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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 Monday Night Raw Report & Results! (12/17/18)

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It’s the Raw after TLC, and The Chairman makes a return! What will Vince Kennedy McMahon have in store to “shake things up again?”

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle; changed to…
  • 4v1 Handicap Match: Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle, Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable; changed to…
  • 4v1 Handicap No Disqualifications Match: Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle, Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable; Angle, Crews, Roode & Gable win, and Baron Corbin is NOT Raw GM.
  • Finn Balor VS Dolph Ziggler; Finn wins.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge: Dean Ambrose VS Tyler Breeze; Ambrose wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: The Authors of Pain VS The Revival VS The B-Team VS Lucha House Party; The Revival wins and will face Roode & Gable for the Raw Tag Team Championships.
  • Raw Women’s Championship Open Challenge: Ronda Rousey VS ???; changed to…
  • 8 Woman Gauntlet Match: Natalya wins and is the #1 contender to Ronda Rousey’s Raw Women’s Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

Mr. McMahon is here!

The Chairman, Vincent Kenny McMahon, is on the Raw after TLC! And he knows we want to know what’s going on with Raw. Tonight, we find out. Raw has been on the air for over 25 years, an extraordinary feat. And that’s because the show changes with the time. “Despite one man’s brilliance, despite one man’s creativity, despite one man’s vision,” Vince can’t do this alone. Vince can do it without the fans, though. Fans boo, but then Stephanie McMahon appears! The Commissioner, and daughter of Vince, heads to the ring and gives her father a big hug. Fans boo but Vince asks they be nice. And then, Triple H appears! The Game, the COO, joins wife and father-in-law in the ring, and even gives Vince a hug.

Fans are excited to see these three in the ring, but there’s more! Shane McMahon is here! The SmackDown Commissioner joins father, sister and brother-in-law in the ring, and now we have all the power players of WWE at the same time! Stephanie says they’re all out here because they’ve all realized, “we haven’t been doing a good job lately.” They’ve all realized that there’s need for a change, and this will be a fresh start. These four will be “taking back Monday Night Raw”, and even SmackDown. These four know they are the ones ensuring the best possible experience for their fans and empowering their superstars. They will finally give fans what they want. “Something new, something fresh.” There will be new faces, new matches, and now the fans are the Authority! WWE will always be #ThenNowandForever.

But wait, here comes Baron Corbin! The Constable lost his job at TLC when he lost his TLC Match to Braun Strowman, but he seems to think he has another chance. “No one is more excited for a fresh start than me.” Fans rain down the boos and jeers, to which Stephanie makes sure Corbin understands. Corbin knows they’re all upset, but he’s so very excited to have the entire McMahon family in charge of Raw. However, those promises were amazing, but there’s something they didn’t mention. “Fair”. Last night’s TLC Match was not fair, so let’s talk this out. What will Corbin have to say? Find out after the break!

Raw returns and Corbin joins the McMahons and HHH. Fans still boo as he defends the Sacramento crowd does not reflect the WWE Universe as a whole. HHH tells the fans if they keep booing, Corbin can’t finish speaking. Corbin needs to explain himself. HHH asks the fans please stop for a moment. Stephanie wants fans to speak up, Vince is harder of hearing. But the fans eventually calm down, but Corbin riles them up again. Shane actually encourages the booing. Corbin ties to defend that he does his best. Vince tells Corbin he can be louder with his microphone. Fans chant “You Suck!” but Corbin does not take the blame. He says superstars aren’t living up to the challenge. Strowman was not supposed to be at TLC, Corbin was not prepared, and Corbin was not prepared for being outnumbered. If fans think that is fair– They do!

HHH tells Corbin that “as predictable as you are”, Corbin is here to say it’s a “travesty of justice” and hopes they all reconsider Corbin as GM. Is that it? Yes! And Corbin is thankful they’re all here to sort this out. Corbin would’ve won if not for Finn Balor, Kurt Angle and the rest. Are they letting that travesty stand? Or will they overturn the decision? Fans boo but Corbin says “Think of what we can accomplish with you guys backing me.” The McMahon Family huddles up, and then it comes down to a vote. Shane and HHH go with “No”, Stephanie says “No Chance in Hell.” Vince thinks of a way. They huddle up again and perhaps Corbin does deserve a chance. Fans don’t agree, but Corbin is willing to take that chance. Then Corbin will get that chance.

If Corbin wins a match tonight, right now, he’ll be permanent Raw GM! Just beat this man. KURT ANGLE! The previous Raw GM and Olympic Gold Medalist returns to action himself, and gets a chance to shut Corbin up once and for all! Will Corbin fail to make good on this second chance? Or will he find a way to revive his tyranny?

Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle!

Stephanie “remembers” the special guest referee for this match. It’s Heath Slater! The One Ref Band gets to be part of this payback! Slater rings the bell and we begin!

Corbin swings but Angle counter punches! Angle bumps Corbin off buckles to then stomp and punch away! Slater lets Angle continue and whip Corbin corner to corner. Corbin reverses but misses, Angle throws him with a German Suplex! Corbin bails out of the ring while we go to break.

Raw returns and Corbin has Angle down. Corbin eggs Angle on while fans rally up. But then HHH returns to say he “forgot” something else. This is a Handicap Match.

4v1 Handicap Match: Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle, Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable!

