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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 NXT Report! (4/25/18)

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Johnny Wrestling called out the NXT Champion, and the NXT Champion replied. Tonight, Johnny Gargano’s first match back is for the championship! Will he finally achieve his dream? Or will Aleister make Gargano #FadeToBlack? Plus, Adam Cole defends his North American Championship for the first time against Oney Lorcan!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • NXT North American Championship: Adam Cole VS Oney Lorcan; Cole wins and retains the North American Championship.
  • Heavy Machinery VS Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss; Heavy Machinery wins.
  • NXT Championship: Aleister Black VS Johnny Gargano; no contest.
  • Aleister Black VS Eric Young w/ SAnitY; Aleister wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Undisputed Era is here!

The NXT Tag Team Champions, Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong–who stands in for the injured Bobby Fish–and the inaugural NXT North American Champion, Adam Cole BAYBAY are back at Full Sail. If they weren’t cocky before, they are now that they’re one man and one title stronger. Cole takes to the mic while fans chant “Undisputed! Undisputed!” They relish in this moment, and all this gold. “This is exactly what happens when you back the Undisputed Era into a corner.” Since first coming here, the Undisputed Era has been held back by NXT to prevent something like this from happening, and yet here we are. Fish speaks, saying “It’s no secret.” WarGames threw them to the wolves, and New Orleans tried the same. “But what you fail to realize” is that the Undisputed Era has been one step ahead. Look no further than these four “dripping in NXT championship gold.”

Strong speaks and fans cheer. He knows everyone wants to know “Why, Roddy, Why?” Strong isn’t the kind to pat himself on the back, that’s what his friends are for. For once, Strong did something for himself. He made the best decision of his career! Sure he could’ve won the titles with Pete Dunne, but Dunne would’ve turned on Strong in the end. Dunne only cares about the WWE UK Championship. But not the Undisputed Era. They take bullets for each other, and in that triple threat tag, Strong had an epiphany: Roddy VS The World, but why fight alone? Now they fight together to take over NXT! Kyle speaks, “We are done being backed into a corner.” It doesn’t matter what management tries, they can’t be stopped! “This is the Era of the Undisputed”, and they’re leaving everyone else in the dust.

Cole speaks again to say they’ll all prove it. Cole will defend his title tonight against Oney Lorcan, “right freakin’ now.” And on his own! He won this title on his own, so he’ll defend it that way. Just like his NXT Tag Team Champions. Honestly, he doesn’t need help beating Lorcan. Cole asks the others to find a seat and a drink to watch Cole at work. Their time is now, they will forever #ShockTheSystem! Cole is confident as ever, but will it cost him against the Boston Brawler in a matter of minutes?

 

NXT North American Championship: Adam Cole VS Oney Lorcan!

While the inaugural champion has confidence to spare, the #Starkiller never backs down from a fight! Can Lorcan shock Cole by taking that belt from him in his first title defense?

Fans duel between Cole and Lorcan. The bell rings and the two circle. Cole’s ribs are still heavily taped from TakeOver: New Orleans. He ties up with Lorcan, and moves to an arm wrench. Fans sing for “Oney~ Oney Oney Oney~” while he reverses and gets the waistlock. Cole hurries to ropes, and Lorcan lets go, so Cole kicks him low and puts him in a headlock. Lorcan powers out but Cole shoulders him down. The ribs slow Cole down but he still runs. Things speed up and Lorcan catches Cole into an abdominal stretch. Cole gets another ropebreak, then gets out of the ring. Fans applaud while Cole walks it off. The ref begins a count and Lorcan waits. Cole rolls into the ring, only to roll right back out.

Lorcan pursues him this time, and sees Cole’s ambush coming. Lorcan shoulders into Cole’s bad ribs, then drags Cole over. He wants to suplex Cole out but Cole resists for good reason. Cole enziguris Lorcan down! Lorcan gets to a corner, and Cole stomps a mudhole into him. Cole backs off at the ref’s count of 3, but Lorcan is still swinging. Cole kicks him down then hammers away. Fans cheer and jeer while Cole snapmares Lorcan. Cole digs his knee into Lorcan’s back while putting on a chinlock. Fans rally and Lorcan feeds off that energy. Lorcan works his way up and out, hitting those bad ribs with body shots. Cole still gets Lorcan up in a fireman’s carry, and hits the ushigoroshi!

Cole doesn’t cover, his ribs bother him too much. He instead catches his breath in a corner while fans cheer hm on. Lorcan stirs and Cole comes back. Lorcan throws body shots, Cole hits back, but Lorcan stands up to give European Uppercuts and chops. He whips Cole to the ropes and catches those bad ribs with a kitchen sink knee. Cole collapses but Lorcan fires up. Lorcan runs for a big EuroUpper, then the running Blockbuster!

Cover, TWO! But Lorcan fires up more while Cole gasps for air. Fans duel while Cole gets to ropes. Lorcan comes up behind and puts him in the waistlock, but Cole holds the ropes. Cole standind switches and shoves Lorcan, but Lorcan comes back with a EuroUpper on the rebound! He keeps going, but Cole is ready with the bicycle boot. Cole then goes to suplex Lorcan, but Lorcan suplexes him first, and hangs him up on the ropes. Cole tumbles to the floor, and fans rally for him. Lorcan climbs up and takes aim, but Kyle returns, a medic in tow!

Strong is also there, and Kyle throws up the X. With the referee focused on Cole and Kyle, Strong drags Lorcan out of the ring, for an apron back suplex!

He puts Lorcan in the ring, then “checks” on Cole, who is now “okay.” Cole sees Lorcan is vulnerable, Last Shot shining wizard!

Cover, Cole wins!

Winner: Cole, by pinfall; still North American Champion

So much for not needing the Undisputed Era’s help in retaining. Cole clutches his title, while Strong and Kyle stomp Lorcan out! The referee rings the bell more and more, but that doesn’t stop them from beating down poor Lorcan. But Danny Burch comes out to rescue his tag team partner!

Burch throws hands on Strong and O’Reilly, and even headbutts. But one SUPERKICK from Cole stops that! He then has Strong and O’Reilly finish off Lorcan and Burch, Strong gives Lorcan the knee strike while Kyle gives Burch the Ax ‘n’ Smash! Fans are a mix of cheers and jeers, but the Undisputed Era only care about having the titles. Will anyone be able to stop them from taking over all of NXT?

 

Heavy Machinery VS Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss!

Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic were having their tiebreaker tag team match with the Blue Chip Boys a few weeks ago, up until NXT’s newest tag team, The War Raiders, ran all four of these men over. The rubber is given a second chance, can one of these teams finally settle the score?

Tucker starts against Moss at the bell. They tie up, Tucker gets a headlock but Moss powers out. Tucker runs Moss over with a shoulder, Tino comes but Tucker ducks under for Otis to bulldoze Tino down. Tino and Moss both swing on Otis and Tucker, but Heavy Machinery ducks to then run them over with shoulders in stereo! Heavy Machinery flexes but the Blue Chip Boys make this a brawl. Otis throws Tino out while Tucker knees Moss. Tucker whips Moss and throws him with a back drop! He scoops Moss and tags in Otis, and Otis runs to the ropes. Tino returns with a leaping crossbody, but Otis catches him with ease! Tucker and Otis then ram Moss and Tino back against back, then stand on them while posing.

The referee counts, and they step off while the fans chant “Steaks and Weights! Steaks and Weights!” Tucker goes back to the corner while Otis ducks Moss’ forearm to give forearms of his own. Otis whips Moss but Moss holds ropes to club Otis. It only riles Otis up, and Otis throws haymakers. Tino returns only to get punched down, but Moss lifts Otis for a big back suplex! Moss glares at Otis as he throws right hands of his own. The referee warns Moss, but Moss brings Otis up. Tino tags in and Moss whips him in for the big forearm smash. Moss adds the shoulder tackle, Tino covers, TWO. Fans chant “Tino Sucks! Tino Sucks!” but Tino brushes it off to throw body shots on Otis.

