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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (1/23/18)

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All images courtesy of WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Jey Uso w/ Jimmy Uso VS Chad Gable w/ Shelton Benjamin; Gable wins.
  • Naomi VS Liv Morgan w/ The Riott Squad; Naomi wins.
  • Baron Corbin VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Nakamura wins, by disqualification.
  • Six Man Tag: Bobby Rodde & The New Day VS Rusev Day & Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers; Roode & New Day win.
  • AJ Styles VS Kevin Owens; Styles wins.
  • AJ Styles VS Sami Zayn; Zayn wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn head to the ring.

SmackDown becomes the Kevin & Sami Show–or the Sami & Kevin Show–as the #YEPMovement is in Washington D.C. The fans boo and jeer but Kevin still speaks and wants everyone to pay attention. These two are the “future of WWE”, unlike last night’s “parade of retirees” on the 25th Anniversary of Raw. Therefore, give it up for your future CO-CHAMPION, Sami Zayn! Sami wants to spread the love as he sends that back to co-champion Kevin Owens.

The #YepMovement is more than just a single syllable, it is about staring into the “face of tyranny.” Yep. For example, Kevin & Sami were in a handicap match, all thanks to Shane McMahon. Yep! But Shane’s vendetta backfired because Sami & Kevin lost that handicap match, which proves Styles will not be WWE Champion. YEP! Kevin & Sami are the “absolute best competitors on SmackDown”, and if they can’t overcome the odds, than how could AJ Styles? But fans don’t understand, and surely neither does Styles. Sami says that he and Kevin will defeat Styles, take that championship and become the first ever WWE World Co-Champions! And to add insult to injury, Kevin & Sami will hurt Styles. “YEP! YEP!” But AJ Styles appears to respond!

Fans cheer for AJ Styles as he stands on the stage. “I can’t be the only one hearing you say that.” Did he hear #Kami correctly? That they are going to beat him? How about “Nope!” That they’re gonna be co-champions? Nope. That they’re gonna hurt Styles? NOPE!

Boy that’s annoying, isn’t it? The #YEPMovement has been pretty annoying. Kevin doesn’t care, because after Sami & Kevin win, you’ll hear “YEP!” everywhere you go. Styles will here “YEP!” in arenas, in airports, in dreams and in nightmares, even from his family! Styles tells them to shut their “Yep Holes” for a second, he tells them that while they have the advantage, they’ll be facing someone who is Phenomenal. If there’s fight left in Styles, Styles will make sure they are never co-champions. He’s said it once, he’ll say it again, SmackDown is “The House that AJ Styles Built!” Sami & Kevin knew he’d say that. Yes, Styles is Phenomenal, but also predictable. He put on his “macho tough-guy act”, but it won’t matter. Styles has no chance, but of course he’d be ignorant, ignorance is the official language of D.C. And let’s not forget, ignorance got Styles into this mess to begin with. What did Styles say a few weeks ago? Let’s look at the tape! Styles said this handicap match should happen, but Styles didn’t think someone would make that official. And now Styles backtracks his way out of it, isn’t that right? For once in Styles’ life, he has to be a man, because he is being forced by an actual authority figure in Daniel Bryan. Bryan wants Styles to live up to his word, but will he? Styles asks what they’re talking about. If only they had a way… Oh right, the footage! Styles said last week that he’ll even fight them both in the same night. Is Styles going to man up? It won’t be for the title, but how about it? Styles in a double header against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn! Fans say “YES! YES!” and that brings out SmackDown General Manager, Daniel Bryan!

Bryan thinks it over and tells Sami & Kevin “enough is enough.” They are two of the greatest stars to be in a WWE ring, and they are right about handicap matches being difficulty. However, Bryan has the utmost faith. Styles speaks up and asks Bryan to stop advocating. In fact, Styles feels Bryan is in league with “these two dirt bags.” Styles will make it official himself, he accepts the double-header challenge! Will this confidence come to bite Styles in the butt?

 

SmackDown GM and Commissioner meet backstage.

Shane McMahon checks on Bryan, while also questioning his actions. The WWE Champion has back-to-back matches tonight before the Royal Rumble title defense? Bryan defends that he wasn’t going to do that at all, because AJ Styles has nothing to prove. Shane wants to be sure that’s the truth, and Bryan insists it is. However, Bryan wants to ask Shane if he’s really questioning Styles’ ability to defend himself. No, Shane is not questioning Styles abilities tonight. The tension grows ever stronger within the SmackDown administration…

 

Jey Uso w/ Jimmy Uso VS Chad Gable w/ Shelton Benjamin!

The SmackDown Tag Team Champions defend their titles in a Best 2 out of 3 Falls match this Sunday. Can the Uso Penitentiary gain momentum and stay open through the Royal Rumble?