The rising star AND the Raw Tag Team Champions appear to reinforce Angle! Corbin finds himself flanked by the people he wronged, and now they’re getting further payback! Roode, Gable & Apollo rain down hands and stomps, then feed Corbin to Angle. Angle drags Corbin up for another German Suplex! And another! And the hat trick! Angle tags in Gable, and Gable drags Corbin up for his own German Suplex! Gable tags Roode, and the tag champs coordinate to double whip. Roode whips Gable to whip Roode in for a clothesline! Tag to Apollo for a big enziguri! Corbin bails out again but he can’t get away from Apollo and the champs! They drag him back to ringside, tossing him over barriers!

Gable puts Corbin in and Angle returns. The four of them surround Corbin, but look to Slater. Slater literally looks the other way as they stomp Corbin out! But now Shane O’Mac appears, and says he was so pumped to be in Sacramento, he “forgot” this is No Disqualifications!

4v1 Handicap No Disqualifications Match: Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle, Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable!

Now the foursome don’t have to worry about Slater’s disapproval. In fact, Slater gets in on the action! Slater stomps Corbin while the others get chairs! Angle, Gable, Roode & Apollo repeat last night’s humiliation with new chair shots! They jab, they SMACK, repeat! Fans love seeing Corbin getting what he deserves! But “We Want Tables!” Gable climbs while Roode brings Corbin up, GLORIOUS Combination! Apollo climbs for the frog splash! They bring Corbin up and feed him to Angle’s Olympic Slam! Cover, Angle’s team wins!

Winner: Team Angle, Kurt Angle pinning; Corbin is NOT Raw GM

Finally, the dictatorship of Constable Corbin ends! The Lone Wolf really was all alone against his “disgruntled employees”, and now he is out of power! Who will take his place in this new Raw?

But the punishment isn’t over! Apollo, Gable & Roode set a table up in the ring, and everyone but Corbin is grinning. They haul Corbin up again, for an Olympic Slam through the table!! Now the celebration begins!

 

John Cena wins the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.

The Face that Runs the Place is honored to receive this award, but he wouldn’t win this award without being a friend and philanthropist to so many.

 

Finn Balor VS Dolph Ziggler!

The Extraordinary Man helped The Show-Off to stick it to the Scottish Psychopath. And Ziggler would return the favor, mostly to stick it to Drew McIntyre. However, neither man is thankful for the other’s help, and look to show what they can do on their own. Who will gain some major momentum as we approach the New Year?

The bell rings and the two circle. Fans are already fired up as they tie up. Finn and Ziggler go around and Ziggler puts Finn on the ropes. Ziggler backs off but gives a shove. They tie up again and Ziggler gets a headlock. Finn goes to power out but Ziggler holds on. Ziggler grinds and gets the takedown. Finn moves around to make it a cover, TWO! Ziggler keeps on Finn with the headlock, but fans rally. Finn gets up and powers out now, then things speed up. Finn arm-drags Ziggler around and into an armlock. Ziggler quickly headscissors but Finn quickly pops out, and fans cheer this close match-up. Finn kicks low, snapmares and kicks Ziggler, then brings him up again. Finn whips and dropkicks Ziggler down! Ziggler bails out while fans cheer Finn. Finn soaks it in as we go to break.

Raw returns and Ziggler whips Finn. Finn reverses but Ziggler sunset flips. Finn rolls through to dropkick! Both men are down as Finn clutches his leg. Finn gets up and to a corner, and boots Ziggler on the way in. Ziggler keeps after Finn but Finn counter punches and chops him! Finn whips but Ziggler reverses, only for Finn to run him over with forearms! Finn fires up and gets a takedown to a double stomp! Fans fire up as Finn aims at Ziggler. Finn runs out but the Slingblade is rolled up! TWO, and Ziggler uppercuts Finn. Ziggler taunts Finn, but misses the Famouser, to get the elbow drop DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn keeps moving as he aims at Ziggler again. Finn runs at Ziggler, and hits the Slingblade! He takes aim again, but the shotgun dropkick goes into the Satellite DDT! Cover, TWO!

Both men are down but fans rally up. Ziggler sits up but Finn gets to a corner. Ziggler runs but the ZigZag is denied. Finn goes to the apron and swing kicks Ziggler down! Finn climbs but Ziggler trips him up! Ziggler throws Finn into the post! ZIGZAG!! Cover, TWO!! Ziggler is shocked and sore, but he gets up in a corner. He takes aim, but here comes McIntyre! Ziggler kicks McIntyre, then leaps out! McIntyre catches Ziggler but they still brawl it out! McIntyre shoves Ziggler but Finn FLIES! Ziggler clobbers Finn! Ziggler puts Finn in, FAMOUSER! Cover, TWO!! Finn lives and the match continues! Fans rally for Finn while he and Ziggler stir. Ziggler stands first, tunes it up, but gets another Slingblade! Finn aims again, but McIntyre attacks!

Winner: Finn Balor, by disqualification

The Scottish Terminator targets both thorns in his side as he throws Finn out and gives Ziggler the Glasgow Kiss headbutt! McIntyre rains rights down on Ziggler, then yanks him right up for a Claymore! McIntyre aims at Finn, Claymore! Fans boo and jeer McIntyre as he seethes all the way to the stage. Will McIntyre eliminate Ziggler and Finn on the road to the Royal Rumble?

 

Dean Ambrose heads to the ring!