Tag to Moss for another whip, but Otis puts Tino on the apron. Otis side steps Moss, so that shoulder tackle sends Tino flying into barriers! Otis tags in Tucker and Tucker rallies on Moss. Tucker even hits Moss with a dropkick! Tucker throws hands then whips Moss to a corner, only to run into Moss’ boot. Moss crawls towards Tino, but Tino leaves Moss high and dry!?

Moss can’t believe Tino is ditching him! But Tucker still hits Moss with a corner splash and trapped arm overhead suplex. Tucker gives Moss another corner splash and Otis tags in. Otis picks up Moss and Tucker runs, for the Compacter!

Cover, Heavy Machinery wins!

Winners: Heavy Machinery (Tucker & Otis), Otis pinning

One way or another, this rivalry ends. Tino dumped Moss but Heavy Machinery crushed him. Will this lead to big things for the big powerhouse duo? And will Moss get payback on the selfish Sabbatelli?

Heavy Machinery speaks.

Tucker calls out the War Raiders! “You think you can attack us from behind and make a name for yourselves?” Heavy Machinery is going to raid every buffet to take all the steaks, and raid all the gyms to lift all the weights. Fans agree, chanting “Steaks and Weights!” But Tucker & Otis want to know if War Raiders are man enough to stand face to face with them. Heavy Machinery is coming for war! Will Hanson & Rowe be ready to wage war with these bulldozers?

 

The Queen of Spades reigns with an iron fist.

The problem is, it only means the rest of the NXT Women’s Division looks to rebel against her. SAnitY’s Nikki Cross still wants the NXT Women’s Championship by any means necessary, while Aliyah has nothing nice to say about Shayna Baszler. If only she had a famous friend to ride the coattails of. The Pirate Princess is even with Shayna at 1-1, which means she knows the key to defeating. “It’s a secret.”

Dakota Kai is interviewed in regards to Shayna Baszler.

The Captain of Team Kick already knows how cruel Shayna can be, given her arm injury. And when it comes to the most recent incident involving the sadistic submission sorceress, Dakota does not feel comfortable talking about it. She’d rather just forget about it. And to make matters worse, Bully Baszler walks in.

The NXT Women’s Champion dares Dakota to look her in the eye. And when Dakota does, Baszler mocks Dakota’s sacrifices to live the dream. Because the reality is, a women’s division run by Shayna is Dakota’s nightmare. Baszler leaves, and Dakota is still shaken. Can Dakota, or anyone, work up the courage to put Shayna in her place?

 

Three more women of NXT speak up against Shayna Baszler.

Lacey Evans has been through worse than “a bully with a bad attitude.” She vows to be the legitimate role model that is the face of NXT. Vanessa Borne thinks she can beat Shayna, and when she gets the chance, she’ll get the title. Mrs. Wrestling, Candice LeRae, has what Shayna doesn’t have: heart. Shayna may have counters for submissions, but she doesn’t have a counter for Candice. Who will be the first woman to go toe to toe with the Queen of Spades for the title?

 

NXT Championship: Aleister Black VS Johnny Gargano!

The saying goes, “Ask and you shall receive.” Johnny Freakin’ Wrestling asked for another chance at the title, and the Dutch Destroyer honored his request. At the same time, Gargano is the only man to pin Aleister, albeit in a Fatal 4 Way. Can Gargano do the same now that it’s 1v1? Or will he simply #FadeToBlack?

But before the champion appears, the Psycho Killer does! And he ambushes Gargano all over again!

Tommaso Ciampa hammers away on Gargano at the ramp! He won’t let go of the grudge between him and his former friend! He drags Gargano from the ramp and throws him into the announce desk! Mauro, Percy and Nigel clear out as Ciampa storms over. Ciampa clears the top of the desk, then drags Gargano atop it. He clubs away on Gargano before climbing up to join him. He drags Gargano up, and shouts, “You think I’m done?!” Ciampa vows Gargano will never be rid of him! Ciampa lifts Gargano, preparing a reverse neckbreaker, but Gargano fights out! Gargano fights back, and SUPERKICKS Ciampa! Ciampa sits down, then hurries away from the desk. But that doesn’t stop Gargano, he LEAPS at Ciampa!

Gargano topples Ciampa and then hammers away with both hands. Fans cheer for “Johnny Wrestling!” as he bounces Ciampa’s head off the ramp. Ciampa shoves Gargano away but Gargano rushes right back. Gargano throws more haymakers on Ciampa, but Ciampa stops him with a low blow kick! Ciampa checks his eye while Gargano gasps for air. Ciampa shoves Gargano away, but the fans troll Ciampa with “You Tapped Out! You Tapped Out!” He doesn’t care, he has Gargano vulnerable on stage. Ciampa takes aim, and uses the Psycho Knee to ram Gargano’s head into the LED wall!

Referees check on Gargano while telling Ciampa to leave. Ciampa takes his time standing up, and walks towards the back, only to go back for more! He drags Gargano up, and jumps off the stage with an Air Raid!!

Both Ciampa and Gargano crash into the spare tables on the side, covered in spare production equipment! Ciampa doesn’t care that his head hurts, so long as as he leaves Gargano in the wreckage. He finally leaves Gargano, and Candice comes out to check on her husband. Referees call for medics while Ciampa stares down from the stage. Fans boo and jeer the Psycho Killer while medics carefully pull Gargano from the debris. They also chant “Johnny Wrestling!” in support, but the damage is done. Gargano groans in pain while the medics swiftly but carefully put him on the backboard. Candice is there to comfort and calm Gargano while the medics put the neck brace on him. They strap Gargano into the board and bring the stretcher over.

The medics carefully lift Gargano up and set him on, fans applauding the fact Gargano is still conscious and breathing. Candice holds Gargano’s hand while the stretcher is wheeled to the back. They make it backstage and Candice tells Gargano to relax. Gargano won’t stop fidgeting as he passes by the other NXT superstars. Kassius Ohno also assures Gargano he’ll be okay as the stretcher is turned around to go head first. Aleister Black watches the stretcher be loaded into the ambulance.

Candice rides with Gargano in the back. The ambulance pulls out of Full Sail, and Ciampa, atop a production truck, waves good-bye. Has the Psycho Killer finally gotten rid of Gargano for good?

Aleister Black still goes to the ring.

The Embodiment of the End won’t be having an NXT Championship match with Johnny Wrestling tonight, but he grabs a mic to speak. “Tommaso Ciampa, by eliminating my competition–” But wait! The champion is interrupted by SAnitY!

Eric Young leads Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain down to the ring, where they flank Aleister on two sides. Eric speaks, saying that “Johnny Gargano provided hope. Chaos took away that hope tonight.” And out of the chaos, SAnitY will find greatness. So then SAnitY is looking for the title? Yes? “Then let’s do this!” Fans like the sound of that!

Aleister Black VS Eric Young w/ SAnitY!

The bell rings and this is official, but not for the title. Will the erratic Eric capitalize on a chaotic situation? Or will Aleister take his frustrations towards Ciampa out on him?

Aleister and Eric circle, then tie up. Eric wrenches the arm and brings Aleister to his knees. Aleister rolls and reverses the wristlock, then ducks the clothesline to waistlock and roll Eric to the mat. Eric stands up and grabs ropes for the break. Eric muddies the break with a back elbow, then picks the leg to go after Aleister’s head and shoulder. Aleister reaches and flails while fans rally for him. Aleister stands up and rolls Eric, ONE, and Aleister runs, only to run into Eric’s back elbow! Eric covers, ONE, so he stomps and drops elbows on the champ. Cover again, TWO, but Eric runs, only to run into Aleister’s sleeper hold! Eric powers out and shoves Aleister, but Aleister stops his momentum to sweep Eric’s legs!

Eric rolls out of the ring but Aleister runs, only to springboard back for the cross leg landing. Fans applaud while Eric grins. SAnitY regroups, and a ring count begins. Eric returns to the ring, then suddenly kicks at Aleister, but Aleister leans back to kip-up! Aleister arm-drags Eric, then puts him in an armlock. Eric endures as Aleister pulls on the shoulder. Eric stands up and pushes Aleister to ropes to then ram in a shoulder and throw forearms. He lifts Aleister but Aleister slips, only for Eric to hit him with another back elbow. Eric throws a punch but Aleister traps that arm, to then ram in a knee into Eric’s ribs. Aleister gives more strikes, topping it off with the knee strike!