The bell rings and the two circle. Gable goes after Jey’s legs but Jey gets to ropes. The break is clean and the two circle again. Gable goes after the legs again but Jey clubs away, only to get body slammed. Jey ends up in a waistlock and Gable throws him around. Jey backs Gable to a corner but Gable turns it back around. The referee counts and Gable gives a clean break. They tie up again but now Gable puts Jey in an armlock. Jey whips but Gable reverses, to get right after that leg again. Gable keeps Jey on the defensive with another rear mount, then crossface forearms. Fans rally for “UCE! SO!” and Jey uses that to get moving and sling Gable off. Gable gets back in the ring but gets rocked right back out with an uppercut! Jey glares at Gable while we go picture-in-picture.

Jey rallies the fans again while Benjamin regroups with Gable. Gable takes his time as returns into the ring. The two circle again, Gable gets that waistlock back. Jey endures the squeeze as he works to pry his way out. Jey throws back elbows and a mule kick, then the uppercut. Gable runs at Jey and narrowly escapes the Samoan Drop to then throw Jey right into the steel post. Jimmy checks on his brother while Gable comes out to fetch him. They go back in the ring and now Gable goes after that bad shoulder. Cover, TWO, but Gable stays calm. He goes after that bad arm with a hammerlock, grinding Jey into the mat. Gable bridges for even more leverage on that bad arm. Jey rolls but Gable keeps a hold, and throws that bad shoulder into buckles. Cover, TOW, Jimmy coaches his brother up while Gable tells everyone to “Shush!” Gable returns to that bad arm, wrenching it back with a seated armlock. He wrenches it around and around, but Jey endures. Jey works his way back to his feet, then headbutts Gable off. He chops Gable, then chops again, Gable blocks the mule kick and hits a hammerlock Northern Lights as we return to single picture!

TWO, and now Gable is frustrated. Gable climbs up the nearest corner, and moonsaults! he lands on his feet as Jey evades, then ends up on the apron when Jey dodges. Jey kicks, Gable blocks, but Jey comes back around with the reverse dragon whip! Gable goes down, Benjamin is shocked, Jey gets running, only to run into Gable’s forearm. Gable returns into the ring, but Jey sends him out the other side! Benjamin regroups with Gable again, and keeps Jimmy back. Jey DIVES outta nowhere!

Jey gets up and puts Gable back in before climbing up top. He takes aim, Gable evades so Jey lands on hsi feet. Gable runs into a Samoan Drop! Jey has Gable in a corner, fires up the fans as he goes corner to corner, but Gable catches him for a waistlock. Jey bucks him off, misses the kick Gable hits the rolling kick and then the Rolling German! Gable wins!

As intense as this 1v1 match was, how much more will it be when it’s 2v2 for at least two falls?

 

Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.

The King of Strong Style enters his first ever Royal Rumble and believes it is his destiny to win. Royal Rumble matches are “notoriously challenging” so how will he do it? “Simple: I see someone, I put my knee in their face.” Shinsuke will repeat that 29 times, but The Lone Wolf says Nakamura is nothing but hype. But that’s okay, because the WWE Universe loves him. Corbin doesn’t care about the fans, they can keep their opinions to themselves. Corbin’s resume is more than enough to win the Rumble, because “that’s not hype, that’s results.” What has Nakamura even done? It’s not what Nakamura has done, but what he’ll do at the Rumble. So how about these two rumble tonight? Who will come out of this solid match-up with more momentum?

 

Tye Dillinger speaks on the Royal Rumble.

The Perfect Ten debuted in the perfect spot last year. Dillinger had ups and downs in 2017 but vows to change that in 2018 as he tries again this year. He has a chance to make history, and “anything is possible.” 2018 will be a perfect ten for Tye!

 

Naomi VS Liv Morgan w/ The Riott Squad!

It’s #GlowTime for SmackDown’s Women’s Division as the inaugural Women’s Rumble draws closer. Can Naomi make #LivForever #FeeltheGlow?

The bell rings, the two circle, and then tie up. Liv powers Naomi to a corner, and dirties up the break. Naomi boots her back then slides to slap her! Cover, TWO, Naomi goes after a leg for a jackknife. TOW, Liv bridges and slides a backslide on, but TWO just in time. The two go again, Naomi flips off Liv but Liv bends back. Naomi blocks a kick to swing a kick after kick after kick but it’s the knee that gets Liv. Liv gets to a corner, Naomi fires up and runs in but the referee keeps her back because LIv is in the ropes. Liv takes advantage, she yanks Naomi into the buckles. She gets mad now, springboard double stomps!

TWO, and Liv is furious. The Riott Squad keeps her focused, and she puts Naomi in a straitjacket clutch. Fans rally for the former SmackDown Women’s Champion, but look who is coming down the ramp!