The Lunatic has his siren and his gas-mask wearing henchmen accompany him and his newly won WWE Intercontinental Championship. Ambrose picks up a mic while fans boo and jeer. “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Fans should show more respect! But they boo. “You disgusting little people” should be bowing to Ambrose, because he made his prediction come true. Rollins spun out of control, dropped the ball in the fourth quarter and choked. Rollins failed himself and failed the fans. Ambrose doesn’t need respect, because he has the belt. And it wasn’t too long ago that Rollins had two belts, now he has none. But Ambrose is just getting started. When Ambrose is done, Rollins will truly have nothing!

Ambrose promises to take Rollins’ career, take Rollins reputation and drag it through the mud! But there’s another option. “The Moral Compass” has an obligation. Rollins can come out here and be a man of character and integrity to admit Ambrose was right! Rollins, tell everyone that Ambrose was right! Fans boo while Ambrose waits. They chant “Burn It Down!” but Rollins doesn’t appear. Ambrose waits but has a new idea. “How about an open challenge?” But not for the title, Rollins doesn’t deserve it. But maybe Rollins wants to take out his anger. Ambrose dares Rollins to appear, but he doesn’t. This proves Rollins is no hero, he’s “a selfish little whiner who always has to get his way.” Rollins lost and is too ashamed to show his face.

So Ambrose moves on to a third idea: Ambrose will stay a page from the playbook and actually give an Open Challenge for the title, to anyone not named Seth Rollins. And out comes… Tyler Breeze!

WWE Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge: Dean Ambrose VS Tyler Breeze!

Prince Pretty wants his shot and this is his chance! Can Breeze make that Intercontinental Championship gorgeous? Or will Ambrose make an example out of him?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Ambrose goes after Breeze but Breeze is ready! Breeze throws hands, whips but Ambrose reverses. Breeze hits big forearms then stomps away in a corner! He backs off at 4 and dropkicks Ambrose! Breeze clotheslines Ambrose out! Prince Pretty is fired up while we go to break!

Raw returns and Ambrose stomps Breeze out. Ambrose laces up the legs and puts Breeze in a modified Queen Angelito stretch. Breeze endures and crawls for ropes. Ambrose grabs that arm to stomp it! Breeze crawls but Ambrose is on him with a whip. Ambrose elbows Breeze down, covers, TWO! Ambrose keeps on Breeze with a chinlock. Fans rally up as Breeze endures. Breeze fights his way up but Ambrose wrangles him down hard! Ambrose keeps Breeze grounded, but fans rally for Breeze. Breeze gets up but Ambrose knees low. Ambrose clubs and scoops Breeze, but Breeze slips out to enziguri! Ambrose is dazed, and Breeze gets up to huricanrana! To a cover, TWO! Breeze enziguris from a corner, then sends Ambrose into post! Cover, TWO!

Breeze hits the Beauty Shot heel kick! But Ambrose gets up again so Breeze climbs up. Breeze leaps, big crossbody! Cover, TWO! SUPER MODEL KICK! Cover, TWO!! Ambrose survives Breeze’s best, but he is dazed. Breeze gets up and stalks Ambrose. Breeze brings him around but the Unprettier is denied. Dirty Deeds! Cover, Ambrose wins!

Winner: Dean Ambrose, by pinfall; still WWE Intercontinental Champion

The Lunatic says that is the performance of a champion with character! Rollins didn’t show because Rollins– “BURN IT DOWN!” But where is Rollins?! He’s one of the gas-mask men!! Rollins SUPERKICKS Ambrose down! And then throws fast hands from all sides! The other henchmen hurry in but Rollins fights them off. Ambrose runs away with the belt while Rollins tosses the henchmen away, and SUPERKICKS another! Rollins tells Ambrose to bring the fight, but Ambrose continues his retreat. Will Ambrose back up his words and be brave enough to face The Kingslayer?

 

Backstage interview with Shane McMahon.

The McMahons promise a fresh start, but what does that mean? Fresh faces and new opportunities! There will be tough decisions to make, but here comes Drake Maverick. These two finally meet, and Maverick introduces the “rightful” Raw Tag Team Champions, Akam & Rezar. Maverick says those titles were stolen from them. But now that the McMahon Family is here, they’ll make this right. Authors of Pain get their title rematches tonight. Now, now, hold on. The mandatory rematch clause Maverick is citing is “antiquated”, Corbin handed AoP those titles in the first place. Let’s create an opportunity. But they’re the former champions! Shane suggests AoP take on The B-Team, The Revival and… Lucha House Party! Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender’s match! Shane wishes them luck, but the AoP are just upset. Will they make the best of this huge opportunity?

 

WWE takes a look at the new faces coming to the main roster!

Monsters, Beasts, Vipers, Giants. None of them compare to the Leviathan! Lars Sullivan is a dominate Freak and promises to destroy the roster.

The Lady of NXT, the Model Soldier, Lacey Evans is armed with a Woman’s Right to hit hard and class it up.

#SteaksAndWeights fuel Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic in tag team wrestling! They have a “damn good time” in the ring, and they’re COMIIIIN’!

The Loony Lass loves to play! SAnitY’s Twisted Sister finally joins her chaotic crew, who wants to play?

The Top One Percent prepares for #VictoryAfterVictory on the main roster! Will he find brand new success as he jumps from #NX3 to TV?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: The Almighty Bobby Lashley.”