Fans applaud as Aleister hoists Eric to the top rope. Big Damo distracts the ref while Wolfe rushes Aleister, but Aleister elbows him away. However, this gives Eric the opening to grab Aleister for the hangman’s dragon sleeper!

The referee catches this, and Eric lets go at the count of 4. Eric then jumps to drop an ax handle on Aleister. Cover, TWO! Eric double ax handles away on Aleister then covers again, TWO! Fans rally for Aleister while Eric drags him up, for the stiff neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, and now Eric grows frustrated. He drags Aleister up for a chinbar, but fans build to a rally. Aleister fights up and out, but runs into a back drop! Cover, TWO, but Eric puts Aleister right into a chinlock clutch. He stretches Aleister back while he fans rally again. Aleister stands up again but Eric clubs him back down. Eric runs, but into Aleister’s boot! Aleister runs, Eric back drops him but Aleister sunset flips to a cover, TWO! Eric clobbers Aleister with a haymaker! But Aleister rebounds off the ropes for the bicycle knee!

Both men go down but the fans applaud. The fans build back to a rally while SAnitY is angry and concerned. Eric and Aleister stir as a ten count begins. It reaches 5 before either man stands. Eric walks over but Aleister fires off punches first. Aleister bobs and weaves, and counters with several kicks to then rally with elbows. Aleister sweeps the legs, runs to strike with another knee! The champion is all fired up, and runs corner to corner to hit Eric with a forearm smash. He whips Eric out and back into the corner, to then springboard for the Quebrada!

Cover, TWO! Aleister won’t slow down, though. He brings Eric up but Eric powers him to a corner. Eric runs back in but Aleister goes up and over, then runs to roll off Eric’s back. Aleister tilt-o-whirls to catch Eric in a combination crucifix-octopus stretch!

Eric endures the unique hold, and pops out to hoist Aleister up for a Death Valley Driver!

Cover, TWO! And Eric can’t believe it! He prepares his elbow and climbs up top. Aleister stirs, and revives to club Eric. Eric hits back but Aleister climbs up to brawl with him. Eric punches Aleister off, but Aleister ducks under the missile dropkick. Aleister then side steps Eric to send him into the corner, but Eric tumbles to the apron. Eric sees Aleister coming and shoulders back in. He then slides under and runs back over, into BLACK MASS!!

Cover, Aleister wins!

Winner: Aleister, by pinfall

But the flood gates open as Wolfe & Dain rush the ring! Aleister ducks Wolfe to give him Black Mass! Big Damo scoops Aleister, but Aleister slips out, for a third Black Mass! The Dutch Destroyer pulls off a hat trick to wreck the wild trio! It wasn’t the match he wanted, but Aleister still stands tall. Will Aleister get revenge on Ciampa for what he did to Gargano? Will Gargano be able to return to do it himself? Or will Mr. Blackheart leave them both down and out to finally have his moment?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A great episode of NXT and again, almost a full hour. The Undisputed Era gives a great opening promo, each of them on point with their lines. Oddly enough, Strong had a point about Pete Dunne tending to be a backstabber. That and his frustrations over losing seem to be why he turned. The swerve on Cole not wanting/needing help from the others was actually pretty smart, too. Cole knows his ribs are still banged up, and did look to be in trouble, so in kayfabe, Kyle and Strong were likely waiting for the first moment Cole ended up outside of the ring. Dunne returns next week to take on Strong as he promised, this could lead to another WWE UK Championship match to at least tease the possibility the Undisputed Era members all having titles.

The tiebreaker of Heavy Machinery VS Sabbatelli & Moss was pretty good as a match, and better as setting up story. Tucker & Otis want revenge on Hanson & Rowe, that’ll be a fun match with all four big men barreling into each other. Moss and Tino can themselves move into a program, and I’d imagine with Tino being the traitor (and with fans always chanting “Tino Sucks!”) Moss makes the turn to Face. Depending on who Moss becomes without Tino, he could rise up in the ranks and–after a lot of big names clear out–be a contender for the North American Championship.

The booking of the NXT Women’s Division has been brilliant. Shayna plays the bully so well, and even Dakota plays scared victim well. The promos from the other women were great, but honestly, of the six that spoke, only Nikki Cross or Kairi Sane have even been booked as challenges for Shayna. Candice LeRae is still new to being on NXT TV, so she can make a case for herself, but Lacey, Vanessa and Aliyah haven’t really gained much ground in the Division. Then the entire final segment was great, even with Ciampa demolishing Gargano. This extends their story probably to the next TakeOver, for an even more savage blow-off that brings them both to the main roster. Aleister gives SAnitY their good-bye moment, as well as a great match with Eric Young. Aleister VS Ciampa makes for a great feud while Gargano “recovers”, maybe even for the title.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Report! (4/24/18)

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Tonight, one man will earn the opportunity at Cedric Alexander’s Cruiserweight Championship in Saudi Arabia! But only by getting through a Gauntlet Match! Will it be a former champion like Kalisto or TJP, or a first-time hopeful like Drew Gulak, Tony Nese or Mustafa Ali that stands tall at the end?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contenders Gaunlet Match: Kalisto wins and will face Cedric Alexander for the Cruiserweight Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble.

PLAY BY PLAY

Drake Maverick outlines tonight’s Gauntlet Match.

Only five of the best superstars on the 205 Live roster will compete in “the most grueling” match for a chance at the Cruiserweight Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble. Drew Gulak vows to continue his quest for a #Better205Live. He will defeat any and all opponents and make them tap out. Tony Nese knows Gauntlets require stamina, which is perfect for the Premier Athlete. Kalisto says he’ll take that first step towards being a two-time champion! Inaugural champion TJP says he could “get up of the couch” and make the best tap out. No one will stop “The Best of All Time” from bringing the title back to where it all began. Mustafa Ali knows he was close to being Cruiserweight Champion at Wrestlemania. No matter the hand he’s dealt, he won’t fold. One of these five will survive the Gauntlet, who will meet Cedric Alexander in Saudi Arabia?

 

WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contenders Gaunlet Match!

Buddy Murphy would have been #1 Contender already if not for both his sneak attack on the champion, and not making weight to be part of the Cruiserweight Division. However, his loss will be someone else’s gain. This Gauntlet is going to go all night, and by the end, we will have a challenger for Cedric Alexander! First up are…

Mustafa Ali! The Beacon of Light draws Number One but that doesn’t bother him. Ali will go for as long as it takes to earn another Cruiserweight Championship match.

His opponent will be… TJP! The “Cruiser-Great” and inaugural (New Era) Cruiserweight Champion is Number Two, is it already game over for Ali?

TJP already trash talks Ali as he makes his way into the ring. He clearly feels he should’ve just been made the #1 contender, but he doesn’t mind showing why he deserves that right. The bell rings and we begin.

Mustafa Ali VS TJP!

The two circle, then tie up. TJP puts Ali on the ropes but he honors the break with a dab. Ali doesn’t like the swagger, so he wrenches TJP’s arm. He wrenches and brings TJP down but TJP stands back up, to then roll and reverse to a drop toehold. TJP puts Ali in a facelock and loops an arm for the float over, TWO. Ali arm-drags TJP down to an armlock. TJP spins again to whip, but Ali wrenches TJP’s arm again. Ali puts TJP back in the armlock, but TJP pulls hair. He puts Ali in a corner then whips corner to corner, but Ali goes up and over. Ali handsprings back but only to run into TJP’s shoulder.

TJP runs and things speed up, TJP catches Ali into a dragon’s lair pin! ONE into Ali’s crucifix, ONE to TJP’s standard cover, ONE again. Ali sweeps TJP’s legs for another cover, ONE and TJP returns the favor. ONE as Ali bridges out and runs. He cartwheels over TJP, TJP sunset flips but Ali rolls through. TJP guards when Ali shows a punch, so Ali rolls behind him. TJP doesn’t know where Ali went, until Ali dropkicks him in the back! Fans applaud and Ali dabs to mock TJP. TJP gets mad and kicks, but Ali blocks to give a kick of his own! TJP falls out of the ring but hurries back in, only to run into Ali’s flapjack dropkick. This sends TJP back out, and he decides to stay out when he sees Ali ready to strike.