SmackDown’s Welcoming Committee, Natalya, Lana & Carmella. These three stand and watch at ringside as Liv lariats Naomi down. But now Becky Lynch appears while Naomi gets to ropes for safety. Liv drags Naomi up by her hair but gets a roundhouse that rocks her down. Slingshot sunset flip, Naomi wins! The Squad is shocked but every other woman of SmackDown is happy. Things break down as The Squad go after Naomi, and Becky goes after them! The Welcoming Committee watches as Becky throws them out, Natty lariats Becky down. Ruby gets up and clobbers Natty, but Lana boots her down. Natty turns on Lana with a kick of her own to then scoop and dump over the top. Carmella enters and FABULOUS Kicks Liv down, then she works with Natty to throw her out. Natty turns on Carmella with that discus clothesline, then bails out as Naomi and Becky return. Then Becky goes to throw Naomi out!

Naomi stays on the apron, and manages to laugh it off. However, here comes SmackDown’s Queen, Charlotte! “I love it!” That was a fierce move, because it is every woman for herself. Friendships and alliances don’t matter when you’re fighting for the right to face The Queen. Charlotte wishes everyone luck, especially to the winner. The champion is ready for any challenger, but who will it be?

 

Baron Corbin VS Shinsuke Nakamura!

The Lone Wolf and the King of Strong Style both want to prove their superiority to everyone else in the WWE, and the Royal Rumble is a great place to do it. Who will prove themselves the superior here tonight?

The bell rings, the two circle, and then tie up. Corbin puts Nakamura in a corner while fans cheer Nakamura on. The break is clean but disrespectful, Corbin doesn’t care what fans think. Nakamura ties up with him again an dgets the waistlock but Corbin turns that around to a wristlock. Nakamura rolls and handsprings to reverse the hold onto Corbin and make it a hammerlock. Corbin gets himself to ropes, Nakamura honors the break with his ab rest. He then tells Corbin, “C’MON!!” Corbin runs out but into the knee, snapmare and knee drop added on top. Nakamura has Corbin in a corner and gives Good Vibrations. Corbin gets out of the ring, Nakamura pursues and they brawl outside. Corbin puts Nakmura into the ring with authority, so Nakamura dares him to “C’mon!” again. Instead of taking the bait, Corbin turns to walk away. Nakamura pursues him again, but Corbin springs his trap with the sucker punch uppercut! Nakamura gasps for air, Corbin puts him into the turnbuckle crossbar! Corbin has control while we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Corbin has Nakamura in a seated half-nelson chinbar. Fans rally for Nakamura, and he wills his way to his feet. Corbin powers Nakamura back down, but Nakamura tries again. Nakamura stomps and punches but Corbin throws in a knee. Corbin whips but Nakamura reverses to throw in his own knee, and even teh strike fest. Nakamura gets running, Dynamic Dropkick! Fans fire up while Nakmaura gives those roundhosues to the chest. Corbin blocks one, but gets the enziguri from the other side. Nakamura and Corbin get to corners, Nakamura gives teh corner to corner knee. He hoists Corbin up and gives the Top Shelf knee to the ribs! Cover, TWO, but Nakamura keeps focus. He goes back to Corbin and prepares the Inverted Exploder but Corbin fights out with elbows. Corbin goes to suplex but Nakamura blocks. Nakamura gives more knees, then suplexes Corbin for the gordbuster! He takes aim from a corner, KIN- DEEP SIX!

TWO! Corbin cannot believe how close he was. Nakamura rolls and gets to ropes, Corbin refocuses before running in. Nakamura boots him away, then goes to the second rope. Corbin runs back, Nakamura jumps over but Corbin slides out then in to clobber Nakamura with the lariat! Cover, TWO! Corbin is furious over this one. Fans rally for Nakamura while Corbin stands up. He demands Nakamura stand up, then reels him in, but gets caught in an armbar!! Corbin flails and rolls, TWO, Nakamura misses the right but gets the left kick! Nakamura fires up again, calls for it, But RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!!

Orton is all fired up, Corbin goes after him, another RKO! THe Viper is all fired up as he stakes a claim to the Rumble victory. Could the legendary Legend Killer do it twice in a row to headline Wrestlemania?

 

Six Man Tag: Bobby Rodde & The New Day VS Rusev Day & Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers!

“Awwww D.C.~!” The New Day was part of history as they attended #Raw25. This Sunday, they’ll be part of history again as “Yo Boys” are indeed entering the Royal Rumble Match! Not only that, but their partner made history when he won two matches in one night to become the W, W, E, United, States, Champion~! But who is that? Who who who? The GLORIOUS One, that’s who!

Roode thanks The New Day for that wonderful introduction. And there’s no better a place to debut as the new US Champion than in the nation’s capitol! Roode’s goal is to “be the best United States Champion in history.” he knows that is not easy, but he guarantees that his reign will be… “Absolutely~” Stupendous? Delicious? Exuberant? No, no, it’ll be Absolutely~… GLORIOUS!!

SmackDown goes picture in picture as Jinder Mahal, Rusev & Aiden English make their way to the ring.

