leans back to dodge the flying lariat! He evades Sheamus again to send him into the post, and then evades Cesaro to send him outside. Rollins rolls to his corner but he still doesn’t have someone to tag. The Bar regroups and Cesaro tags back in. He runs at Rollins but gets an elbow. The two brawl, Rollins getting the edge. He whips but Cesaro reverses, Rollins comes back with a Slingblade!

Rollins boots Cesaro again, then hops up for a blockbuster! The fans start to fire up with The Architect. Rollins goes corner to corner for the forearm smash, then snap suplex roll through to Falcon- No, Cesaro escapes, but Rollins rolls him, TWO! He spins Cesaro around and now gets the Falcon Arrow, TWO! Mule kick rocks Cesaro, but Sheamus breaks the pin. Sheamus stomps away on Rollins, then returns to his corner to legally tag in. He drags Rollins up for EuroUpper after EuroUpper! Sheamus puts Rollins on the top rope then climbs up to join him. Sheamus prepares but Rollins fights out. Rollins keeps clubbing Sheamus but Cesaro tags in, and The Bar goes after Rollins together. Even so, Rollins fights Cesaro off and keeps after Sheamus. Cesaro returns, Rollins manages to SUPER hip toss Cesaro down! Rollins takes aim, and since he has the Latino Heat tights to match, he goes for the Frog Splash!

He hits both members of The Bar! They’re all down and gasping, but Jordan returns! He tags in, and dizzy as he is, he enters the ring. Jordan reconsiders, and tags back out. Rollins tries to get him to stay, but Cesaro drags Rollins in. Rollins fights The Bar alone again, and manages to build momentum until Cesaro rocks him with a EuroUpper. Cesaro brings Rollins up but Rollins ducks his swing, to hit the Kingslayer Knee!

However, Cesaro staggers to Sheamus and Sheamus tags in. Rollins mule kicks but BROGUE from Sheamus! Then tag back to Cesaro, A-Swiss-ted White Noise!

The Bar wins and are four time Raw Tag Team Champions! Rollins & Jordan may not have broken The Bar, but did The Bar break them?

 

WWE Universal Championship Triple Threat: Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman VS Kane VS Braun Strowman!

The Beast may have been dominate over men like The Rock and John Cena, and The Big Red Machine may be the Devil’s Favorite Demon, but neither of them have had an answer for the Monster Among Men! Who will prove themselves the TRUE Alpha Monster of WWE?

The bell rings and Lesnar goes right at Kane with shoulders in a corner. Strowman goes after them both, sandwiching them against the buckles before whipping Lesnar corner to corner for his own corner splash! The Monster gives Kane one, then dropkicks Lesnar!

Strowman clobbers Kane again, then boots Lesnar down. Lesnar gets up but Strowman denies the fireman’s carry with clubbing forearms and stiff knees. Lesnar uses his MMA striking to stagger Strowman, and then gets the fireman’s carry. Kane grabs Lesnar by the throat and Choke Slams him!

Strowman tackles Kane to a corner and unloads body shots and headbutts. Kane staggers while Lesnar rolls out of the ring. Strowman clubs away on Kane while Lesnar walks off what just happened. Kane grabs Strowman around the throat, but Lesnar SMACKS Kane with a chair!

Triple Threat rules allow for this, but Strowman punches the chair away to then lariat Lesnar down! Strowman throws Lesnar out of the ring and then Kane, the Monster claims the ring. However, this fight of titans continues on the outside as Strowman goes over to Lesnar. He throws Lesnar into the barriers, then takes up the steel steps. Strowman walks over to Kane to bash him with the steps, then does the same to Lesnar. Strowman holds the steps up victoriously, but this is far from over. The Monster assesses the situation, and decides to bring out a table! Philly loves the way he thinks! Strowman puts not one but two tables into the ring, then fetches Kane. He grins as he picks up the Big Red Machine and puts him in the ring. Strowman prepares one table sideways in a corner, then keeps Kane down with a stomp. Strowman puts the other table up in the opposite corner, but Kane gets to his feet. Kane grabs Strowman by the throat, so Strowman does the same back. It’s Strowman with the Choke Slam now!

Cover, but Lesnar breaks it just in time. He then German Suplexes Strowman once, twice, and yes even a third time! Philly is now Suplex City and Philly likes it! Strowman still stands up, but rather wobbly. Heyman is still shocked as Strowman suddenly scoops Lesnar and puts him through the table!

Cover, but Kane breaks this one. Heyman can barely watch as Kane and Strowman get to their feet. Strowman scoops Kane, but Kane slips out to shove Strowman through the other table!

Kane leaves Strowman in the wreckage, but Strowman digs himself out of it. While Lesnar is still out, Kane grabs Strowman, and CHOKE SLAMS him down! Cover, but Lesnar manages to break it. He manages to lift, Kane, and hit the F5! Cover, but Strowman deadlift German Suplexes Lesnar off it! Lesnar falls out of the ring and Kane makes his way under ropes. Strowman stands up and shakes out the cobwebs before going back outside the ring. He walks over to Lesnar to put him into barriers again! Then Strowman clears an announce table. He brings Lesnar over, but Lesnar revives to F5 him into the table!

The Beast stands up and walks over to another announce table. He deadlifts it onto Strowman, flashback to Summerslam! Kane revives behind Lesnar, and grabs him around the throat. Kane lifts Lesnar but Lesnar slips out, to F5 Kane into the table!

The Beast stands up and surveys what he has done single-handedly. But then Strowman rises from the dead to stare Lesnar down. Lesnar is shocked for the first time probably ever in his life. Even so, he leaps at Strowman, and the two brawl in front of the international announce teams. Lesnar falls back and smacks his head on the steel steps, and Strowman hurries to put him in the ring. Strowman reenters and with the fans behind him, he picks Lesnar up and gives him the Monster Slam!

But he won’t cover?! He wants Lesnar to get up for more?! Philly wants one more, too, and so Strowman hits Lesnar with a second slam! Kane returns and SMACKS Strowman with the chair! And SMACK and SMACK and SMACK until Strowman falls out of the ring. Kane has Lesnar to himself now, and he calls for a familiar finish. He drags Lesnar up and over, but Lesnar slips out of the Tombstone to shove Kane into the returning Strowman! Strowman goes down, Lesnar gives Kane one last F5 on a chair!

Lesnar covers, Lesnar wins! The Beast is still the WWE Universal Champion! All the carnage and chaos against two truly monstrous challengers, yet the Beast is still the reigning, defending and undisputed champion. Can anyone, man or monster, ever hope to dethrone him?

However, something else that is undisputed is Strowman standing in the ring again. He shouts “You didn’t beat ME!!” Will the Monster Among Men find his way back to challenging The Beast?

 

Inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble Match!

The Women’s (R)Evolution continues to grow stronger every day, and this historic first-time-ever is proof! Who will be the first ever Women’s Rumble winner? And who will she challenge for their title at Wrestlemania?!

First, the special ring announcer, Maria Menounos!

“No one has worked harder for this moment than these ladies.” Maria is honored to be part of this moment. She then introduces the special guest commentator, Stephanie McMahon!

The Raw Commissioner and principle owner joins commentary to show her support for the Women’s Division in this historic match. Next are the two Women’s Champions of the WWE. First, the Raw Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss!

And then the SmackDown Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair!

The Goddess and the Queen sit ringside to watch this match with their own eyes.

Now for the first two entrants!

The Legit Boss, Sasha Banks, is Number One and rocking Wonder Woman inspired gear.

And The Lass Kicker, Becky Lynch, is Number Two! Both women are friends and rivals of Charlotte’s, as they are the Four Horsewomen of NXT and WWE. Which of these two women will last the longest in this match?