Fans boo and jeer while TJP catches his breath. The referee counts and Ali waits for TJP. Ali stops waiting and slips out to go after TJP. TJP slips back in but Ali grabs his foot. TJP uses that to hotshot Ali into the ropes! Then he wraps Ali up in a rope-assisted Octopus Stretch!

Ali shouts in pain while the referee counts. TJP lets go at 3, but then he hits Ali with a wrecking ball dropkick! Ali falls to the floor, but TJP drags him back up into the ring. Cover, TWO, but TJP keeps his cool. He brings Ali up while Dasha Fuentes interviews Cedric Alexander backstage.

She knows the Cruiserweight Champion is paying close attention to this Gauntlet match, because he’ll be defending his title against the winner this Friday. But is Buddy Murphy and that ambush of his still on Alexander’s mind? Alexander says Murphy made a statement with that attack, but he also made “the biggest mistake” when he couldn’t make weight. When Murphy does return, Alexander promises to make a statement of his own. But of course, Murphy’s loss makes for “a hell of an opportunity” for the five men in the Gauntlet. If the winner of this match brings their A Game at Greatest Royal Rumble, then Alexander has his work cut out for him. But this is the #AgeofAlexander, he’ll be ready.

While the interview happens, TJP puts Ali in a corner and grinds a boot into Ali’s throat. TJP backs off at the ref’s count, but toys with Ali. He snapmares Ali and hits the slingshot senton, then covers. ONE, but TJP keeps on Ali with a half-surfboard stretch. Ali endures while fans build to a rally. Ali stands up and works to turn TJP, but TJP turns Ali back to bring him to his knees. TJP shifts from surfboard to straitjacket, and bends Ali all the way back against his knees. Ali endures while fans rally again, and rolls over to make it a double wristlock cover. TWO, and TJP yanks Ali into the ropes! Ali snaps back into TJP’s Russian leg sweep and prawn hold cover. TWO, but TJP turns that into a Koji clutch!

Ali endures again while fans rally. He rolls TJP as best he can, but TJP breaks the hold. Ali hits back, giving TJP both an overhand and backhand chop. TJP hits back with a spinning back kick, then whips Ali into a corner. Ali goes up and over then runs, throwing TJP with a headscissors. Ali rallies on TJP, whips but TJP reverses to send him into a corner. TJP runs in but Ali slips out to the apron, and he hits back with a roundhouse. TJP staggers while fans fire up. Ali slingshots in, somersault facebuster! Cover, TWO!

Ali keeps his cool, and stands up over TJP. He brings TJP up for a suplex but TJP slips out. TJP shoves Ali to a corner and Ali bounces off buckles. Ali staggers back into TJP’s double chickenwing, but Ali reverses the Dodon Buster into a victory roll! TWO, and TJP gets to a corner. TJP goes up and over but Ali side steps, only to run into TJP’s back elbow. TJP hops up but Ali rocks him with a palm strike. Ali climbs up to join TJP, but TJP pushes him away! Ali lands on his feet, but TJP’s missile dropkick goes after the knee, flipping Ali onto his back. TJP grabs Ali for the Kneebar!

TJP gets the grapevine! Ali endures while fans rally. He reaches for the ropes as he shouts in pain. He drags himself and TJP over and gets the ropebreak. Fans cheer the heart of the Heart of 205 Live, but TJP holds on until 4 in the count. TJP grabs Ali’s leg but Ali holds onto the ropes, even as Ali stands back up. TJP yanks Ali off the ropes but Ali fights back with haymakers, so TJP carries Ali into a corner! Ali clubs TJP to get him off his leg, and TJP staggers away. TJP runs in and blocks Ali’s boot to go back after the bad leg, but Ali shoves him away with the good leg. Ali hops up and launches himself for a flying tornado DDT! Fans applaud while Ali crawls over. He positions TJP then climbs up top, for the 0-5-4!

It hits, Ali covers, he eliminates TJP!

Elimination: TJP

The “Cruiser-Great” is done for the night, but this was just the beginning for the Beacon of Light. Ali has only minutes to rest before his next opponent comes out. Number Three into the Gauntlet is… A familiar foe, in Drew Gulak!

Mustafa Ali VS Drew Gulak!

Ali knows all too well how Gulak loves to torture an opponent’s joints and his knee is an easy target. Will the self-proclaimed BEST submission specialist in all of the WWE grind Ali into dust?

Gulak taunts Ali as he hobbles around, cornering Ali as he goes for the leg. Ali dodges and rolls Gulak up, TWO, but Ali keeps on Gulak with clubbing forearms. Gulak powers Ali up and throws him legs first at the ropes! Ali rolls out of the ring, clutching his bad leg. Gulak won’t give him time to recover as he goes out to fetch him, but he still walks into Ali’s drop toehold! Gulak hits the ground and both men are down as the referee counts. Ali manages to stand up and put Gulak back in the ring. He climbs up but Gulak goes to intercept, onto to get punched away. Ali leaps for the crossbody! But Gulak rolls through to a Half Crab! He works to turn Ali but Ali pushes him away.

Gulak runs back but into a small package, TWO, and Gulak clobbers Ali with a clothesline! Cover, TWO, but Gulak grins as he looms over the exhausted Ali. Gulak drags Ali around by that bad leg, and stomps it every so often. Ali writhes in pain, but Gulak keeps going as he puts Ali’s leg on the rope and stands on it. Gulak’s weight bends that knee a bad way, and even tortures the ankle. We go picture in picture for a Greatest Royal Rumble plug while Gulak drags Ali up for a chop. Ali falls back, Gulak sits him up and pulls on that bad leg. Gulak grinds a forearm into Ali’s face while stretching that leg all the way back.

Ali endures, and reaches up to claw at Gulak’s face. Ali pops out of the hold and fights back with body shots. Gulak chops back, then shoves Ali to flapjack him on the rebound. Ali’s leg takes part of the hit, Gulak covers, TWO. Gulak stays on that leg with the knee wrench. He shouts for Ali to give up, then drops an elbow before he grapevines the knee wrench. Gulak digs his elbow into Ali’s knee while he again shouts for Ali to give up. Ali endures the pain while keeping this from becoming a cover. The fans rally, and Ali fights back with haymakers. Gulak keeps on the knee but Ali clubs away, so Gulak shifts to stomping that leg. Gulak then dragon screws the leg, and Ali writhes again. Cover, TWO, but Gulak keeps his cool.

Gulak drags Ali up but Ali hits back with body shots and forearms. Ali gives more forearms, but Gulak scoops him. Ali slips out and shoves Gulak to ropes, but Gulak catches Ali’s huricanrana and turns it into a Half Crab! Gulak drags Ali away from the ropes, so Ali is stranded as he endures the pain. Ali manages to roll but Gulak rolls him back. Ali stands up and enziguris Gulak down! Fans rally while Ali gets to a corner. Ali drags himself up with the ropes, Gulak runs in, but Ali slips out and roundhouse kicks him away. Fans fire up and Ali rolls in, but Gulak counters the facebuster into a powerbomb! Matchbox cover, TWO, but Gulak puts the Half Crab back on. Ali endures the pain all over again as Gulak sits all the way down. Gulak tortures Ali by adding in an armlock!

This crab is part Bow ‘n’ Arrow, but Ali does not give up. Fans rally and Ali fights for the ropes. He reaches, and gets the break! Gulak lets go while the fans applaud, he’s growing frustrated. But Gulak keeps on Ali, dragging him up again to bounce him off buckles. Gulak asks Ali if he’s “had enough”, but when Ali doesn’t answer, he bounces Ali off more buckles. Gulak knows Ali likes flying, so he puts Ali on the top rope. He uses the top rope to wrench that bad knee, but Ali ear-claps Gulak back! Ali adjusts while Gulak steadies himself. Ali bumps Gulak off buckles now, then drags him back up for a hangman’s half crab!

Gulak gets a taste of his own medicine, but lets go at the ref’s count of 4. Gulak tumbles out of the ring and to the floor. Ali adjusts, but Gulak is upon him already. Ali punches Gulak back down to then FLY!