Lashley and Lio Rush are in the ring, parodying Elias’ usual greeting and performance. These two will give the fans something they’ve never seen before. It turns out Elias isn’t the only gifted guitarist. The greatest music Elias ever heard was a guitar smashing into his back at the hands of Bobby Lashley! And be honest, no one here wants to hear another of Elias’ boring songs. They’re all here to witness a “true work of art.” And that is exactly what Lashley will give you. But before that, please silence phones, hold applause, and shut your mouths!

Lashley gets up with the mangled guitar, and starts posing. The double biceps, the side chest. Comparing Lashley to Elias is like comparing the Golden State Warriors to the Sacramento Kings. But of course, there’s always the “favorite pose”, the double glutes! Lio and Lashley laugh it up, but “Ladies and gentlemen, Elias.” The Drifter SMACKS Lashley with a guitar! Lashley gets back up but Elias gets away. There won’t be an encore tonight, but when will these two create another smash hit together?

 

Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: The Authors of Pain VS The Revival VS The B-Team VS Lucha House Party!

Drake Maverick knows Akam & Rezar feel robbed over the feud they had with Roode & Gable, but considering they got those titles through unfair means to begin with, they have no automatic right to a rematch. Can they rip their way through Dash & Dawson, Axel & Dallas, and the luchadores of 205 Live? Or will one of those other teams step up to the GLORIOUS challenge instead?

The teams sort out and we start with Curt Axel and Lince Dorado. They circle but Axel stays back when Lince handsprings. “Lucha! Lucha!” starts, as do the matracas. But “B-Team! B-Team! GO GO GO!” counters. The chants duel but Axel swings into a dropkick! Lince tags Kalisto and they combine for an alley-oop dropkick! Scott Dawson tags in and now The Revival revive their feud with LHP. Dawson slaps Kalisto, Kalisto fires off forearms! They brawl, and Dawson rocks Kalisto with a right. Dawson wrenches the arm and kicks Kalisto to the ropes. Dawson chops Kalisto on the ropes, but keeps his distance from AoP. He bumps Kalisto off buckles and gives European Uppercuts. Dawson mocks the lucha chant, then suplexes Kalisto. He drops an elbow, then tags Dash Wilder.

The Revival go after Kalisto together but they get a double DDT! Kalisto tags Lince, and hist the elevated splash! Lince hits the planking splash, covers, TWO! Dash scrambles and Akam tags in. Lince goes after Akam but Akam shoves him away. Lince dropkicks but Akam tags Rezar, for a pop-up and tackle into a corner! AoP mug Lince while we go to break.

Raw returns as Dash has Lince in a Gory Special! Lince endures as fans chant, but Dash reaches back to go after the mask. Dash mocks the lucha chant, but Lince pops out to arm-drag Dash! Axel tags in, Dash gets an enziguri! Axel goes after Lince but Lince handsprings to the Golden Rewind! Both Lince and Axel are down and fans rally up. Chants duel while Axel crawls. Hot tags to Bo Dallas and Kalisto! Kalisto springboards and crossbodies! Kalisto kicks and whips, Bo reverses but Kalisto springboards for a corkscrew crossbody! Fans fire up with the Lucha Dragon as he tackles Bo in a corner. Axel returns but gets the tornado DDT! Kalisto kicks Bo then whips, but Bo reverses. Dawson tags in and goes after Kalisto to throw him out. Dawson slaps Bo but Bo fires off hands!

Bo boots and clotheslines Dawson, then brings him up for the draping neckbreaker! Cover, but Dash breaks it up! Dash takes his time leaving, but Kalisto comes in to tilt-o-whirl DDT Dash down! Axel swings but gets a kick! Kalisto dodges Rezar, Bo and Dawson clothesline him out! But then Akam grabs them both, only to get haymakers. Akam shoves them back but is sent out. Lucha House Party are LAUNCHED onto both AoP! Bo and Dawson are alone, Dawson rolls Bo up but Bo rolls him back! Cover, TWO! Small package, TWO! Dawson scoops but gets another cradle, TWO! Bo shoves Dawson but Dash tags in. SHATTER MACHINE! Cover, The Revival win!!

Winners: The Revival, Dash Wilder pinning; new Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders

#SayYeah! Now that Dash & Dawson got a fair shake, they can get another shot at those tag titles! Will they be #ReadyWillingAndGLORIOUS against Roode & Gable?

 

Backstage interview with Seth Rollins!

The Architect got back at Ambrose just a bit earlier, but he still feels rough from last night’s “disaster.” Personally, professionally, it was all wrong. He let Ambrose get in his head and take that title, and Rollins heard the crowd. Rollins takes the blame for all of that, and vows to move forward. This isn’t about his in-ring performance or titles, this is his life! “This is everything that I’ve dedicated everything to!” It’s going off the rails, but Rollins will right the ship by ending Ambrose.

But Baron Corbin comes over, and tells Rollins that everyone thought he was doing great until Rollins had to speak up. Rollins goaded Corbin into a match, Rollins is why Strowman won, and Rollins is why the McMahons are back in charge. Ambrose was right. And Corbin would take Rollins title, if Ambrose hadn’t already done that. Rollins hits Corbin! The Lone Wolf gets further comeuppance, but when will the Lunatic get his?

 

Ronda Rousey is here!