The bell rings and the two friendly rivals circle. They tie up and Becky gets a headlock. Sasha stomps on her foot and goes to push Becky out, but Becky blocks. Things speed up and Becky goes to throw Sasha but Sasha turns that around. Sasha goes for the backstabber but Becky holds ropes to deny it. The two go again at high speed, Becky arm-drags Sasha a couple times then puts on an armbar. The fans applaud while Becky goes after that arm but Sasha wants after her own submission hold. Holds don’t win Rumbles but it could give an edge, and they both think the same. They separate and fans applaud again, they rush each other and double clothesline as the clock counts down. We have entrant Number Three: The Riott Squad’s Sarah Logan!

Ms. #KentuckyStrong heads right to the ring and goes after Becky with stomps. Sasha gets up and helps her friend, but Sarah dropkicks her down. Becky fights back with forearms but Sarah pushes her away to clobber her with a lariat. Sarah points to the ‘Mania sign as she goes to push Becky out. Sasha bails Becky out again and gives Sarah forearms. Sarah reverses the whip to Pop-up headbutt Sasha. The muscle of the Riott Squad roars, but Becky puts her on the apron. Sarah went through the second rope so she’s safe from elimination as she gives Becky knees between the ropes. Becky ends up in a corner and Sarah stomps a mudhole into her. Sarah and Becky struggle against each other while we get Number Four: Absolution’s Mandy Rose!

Mandy saunters her way down the ramp and goes right at Sasha. She counters Sasha’s hip toss with a hip toss then scoops Sasha. Sasha slips out to try the same but Mandy throws her down by her hair. Sarah keeps on Becky in the other corner while Mandy toys with Sasha. Mandy tries to lift Sasha out again but Sasha fights back. Becky fights back against Sarah while Sasha runs, but Mandy knocks Sasha down with a knee strike! Mandy embraces the fans before hoisting Sasha up. Becky keeps on Sarah with stomps while Sasha fights back. The clock counts down and here comes Entrant Number Five: LITA!

The Hall of Fame and historic Women’s Champion makes a stunning return! She enters the ring with the stars of today and Philly already loves it. Lita stares down Becky and Sasha as the three circle, it becomes two Horsewomen against the Lady of Extreme. They double whip Lita but Lita kicks back, punches back, and rebounds for double clotheslines on the Horsewomen! Sarah gets up but gets kicked down, and Mandy pounces from behind. Mandy embraces the heat now as she decks Lita with a forearm. Mandy puts Lita in a corner and tries to throw her out, but Lita elbows back. Lita bumps Mandy off buckles then monkey flips her into more right hands. Meanwhile, Sasha gets Sarah onto the apron, only for Sarah to rock her with a right hand. Sarah stomps on Sasha but Becky bails her out. Lita gets Mandy to the apron but the Golden Rose rocks the legend back with a knee! Mandy gloats, but gets knocked down by Lita, Lita eliminates Mandy! Sasha wastes little time by going after Lita, and now comes Entrant Number Six: Kairi Sane!

The Mae Young Classic winning Pirate Princess makes a big splash just by appearing! She rushes the ring and goes right at Sarah with double ax handle and ax kick. Becky runs in, as does Sasha, but Kairi gets them with a DOUBLE Interceptor Spear!

Kairi goes after Lita with the double chops, then marches the plank. She goes corner to corner to hit Lita with the sliding forearm! Kairi climbs up via the bottom rope, and flying forearms Sarah down. Sasha returns but gets tripped up, sliding blockbuster! The fans fire up, Kairi climbs up again, then aims at Sasha. Anchors away with the Sailing Seas elbow drop!

Kairi dropkicks Becky and climbs up again while we reveal entrant Number Seven: Tamina Snuka!

Becky takes her own Kairi Sane elbow drop while the Daughter of Superfly makes her way out. Her first target is Kairi, who hits with a forearm, but then Tamina responds with a SUPERKICK! Sasha gets up, Tamina hits her with a roundhouse. Becky gets up, Tamina evades and SUPERKICKS her, too! Sarah roars in, only to take an elbow to the head. Lita stands up and kicks Tamina, DDT! Then to Sasha, Twist of Fate! Becky comes in, gets her own Twist of Fate! Lita goes to the top rope and the fans fire up. Even Lita knows it’s been some time since she’s done this, but she somehow manages the Lita-sault onto both Horsewomen!

She also avoids Tamina’s superkick while Kairi and Sarah brawl. The fans know “You still got it,” Lita! And Lita even baits Tamina to dump her out, Lita eliminates Tamina! But then Becky throws Lita out, Becky eliminates Lita! Philly boos and jeers the spoil-sport Lass Kicker, but they still count down for entrant Number Eight: Dana Brooke!

Titus Worldwide’s statistician tries her luck at the Rumble. She heads right to the ring but Becky is ready to stomp her out. The two brawl while Sasha and Sarah brawl. Becky goes to throw Dana out but Dana fights her off. Dana drives Becky down then handspring back elbows Sasha and dropkicks Sarah. She even carries little Kairi into a corner to ram in shoulders. Dana hoists Kairi up top but Kairi boots back a couple times. However, one big shove sends Kairi down, Dana eliminates Kairi! The fans boo while Dana stomps a mudhole on Sasha and Sarah stomps a mudhole on Becky. The clock counts down and we have entrant Number Nine: Torrie Wilson!

The Attitude Era heartthrob makes her own return for this historic event. Dana goes right at her, but Torrie hits her with a facebuster. Sasha runs in but Torrie whips her to a corner and hits a corner clothesline! Becky gets a dropkick but Sarah dropkicks Torrie first. Sarah roars as she stomps Dana right in the chest. Sarah goes after Sasha and Torrie even as the fans cheer Torrie on. Sasha goes after Sarah, but Sarah kicks her away. Sarah keeps trying with Torrie, but Torrie kicks her back. Dana and Becky brawl on the other side while Torrie knocks Sarah down. Dana changes her focus to Torrie, and the Horsewomen brawl in the meantime, but as Dana rushes in, Torrie dumps her to the apron. Torrie dropkicks Dana’s legs out, Torrie eliminates Dana! Becky gives Sasha a jump kick, and Torrie catches her breath while we get entrant Number Ten: Absolution’s Gladiator, Sonya Deville!

Time to hair up and square up as she makes her way to the ring. Sarah works on Torrie while Sonya goes after the Horsewomen. Sonya rains down hands on Sasha, but Becky bails her out with EuroUppers. Becky and Sonya exchange evasion, but Sonya knees low and throws Becky over. However, Sonya doesn’t notice Becky staying on the apron, she’s already going after Sarah. Sonya gives knee after knee, then gives more knees to Torrie. Sasha stomps on Sarah while Sonya whips Torrie to a corner. Torrie tries to go up and over but Sonya blocks and throws her to the apron. A roundhouse sends Torrie down, Sonya eliminates Torrie! And right in front of the champions, no less. The fans boo and jeer, but Sonya doesn’t see the problem. Becky goes right at Sonya while we get entrant Number 11: The Riott Squad’s Liv Morgan!

Ms. #LivStrong joins #KentuckyStrong in fighting off Becky. Sasha stomps on Sonya while Liv stomps Becky. However, Sasha bails out her fellow Horsewomen again. Sasha whips but Liv reverses, so Sasha goes up, only for Liv to catch her and throw her down. Liv hits springboard double stomps in the corner, then drags Sasha up. Sarah helps out and the Squad looks to eliminate the Boss. However, Becky comes back in and helps Sasha back, and now comes entrant Number 12: Molly Holly!