The New Day slings pancakes but those don’t bother Rusev. He starts against Kofi Kingston as the bell rings. The two circle but English distracts, Rusev hits a MACHKA Kick! Cover, TWO, but Rusev stays focused as he stomps on Kofi. He tags English, and Team Rusev Day stomp away on Kofi in the corner. English drags Kofi up and rocks him with a jab before tagging in Mahal. The Modern Day Maharaja gives body shots and a snapmare before driving his knee into Kofi’s back. Mahal taunts Kofi with a chance to tag then stomps him again before tagging to Rusev. Rusev stomps Kofi more, then stalks him to ropes.

SmackDown returns to single picture as Rusev lifts Kofi into a bearhug. Kofi endures the squeezing and thrashing, fans duel with chants. Kofi fights out with headbutts but Rusev drives in a knee. He goes corner to corner an drams Kofi with a shoulder. He gives a sucker punch to Xavier Woods, then returns to Kofi, only to miss in the corner. Kofi gives Rusev a bulldog and both men are down. Fans rally, the two men crawl and get hot tags to Roode and English. Roode rallies, big clothesline in the corner followed by a neckbreaker. Roode gives a knee to Mahal then boots English before hopping up and hitting a blockbuster! The fans fire up as Roode winds it up, and gives the GLORIOUS Pose! Spinebuster to Mahal, but Rusev rocks Roode with a roundhouse. English rolls Roode up, TWO! Kofi springboards to ax handle Rusev down, then sees Mahal and FLIES!

English grabs Roode but Roode slips out. Standing switch, Woods tags in, he swing kicks English. Another SPINEBUSTER, then Woods goes to the top rope for the elbow drop! Roode & The New Day win! Will this momentum help The New Day finally win a Royal Rumble?

 

AJ Styles VS Kevin Owens!

The Phenomenal WWE Champion wants to prove he’s more than enough for #Kami, which is why he put himself in this situation. However, SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon comes out before this match can begin. He wants to be perfectly clear, that if Sami Zayn is anywhere near the ring for this match, he will be removed from the title match at the Royal Rumble. In other words, Shane will fire Sami on the spot. The same goes for Kevin that if he appears during Sami’s match after this, he will be fired. They can bring their #YEPMovement, but will it be the last thing they ever do on SmackDown? YEP! Sami protests, but Kevin counters that Daniel Bryan said it was okay. They argue this issue out while we go to break.

SmackDown returns and the match finally begins. Kevin swings but Styles slips under, to fire off shots of his own. Styles backs Kevin into a corner, but Kevin fights his way out. Kevin runs but into Styles’ dropkick! Styles keeps on Kevin in a corner while fans cheer him own. He whips Kevin corner to corner then runs in but misses his corner clothesline. Kevin clobbers Styles down, runs corner to corner but he misses the cannonball. Styles takes notice of Kevin hobbling and goes right after that sore leg. He rolls Kevin, Calf Crusher!

Kevin taps right away, Styles wins! Styles doesn’t let go, he promised to hurt Kevin. But here comes Sami! This isn’t a match anymore so he can beat Styles up. He checks on his best friend, who clutches his ankle. Then Sami returns to throwing hands on Styles, even as the referee tries to pull him away. Sami is fired up and ready to go, Kevin hobbles his way to the ramp. Styles flounders, the referee keeps Sami back but for only a moment as Sami stomps a mudhole into Styles. The fans boo and jeer while cheering for Styles. Sami drags Styles out of the ring and keeps up the attack! He whips Styles at the steel steps, and Styles’ knees bang off the side as he goes flipping end over end. SmackDown administrators Bryan and Shane can only watch as Sami technically keeps to their agreement.

The referee finally gets Sami to keep off of Styles and we go to break while this sorts itself out.

 

AJ Styles VS Sami Zayn!

The Underdog already did damage to Styles before the bell, does Styles stand a chance?

Sami pounces right at the bell ringing, and Styles is reeling back. The medics help Kevin as he’s trying to clear the area, and fans cheer for Styles while Sami keeps unloading on him. Sami rocks Styles with a right hand, Styles swings back. Sami uses more right hands, then rains rights on Styles while he mocks the “tough guy”. He puts Styles in a corner, whips him corner to corner hard, and Styles bounces off buckles to the mat. Sami covers, TWO, but Sami keeps on Styles. He chops Styles a couple times, then whips him to run him over with a clothesline. Sami covers again, TWO. He drives a knee into Styles’ back while a stretcher appears for Kevin.

Styles endures the chinlock while fans keep cheering. Styles wills himself up and fights out of the hold, but Sami drags him back down. Bryan and Shane continue to watch as Sami and Styles exchange strikes. Sami drives in a knee, but Styles gives Sami the Phenomenal Blitz! Then a sliding forearm! Both men are down, then crawl to opposite corners. Styles runs in, big corner clothesline! Fireman’s carry but Sami slips out and shoves Styles away. Sami runs but is thrown out of the ring! Styles limps over, takes aim, slingshot forearm to Sami! Styles drags Sami up and into the ring, but glares at Kevin on the ground. The champion goes after Kevin with kicks and stomps! He stomps on Kevin’s bad leg, then rains down right hands. Sami runs out and clobbers Styles with a clothesline to again save Kevin.