And the Baddest Woman on the Planet is still Raw Women’s Champion after a physical match with Nia Jax! Ronda denied the #FaceBreaker her victory, but she didn’t stop there. She got her payback on The Queen, Charlotte Flair, and The Man, Becky Lynch, by throwing them off their ladder in the SmackDown Women’s Championship TLC Match! The Empress of Tomorrow, Asuka, has the throne now, but what does that mean for both shows now?

Ronda smiles as fans duel. She says “I told Nia Jax she could kiss that right hand she’s so proud of good-bye. I told Charlotte Flair I was going to write the next chapter of our story. And I told Becky Lynch I am the last woman on Earth she should provoke.” Ronda didn’t come out here to justify her actions, but to define what a real champion is. “A real champion is so much more than just a title someone puts in front of your name or an object you can hold”. It’s so much more than the winner of a match. A real champion represents the limit of human potential, physically, mentally and morally. A real champion is the best the human race has to offer, and steps up to the challenge. That is why Ronda is here tonight!

Fans still duel as Ronda suggests a new tradition. Every Raw after a PPV, the champion shows up no matter what to defend their title! Ronda wants a fight, this is her open challenge, so who wants a shot!?

Raw Women’s Championship Open Challenge: Ronda Rousey VS ???

There’s a traffic jam at gorilla position! So many women want their shot at Ronda, the production team can’t figure out what song to play! Stephanie McMahon leads them out in front of the fans, microphone in hand. Stephanie lets Ronda know that everyone wants their shot. And they’re deserving, but there won’t be any favorites anymore. These women will all earn their shot, in a Gauntlet Match! And that’s right now! And we start with Alicia Fox, against Bayley!

8 Woman Gauntlet Match!

Who will be the last woman left to challenge Ronda for her title?!

Bayley circles with Alicia and tie up. Bayley rolls Alicia, ONE. Alicia backs off to circle with Bayley again. They tie up and Bayley gets an arm wrench. She brings Alicia down and then Mahistrols, TWO! Alicia scrambles to ropes for safety, and fans boo as she takes her time getting up. Alicia kicks low, still holding the ropes, then throws forearms. She throws Bayley down by her hair, covers, ONE. Alicia keeps on Bayley in a corner for buckle bumps, then stomps her in another corner. She backs off to snapmare Bayley to a cover. ONE, but Alicia wraps on a chinlock. Fans rally up and Bayley feeds off the energy. Alicia clubs Bayley but misses the scissor kick to get a saido suplex! Cover, TWO! Alicia runs away again and we go to break.

Raw returns as Alicia stomps Bayley. Alicia kicks Bayley down and around at the ropes. Bayley gets to a corner, Alicia throws forearms. Alicia taunts Bayley to whip her corner to corner. Bayley slips to the apron and shoulders in. She slides under to sunset flip, TWO! Alicia clobbers Bayley quick! Alicia chokes Bayley on the ropes but backs off at 4. She pulls on Bayley’s ponytail, then throws more forearms. Bayley kicks and kicks, then throws forearms. Alicia kicks low but fans rally for Bayley. Alicia whips Bayley hard into buckles! Cover, TWO! Alicia keeps her cool, but then she starts slapping Bayley around in the corner. Bayley pushes Alicia away then flapjacks her on the buckles! Bayley whips but Alicia reverses, but Bayley goes up and over. But Bayley’s ankle gives out, and Alicia boots her down! Cover, but Bayley reverses it, Bayley ELIMINATES Alicia!!

Dana Brooke comes out now, and hurries to capitalize. She goes after Bayley with an enziguri! Dana handsprings corner to corner for the elbow! Cover, TWO! Dana tries again, TWO! Dana rains rights down because she wants this chance. She puts Bayley in a body scissor squeeze and trash talks, but Bayley fights out. Bayley makes it a cover, TWO! Dana chop blocks the bad leg! The ref checks on Bayley, but she won’t quit. Dana bumps Bayley off buckles and stomps a mudhole. Dana whips but Bayley can’t even run on the leg. Cover, TWO! Dana keeps on Bayley with a chinlock but fans rally. Bayley endures the thrashing, and fights her way up. Dana throws her back down by her hair, then covers. TWO, Dana tries again, TWO!

Dana grows frustrated but she keeps on Bayley in a corner. She stomps in another mudhole, then backs off at 4. Dana taunts Bayley, but gets a Bayley2Belly! Cover, Bayley ELIMINATES Dana! The Huggable One continues in this Gauntlet while we go to break!

Raw returns and Bayley’s third opponent is Mickie James. Mickie has Bayley in a chinlock but Bayley fights her way up. Bayley fights back but Mickie knees low. Mickie whips Bayley to a corner, but runs into a boot! Bayley runs out but into a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Mickie is frustrated that a beat up Bayley is still going. Ronda watches backstage as Mickie toys with Bayley. Mickie drags Bayley up to choke her on the ropes. She stops at 4, but runs, only to miss and get ropes! Bayley covers, TWO! Mickie brings Bayley up and kicks, but then runs and misses, Bayley rolls her up! TWO, and Mickie flapjacks Bayley! Mickie kips up and heads up top. Bayley stands, Mickie hits the flying seated senton! Cover, TWO and Bayley sunset flips, TWO! Mickie high stacks, TWO, roundhouse! Cover, TWO! Bayley still lives!