Another Attitude Era icon makes a stunning return! Molly heads in and gives Sonya a kick, Liv a forearm, and Becky a snap suplex! The fans go wild as she just lifts Sarah up and out, Molly eliminates Sarah! Molly keeps going as she whips Sasha but Sasha reverses. Molly slips out to climb up, 450 seated senton! But Sonya kicks Molly down, and roars victoriously. Liv attacks Sonya while Sasha and Molly roll under the bottom rope. Sonya and Liv brawl, but Becky goes after them both. Becky rallies, then gives Sonya a Becksploder! She, Sonya and Liv all fight in a corner while we get entrant Number 13: Lana!

The Ravishing Russian normally manages Tamina or her husband Rusev, but tonight, she wants to shine in the light! “Mrs. Rusev Day” enters but gets mugged by Liv and Sonya! They mock the made-up holiday while they toy with Lana. The fans are still strongly behind the First Lady of Rusev Day, and Lana starts fighting back! She SLAPS Sonya, then tackles Liv! She goes wild while the fans count down again for entrant Number 14: Michelle McCool!

The former teacher and Four Time Women’s Champion gets ready to teach these new girls a thing or two! She sees Liv and Sonya coming, evades to then boot Lana down before spinning around and fending off the other two. Michelle boots Liv down, but Sonya kicks Michelle low. Sonya whips but Michelle reverses, then gives her a knee in the corner. Michelle goes corner to corner to give a knee to Liv, too! She tackles Sonya and puts her on the top rope to rock with a EuroUpper then shoves her down, Michelle eliminates Sonya! Then she dumps Liv up and over, Michelle eliminates Liv! However, Molly Holly pounces on Michelle. The two lady legends struggle, but Michelle comes out on top as she tosses Molly right down, Michelle eliminates Molly! The fans go wild for Michelle, but Lana stands up and knocks her down. Lana says this is HER day, but Michelle just throws Lana out and eliminates Lana! The fans have mixed reactions but Becky comes back to go after the former champion. Sasha returns to help while we get entrant Number 15: Ruby Riott!

The Squad may be gone but their leader looks ready to exact revenge. Ms. Halfway Point rushes in and goes after the Horsewomen. Michelle fights her, too, though, but Ruby holds on to the ropes. Sasha tries now but Ruby still holds on. Ruby shoulders Sasha back and throws her down while Becky fights off Michelle. Becky rushes Ruby and goes to throw her out, but Ruby still holds on. Michelle stomps on Sasha while Ruby hotshots and STO’s Becky. Michelle gets Sasha to the apron but Sasha tries to drag her over while we get Number 16: Vickie “EXCUSE~ ME~!!” Guerrero!

The former General Manager and part-time competitor makes her own shrill return. Vickie marches right to the ring, and demands the others pay attention to her. She introduces herself, and demands they listen. The four others are listening, and Vickie realizes who else is in there. She tries to play buddy-buddy with Michelle from their days together on SmackDown. But instead, all four other women go after her, grab her, and eliminate Vickie! Vickie throws a small tantrum, but now we have Number 17: Carmella!

The FABULOUS Ms. Money in the Bank wants to also be Ms. Rumble, but she gets into an argument with Vickie on the way down. Vickie grabs Carmella’s MITB briefcase and knocks her down with it! The match continues with Carmella down on the outside. Becky tries to push Ruby out while Michelle tries to powerbomb Sasha. Sasha fights out and shoves Michelle back, then drives in double knees. Becky leg drops and elbow drops Ruby, but misses the last leg drop. Sasha goes after Becky know while Ruby and Michelle fight it out. Sasha changes targets again while we get Number 18: Natalya!

The Queen of Harts and first ever third generation superstar leaves her cat ears and jacket with Carmella, but Carmella takes offense. Carmella trips Natty off the apron! The Princess of Staten Island gets in and FABULOUS Kicks Michelle, then Sasha, and then after struggling with Becky, breaks off the FABULOUS Kick Ruby. Carmella returns to Becky with shoulders in a corner, but then Becky kicks back to hit a Becksploder! Now we have Number 19: Kelly Kelly!

A star Diva of the Ruthless Aggression Era and the WWE ECW brand, Ms. Double K slips into the ring and stares right at the two women’s champions. But then Natty throws her at the ropes! Natty boasts and poses but doesn’t realize Kelly hung onto the ropes. Kelly comes back and shoulders into Natty. Michelle boots Natty down, then Kelly kicks Michelle. Kelly whips but Michelle reverses, Kelly hits a tilt-o-whirl headscissors! Natty drags Michelle and throws her out, Natty eliminates Michelle! Kelly goes after Becky while Natty goes after Sasha. Carmella stomps Sasha while Ruby attacks Natty. Natty scoops Ruby but Ruby holds one while we get Number 20: Naomi!

Time for Philly to #FeelTheGlow! Naomi hits the ring, and headscissors Natty. Then she hands out Rear Views to her mentor, Kelly Kelly, to Carmella, and to Ruby Riott. Sasha goes after Naomi and bumps her off a buckle, but then Naomi kicks back. Becky comes in, she blocks the kick to dump Naomi down. Becky climbs to missile dropkick Naomi out, but under the bottom rope, then she gives Natty a Becksploder! The Lass Kicker gives Carmella a Becksploder, then throws Ruby at the ropes. Ruby dumps Becky, Becky barely holds on! Ruby claws at Becky’s fingers, Becky lets go and Ruby eliminates Becky! Becky lasted over 31 minutes being Number Two, but now we move on to Number 21: Jacqueline!

This Hall of Famer was also a Women’s Champion AND Cruiserweight Champion, and she storms in to run Carmella over and rain hands on Sasha. Natty goes after her but Jacqueline throws her off with an arm-drag, then knocks Ruby down with a stiff lariat. She trips up Kelly Kelly and drags her up. Natty helps Jacqueline but Kelly is stubborn. Ruby joins in but Kelly still holds on while we get Number 22: Nia Jax!

The Brutal Beauty and the modern-day Irresistible Force, Nia is a major favorite for winning this, especially coming in this late. Nia runs Carmella and Sasha over, then throws and eliminates Jacqueline! Kelly jumps on Nia but Nia throws her off and eliminates Kelly! Natty runs but gets run over by Nia and rolls out of the bottom. Ruby goes at Nia but she’s not enough, Nia lifts her up and trophy lifts Ruby, to throw her onto the top buckle! Then Nia gives Ruby one last push, and she eliminates Ruby! Naomi returns and kicks Nia, then kicks and kicks and kicks, enziguri rocks Nia! Nia blocks the headscissors with pure power, then dumps Naomi to the apron. Naomi kicks Nia back, but then Nia blasts Naomi off the apron. Naomi falls onto all the other women, but they keep her off the ground!

While Naomi rests on the barriers, how is she going to get back? Nia simply awaits Number 23: Ember Moon!

Even with one bad arm, the NXT Women’s Champion wants to make her mark in this inaugural Women’s Rumble! The Prophecy of Flame heads to the ring, title held high. She evades Nia and uses her good arm and both legs to strike at Nia. The fans cheer for “NXT! NXT!” while Ember hits a springboard dynamic dropkick! Ember’s bad arm slows her down, but she still fires up. She runs in and forearms Nia, and tries with one arm to lift Nia. Nia clubs Ember down with one arm, then tosses Ember across the ring with both hands! Ember crash lands and rolls out while Naomi tightrope walks the barriers. Naomi comes to a dead end, but then confiscates Maria’s chair! She then makes her way back to the ring, reminiscent of Kofi Kingston once upon a time.

Naomi wheelbarrows to the steps and she’s in the clear! She climbs up and jumps at Nia! Nia catches her, then throws her back out, Nia eliminates Naomi! Nia still controls the ring while we await Number 24: Beth Phoenix!