Kevin writhes in pain and Sami has rage in his eyes while we go to break.

SmackDown returns once more to find Sami keeping on Styles while medics keep working on Kevin. Sami clobbers Styles with crossface punches while the fans boo and jeer. The chinlock returns, but fans rally for Styles. Styles stands up and works to put a cravat on Sami. Sami counters, so Styles unloads forearms and backs Sami up to a corner. Sami elbows back, then hops up, but Styles rocks him with a right. Styles climbs up to join Sami, and fans fire up as Styles hits the SUPER STEINER! Both men are down from exhaustion and soreness, but Bryan and Shane keep watching without complaint. Styles and Sami stand up, and brawl with chops and haymakers. They go back and forth, Sami gets the edge. Sami runs, but into the USHIGOROSHI! TWO, but Styles is too sore to be frustrated. He simply stands up and drags Sami into Clash position. Sami resists, Styles clubs him and lifts, but Sami pops out. Sami kicks and chops Styles to then acrobatically hit a tornado DDT! He isn’t done there, he gets to a corner and wants Styles to stand up. Styles is in the corner, but he boots Sami away. Styles springboards but Sami ducks under. Sami swings but Styles ducks the clothesline to then hit the PELE! Cover, TWO! Styles cannot believe how close that was, but he still has the fans chanting for him. The two men stir and stand up again, Styles reels Sami into the waistlock. Sami resists the German Suplex and elbows out of the hold, to then catch Styles in the Michinoku Driver! TWO! The Underdog stalks the Phenomenal One while fans continue to chant. Sami slaps Styles then hoists him up top before climbing up to join him. Sami wants a move now, but Styles slips under and trips him up! Styles mule kicks then brings Sami in, but Sami escapes and exits the ring. Fans boo, Styles slingshots over to hit the sliding knee! They go back into the ring, and Styles tips Kevin’s stretcher over!

Styles shows no mercy, but as he reenters the ring, he ends up taking the HELLUVA Kick and Blue Thunder Bomb!! Sami wins!! Team Kami split the series with Styles, can they make history when they take Styles on together?

 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown did a great job making up for much of what Raw failed to do last night, especially as the last go-home before the PPV. They hit every division equally, and even upped the stakes for much of what is going into the Royal Rumble. Jey Usos loses clean to Gable ahead of the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match, but that doesn’t mean the Usos will lose those titles. Their 2 out of 3 Falls match will surely be on par with every other SmackDown Tag Team Championship match The Usos have been involved with, and there is a good chance the Usos can come out on top. However, Gable & Benjamin pulling off the victory would definitely be believable the way they’ve been going and could freshen up things to new match-ups on the road to Wrestlemania. The SmackDown Women’s Division has the closest thing to the classic Royal Rumble brawl as they could have, and it was great for Charlotte to come out and remind everyone who’s the champion. I would love if she and Alexa Bliss were ringside for the Women’s Rumble so that they could see the winner firsthand and have them issue the challenge then and there.

Roode & The New Day had a great match with Mahal & Rusev Day, and it was like a victory lap for Roode while there isn’t anything explicitly set for him and the US Championship just yet. My money is still on Ziggler returning to claim Roode is not deserving, even if it is a loose rehash of the HBK VS Razor Ramon Intercontinental Championship ladder match. And after The Viper misses #Raw25, his truly #OuttaNowhere return to SmackDown more than made up for it in my eyes. Orton hits Nakamura with an RKO, then one to Corbin, which keeps the Rockstar and the Lone Wolf on even footing while putting Orton above them in the rankings for who on SmackDown might win the Rumble. The major story of tonight is once again the Shane-Bryan civil war that involves #Kami and Styles. While we’ve seen just about everything we could have, it was actually pretty unique to have a double-header. Styles literally has 50-50 booking tonight with that, where Kevin suffers a lot of damage quick but then Sami does more damage to Styles in his eventual victory. This all muddies up the math so it could go either way come Sunday. I just hope we finally get definitive evidence towards someone’s Heel Turn, and hopefully that someone is Shane. Shane having a furious breakdown as #Kami win just seems logical given how fans still love Bryan.

My Score: 8.3/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (2/19/19)

Who’s next for the unstoppable Buddy Murphy?

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205 Live = Cruiserweight Division

The Cruiserweight Champion continues to be the Juggernaut, Buddy Murphy! Who will step up to challenge him next? Do they stand a chance of dethroning him?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • TJP VS Humberto Carrillo; Carrillo wins.
  • Ariya Daivari VS Johnny Lyons; Daivari wins.
  • Mike Kanellis w/ Maria VS Cedric Alexander; Alexander wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

At Elimination Chamber, The Cruiserweight Champion outlasted the Stamina Monster!