Mickie grows frustrated, but aim to finish this. Bayley slowly stands, but denies the Mick-DDT to a saido suplex! Fans fire up with Bayley, but Mickie kicks her out of the ring. Mickie builds speed, to slide, but Bayley spins her around for a big knee! Bayley grits her teeth as she heads back up. Bayley has a bad footing on the ropes but she still elbows Mickie. She leaps for a crossbody, but can’t keep the cover! Mickie gets to a corner, Bayley runs in for a big knee! Bayley tosses Mickie out to climb back up. Bayley leaps, Macho Elbow! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Mickie survives and Bayley grows frustrated. Bayley gets up and goes after Mickie but gets body shots. Mickie steps in for a hotshot! Bayley fires herself up, but Mickie grabs hair! Bayley powers Mickie back, but Mickie elbows Bayley.

Mickie goes for the Mickanrana but is put on the apron. Mickie hits back and bumps Bayley off buckles! The Mick-DDT hits! Cover, Mickie ELIMINATES Bayley! But there’s no rest for the wicked, Ember Moon heads in! Mickie dropkicks Ember right as she slides into the ring! Mickie stomps away but backs off at 4. Ember gets up but Mickie kicks her to a corner. Mickie grinds her boot in but stops at 4. Ember gasps for air but Mickie is on her with a slap. Ember and Mickie kick each other, Mickie whips but Ember flips through the hip toss to arm-drag! Mickie runs into a leg sweep, Ember misses the dropkick! Mickie covers, TWO! Ember blocks a kick but gets a kick. Mickie runs, but she misses. Ember runs, springboard crossbody! Cover, TWO!

Mickie slides out, because she wants a time-out. But Ember doesn’t give her one. ember runs and slides out, but Mickie kicks her on the return. Mickie wants a draping DDT but Ember fights her off. Mickie slides out and wants a bomb! Ember holds on for dear life and fights Mickie off, but Mickie trips her up! Ember hits apron while we go to break.

Raw returns and Ember slams Mickie! Both women are down but stirring. Mickie throws a forearm but Ember throws one back. Ember throws more forearms, then ducks to swing. Mickie dodges but Ember dodges and mule kicks, Ember enziguris! High stack cover, TWO! Ronda still watches backstage as Mickie gets to a corner. Ember runs in but misses, and Mickie rolls her up. She uses ropes but gets caught! The referee reprimands Mickie, but Mickie still flapjacks Ember! Mickie kips up again, then heads up top. Mickie leaps, but into a code breaker!! Ember hurries up top now, for the ECLIPSE! Cover, Ember ELIMINATES Mickie! But here comes The Queen of Harts! Natalya hits the ring but Ember rolls her up, TWO!

Natty gets Ember down, but the Sharpshooter is denied. Ember ducks the discus to SUPERKICK Natty! Cover, TWO! Ember drags Natty up into a chinlock but Natty endures. Natty works her way up and fights out, but Ember kicks her back. Ember brings Natty up to trap an arm in the standing chinlock. Natty endures the modified stretch, even as Ember clubs her on the back. Natty fights out and fireman’s carry, but Ember fights out. Ember throws forearms, then whips, but Natty reverses. Natty runs into a boot, and Ember hops up. Ember brings Natty over, tornado snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Ember clubs Natty again, then heads up top. Natty stands and gets clear of the Eclipse, to discus clothesline Ember! Cover, TWO!! The War Goddess survives and the Queen of Harts is frustrated.

Natty goes for legs but Ember fights her off. Cradle, TWO! Natty rolls Ember up, Natty ELIMINATES Ember!! Natty shocks Sacramento, but The Riott Squad heads out together. Will it be a rematch of TLC to determine a #1 Contender? We’ll find out after the break.

Raw returns and Ruby has Natty in a chinlock. Natty endures and pries her way out of the chinlock, but Ruby puts on body scissors. Liv and Sarah smirk as Ruby squeezes Natty. Natty turns around to club Ruby, so Ruby slaps Natty! Ruby wraps Natty in a guillotine now, but Natty still endures. Natty powers up and powers Ruby off with a scoop slam! Fans fire up as Natty and Ruby double clothesline! Both Ruby and Natty are down but the Squad coach Ruby up. Ruby gets up first and kicks Natty in the ribs! Ruby drags Natty up to throw her down, then brings Natty up to bump her off buckles. She stomps a mudhole into Natty but stops at 3. Natty rolls her up! TWO, and Ruby clobbers Natty again. Cover, TWO!

Ruby grows frustrated, but puts Natty in a cravat. Natty endures and fights her way back up. Natty arm-drags Ruby off, but gets a knee to the chin! Ruby throws Natty down, covers, TWO! Ruby keeps her cool, and toys with Natty, but Natty slaps her! Natty gets up but Ruby rolls her, TWO! Natty boots Ruby down, then catches her breath. She scoops Ruby but Ruby sunset flips, TWO! Natty dropkicks Ruby down! Ruby and Natty are slow to get up but Natty rallies with ax handles and lariats. Natty kicks low, then fires the fans up with a snap suplex! And another! Natty slaps Ruby then whips her to a corner. Discus meets STO! Ruby positions Natty in the drop zone then climbs up. The Squad cheer on the back senton, but it misses! Roll up, Natty ELIMINATES Ruby!

But it’s Boss Time! Sasha Banks goes at Natty, and rallies the moment she hits the ring! She blocks a kick to give a knee, then turns Natty sideways in the corner. Stock Drop knees! Cover, TWO! Natty survives but The Boss keeps her focus. Sasha puts up the four and says she wants that belt, but Natty powers her to a corner! Natty rams her shoulder in but then misses. Sasha goes up, but Natty gets under to roll her up! TWO! Sasha runs, sunset flip DDT! Cover, TWO!! Natty still lives and this match continues, after one more break!