The Glamazon may be the one woman who can match the Brutal Beauty in the ring. At the same time, Beth competed in the Men’s Rumble before, so she’s no stranger to this environment. Beth stares Nia down while the fans fire up. Nia pie-faces Beth, so Beth throws forearms. Nia throws them back and we have a brawl! Philly declares “This is Awesome!” Nia puts Beth in a corner but Beth evades and Nia hits buckles. Beth tries but cannot lift Nia up. Nia knocks Beth down then says this is her time. Beth tries again, and manages the fireman’s carry!

The Glamazon tries to get Nia to the ropes but Nia fights out! Nia clobbers Beth but Natty returns! Natty and Beth, allies in the past, reunite to fight Nia! They run together, and shoulder Nia, but Nia falls through the second rope. Even so, Beth and Natty hug to celebrate this reunion. And then Natty ruins it by slapping Beth before throwing her out, Natty eliminates Beth! Carmella pounces on Natty and stomps away while we get Number 25: ASUKA!

The Empress of Tomorrow is still undefeated, can she add The Rumble to her growing legacy? She rushes the ring and scares off Carmella. Sasha runs in but takes the pop-up knee, then Natty gets the backhand. Carmella returns, the fans sing “Asuka’s gonna kill you~!” as Asuka kicks away at her. Asuka whips and hip attacks Carmella. Ember returns, still an active participant. These old rivals of NXT reignite the feud and the fans are loving it! They each dodge and block, Ember headscissors Asuka. Ember runs in, but Asuka evades, only to get kicked back. Ember adjusts, and hits a one-armed ECLIPSE!

Asuka goes down, Ember goes at her, but Asuka dumps her to the apron. She hotshots the bad arm and eliminates Ember! Asuka goes after Carmella again while we get Number 26: Mickie James!

The Six Time Women’s Champion wants to use this historic moment to earn a shot at #LuckyNumber7 on the biggest stage of them all! Mickie enters the ring and kicks Carmella back. She climbs up and jumps on Asuka with a seated senton. Mickie gets Sasha with the neckbreaker, but then Natty puts her in a corner for many shoulders. Mickie elbows back and slips out to the apron to shoulder back in, and hit another neckbreaker! Carmella and Sasha return while Mickie goes to push Natty out. Asuka kicks Mickie and goes after Mickie while we get Number 27: Nikki Bella!

The Fearless half of the Bella Twins makes her own return to the delight of a few Philly fans. She gives Carmella a knee to the head, then gives out forearms to Mickie and Asuka. Sasha kicks Nikki and whips her to a corner, but Nikki elbows back and hits the jumping enziguri. Nikki spears Natty down, then stares down Charlotte. Carmella kicks Nikki back while fans again sing “John Cena Sucks~!” Carmella bumps Nikki off her boot, then stomps a mudhole into her. She moonwalks back and mocks the “You Can’t See Me” before hitting the FABULOUS Bronco Buster. Carmella ends up on Nikki’s shoulders and panics as she approaches the ropes. Nikki forces Carmella off and to the apron, then a hotshot eliminates Carmella! Asuka kicks Nikki down then stomps her out. Sasha helps out with a rain of hands, as does Natty. Mickie decides to help while we get Number 28: BRIE Bella!

The other Bella Twin arrives to bail out her sister! She decks Mickie, then goes after Sasha and Natty, and even rocks Asuka. The fans chant “YES! YES!” for Mrs. Daniel Bryan, and she joins in as she activates #BrieMode! She knees Natty, then Mickie, and then Asuka and Sasha at the same time. The twins high five and fire up the crowd, but Nia makes her return. The twins dropkick her back out to keep her a non-factor. They then double suplex Natty while we prepare for Number 29: Bayley!

The Huggable One and the last of the Four Horsewomen runs in and shoulders both Bella Twins, then hits double hotshots! Natty walks over but Bayley boots her back. Asuka stomps Sasha while Natty reverses a whip. Bayely elbows Natty away and hits a flying EuroUpper. She Saido Suplexes Mickie, then goes after Asuka with a Bayley2Belly, but Asuka denies it. Asuka, the woman who defeated Bayley for the NXT Women’s Championship a couple years ago, swings and hits the back heel kick. She drags Bayley up and throws Bayley at the ropes, but Bayley holds on. Bayley fights Asuka off while Natty goes after Mickie. Finally, we have Number 30: TRISH STRATUS!

THE iconic woman of the Attitude Era is THE final entrant in this historic match. The fans are loving just her walk to the ring, and every other woman takes notice. Trish hits Natty with a Thesz Press, then throws everyone else around with fast strikes. The Bella Twins step to Trish but she chops them both back. Trish gives each twin a sharp chop against the ropes, then hits a DOUBLE Stratusfaction!

The fans know “You still got it”, Trish, even as Bayley boots Trish back. But Trish returns for Stratusphere!

Mickie gets up, and spots her favorite wrestler ever! The two circle and fans fire up. The two brawl with haymakers, then forearms. They go back and forth while the others return, Trish reverses a whip but Mickie kicks her away. Trish wants another Stratusphere but Mickie says “Not today!” However, Trish still kicks Mickie down and eliminates Mickie! Nia returns and runs Trish over! But then everyone else goes after Nia! Nia powers them all off like an explosion, and Philly has mixed reactions. Either way, Nia knocks each woman down as they get up. Asuka gets up and back heel kicks, then Trish gives the Chick Kick! Nia is staggered, the Bellas work together to drag Nia over the top rope! The others come in, and they all eliminate Nia! Philly again has mixed reactions, but then Sasha grabs Bayley and throws her out, Sasha eliminates Bayley! Charlotte is even more shocked that Sasha would do that to a friend. Either way, the first entrant is still in this while the Bellas fight off Asuka and Trish.

The final six are the Bellas, Sasha, Asuka, Natty and Trish. Sasha goes after Trish but Trish rocks her with a right forearm. Natty storms over and throws Trish down by her hair. She then puts Trish into the Sharpshooter just because! Trish endures the signature hold while she drags herself to ropes, then she flings Natty off of her. The two get up, Trish goes after Natty and dumps her to the apron. Natty holds on, but then a Chick Kick eliminates Natty! Asuka fights off the Bellas while Sasha goes after Trish. The Boss gets in Trish’s face, Trish kicks her and mocks the swagger. Trish goes for more Stratusfaction but Sasha tosses her up and over, Sasha eliminates Trish!! The Boss boasts, but Asuka creeps up behind her. The fans sing “Asuka’s gonna kill~ you~” again. The Boss and the Empress stare down and grin, but then realize they need to get rid of the Bellas first. They step closer to Brie, but Sasha sucker punches Asuka down! Sasha stomps away, and The Bellas join in. The three focus on Asuka, the other favorite, and hit a knee-facebuster and leaping lariat combo. Sasha adds on her running knee, then boasts alongside the Bellas. The Bellas stomp a mudhole into Asuka, then Sasha fires off furious forearms. “Nobody’s ready for Asuka, huh?” Sasha slaps Asuka and then turns her sideways, Stock Drop disrupted by the Bellas! The Bellas eliminate Sasha!! And Sasha’s face says it all.

The final three are the Bella Twins and Asuka, so clearly the fans are on Asuka’s side. The Bellas mock Sasha before going after Asuka. They try to push her over the top but she fights them both off. Asuka fires up and fires off HER “Emp-Yes Kicks”! She gives one buzzsaw to Nikki, then one to Brie! Asuka throws Brie up and over but Brie holds on. Nikki runs Asuka over, then takes time to gloat. She lifts Asuka up in the fireman’s carry, Rack Attack 2.0! Brie waits on the apron, Nikki sucker punches and eliminates Brie! Nikki says it’s nothing personal, it’s just business. Nikki then rushes Asuka but Asuka shoulders her back. Asuka reenters while telling both champions she’ll be seeing them at Wrestlemania. Asuka hits a big missile dropkick! Both women are down but the fans are fired up. Nikki and Asuka go to opposite ends, but Asuka is up first. She runs in, Nikki elbows and enziguris Asuka down! Nikki stands up slowly, fans boo and jeer while she drags Asuka up. Another fireman’s carry, and Nikki dumps Asuka over but Asuka holds on. Nikki uses that strong forearm, but it doesn’t take Asuka out. She isn’t sure what to do, so she runs in, but into Asuka’s roundhouse. Asuka then hooks a leg around on Nikki and pries her over to the apron. Both women are on the edge, and Asuka is on the attack. Nikki decks her with a forearm, but then Asuka trips Nikki with a kick! Nikki falls, Asuka WINS! The Empress of Tomorrow is the first ever Women’s Rumble winner!