Buddy Murphy took everything Akira Tozawa threw at him, but it wasn’t enough to slow down the Juggernaut. Now we move to the home stretch of the Road to Wrestlemania. Starting next week, there will be another Cruiserweight tournament! The winner of the field of eight will take on Buddy Murphy in New York! Therefore, tonight’s matches are a last-minute moment to make a case for entering the tournament!

First up, a first-ever match of the first-ever (New Era) Cruiserweight Champion and the newest star to the Division. TJP is a technical wizard but Humberto Carrillo is the Ultimo Ninja! Will Carrillo fly high over the FilAm Flash? Or will TJP make a huge leap towards bring the title back to where it all began?

And in the main event, The Lover and Fighter, Mike Kanellis, will take on another former Cruiserweight Champion in Cedric Alexander. Mike has impressed despite losing to Kalisto and THE Brian Kendrick, but Maria says every loss is a step closer to THE win Mike needs. Mike wants to show the third time’s the charm, but can he break his losing streak by breaking the Soul of 205 Live?

 

TJP VS Humberto Carrillo!

The Cruiser-Great always feels entitled to big opportunities, but just like everyone else, he’ll have to earn his way through the coming #1 Contender’s Tournament. The Ultimo Ninja is more than ready to prove himself against the inaugural champion, but is he ready for the inaugural champion?

The bell rings and Humberto circles with TJP. Fans like both guys as they tie up. TJP waistlocks to snapmare and ghost pins, ONE and Carrillo gets his own cover, ONE. The two circle and tie up again, and TJP gets a headlock. Carrillo powers out but TJP slides under. TJP shoves but things speed up as Carrillo keeps up with TJP. Carrillo runs and acrobatically arm-drags TJP out of the ring! Carrillo builds up speed but spots Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher coming down the ramp. The Submission Commission want Carrillo to stay safe and sound with feet on the ground. TJP slides in while Carrillo actually listens to Gulak & Gallagher for a moment. Carrillo and TJP tie up and TJP cartwheels to a hammerlock. Carrillo flips through but TJP wrenches again. Fans rally for Carrillo as he handsprings and sweeps the leg!

Carrillo gets a Gulak approved takedown to a standing kneebar. TJP spins with the headscissors to bring Carrillo down! TJP claps along with the fans but Carrillo powers his way up. Carrillo cartwheels through the next spin, then leaps, but TJP throws him down! Cover, ONE! TJP puts the shoulders down again, ONE! TJP goes to put his weight on Carrillo but Carrillo acrobatically monkey flips him away! Carrillo runs into the corner at TJP but TJP puts him on the apron. Carrillo rocks TJP then climbs up, big crossbody! Cover, TWO! Carrillo CHOPS TJP, then runs in for another acrobatic move, only for TJP to plant him on the mat! Gulak tells Carrillo he shouldn’t have done that. TJP traps one arm and grabs the other to YANK it! Carrillo writhes, clutching the arm, while TJP looms over him.

TJP drags Carrillo up and wrenches the arm. TJP whips and runs Carrillo over with an elbow. Fans duel and rally while TJP drags Carrillo up. TJP scoop slams Carrillo down, then slingshot sentons! Cover, TWO! TJP drags Carrillo up while Gulak & Gallagher coach Carrillo. TJP kicks and dropkicks Carrillo down then wraps on a chinlock. Fans rally while TJP toys with Carrillo. TJP hammerlocks and chinlocks Carrillo but Carrillo fights his way up and out. TJP whips but Carrillo rolls over TJP’s back. Carrillo dodges in the corner then runs back in. TJP goes up and over and Carrillo hits post! TJP hoists Carrillo into the Tree of Woe, then gets the fans clapping along as he stands on Carrillo’s face. The ref counts and TJP backs off, to go around the world for a basement dropkick! Cover, TWO, to Gulak’s and Gallagher’s relief.

TJP snapmares Carrillo back into a trapped arm. TJP goes after the other arm again and pulls. Fans rally up as Carrillo endures. Carrillo powers up to a fireman’s carry, but TJP slips out. TJP shoves Carrillo to a corner but runs into an elbow. TJP runs back in but into a boot. Carrillo hops up and leaps, big sunset flip! TJP rolls through but Carrillo dodges the Penalty Kick. Carrillo kips up, misses the roundhouse but hits the enziguri! TJP bails out and Carrillo FLIES out onto him! Carrillo takes TJP out but Gulak and Gallagher scold Carrillo for that. Carrillo puts TJP in and covers, TWO! Gulak and Gallagher coach Carrillo on staying in the ring and on the mat. Carrillo heads to the corner and climbs up high, not at all what they said.