Raw returns and both women are down. A 10 count begins, and Sasha sits up at 6. She stands at 7 and Natty follows. Natty blocks the kick to trip Sasha up, then she walks all over her to dropkick! Cover, TWO! Natty fires up the fans as she brings Sasha around. She wants the Sharpshooter but is denied with a roll up, TWO! Sasha backslides, TWO! Sasha knees Natty but Natty discus clotheslines! Cover, TWO!! Natty grows frustrated, but she wants that Sharpshooter. And she gets it! Sasha endures as Natty drags her from ropes! Fans fire up and duel as Sasha crawls. Sasha reaches but Natty drags her away again! Natty sits down deep but Sasha gets a second gas, to roll Natty into buckles! Both women are down and the ref checks on them.

Fans rally up as both women are okay to continue. Natty goes for the legs but Sasha rolls through to a Half Crab! Natty endures, crawls and reaches! Sasha shifts to the Rings of Saturn, to a cover, TWO! Bank Statement crossface!! Natty endures as Sasha pulls back hard! Natty powers Sasha around, but Sasha holds on. Fireman’s carry, but Sasha slips off. Natty throws Sasha with a German Suplex! Fans rally and duel while both women stir. Sasha gets to a corner, but Natty stands up. Natty runs in, but into a boot! Sasha elbows Natty away, then hops up. She leaps, Meteora! Cover, TWO!! Natty lives and Sasha can’t believe it! Sasha and Natty slowly stand, and Sasha wants the backstabber. Natty bucks her off, but walks into a takedown!

Sasha wants the crossface but Natty arm-drags her off. Sasha runs and rolls again, but into an inverted bomb! Natty gets the legs, Sharpshooter is on! Sasha endures as she’s far away, and TAPS! Natty wins the Gauntlet!!

Winner: Natalya, by submission; will face Ronda Rousey for the title next week

The Queen of Harts just won herself the best Christmas present ever! Natty shows Sasha respect, but here comes Ronda to congratulate her friend. Natty and Ronda celebrate this accomplishment together, but now friends must become opponents. Ronda offers a handshake, and Natty accepts it. Will friends stay friends after their title match?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Well this wasn’t what I expected from a post-PPV Raw. And sadly it wasn’t worth the hype. Vince and the McMahon family promised change and finally giving fans what we want, but this first night doesn’t quite give that impression. The only change might’ve been that there were way more commercials than I can remember being on a Raw. Did WWE need to pay some bills or something? This would’ve been a better Raw just on the virtue of keeping the flow going with less ads and more action. It’s not like having more of those commercials changed how Raw actually ran, either. The opening was a talk segment to give us this supposed “change”, and Vince’s time on his own show to shine. The only reason it wasn’t a consecutive 20 minutes is because a commercial happened 5 minutes in.

Now, I did appreciate that the McMahons were the Faces in this scenario, and gave Corbin further comeuppance. It was proper karma with the running gag of “remembering” things. However, another “change” seems to be we won’t get Angle back as GM or even someone new, like a rumored WOKEN Hardy. But perhaps if that means HHH is technically in charge, there’s a sliver of hope he’ll get this thing running as it should. In fact, Finn VS Ziggler was a really great match, but I am a bit disappointed McIntyre interfered. We’ve already been told there will be a Triple Threat for this story on the Christmas Eve edition, so that sounds like a good time. And for those who don’t already know, the Christmas Eve Raw will be recorded TONIGHT and put on tape delay. I don’t know if the live audience is lucky or being tortured…

There are also these “new faces” to address. The NXT Call-Ups have been announced in advance, but honestly I hope most of them go to SmackDown. We’ll have to wait and see how the “fresh start” affects SmackDown, but I’d imagine SmackDown will still be just as good as it was before. Therefore, they’d be able to use Lacey Evans, Heavy Machinery and EC3 much better than Raw. In fact, we were all worried about what Faces could face the Heel Daniel Bryan, maybe The Top One Percent can be that Face.

It seems Tyler Breeze is Mr. Open Challenge, with having gone back to NXT long enough to challenge Ricochet then returning to Raw to answer Ambrose’s Open Challenge. Rollins being in disguise as a gas-mask man was a standard twist, but still fitting of the story. If only Rollins interfered during the match to cost Ambrose the title. But perhaps that in itself proves Ambrose right: Rollins won’t go after Ambrose unless he can get the title back. Rollins VS Corbin will be the Christmas Eve match, and perhaps Ambrose attacks him back to keep pace. I wonder if their title rematch would be at Royal Rumble to keep them out of the Royal Rumble match… Perhaps that’s for the best if Rollins isn’t going to win to then challenge for the Universal Championship.

A Fatal 4 Way tag to determine contenders was good, and the match itself was alright. I’m sure many fans are happy that The Revival are finally back in the title scene, and I for one am glad the Raw Tag Division didn’t have to worry about pee jokes and lucha rule inaccuracies. Revival VS Gable & Roode should be a good one, if they’re allowed to go NXT level with HHH behind the wheel. Fans would be even more amazed if The Revival finally won. At the same time, we’re getting some Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn “returning soon” hype, I wonder if they finally aim for tag titles on top of singles. It’d make a lot of sense to me, at least, as Kevin would get his Grand Slam with the help of his best friend.