The Raw and SmackDown Women’s Champions join her in the ring.

The Goddess and The Queen wait for The Empress to name who she wants to face at Wrestlemania. Asuka looks between the two, and each champion raises her belt to stake their own claim.

However, before Asuka can say or do anything, RONDA ROUSEY appears!!

Not even Stephanie McMahon knows what to make of this! Ronda heads right down to the ring, and Maria gives her a proper introduction. The MMA superwoman stands across from Asuka, Alexa and Charlotte.

Then she points at the Wrestlemania sign. The fans lose their minds, but what does this all mean?! Ronda offers a handshake, Asuka refuses it. Ronda returns to pointing to the sign again, but does anyone have any answers about this?!

One woman who does shake Ronda’s hand is Stephanie McMahon. Yet, still no answers for what is probably already the biggest moment on this Road to Wrestlemania!

 

My Thoughts:

This is probably the best Royal Rumble PPV in recent history. I loved just about everything, except for maybe two or three things. First, the second fall of the Usos VS Gable-Benjamin was disappointingly abrupt given how great the first fall was an instant classic. The Usos winning makes sense but not if it was going to be a top tier match followed by a random squash. Even just a couple more minutes to that second fall would’ve been better than what we got. Second was the Universal Championship Triple Threat, and it’s really because I’m bored of Lesnar winning again, and also suddenly. Everything leading up to the finish was perfect, from how the three behemoths were just slugging and slamming each other around to the sheer annihilation of the announce desks. Lesnar bumping Kane into Strowman to then finish was just a mood killer to me, though. I do appreciate Strowman pointing out Lesnar pinned Kane and not him, and Strowman has grown so much stronger since losing to Lesnar 1v1 that I really think Strowman would’ve won if his character chose to cover after one of those multiple powerslams.

But as I said, everything else was fantastic. The three kickoff matches were all quality, and big points for each of the winners. The handicap match opening the main show was an interesting play but it made sense when seeing how it ended and how #Kami used it as motivation to screw over an innocent Tye Dillinger. Then having three-fourths of the Raw Tag Team Championship match in the Men’s Rumble was another interesting choice but it didn’t take away from their great match. Rollins & Jordan now have a major rift between them that could lead to their Wrestlemania program, or at least an Elimination Chamber PPV match. Nakamura winning the Men’s Rumble was great, and I really didn’t expect it when he was in there with Cena AND Roman. But considering Cena’s had his win and even Roman has had his time, Nakamura winning was great and so many fans get what they want: Styles VS Nakamura 1v1! And of course, the main event of the night, the Women’s Rumble, the best Rumble of anything really. It had great returns from iconic former stars and booked the current stars splendidly. I almost sense a Heel turn in Sasha with how she behaved, and that’ll freshen things up in the Women’s Division. Asuka wins because she’s Asuka, and I’m really curious as to whether she’ll choose one or BOTH women’s champions to take on. Ronda Rousey appearing was an amazing surprise, too, but as she is only just now joining the WWE Women’s Division, she surely isn’t getting a title match already. Chances are, it’ll be something for Stephanie to bring spotlight onto her at the same time.

My Score: 9/10


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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (4/9/21)

205 Live nostalgia, anyone?

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Coverage 205 2021

The Cruiserweight Division looks back before moving forward!

Now that there is ONE TRUE Cruiserweight Champion, the division moves forward. But with that, we also take a look back at some classic title matches!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • WrestleMania 34, WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali; Alexander wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
  • WrestleMania 35, WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese; Nese wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
  • TakeOver 31, NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott; Escobar wins and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

Nigel McGuiness opens the show!

“On the heels of the instant classic ladder match between Santos Escobar and Jordan Devlin, welcome to 205 Live!” Tonight, we revisit some of the very best Cruiserweight title matches of all time! And not many come better than the WrestleMania 34 showdown!

 

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali!

Months before April 8th, 2018, this title had been vacated and a tournament had been put in place! Before they were #PRIMED and the (former) leader of Retribution, they were the Heart and Soul of 205 Live! The then 205 Live General Manager, Drake Maverick, stands with the title belt to watch as theses two finalists battle it out for that very prize!

The bell rings and we begin. The fans are thunderous for them as they high-five and circle. Ali gets the waistlock but Alexander the standing switch and slam. The fans cheer for “Both These Guys!” while Ali gets up and puts on a headlock. Alexander lifts but Ali holds on. Alexander powers out, they collide, Alexander shoulders Ali down on the rebound. He wants Ali to show that heart, and they speed up. Ali headscissors Alexander and then dares Alexander to show the soul. They tie up and go against the ropes and into a corner. Neither man backs down until the referee separates them, then Ali shoves Alexander.

Alexander shoves back and dares Ali to hit him. Ali does with a chop, so Alexander responds with a kick. Alexander whips but Ali kicks him back, so Alexander rolls under and headscissors and dropkicks Ali down. Cover, TWO! Alexander puts Ali right in an armlock, but Ali works his way up and out. Ali whips but Alexander reverses, flapjack dropkick! Alexander staggers, Ali runs in but Alexander puts him on the apron to block a kick and hit a kick. Ali goes down, Alexander builds speed and FLIES! Down they both go, but Alexander is up first. He puts Ali in the ring, covers, TWO! Alexander keeps on Ali with a rear bearhug. Fans rally while Ali endures the squeeze.

Ali gets up and fights out of the hold, rocking Alexander with a forearm. Alexander responds with a running European Uppercut! He whips Ali corner to corner then throws him with a big back body drop. Cover, TWO, but Alexander keeps his cool as he puts Ali back in the bearhug. Ali endures the squeeze while fans rally again. Ali gets up and fights back but Alexander knees low. Alexander chops Ali, then brings him up for a suplex, but Ali slips out. Alexander knees low again, then runs, but into Ali’s lariat. Ali starts to rally and chop, but Alexander reverses the whip. Ali slides to a stop, and intercepts Alexander with a ROUNDHOUSE!

Alexander staggers, Ali rolls in for the facebuster! Cover, TWO!  Ali brings Alexander up, but Alexander blocks and counters with a EuroUpper. Ali yanks his waistband and counters a kick with a kick! He runs, but into Alexander’s Spanish Fly! Both men are down and fans build to a rally. Alexander gets up while Ali gets to a corner. Alexander runs in, but into Ali’s boot. Ali hops up, tornado DDT blocked! Alexander hangs Ali up on the ropes, then catches his breath before climbing up to join him. Fans anticipate something, and Ali resists. They brawl on the top rope, but Alexander gets the better of Ali, only for Ali to almost send Alexander tumbling down with his counter.

Ali and Alexander brawl more while trying to stand up, Ali hits Alexander with a SUPER SPANISH FLY! Even John Cena watching from the audience is stunned seeing that! Cover, TWO, and Ali can’t believe it! He shakes his head as he watches Alexander flounder about. Ali brings Alexander over to a corner but Alexander knows what that means and resists. Ali kicks Alexander, then climbs, but Alexander gets up to throw him off! Maverick and the referee check on Ali after his crash landing, but Ali is still good to go. Alexander waits as the count begins, but Ali dares Alexander to finish him. Alexander takes the bait, he puts Ali in the ring and covers, TWO!