Down goes Gulak! Fans chant for Ali while he clutches his leg. Ali drags Gulak up and into the ring, but Gulak is ready, he chop blocks the leg out! Ali collapses, and Gulak drags him back up for the dragon sleeper, but Ali slips around to roll Gulak! TWO, but Ali uses the momentum to hop up and jump back for another flying tornado DDT! Gulak flounders into a drop zone, and Ali hurries back up top. That bad leg slows him down, and then it gives out. Ali still tries, but Gulak springs up to shove Ali off! Ali hits the steel steps on the way down!

The referee checks on Ali, but he is out. Gulak doesn’t care, he drags Ali up and into the ring. He doesn’t go for a cover, either, but for the GuLOCK!

The referee has no choice, he has to call it. Gulak eliminates an unconscious Ali.

Elimination: Mustafa Ali

Fans boo and jeer but Gulak wants his hand raised in victory. He hasn’t won the Gauntlet yet, but he does have some revenge, because he eliminated the man who eliminated him in the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. However, Number Four in the Gauntlet is… TONY NESE!

Drew Gulak VS Tony Nese!

The Premier Athlete skips the self-indulging and storms his way right down to the ring. Gulak got his payback, can Nese get his?

Gulak rushes Nese the second he’s in the ring but Nese is ready! Nese takes Gulak down and hammers away with left hands! Gulak gets away but only for a moment as Nese drags him back in and stomps him out. Nese doesn’t let up, he drags Gulak up and puts him in a corner for body shots. Nese whips corner to corner and then back drops Gulak! The Premier Athlete fires up and stomps Gulak more. He drags Gulak up but Gulak hits back with body shots and chops of his own. Gulak swings but Nese handsprings to evade, then mule kicks Gulak. Nese hits a knee lift to roundhouse to leg sweep, but Gulak rolls out of the ring. That doesn’t stop Nese, Nese runs and FLIES!

Down goes Gulak again, and the fans fire up with Nese. Nese says Gulak wanted this, then he throws Gulak into barriers. He drags Gulak back up and throws him into more barriers. Nese resets the ring count, then fetches Gulak. He puts Gulak against the apron to give him a sharp chop. Nese gives Gulak more chops as he says Gulak started this when he turned on Nese months ago. Nese then takes aim, and throws Gulak over the announce table, right into Vic’s chair. Fans want “One More Time!” Nese resets the count first, then drags Gulak up to his feet. Nese backs up, and throws Gulak into the side of the announce desk now.

Fans still want more, but the referee insists they bring this back to the ring. Nese obeys, and puts Gulak in the ring. He drags Gulak up, daring him to keep fighting. Gulak hits back, so Nese runs him over! Nese stomps Gulak more, roaring with rage. He drags Gulak up, but Gulak throws Nese out to the apron. Nese wobbles, but he avoids Gulak to kick him back. Gulak falls down and Nese goes to a corner, and he springboards for the triangle moonsault! Gulak gets out of the ring but Nese lands on his feet, to then slide out and rock Gulak with a roaring left forearm! Fans fire up for Nese as he drags Gulak up and into the ring again.

Nese toys with Gulak a bit, then sits him up in the corner. While Nese says Gulak isn’t on Nese’s level, Gulak grabs Nese’s beard! Nese stomps a mudhole into Gulak in return, then runs for the Premier Kneese!

Nese drags Gulak out of the corner, but that’s not enough for Nese. He puts Gulak back in the corner, and brings down the knee pad. Nese says Gulak deserves this, then he runs, but Gulak evades! No second Premier Kneese, but there is a second GuLOCK!

Gulak has Nese trapped! Nese flails, then taps!

Elimination: Tony Nese

Gulak lets him go, and Nese shouts in frustration. Nese’s thirst for vengeance got the better of him, and now he’s out of the Gauntlet match! The fans rub it in by chanting “You Tapped Out!” as he makes his exit. But now we know who is the last man into the Gauntlet: KALISTO!

Drew Gulak VS Kalisto!

The Lucha Dragon is a former Cruiserweight Champion, and is in the best position to win. Will he keep his focus and bring the #LuchaHouseParty to Saudi Arabia?

Kalisto rushes the ring but Gulak slips out. Gulak rests against the announce desk, but Kalisto wants to get going. The fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” with Kalisto while Gulak clears his head. Kalisto dares Gulak to get back in, and Gulak does, at his own pace. Kalisto rushes him again, and Gulak slips out of the ring again. Gulak walks around the ring while the referee keeps Kalisto in it. Gulak lets the ring count climb to 6 while he recovers. He returns at 7, but then slips back out the second Kalisto runs at him. Fans boo and jeer but Gulak doesn’t care. Gulak slides in but then back out, continuing to frustrate Kalisto.

Gulak returns this time, and now he rushes Kalisto, but Kalisto’s ready with a dropkick! Kalisto follows Gulak out this time to keep the fight going. He Listo kicks Gulak against the barriers! Fans echo “Lucha! Lucha!” while Kalisto stands Gulak up for another Listo kick. Kalisto reenters the ring then dropkicks Gulak back down, then builds speed to DIVE! But Gulak turns it into a slam!

Kalisto crashes and burns into barriers while Gulak gets away. Gulak rests against the LED apron while the referee checks on Kalisto. Kalisto is okay to continue, so a new ring count begins. Gulak leaves Kalisto to the mercy of the count while Dasha Fuentes interviews Tony Nese.

The Premier Athlete is clearly furious, how does he rebound from this? He has no words, and simply leaves, seething. Meanwhile, the count climbs, and Kalisto finally stirs. Kalisto beats the count at 9.5! Gulak keeps on him with elbows to the head, and he even rips the tail of Kalisto’s mask. Gulak stomps on Kalisto, showing neither respect nor mercy to the luchador. He rakes at the mask’s eyes, then puts Kalisto in the dragon sleeper. Kalisto slips out and gets to the ropes for safety. Gulak stalks Kalisto, then drags him up again. Gulak snap suplexes Kalisto, covers, TWO. But Gulak isn’t frustrated, he just grins and laughs it off. He stomps Kalisto and then clubs away with crossface forearms. He forces Kalisto down to a cover, ONE, so Gulak puts a chinlock on.

Kalisto endures, and fans rally with “Lucha! Lucha!” chants. Kalisto fights up and out with body shots, but Gulak knees low. Gulak walks into Kalisto’s boot, then Kalisto spins things around to headscissor throw Gulak down. Gulak gets to a corner then side steps, but Kalisto responds with a SUPERKICK! Kalisto hops up for a tornado DDT, but Gulak blocks that to hang Kalisto up on the ropes. Kalisto bounces off and down, and Gulak gets a third GuLOCK!

Kailsto flails and reaches with his legs, so Gulak drags him up. Gulak lifts Kalisto, but can’t get Kalisto up. He keeps trying, but Kalisto uses that to sling Gulak forward into buckles! Gulak is dazed, Kalisto stands up, and hits the Salida Del Sol!

Cover, Kalisto wins!!

Winner: Kalisto, by pinfall

The Lucha Dragon wins the Gauntlet! He will face Cedric Alexander at the Greatest Royal Rumble for the Cruiserweight Championship! And to join in on the celebration, it’s the rest of Lucha House Party, Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik.

And speaking of the Cruiserweight Champion, Cedric Alexander is still here, and he makes his way out on stage.

The Soul of 205 Live applauds for Kalisto, but he signals that he won’t give the belt up so easily. Lucha House Party is confident their leader will bring the Cruiserweight Championship back from Saudi Arabia, will the #AgeOfAlexander end already?

 


 

My Thoughts:

An incredible night of action, and it was all in one match! The Cruiserweight Division has been on a hot streak ever since January and there’s no signs of slowing down. Just about everything in this was spot on, especially with the action. Ali and TJP starting was a great combination, and with Ali going over, it makes you think he might pull off the miracle of lasting the entire night. However, it feeds his title chase story to go down in the second round. Gulak really builds his aggressive Heel points with going for submission over pin. It also perfectly works towards story that Nese only fails because he wanted to punish Gulak over beat him.