It seems the Raw Women’s Division has finally turned the corner to match up to SmackDown’s. Ronda wanted a match already, and the Gauntlet was a great surprise. I am genuinely surprised but pleased that Natalya is facing Ronda “next week” rather than Sasha Banks. There is story to be had with Ronda VS Raw’s NXT Horsewomen, but everyone was expecting Ronda VS Natty to have happened at some point, so this seems like a good a time as any. Ronda VS Natty, tired as they both might be, will still be a solid match, and I just hope that there’s no interference. At least not until the title match gets to a really hot point. The Riott Squad or the Samoan Dynasty might be expected given Raw stories, but I’m thinking it should be Charlotte and Becky for payback from TLC to move that story forward.

My Score: 7.7/10

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The Chairshot Match Of The Year Final Match Pool

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How did the last week of voting pan out for Second Chance and November? Only one way to find out. Take a look at our 12 MOTY matches and let’s see where Andrew’s 5 votes are going.






Last week was our final vote to round out the 12 matches in the Match of the Year pool.  Since we love Top 5s here, the idea will be for everyone to whittle the 12, down to their 5 favorite, and then we get our final 5 to vote on.

Let’s see what matches we have in our MOTY Pool:

  • January – NXT Takeover Philly NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Almas(c)
  • February – New Beginning in Osaka IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs SANADA
  • March – NJPW Strong Style Evolved: Golden Lovers vs Young Bucks
  • April – NXT Takeover NOLA NXT Championship: Andrade Almas(c) vs Aleister Black
  • May – WWE Backlash Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins(c) vs The Miz
  • June – NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship 2 out of 3 Falls: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs Kenny Omega
  • July – G1 Climax 28: Hirooki Goto vs Tomohiro Ishii
  • August – G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi
  • September – All In NWA Championship Match: Cody vs Nick Aldis(c)
  • October – Evolution SmackDown Women’s Title Last Woman Standing Match: Becky Lynch(c) vs Charlotte
  • November – NXT Takeover WarGames II NXT Championship Match: Velveteen Dream vs Tommaso Ciampa (c)
  • December/Second Chance – Impact Wrestling Redemption World Championship Triple Threat: Fenix vs Austin Aries (c) vs Pentagon Jr

Now as you can see, the overall list has some decent balance. Five from New Japan and WWE, along with 2 outlier matches. So it’s not heavily tipped one way or the other.

For the rest of this article I’ll just list out my 5 picks from this list, and then we can get to everyone’s votes.

 

5. NXT Takeover WarGames II NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs Velveteen Dream

This makes my Top 5 from our MOTY pool because this was just a good combination of all things wrestling. Solid wrestling, homages, callbacks, high suspense moments, big crowd reactions…just everything. Sure it might not have been a work rate master piece, but there’s more to wrestling than work rate.

 

4. NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship 2 out of 3 Falls: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs Kenny Omega

This was almost a given since it already won Tokyo Sports Best Bout, which marks the fifth year in a row Okada was involved in the Best Bout, and the first time since Kenta Kobashi and Mitsuharu Misawa that the same pairing won back to back. Though it wasn’t the best of their four matches in my opinion, you can’t overlook the storyline ramifications.

We saw this match finish off the ascent of Kenny Omega, as well as, send Kazuchika Okada into some goofy balloon loving spiral. Love or hate the Elite, this story had a lot of attention and was told pretty damn well.

 

3. All In NWA Championship: Cody vs Nick Aldis (c)

In a similar vein to the Okada/Omega match, this had a lot of story significance. Cody challenging for all of the World Championships he could was one, him trying to be the first second generation wrestler to capture the NWA Championship was another and of course, the emotions tied with Dusty was the one most of us cared about.

As I said when I reviewed All In, this match was a love letter to his father. Yes it was a very old school southern style match. Obvious blade jobs, a goofy possible knock out for the DDP pop, Brandi putting herself in the way of a move to protect her husband, this was all love. It was a match I think most old school fans would enjoy, and unless you really need flips or work rate, this match evoked some emotion out of most watchers.

This is wrestling.

 

2. NXT Takeover Philly NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Almas (c)

An early contender that still holds up nicely. This was the first match since Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura to really just blow me away. They both turned it up, the double knees into the post looked brutal and the whole thing was a great culmination of Andrade’s character.

It was after this match, most of us were sold that he figured it out and would be huge. Now we just have to hope Vince sees it too.

 

1. G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi

It’s not often we get a match where one of the competitors considers the other one God. Ibushi and Tanahashi have immense respect for each other, and they also have an undeniable chemistry. Ibushi gets a lot labels as a “flippy shit” wrestler, but he sells wonderfully and knows how to tell a story in the ring.

On top of Ibushi’s athletic prowess and overall wrestling ability, we couple that with Tanahashi’s masterful pacing and his own artistic way of building a match…this was just poetry in motion. It definitely helps this is my personal number 1 match all year, so of course I was ecstatic that it made The Chairshot MOTY pool. Beautiful match.

 

Thoughts:

If you didn’t partake much in the match votes leading up to this pool, now’s you’re chance to make your voice heard. Vote for your Top 5, and then we can have the final vote starting next week, for our second Chairshot MOTY. Our first ever vote went to, NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada (c).

Will New Japan end up winning this year also?






What are your Top 5 out of these 12? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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