Alexander gets frustrated, but tells Ali it’s already over. Ali shakes his head, it’s not over. Alexander kicks Ali and then stomps away in a rage! He yanks Ali up, back suplex lift but Ali slips out! Ali hits the Reverse-Rana! Alexander is dazed, and Ali gets going. Ali hops up, flying tornado DDT! Alexander lands in a drop zone! Ali goes up, and hits the 0-5-4! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Alexander survives with a foot on the ropes! Ali shouts for Alexander to stay down before he stomps him back. Ali climbs up again, 0-5-4 FLOPS as Alexander moves! Alexander scrambles to his feet while Ali drags himself back up. They run at each other, Alexander’s big back elbow rocks Ali, but he still gives another.

Alexander tells Ali “This is enough!” But clearly, it isn’t, and the third back elbow flips Ali over! Alexander lifts Ali up, for the LUMBAR CHECK! Cover, Alexander wins!!

Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall (NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion)

The Carolina Kid didn’t want to go that far, but he had no choice but to break the Heart of 205 Live. More importantly, Alexander finally proves he can win the big one! Drake Maverick personally presents the belt to Alexander, and the true celebration begins! The Age of Alexander would go on for quite a run, before running into an Aussie Juggernaut, who is featured in our next match!

 

Nigel McGuiness introduces the next match.

We fast forward an entire year to WM35, and Nigel was again there to see Tony Nese in his home state taking on the Australian Sensation, Buddy Murphy, in another incredible Cruiserweight kickoff to the Showcase of the Immortals!

 

WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese!

The Aussie Juggernaut proved himself against some of the best in the Cruiserweight Division, from Cedric Alexander to Mustafa Ali to three opponents at the same time. And on the Grandest Stage of Them All, he went toe-to-toe with the Premier Athlete, a man who is a parallel to him in physique, a man who used to be his friend, and a man he betrayed over the greed for this title! But Nese had homefield advantage, and it came in handy!

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin this battle of Body Guys!

Murphy runs right at Nese but Nese dodges the knee trigger! Nese fires off furious hands then counter punches. Murphy boots then goes up and over, but Nese keeps up to trip him up! New York fires up with their hometown kid, but Murphy dodges the triangle moonsault. Nese lands on his feet to slingshot and somersault to rock Murphy with a left! Nese puts Murphy in but has to push Murphy away on the top rope. Murphy comes right back but Nese resists the fireman’s carry. Nese fights back but still gets a gut buster drop on the buckles! Murphy checks his teeth while we go picture in picture.

Murphy stomps a mudhole into Nese but backs off at 4. Nese staggers up but Murphy is on him with a snapmare. Murphy swiftly kicks then covers, TWO! Murphy wraps Nese up in a chinlock but Nese endures. New York rallies behind Nese as Murphy shifts to a stretch. Murphy drives his elbow in again and again then wraps the chinlock back on. Nese fights his way up, we return to single picture as Murphy wrangles him back down. Murphy cranks Nese’s neck and leans his weight on him. Murphy’s eye is bloody but he ignores it while holding Nese down. Nese powers up and bumps Murphy off buckles. Murphy holds on but Nese bumps him again.

Murphy is still caught so Nese tries again, but Murphy uses that to throw Nese into buckles. Nese staggers into Murphy’s grip, tornado DDT denied with a snap suplex into the buckles! Murphy is down and Nese crawls to the opposite corner. Both men stand slowly, but Murphy walks into Nese’s elbow. Murphy comes back again but gets a haymaker! Nese rocks Murphy again, then again! Nese counter punches and snapmares to a facebuster. He runs, hits a knee lift and a heel kick! Murphy flounders to a corner while Nese nips up and fires up! New York fires up with him as he runs in for a big back elbow. Nese keeps moving but Murphy throws him to the apron.

Murphy turns around to counter and rock Nese, then climbs up for a suplex chance. Nese sweeps the legs and rocks him with a roundhouse, DRAPING triangle moonsault! Cover, TWO! Murphy survives, but Nese keeps his cool. Nese drags Murphy up for a whip but Murphy holds the ropes. Nese tries again but Murphy holds on. So Nese mule kicks Murphy into a whip. Murphy reverses but Nese slips under, pump handle but Murphy slips out. Murphy boots Nese away! He hops up but Nese SHORYUKEN! Nese climbs up to join a dazed Murphy, but Murphy resists a superplex. Murphy bumps Nese on a buckle, then sunset flips over. Nese denies the powerbomb but gets the SUPERKICK!

Murphy brings Nese out, AK-DDT! Cover, TWO! Nese survives but Murphy keeps his focus. Murphy drags Nese up by his hair and prepares the pumphandle. Nese victory rolls through, TWO! Murphy fireman’s carry to the TKO knee to knee trigger! Murphy suplexes but Nese slips out and shoves. Nese hits a REVERSE-RANA! Both men are down and New York cheers for this kickoff to the kickoff! Nese and Murphy get to opposite corners. Both men slowly stand as fans rally up. Nese and Murphy bob ‘n’ weave but Murphy gets his strike fest. Nese dodges the knee and goes Matrix to mule kick! Knee lift and roundhouse but Murphy jumps the sweep for buzzsaw, mule kick, but runs into Nese’s left forearm!

Nese runs but fakes Murphy out for an elbow. Murphy rebounds to LARIAT Nese off his feet! Murphy keeps going, but Nese back drops, to a VERTABREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Nese cannot believe Murphy survives! Murphy crawls to a corner but Nese pursues. Nese runs side to side but Murphy bails out, so Nese FLIES! The flop takes Murphy out and New York fires up as Nese puts Murphy in. Nese climbs up high, 450 splash! Cover, TWO!! Murphy survives again and Nese is beside himself. Murphy gets back to a corner and Nese brings down the knee pad. But Murphy grabs Nese’s leg, so Nese stomps a mudhole into him. Nese runs but into a KNEE TRIGGER!

Murphy pump handles, Murphy’s Law!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Nese still lives! Murphy is shocked but then he gets an idea. Nese is in the corner, and Murphy brings down his knee pad. Murphy runs side to side, but Nese SUPERKICKS him! German Suplex into buckles! PREMIER KNEE!! Cover, NESE WINS!!

Winner: Tony Nese, by pinfall (NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion)

The unstoppable HAS been stopped! The Premier Athlete was the Juggernaut’s kryptonite, and now he is the new champion! We know the Premier Era ended with a Triple Threat involving Akira Tozawa and Drew Gulak, and the title itself would be integrated into the NXT system, eventually leading it to where it is today! As such, we relive a highlight of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship era!

 

Nigel McGuiness returns again for another match introduction.

The Cruiserweight title didn’t just make it to WrestleManias, it finally made it to NXT TakeOver thanks to Santos Escobar and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!

 

NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!

The year 2020 was certainly a mess, and the Irish Ace being isolated in the UK further complicated how this division worked. El Hijo del Fantasma won the “interim” title at the end of the Cruiserweight Championship Round Robin finals, with some controversy to it, but there was one man who did defeat him along the way! Swerve got his shot but was screwed over by El Legado and a loaded lucha mask! Swerve wanted revenge, but that is always hard to come by!

The introductions are made, the title is raised, and the Cruiserweight Division finally gets to TakeOver!