For a moment, I thought Gulak would win it all, but eliminating three men would be too much too soon for him. But since Nese’s revenge is still unsatisfied, they can continue their rivalry instead. Kalisto wins as the last man so that it doesn’t really hurt Gulak’s rankings. The Greatest Royal Rumble is partially filler when it comes to the Cruiserweight Championship, so Kalisto is the choice for the best in-ring action without doing any real harm when Alexander retains. The real title program will be Alexander VS Murphy at Backlash, as Murphy could easily return as soon as next week.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (4/24/18)

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Daniel Bryan and The Miz are finally on the same brand again! As such, the Hollywood A-Lister will have the Goat on the SmackDown premiere of Miz TV. Will these two be able to keep from fighting this close to the Greatest Royal Rumble? Plus, Charlotte and Carmella will sign the contract for their Backlash rematch!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Asuka & Becky Lynch VS The IIconics; The IIconics win.
  • Jimmy Uso w/ Jey VS Rowan w/ Harper; Jimmy Uso wins.
  • Jeff Hardy VS Shelton Benjamin; rescheduled as…
  • Randy Orton VS Shelton Benjamin; Benjamin wins.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev & Aiden English VS AJ Styles & The Good Brothers; Nakamura, Rusev & English win.

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE and SmackDown dedicate tonight to Bruno Sammartino.

 

It’s the SmackDown premiere of Miz TV!

The Hollywood A-Lister comes to the Blue Brand because of the Superstar Shake-Up and special request of former General Manager, Daniel Bryan. Miz also looks to take back the Intercontinental Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble this Friday in the Fatal 4 Way Ladder Match. But as for tonight in Louisville, he shushes them before demanding they welcome him back! Then he begins the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show properly and declares he makes SmackDown THE Show, but “there’s something missing.” That’s the title he held, that his guest gave up three years ago and Miz vows to win for a record ninth time when he defeats Seth Rollins, Finn Balor and Samoa Joe. That title is THE most coveted title in all of the WWE thanks to Miz!

But that’s Friday. Tonight is Tuesday, and this is the moment the world’s been waiting for. Tonight’s guest is a man who threatened to punch Miz in the face. Fans like the sound of that. Miz blames this man for getting Talking Smack cancelled, and then demanded Miz be brought to SmackDown just to get his hands on him. “And quite frankly, I’m surprised.” Miz welcomed his first child into the world, and locking eyes with her for the first time, he knew he had to be a better man. All of Miz’s anger and bitterness towards Daniel Bryan “melted away”. Odd that Bryan isn’t the same after his daughter was born.

But Bryan and Miz still have a lot in common, from being fathers to being television stars to being “masterful, in-ring technicians”. But a major difference: Miz has changed to be a better man. If Bryan still wants to punch him, then he can come on out and do it. Miz and Louisville both want Bryan to come out and do it, but Bryan doesn’t appear. Instead, Big Cass appears!

The Human Skyscraper walks out, dressed in a fresh new suit, and enters the ring. Miz asks what Cass is here for. There’s no guest, so Cass volunteered to be the guest. They take a seat, and Miz says he was going to interview Daniel Bryan. Cass says no one cares about Bryan. Cass got injured and worked 24-7 to get back asap. The day he does, so does Daniel Bryan. But all anyone cares about is “Daniel Bryan this, Daniel Bryan that.” No one cared about Cass! Cass lives in the shadow of an “ordinary little man”. Miz understands Cass is mad, but if he’s trying to help with Bryan, Miz doesn’t need it. Cass tells Miz that “not everything is about you”.

Miz takes offense to that. Does Cass know who he is? Miz is a Grand Slam Champion, first-ballot Hall of Famer, and has main-evented ‘Mania! Wrestling is a what-have-you-done-lately business, and all Cass has done is hobble around! Then maybe Cass should shut Miz’s mouth. Fans would like to see that. Miz says this isn’t about them, this is about Dnaiel Bryan. Damn right! That average Joe who should be laying tile or taking out trash, Bryan is out here spewing trash to the fans. Reach for the stars, achieve dreams, but too bad, because “you are all a bunch of Joe Schmoes.” Cass used to be small and pathetic and weak, “it sucks!” He was bullied and pushed around, until he got sick and tired of it. Cass grew and grew, to be 7 foot tall and someone who beat up those who got him.

Bryan reminds Cass of his weak former self, that’s why Cass hates him! But Cass didn’t need to go to indies, to Japan, to Europe, and you know why? Because Cass is tall, smart and handsome. That makes Cass valuable, a star, and makes him money! Yet, he’s in the shadow of Daniel Bryan? “Not for long.” Cass will make sure Bryan goes back to where he belongs: “on the shelf, beaten, battered, bruised, and retired.” Bryan will never cast a shadow over anyone again. Cass mocks “Yes! Yes!” then drops the mic. The big man had big words for the little Goat, will he be able to back it up should he and Bryan meet in the ring?

 

Speaking of Daniel Bryan…

He’s been attacked! The former GM and champion is down, in need of medics and trainers. Will he be okay to compete? And who attacked him? Though, it might not be that hard to guess…

 

Asuka & Becky Lynch VS The IIconics!

Peyton Royce & Billie Kay may have cost Charlotte Flair her SmackDown Women’s Championship, but the Queen is busy going after her throne. That leaves the Empress and the Lass Kicker to take care of the Iconic Duo for her. Will Peyton & Billie have a #TrulyIIconic in-ring debut? Or are they not ready for Asuka and Straight Fire?

Before the match, the IIconics praise themselves for their looks. The camera loves Billie. No it loves Peyton. It loves both of them! But Becky stuck her nose where it doesn’t belong. Peyton impersonates Becky now, “Where are my lucky charms?” Spot on again! But then she teams with the nosy Empress of Tomorrow. Tomorrow? Fact check: if Charlotte beat Asuka and took the Undefeated Streak, and then the IIconics ended the Queen’s title reign, that makes them better than Asuka!

Science and math, it just makes sense. Empress of Tomorrow is now the Empress of Yesterday. Peyton & Billie are the future, but the future is interrupted!

The match begins with picture in picture as Asuka starts against Billie. Asuka has the fans on her side as they circle and tie up. Asuka wrenches Billie’s arm but Billie stomps a foot to then reverse the wrench. However, Asuka uses the ropes to acrobatically reverse back. Billie pulls Asuka’s hair but Asuka snapmares. Billie gest away, but narrowly avoids the roundhouse! Asuka teases her, to then hip attack! Asuka taunts Peyton then yansk on Billie’s arm. She brings Billie over and tags in Becky, Becky climbs up for teh ax handle. Becky kicks Billie then knocks her down with a calf kick. Billie bails out while Becky and Asuka fire up. Becky goes to the apron and hits Billie with a forearm, but Peyton comes over to attack. Becky bounces her off the apron, and then Asuka adds a sliding knee!

Asuka high fives Becky before Becky puts Billie back in the ring. Billie drops an elbow but misses, Becky waistlocks. Billie bucks Becky off and runs her over, but Becky arm-drags her back. Becky has Billie in the armlock, and even gives her a noogey. Tag to Asuka and Asuka kicks away at the leg. Asuka mule kicks but Billie grabs shorts to then yank Asuka down by her hair! Billie tags Peyton and Peyton keeps on Asuka. She slaps Asuka but that only riles Asuka up. Asuka grins but Peyton is afraid, and she should be, as Asuka unleashes strikes. Peyton reverses the whip but Asuka hits with the hip attack! We return to single picture as Asuka tags Becky back in.

Becky grabs Peyton but Peyton throws her down by her hair. Cover but Becky slips uot for teh Oklahoma roll, TWO. Becky kicks Peyton and whips but Peyton reverses again. Becky dodges to knock Peyton down with a forearm. Fans fire up for Becky, Becky misses her forearm in the corner but still gets the jump kick. She throws Peyton with a Becksploder! Peyton tags Billie but Billie runs into the drop toehold. Becky drags Billie up but Billie throws Becky down with an arm wringer. Billie chokes Becky at the ropes, then Peyton gets a cheap shot! Cover, ONE, but BIllie tags in. The IIconics work together on Becky’s arm, using the ref’s count to their advantage. Tag back to Billie while fans rally for Becky. The IIconics isolate Becky and put her in an armlock, but fans rally for the former champion.