Carrillo leaps but rolls through as TJP gets under. TJP huricanranas but Carrillo sunsets! TWO, and Carrillo fires off more kicks! Carrillo reverse somersaults to the moonsault! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up as Carrillo keeps his cool. Carrillo drags TJP to the drop zone and hops up for the headstand. TJP pushes him over but Carrillo shoulders and slingshots back in. Carrillo wheelbarrows but TJP rolls through to the STF! With a modified crossface! Gulak and Gallagher say Carrillo got himself into this situation, now he has to get himself out. Carrillo crawls and crawls and gets the ropebreak! TJP lets Carrillo go but the damage has been done. Carrillo gets on the apron and TJP joins him out there.

TJP toys with Carrillo then drags him up. Carrillo shoulders TJP but TJP fires off forearms. Carrillo rocks TJP with one big right, then runs in, but is put back in the ring. TJP misses the shoulder and gets rocked agani. Carrillo leaps up, missile dropkick! Headstand, Aztec Press! Cover, Carrillo wins!

Winner: Humberto Carrillo, by pinfall

It wasn’t safe and sound on the ground, but a win is a win! Gulak & Gallagher accept that much, and Carrillo has pinned the former champion! Gulak & Gallagher join Carrillo in the ring, and compliment him on the ground game he did right. They have the fans applaud Carrillo’s victory! The young Cruiserweight is hoisted onto the shoulders of the Submission Commission, but will he live up to his potential?

 

Tony Nese speaks.

“I finally proved to Noam Dar once and for that I’m the better man.” When he was beating the Scottish Supernova to a pulp, it finally occurred to the Premier Athlete: 205 Live is his for the taking. He could be better than anyone in the Division, it’s just about believing in himself. Whatever mental block that’s been holding him back, Nese smashed it down when he smashed Dar through the timekeeper’s area. This is a Premier Promise: he will win the tournament, he will win the Cruiserweight Championship, and he will do it at Wrestlemania. But will he really do it against his Body Guy buddy, Buddy Murphy?

 

Backstage interview with Mike & Maria Kanellis.

Mike’s had a hard time picking up wins. Was it wise to go after someone as accomplished as Cedric Alexander? Maria speaks on Mike’s behalf. Is it wise to ask about Alexander’s accomplishments when Mike has accomplished so much himself? Mike has been in the business for 16 years and has been a champion all over the world! Does anyone think Mike has been successful for taking the easy way out? That’s a question, Kayla. Mike has not taken the easy matches or the easy opponents. Because you don’t make it to Wrestlemania that way. Tonight, Mike defeats the Pride of 205 Live to prove why he’s the most dangerous man here. Will this be the night Mike turns it all around?

 

Ariya Daivari VS Johnny Lyons!

The Privileged Lion is sick of being a sidekick, he’s finally putting himself first again. He tells the fans in New Orleans that they are bearing witness to the Daivari Destruction of the Cruiserweight Division. He swears to beat his opponent so bad, no one here can say the referee made the wrong call. Football fans will get that better than most. Because unlike the Saints, Daivari’s actually going to the big game. But will Lyons have a surprise for the Persion Lion?

The bell rings and Daivari circles with Lyons. They tie up and Lyons gets a headlock. Daivari pulls Lyons’ hair and puts him in a corner. Daivair jabs away on Lyons and then stomps a mudhole into him. He throws Lyons corner to corner but Lyons goes up and over and dropkicks Daivari back! Fans fire up but Lyons misses in the corner and gets a big roundhouse from Daivari! Nawlins rallies for their local Lyons but Daivari drags him aruond to kick him while he’s down! Daivari stomps away on Lyons, then wrenches him into the hammerlock lariat! But Daivari isn’t done there, he drags Lyons up again for a cobra clutch! Daivari puts on body scissors, Lyons taps out!

Winner: Ariya Daivari by submission

Cobra clutch or Million Dollar Dream, Daivari uses it to destroy the dreams of young Johnny Lyons. Daivari will want to live a dream of everyone’s and go to Wrestlemania, but will he bust in the Contender’s Tournament?

 

Buddy Murphy speaks.

“I’ve got to hand it to Drake Maverick.” It must be so hard for a GM to run a brand with a champion as strong and dominate as Murphy. Maverick’s trying to get Murphy the challengers he wants. First was Mustafa Ali, the Heart of 205 Live. Murphy left Ali heartbroken. Next was Cedric Alexander, the savior of the Division and wanted to redeem himself. But the Age of Alexander came crashing down. And then the Royal Rumble put Murphy against three big names: the leader of the Lucha House Party, Kalisto; the savage striker, Hideo Itami; and the Stamina Monster that dethroned the King of the Cruiserweights, Akira Tozawa. Murphy got the challenge he asked for and beat that challenge.

Tozawa got a second chance at Elimination Chamber, but it ended like every other night: Murphy’s hand held high. So who’s next? Maverick put this tournament together to pit eight of the best to fight THE best. Murphy declares he’s the greatest of all time, but who will meet him on the Grandest Stage of Them All?

 

Mike Kanellis w/ Maria VS Cedric Alexander!