Escobar and Swerve circle as the crowd rallies up already. They approach, tie up, and Escobar gets the arm. Swerve hooks a leg to trip Escobar, cartwheels over but Escobar arm-drags Swerve away. Escobar runs but Swerve dodges, Escobar huricanranas but Swerve handsprings through! Swerve says HE is Cruiserweight wrestling, and that upsets Escobar. Escobar rushes Swerve, Swerve dodges and Eddy Gordo headscissors Escobar away! Escobar gets up and Swerve smirks. Swerve then trips Escobar, turns him over with leg hooks and goes to dead lift, but Escobar victory rolls through, TWO! Escobar sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! Swerve sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! The two stand off in fighting stances and the crowd loves it!

Swerve blocks Escobar’s punch, fakes him out to mule kick, and then runs, into a forearm! Escobar runs into a monkey flip! Escobar just barely gets his feet under him but Swerve handsprings and MOONSAULTS him down! The crowd is fired up as Swerve watches Escobar flounder. Escobar leans against the post, and pulls down the crossbar cover. Swerve gets in the ring to refresh the ring count, and he goes to the corner to CORKSCREW SENTON! Down goes Escobar and the crowd fires up again! Swerve puts Escobar in the ring but Escobar bails out the side. Swerve runs and FOSBURY FLOPS Escobar down! The fans are thunderous as Swerve is showing he can do it all!

Swerve puts Escobar in, covers, TWO! Escobar bails out again but Swerve pursues. Swerve drags Escobar up to go after the arm. Swerve wraps the arm around the very crossbar Escobar exposed! He’s showing Escobar what bending the rules gets you as he bends the arm! The ring count is at 7 but Swerve puts Escobar in at 8. Cover, TWO! Swerve grows annoyed with Escobar and he pulls Escobar around to go after the bad arm! Escobar endures as Swerve pulls it way back to drop down on it! Escobar puts a leg on the rope, Swerve stomps him anyway! Swerve brings Escobar up to Northern Light takedown into an ARMBAR! Short Arm Scissor, even, as Escobar resists.

Escobar gets legs under the ropes, Swerve lets off but goes to the apron. Swerve drags Escobar up to hotshot the arm! Fans rally as Swerve brings Escobar up again, but now Escobar hotshots Swerve! And KICKS him off the apron! Escobar runs and builds speed to DIVE! ARROW FROM HELL!! Swerve gets sent into the fencing, Escobar puts Swerve back in, covers, ONE?! Escobar is furious that Swerve kicks out so he KICKS Swerve in the face! Escobar waits for Swerve to stand and he LARIATS Swerve back down! Swerve gets to a corner, Escobar runs and DOUBLE KNEES! Escobar puts Swerve up top and SLAPS him!

Escobar climbs up and SUPER STEINERS! Then somersault and elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Swerve still lives and the fans stay fired up! Escobar stomps away on Swerve at the ropes but the ref counts. Escobar stops at 4 because he still doesn’t want to be disqualified. Escobar stands Swerve up and tells him, “Yo soy Lucha Libre!” Escobar SLAPS Swerve, kicks him, and says maybe if he spits in Swerve’s face will make him understand. Escobar reels back but Swerve puts a hand on Escobar’s mouth! No spit flies, but the fists do! Escobar clubs Swerve, reels him in, but Swerve frees himself to ROCK Escobar! And again! Swerve fires off heavy haymakers in the corner!

The ref counts, Swerve stops at 4 to throw Escobar down, for a DISCUS! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar flounders up. Swerve runs in to uppercut! Swerve snapmares Escobar for the falling EuroUpper! Escobar bails out but Swerve BOOTS him from the apron! And then again! Escobar goes down in a heap, Swerve puts him in, slingshot to somersault, ROLLING THUNDER SHOT! Cover, TWO!! Escobar survives but Swerve doesn’t lose focus. Swerve aims from the corner, hops up again and waits for Escobar to stand. Escobar is up but he climbs up to join Swerve! So Swerve slips under, only for Escobar to kick him away. Escobar turns around, Swerve dropkicks the legs out! DRAPING DDT! Cover, TWO!!

Escobar survives again but Swerve grits his teeth. Swerve drags Escobar up with a half nelson but Escobar gets the ropes! The ref counts, El Legado returns! The ref stops Wilde from getting in, Escobar shoves Swerve and Mendoza trips him up! Gut wrench, SHOULDER BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives the screw job attempt! Escobar goes to the apron to follow Swerve, runs side to side, but into a pop-up that puts Escobar on the ropes! Escobar is stuck on his fantasma, Swerve throws haymakers! Swerve then hops up, and STEINERS Escobar onto Legado!! They catch him, help him up, but here comes ASHANTE “THEE” ADONIS!!

From what’s been happening on 205 Live, Adonis isn’t a fan of Legado del Fantasma, either, and he goes up to TORNILLO! Adonis wipes out Mendoza and Wilde! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar is in shock! Adonis and Swerve run off the henchmen before Swerve hurries into the ring. Escobar runs over, gets a back elbow, and Swerve goes up and in to somersault, into a CALF KICK! Fireman’s carry, PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!??! How?!!? Escobar doesn’t know how, but the crowd is electric! Escobar is fuming as he stomps away on Swerve over and over! Escobar drags Swerve back up, suplexes, uno amigo! Then a roll over, dos amigos!

Fans boo, they don’t think Escobar is worthy of Eddie Guerrero but he still hits all three amigos! Escobar goes up top, FROG SPLASH FLOPS!! Swerve evades and denies Escobar his Latino Heat! Swerve gets the arm, POP CULTURE!! Escobar clutches his arm but Swerve gives him a HOUSE CALL!! But that’s not it, Swerve goes up for the 450 SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Escobar survives all of that and Swerve is losing his mind! The crowd hopes they “Fight Forever!” because “This is Awesome!” But this will end somehow, and Swerve drags Escobar up. Escobar flounders, throws Swerve out and hurries back up.

Swerve hurries after him, half nelsons him, but Escobar holds ropes for dear life! Escobar pushes Swerve back, Swerve falls and hits the bare crossbar!! It comes into play after all!! Escobar drags Swerve in, brings him up, underhooks and lifts, BUTTERFLY FACEBUSTER ACROSS THE KNEE! Cover, Escobar wins!!

Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)

So much fight from Swerve, and he even had a new ally fight against the minions, but Escobar always has a back-up plan! And he would continue to rule over the division in this way, even to the point of having Wilde & Mendoza help at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver! Will the tyrannical Emperor of Lucha always have this crown?

 

Nigel McGuiness returns once more to wrap up the show.

It has been a great experience on 205 Live to see some of the greatest title matches of all time. But speaking of great title matches, that makes you think of great champions. Just last night at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Escobar proved he is a great champion by winning the Cruiserweight Championship Unification Ladder match! Relive that and both nights of TakeOver on Peacock in the US and the WWE Network everywhere else! But what will see now in the future was we continue in the Era del Fantasma?


My Thoughts:

Recap episodes are always fun for looking back, but also because it’s super easy for me to cover them since it’s just copying, pasting and editing. I like the three they selected, basically giving us a look back at the last three years of the Cruiserweight Division, but it also makes us see how far 205 Live has dropped off in the WWE because Alexander, Ali and Murphy were so awesome in 205 Live. Nese is still here but more for lack of WWE/NXT not giving him more to do. Admittedly, Murphy has dropped off on RawDown, too, but at least WWE has tried with him. I almost feel like worst case scenario for Murphy is to come back and be the Aussie Juggernaut again. Escobar’s a beefy Cruiserweight, so is Murphy, let’s get something like that going again.

I am also disappointed, because it was advertised that we’d get a special look at Escobar VS Devlin, but that wasn’t there. I couldn’t have gone through the content too fast, a segment like that wouldn’t be just a few seconds long. Maybe there was another “right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing” moment and that information was put out without knowing what the final episode would look like. I wouldn’t mind if they gave us that segment for the aftermath NXT on Tuesday, and encored it on next week’s 205 Live, but WWE/NXT needs to get 205 Live going like how it was when Ali, Murphy and Alexander were here.