Becky reaches while enduring a new armlock. She gets up but Billie knees low to whip her back into the IIconic corner. Billie taunts Asuka, but Becky boots her away. Becky fights out of the corner, double clotheslines bring Becky and Billie down. Fans rally again, hot tags to Peyton and Asuka! Asuka rallies with hip attack to Billie then a dropkick Peyton! She keeps going, blocking Peyton’s kick into an ankle lock! Peyton hops to Billie, but Becky breaks them up, then Asuka throws Peyton with a German Suplex!

Asuka runs to hip attack Peyton again. Tag to Becky, Becky and Asuka double whip Peyton for double hip toss, sliding enziguri and leg drop! Billie returns but then runs away, so Becky brings Peyton up. Peyton shoves Becky into Asuka, but Becky fights back with forearms and uppercuts. Becky whips corner to corner but Peyton puts her on the apron. Becky fights both IIconics off, but Peyton still sends her into the post. Roll up AND ropes, the IIconcis win!

Winners: The IIconics (Peyton & Billie), Peyton pinning

An #IIconicUpset with this win! The best friends from down under bring down two great former champions, will there be something great in the future for “the future”?

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

Renee Young sees he’s in a good mood. Well why wouldn’t he be? Three days from The Greatest Royal Rumble and a rematch with Shinsuke Nakamura. But for right now, he’s happy because Shane McMahon gave him the chance to soften Nakamura up. Though, the con artist has Rusev Day backing him up. Is it a handicap match? No, Styles is lucky to have back-up of his own. Who? Oh, it’ll be #TooSweet. A major main event has been made, and it shouldn’t be too hard to guess who the Phenomenal One will have on his side.

 

Zelina Vega & Andrade “Cien” Almas speak.

“This is the only brand we’re worried about.” El Idolo, a third generation superstar and a former NXT Champion, Almas has the talent while Vega has the schemes. And Vega vows he will show the world why he deserves the spotlight.

 

The Usos talk backstage.

They’re preparing for a return from last week, but Naomi comes in to talk with her husband. Before she says anything, Jimmy wants her to promise she won’t end up ringside like last week. She is not, and she will not apologize, either. She was genuinely concerned. But does she trust him? Yes, of course. She loves him, but she saw “nothing” in the eyes of Harper & Rowan.

This may be their life, but Naomi has a bad feeling, and wants him to trust her. He knows, but don’t worry, Jey has his back both tonight and Friday. Jimmy says he’ll take care of Rowan, and gives Naomi a kiss for good luck. Will luck be enough going up against the Bludgeon Brothers?

 

Jimmy Uso w/ Jey VS Rowan w/ Harper!

As Jimmy told Naomi, he and his brother will take on these Bludgeon Brothers for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships in Saudi Arabia. Tonight is about gaining momentum towards that match, but will Jimmy end up coming to a screeching halt running into the Red Lamb of Doom?

The bell rings and Rowan dropkicks Jimmy down! Rowan clubs him down, then headbutts him down. Rowan chokes Jimmy against the ropes, Harper gets a cheap shot in! Jimmy is thrown to the apron while Jey goes after Harper, but misses his flying attack. Harper boots Jey down, but Jimmy dumps Rowan out. Jimmy builds speed and DIVES, but Rowan catches him to then scoop him. Jimmy slips out to put Rowan into the post! Rowan staggers and Jimmy climbs up, flying crossbody! Cover, TWO! Jimmy mule kicks and climbs up again, but Rowan shoves him off! Jimmy hits barriers face first. Rowan rolls out and comes around the corner to run Jimmy over! Rowan roars while fans boo and jeer.

The ref counts, Rowan puts Jimmy in the ring at 4. Rowan himself returns and drags Jimmy up. Fans rally for the Usos, but Rowan scoops Jimmy again. Naomi comes out in full entrance! Her #GlowTime distracts Harper & Rowan, SUPERKICK from Jey to Harper! Jey puts Harper into steel steps, and Jimmy dropkicks Rowan! Jimmy rolls him up, Jimmy wins!

Winner: Jimmy Uso by pinfall

Now the Usos can thank Naomi for helping even the score! However, Naomi won’t be in Arabia for the Greatest Royal Rumble. Will the Usos be able to survive when they have only themselves against the Bludgeon Brothers?

 

Renee Young presides over the SmackDown Women’s Championship contract signing.

Backlash will be where the title is defended in a rematch from Carmella’s Ms. Money in the Bank cash-in. The champion is introduced, but she snatches the mic to delay Charlotte’s introduction. “That is so disrespectful.” Fans echo “WOO~!”, to which Carmella also takes offense. Carmella is being introduced first? “In what world is it acceptable” to bring out champion before challenger? This isn’t Charlotte’s kingdom, it’s Carmella’s. So before it gets boring out here, Carmella has something to address: “I’m your champion. You’re booing me because none of you will ever know what it’s like to be a champion”. Carmella gave us a #Mellabration, played a FABULOUS highlight reel, but no one gave her an ovation.

But since she’s the champ, she’s going to play that highlight reel again. And this time, she demands they show her the respect she deserves! That means they will stand up and cheer for her. Play it!!

The same highlight reel does play, recapping Carmella’s Ms. Money in the Bank victory she managed “all by herself”. When it ends, the only one standing up to applaud is Corey Graves. Everyone else boos and jeers. Carmella is not accepting that, so she’s going to play that highlight reel again. And this time, the WWE Universe better stand up and cheer! The highlight reel plays again, but Charlotte interrupts with her entrance.

The former champion sits down while the current champion runs the title in her face. Renee wants Carmella to be professional but that’s not happening. Now that they’re both present, they can sign the contract. Fans “WOO~!” while Carmella continues to taunt Charlotte from across the table.

Charlotte keeps her cool, takes the pen, and signs her name. Then she gives out a proper “WOO~!” Carmella stands up and sticks the belt in her face again, so Charlotte slams Carmella’s face on the table! Then kicks the table over on Carmella! Renee leaves the ring while Charlotte brushes herself off. The Queen dumps the Princess down, but can she take the throne back at Backlash?

 

Backstage interview with…

Well, it was supposed to be Shinsuke Nakamura, but Aiden English answers the knock on the door. The Drama King says they’re not doing interviews. The trio of Rusev Day and the Rockstar are hush-hush about their Six-Man Tag, will they be able to work together against The Club?

 

Jeff Hardy VS Shelton Benjamin!

The Charismatic Enigma defeated the Gold Standard last week, in Hardy’s return to SmackDown. However, one match is not enough for Benjamin, who is a former United States Champion himself. Will Benjamin tie things up this close to Hardy’s title defense against Jinder Mahal? Or will Hardy go 2-0 already?

But wait, in return for the surprise last week, The Viper arrives while Hardy makes his entrance. Randy Orton, who is still promised a United States Championship match in his own right, decides to return the favor in full by taking this match from Hardy, too.

Randy Orton VS Shelton Benjamin!

The bell rings and Orton circles with Benjamin. They tie up, Benjamin powers Orton to a corner, but honors the break. Hardy watches ringside now as Benjamin goes for Orton’s leg. Orton gets to a corner for the break, and Benjamin backs off. The two circle again, tie up, and Benjamin gets a headlock. Orton powers out but Benjamin shoulders him down. Benjamin runs but Orton jumps over. Orton kicks but Benjamin blocks, Benjamin kicks but Orton blocks, and Orton ducks the dragon whip kick. Benjamin denies the RKO just in time, and the two circle again. Benjamin knees low then throws haymakers and stomps. The referee backs him off, Orton kicks back and throws European Uppercuts. Orton rocks Benjamin but drags him through the ropes, but Benjamin hotshots Orton back!

Benjamin brings Orton through ropes now, for a kick after kick after kick. He tops it off with a knee strike while we go picture in picture. Orton slowly stirs, but Benjamin fetches him. Benjamin bounces Orton’s head off the table, then stares Hardy down before throwing haymakers. Benjamin resets the count but Orton climbs up, only to get rocked with another knee! Orton falls to the floor, and Benjamin lets him be at the count’s mercy. Orton slowly drags himself up again, beating the count at 8. Benjamin is right on him with stomps, then drags Orton up into a chinlock. Orton endures the squeeze, slowly working his way up to his feet.