My Score: 8.1/10


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Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.9.2021

All Japan’s Champion Carnival kicks off today! The Triple Crown Champion Suwama is in action as well as the Ace of the company Kento Miyahara! Check it out!

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All Japan’s Champion Carnival kicks off today! The Triple Crown Champion Suwama is in action as well as the Ace of the company Kento Miyahara! Check it out!

Now I haven’t kept close eyes on the product last few months, because personally, they weren’t grabbing my interest post Quarantine Comeback. But since my Puro Patronus Mathew Sarpraicone is having some computer issues, I guess I’m covering the first couple of these!

Let’s see how the tournament starts!

Ratings:

  • Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi: Ishikawa wins via Thesz Press @9:09 – ** ½
  • Suwama vs Kohei Sato: Sato wins via German Suplex Hold @10:49 – ***
  • Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani: Otani wins via Overhand Chop @9:51 – *** ¼
  • Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino: Jake wins via D4C @3:44 – **
  • Zeus vs Kento Miyahara: Zeus wins via Jackhammer @18:16 – **** ¼

 

Results:

Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi

Doi is the least recognized name in the tournament this year, and last I was aware of his was during the closure of Wrestle-1. Most of his success has come in the tag team division, but he’s no real slouch. Interestingly, Ishikawa is the newest Gaora TV Champion, but also was tied heavily to Suwama and their Violence Giant tag team.

We see Doi come out fast trying to throw Ishikawa into the corners and take him off his base. Ishikawa towers over Doi, so Doi was underneath, literally and figuratively the entire match. As Ishikawa hit most of his signature spots, including the Mushroom Stomp from the middle rope, Doi had a moment where he locked in the Rings of Saturn; but Ishikawa is just too big.

As Doi tried to keep the pressure up, rope runs, big strikes, Murder Lariat attempts from Doi but Ishikawa stifles the surge with a Fire/Thunder Driver. They both stumble up, run the ropes a bit trading lariats and charges, Ishikawa jumps, hits a Thesz Press and manages to keep Doi down for the 3 count!

Suwama vs Kohei Sato

An early card match gives us the Triple Crown champion against one of his more recent challengers! Falling short for the Triple Crown a few months ago, Sato has a little bit to prove.

The match opens as a slugfest, Suwama gets the best of things and rides the power advantage over Sato for a long time. Sato is taller than Suwama but Suwama is more powerful and controlled the pacing. Things went to the outside and the former Violence Giant kept up to the name.

When the match came back in to the ring Suwama looks to try and finish things, goes for the Rolling Lariat, but it gets blocked. Sato starts fighting back, hits a Falcon Arrow for a near fall, and then Suwama starts looking like he’s in trouble. Suwama hits the Double Chop comeback, and tries a Powerbomb, but Sato blocks it, Sato goes for a Powerbomb, but Suwama blocks it. The power struggle is tangible, but Suwama seems to be losing some of the back and forth. Sato rocks Suwama, locks in the German Suplex, and hits the German Suplex Hold.

Kohei gets on the board and avenges his loss! Depending on how the tournament shakes out, Kohei might get another shot at the title in the future.

Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani

The veteran Otani is putting Yuma through the paces early. He’s side stepping Dropkicks and just kicking Yuma to prove a point. Yuma tries to fire back, and then Otani continues to push off certain moves and be funny.

Yuma does manage to take advantage of his youth, but when he goes for the disrespect by attempting the Bootwash, Otani fires, lays out the younger wrestler and hits the Wash. Yuma goes to the outside, and when he turns back to the ring, Otani charges and hits a running Bootwash straight to Yuma’s face.

As Otani takes the role of the cagey veteran punishing the Young Boy, Yuma tries to find ways to come back, but things Otani stays a little ahead of the younger wrestler. Yuma gets a close moment where he locks in End Game, but Otani fights to the ropes. Otani then backs the younger wrestler down, hits Dragon Suplex, then goes for another, but Yuma blocks. Otani counters the block with a lariat, then another Dragon Suplex but Yuma kicks out at 1! Refusing to stay down, Otani goes into his bag of tricks and hits Yuma twice with Hashimoto style Overhand Chops, to finally keep the younger man down.

Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino

So there is some fun history between these two when Ashino brought Enfantes Terrible over to AJPW and took JIN down a peg. But then recently, Jake stole the Enfantes members from Ashino and betrayed JIN. Ashino is looking to avenge the turnabout, but Jake is trying to craft his Carnival masterpiece.

Jake definitely has the swagger of an anime villain. He widens his arms like he’s conducting a symphony and moves slowly yet deliberately. Ashino starts quick, hitting a Drop Toe Hold and going to the ground game, but Jake stabilizes. Ashino again brings Jake down after successive German Suplexes and goes for the Ankle Lock! Jake has trouble navigating it for a while, but eventually finds the ropes.

Retreating to the corner, Jake sees the referee, Ashino charges, Jake uses the referee shield and starts taking advantage. A few direct blows to the head, Giant Killing to the back of the head, followed by D4C. Jake drags the referee back, picks up the win and leaves cackling. He’s limping heavily, selling the viciousness of the Ankle Lock even in a short match, but yeah, not what I expected.

The match was used to help build Jake’s new persona and possibly give Ashino a steeper mountain to climb. But the length and abrupt end was definitely not expected. Interesting, but also a little off putting.

Zeus vs Kento Miyahara

Zeus and Kento have had great wars. There was a point a few years ago where Kento was Zeus’ hurdle, but after beating him for the Tag titles, he then gathered momentum. Zeus has beaten Kento for the Triple Crown before, has beaten him in the Carnival, and this has been one of the best rivalries of the last few years in current AJPW. Kento is of course the current generation Ace, and everyone knows that; but given Zeus’ track record and Kento’s stagnation the last year since losing the Triple Crown to Suwama, we could get something interesting.

The match starts with their usual sarcastic respect to one another during breaks and outside the ring moments. Given that they’ve had 2 5 Snowflake classics in the last 3 years, this had a lot to live up to. But at no point did it feel like retreading, since they are both in different positions comparatively, this felt like a whole new book, not an additional chapter. Zeus landed a lot of power spots while Kento combated everything with his Knees.

Kento’s usual attack of Blackouts from different angles rocked Zeus pretty hard. Zeus ate a few, grabbed a Chokeslam and they both landed for a rest spot. Zeus drives Kento into a corner, goes for an Outside-In Brainbuster and starts trying to end things. Kento goes for the Shutdown Suplex, Zeus fires out, a few big Lariats and a Jackhammer from Zeus…AND ZEUS WINS!

 

Overall Score: 7.25/10

Now this wasn’t a bad start to things! Sure the Ashino/Jake Lee match did not go the way I expected, it definitely told enough of a story to prove it’s going somewhere. Shinjiro Otani gets a solid start to things, Shuji Ishikawa won a match he was supposed to and Zeus/Kento ended up being a solid day 1 main event.

Kento has started on the back foot before. I guess we get to see if he wins out until the Final Day, or if he has a larger struggle. Let’s check out the Day 1 Standings!

Standings:

  1. Zeus: 1-0 – (2 Points)
  2. Shuji Ishikawa: 1-0 – (2 Points)
  3. Shinjiro Otani: 1-0 – (2 Points)
  4. Kohei Sato: 1-0 – (2 Points)
  5. Jake Lee: 1-0 – (2 Points)
  6. Kento Miyahara: 0-1 – (0 Points)
  7. Suwama: 0-1 – (0 Points)
  8. Yuma Aoyagi: 0-1 – (0 Points)
  9. Shotaro Ashino: 0-1 – (0 Points)
  10. Koji Doi: 0-1 – (0 Points)


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