We go single picture again as Benjamin keeps on the squeeze. Fans rally for Orton and he fights back with body shots and headbutts, but Benjamin gets the dragon whip kick! Cover, TWO, but Benjamin keeps on Orton with a new chinlock. Orton works his way up again, reaching for ropes. He stands up and back suplexes Benjamin down! Orton is free of the hold and catches his breath while Benjamin rolls to ropes. They both stand up, Orton begins to rally with clotheslines. He dodges Benjamin and hits the spinning powerslam! Benjamin rolls to ropes, Orton brings him out, and hits the draping DDT!

Orton hears the voices in his head while fans fire up. Benjamin slips out of the ring, and Orton comes out to fetch him, bouncing him off the table. Hardy sees where Orton is going with Benjamin and clears out, not wanting trouble. Orton back suplexes Benjamin on the table instead!

They return into the ring, and Hardy watches a bit closer now, but a masked man chop blocks Hardy’s bad leg! Orton sees that man running away, but that man ends up cornered by security. The masked man goes into the ring, and Orton pulls the mask off to reveal Sunil Singh! Orton knows what to do with him: RKO! But Benjamin creeps up on Orton, PAY DIRT! Cover, Benjamin wins!

Winner: Benjamin, by pinfall

The Gold Standard pins the #1 Contender, while the current champion is limping. Will Hardy be ready for Mahal in Arabia? Will Benjamin find himself in line for that title should it stay on SmackDown?

 

The New Day feasts backstage.

They celebrate the launch of The Book of Booty, and toast with a glass of Booty-O’s! But then The Bar interrupts… Cesaro & Sheamus ruin the New Day’s appetites. But don’t worry, The Bar will win the Raw Tag Team Championships and go back to Raw. The New Day celebrate that! Well because obviously, the SmackDown Tag Division doesn’t stack up. They don’t just set the bar– No! Go away! Stop! “WE ARE THE BAR!” And they take pancakes away!

 

AJ Styles reunites with the Good Brothers.

The Club is back together! And it’s #TooSweet!

 

SAnitY is coming.

They vow to bring chaos and pain. “Fighting it is useless.” Who will fall to the anarchy Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain bring to SmackDown?

 

Backstage interview with Daniel Bryan.

Any update on his injury? Just some precautions for his shoulder, but he’ll be good to go for the Greatest Royal Rumble. He’s come back from worse. What happened? He got blindsided by a cowardly 7 foot man. But Paige made it official, Bryan VS Cass at Backlash. Bryan’s going to take everything on head-on, and after winning the Greatest Royal Rumble itself, he’ll show Cass that “everyone is the same size when you’re on the mat and tapping out.”

 

Samoa Joe speaks.

“Nothing and no one is safe.” That goes for the Intercontinental Champion, Seth Rollins. Joe will use ladders to end “Seth Freakin’ Rollins”, The Miz, and Finn Balor. The title is already his, and then he’ll enjoy watching Brock Lesnar massacre Roman Reigns in a cage. And if by a miracle, Roman survives to become Universal Champion, Joe will take that title, too.

 

Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev & Aiden English VS AJ Styles & The Good Brothers!

A reunion that’s #TooSweet goes up against a tough team in the King of Strong Style, the Bulgarian Lion & The Artiste. Can the Phenomenal One lead The Club in a victory for their SmackDown return?

The bell rings and Styles starts with Nakamura as a preview of their rematch. But after circling with Styles, Nakamura tags out to English. Styles just rocks Nakamura anyway before throwing English in. He tags Gallows and Gallows fires body shots on English. Gallows tags in Anderson and he keeps up the mugging, then tag to Styles for the low forearm. Styles tags in Gallows and Gallows gives a big back elbow to English before tagging Anderson back in for the jump kick. Rusev runs in but into a mule kick, then the boot! The Club controls the ring already, #TooSweet while we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Rusev runs into Anderson’s uppercut. Anderson tags in Styles and Styles gives Rusev the Phenomenal Blitz! He hits English but Nakamura avoids it. Styles slingshots but Nakamura evades, Rusev hits the MACHKA Kick! Rusev tags English in and English stomps on Styles. The referee backs English off and Styles flounders, but English is on him again with knees and stomps. English puts Styles in a chinlock, but fans duel while we go picture in picture. Styles stands up but English throws him down for more stomps. English brings him up and tags in Nakamura, Nakamura gives a body shot to the ribs. Nakamura puts Styles in a corner for knees to ribs, then Good Vibrations. Nakamura then snapmares to a cover, TWO.

We return single picture as Nakamura goes after the legs. He sits Styles up and kicks him back down, then drags him over to tag in Rusev. Rusev kicks Styles in the ribs, then scoops Styles and slams him down. Rusev runs for the elbow drop, cover, TWO. Fans rally for The Club, Rusev tags in English to whip him in for the back elbow. English feeds Styles to Rusev’s kick, English covers, TWO. English keeps on Styles with a chinlock, and sings mockingly that “He’s not going anywhere~!” The fans still rally for The Club and Styles fights his way up and out. English clubs Styles back, but runs into a dropkick! Both men are down, crawlign for their corners, hot tag to Rusev but he runs into the PELE! Styles crawls and tags in Gallows!

Gallows rallies on Engilsh with big lariats, then fires up for a big corner splash. Roundhouse rocks English, then Gallows pumphandle slams him down. Headbutt drop on top, cover, but Rusev breaks that. Anderson comes in but is sent into the post! Gallows clothesliens Rusev out but English tags in Nakamura. YAKUZA Kick for English but Nakamura chop blocks and KINSHASA to Gallows!

Cover, Nakamura wins for his team!

Winners: Nakamura, Rusev & English; Nakamura pinning.

But Styles finally gets at Nakamura! They brawl, the Phenomenal Blitz is blocked by a LOW BLOW! Nakamura takes aim at Styles, but Anderson jumps into the KINSHASA for Styles! The Machine Gun bites the proverbial bullet, but Nakamura kicks Styles back down before adding insult to injury. Nakamura drags Anderson up while Styles watches, and Nakamura shouts “C’MON!” He backs up, takes aim, and hits Anderson with another KINSHASA!! Nakamura mocks Styles’ concern for his friend, and has sent a vicious message to the champion. The Rockstar wants that WWE Championship, and he will give anyone and everyone a #Knee2Face to get it. Can Styles get revenge on Nakamura at the Greatest Royal Rumble?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A pretty good SmackDown, but holy crap there were too many commercial breaks. Ignoring that, this was itself a good go-home for Greatest Royal Rumble. Opening with Miz TV and the surprise guest of Big Cass was pretty good, and Cass seems to have improved in his promo skills. Finding Bryan beat up already was no surprise, and this Bryan VS Cass feud is already gearing up to be good. The IIconics give another great promo, and they have a really good match with Becky & Asuka. Their win was a nice surprise, and at least it was dirty so that Becky & Asuka aren’t really weakened by it. Between the various teams on both shows, it feels like WWE is gearing up to bring us that Women’s Tag Team Division and Championships. It’d probably have to be co-branded, but that works since all PPV’s are being co-branded now.

I like Naomi further involving herself in the story between Usos and Bludgeon Brothers, it is logical given the real life relationship of her and Jimmy. However, we know she won’t be able to help in the tag title match in Arabia, mostly because it’s in Arabia. Bludgeon Brothers will likely retain, and then they can move on to The New Day, or a new addition to SmackDown like SAnitY or the Good Brothers. Carmella was brilliant as a Heel in the contract signing segment, and Charlotte’s response was perfect. Whether or not there was more to be had, this still worked out for both sides.

It was pretty clever for Orton to return the favor on Hardy and snipe his match, and that match was pretty good. I didn’t think Sunil Singh would show up to go after Hardy but it makes sense given Mahal’s MO. Like Gable on Raw, Benjamin gets a someone surprise win, so either one is set up for a US Title shot once we all know which show has it. I like Nakamura’s new take on his theme, and the backstory that he had it done because he was sick of fans singing along. The Six Man Tag was a great main event, The Club finally looks capable in the ring. Nakamura stands tall in strong Heel fashion, he might get that belt at GRR.

My Score: 8.5/10


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