For Mr. & Mrs. Kanellis, it isn’t about the losses, or even about the wins, it’s about getting THE win that will define a career. Will Mike get that win tonight on the verge of the #1 Contender’s Tournament? Or will the Age of Alexander begin its resurrection on the road back to Wrestlemania?

Maria does not join commentary this time. Perhaps she’s sick of Aiden English grilling her about Mike’s win-loss record, despite her philosophy on it. She moves her chair up in front of commentary and takes a seat to watch her husband even closer. Alexander makes his entrance, and we begin.

The bell rings and fans already cheer Alexander on. Alexander claps along as he circles with Mike. Mike and Alexander tie up and Alexander gets a waistlock. Mike gets to the ropes then reverses to a wristlock. Alexander trips Mike and gets a facelock, then scrambles around. Mike reverses the facelock but Alexander powers him to a corner. The ref calls for a break but Mike turns it around. Mike shoves Alexander then eggs him on. Alexander rushes Mike but Mike uses ropes as defense. Alexander toys with Mike but Maria says it’s fine. Mike and Alexander circle again and tie up. Mike gets a headlock and grinds Alexander down. Alexander powers up but can’t power out of Mike’s grip. Mike grinds Alexander down more but fans rally up.

Alexander feeds off the energy and powers out this time. Mike runs him over with a shoulder, then things speed up. Alexander arm-drags Mike down into an armlock! Mike scrambles around but Alexander grinds him down. Alexander wrenches but Mike kicks low. Mike CHOPS Alexander, then again. Mike elbows Alexander down then drags him back up. Alexander handsprings and headscissors Mike down, then dropkicks him, too! Fans cheer while Mike gets to a corner. Alexander CHOPS Mike back, and Maria seethes. Alexander buckle bumps and CHOPS Mike again. Mike kicks back but misses his chop, Alexander CHOPS Mike again. Alexander snapmares Mike to dropkick him in the back! Cover, TWO! Alexander keeps his cool while Mike gets to a corner again.

Alexander stomps Mike down then CHOPS him yet again. He whips Mike corner to corner then runs in, but Mike puts him on the apron. Alexander hits Mike back then springboards, but Mike punches him out of the air! Alexander is dazed and Mike catches his breath. Mike rains down rights on Alexander but fans rally up for the former champion. Mike snapmares Alexander to then drive elbow after elbow into Alexander’s shoulder and chest. Maria applauds while the fans boo. Mike says he’s the best in the world as he drags Alexander over. Mike snapmares Alexander for more elbows into the shoulders! He sits Alexander up to basement dropkick him against the ropes! Mike pulls Alexander back against the ropes but lets up at 4. Mike drags Alexander onto the apron and rocks him with another right!

Fans boo and Mike tells them to shut up. Mike stalks Alexander but walks into a CHOP! Alexander CHOPS Mike more, then brings him out for European Uppercuts. Alexander runs but into a pop-up, that he turns into a wheelbarrow victory roll! TWO, and Mike rocks Alexander again! Mike whips Alexander face first into buckles! Alexander is dazed again while Mike grits his teeth. Mike drags Alexander to a cover, TWO! Mike puts Alexander in a chinlock but Alexander endures. Maria likes what she sees as Mike grinds his knee into Alexander’s back. Fans rally up and Alexander powers up. Alexander jawbreakers free! Both men stagger and Alexander throws haymakers. Mike responds but Alexander bobs ‘n’ weaves and CHOPS! Uppercut! Alexander dropkicks the legs out then dropkicks Mike in the face!

Fans fire up as Alexander gets to a corner. Alexander and Mike slowly stir while Maria grows worried. Alexander rallies on Mike with forearms and elbows. Mike kicks but Alexander blocks to the stiff back elbow! Alexander runs, handsprings, Neuralizer kick! Mike staggers to a corner, but dodges Alexander. Alexander goes to the apron and springboards, but his legs give out and he tumbles down! This happened to Alexander weeks ago, is it a bad sign? Mike takes advantage by stomping the legs! Fans boo and jeer but Mike and Maria laugh while the referee checks on Alexander. Mike comes back and grabs the bad leg. Mike spins through but Alexander cradle counters! TWO, and Alexander SUPERKICKS Mike down! Mike and Alexander are both down from exhaustion and pain.

Fans rally for Alexander while Maria shouts for Mike. Alexander stands first and hobbles over to Mike. Alexander lifts but the bad leg prevents much more. He throws forearms into Mike instead, and tries again, but Mike fights out. Mike fireman’s carry but Alexander slips out. Alexander pushes Mike, handsprings through, but into Mike’s SUPERKICK! Mike picks Alexander up, Samoan Driver! Cover, TWO!! Alexander lives and the Kanellises are furious! Fans rally up but Maria tells them to shut up. Mike drags Alexander back up, but Alexander uppercuts him! Mike throws another right, but Alexander kicks! Alexander misses the back hand and Mike pushes him to a corner. Mike runs into a boot, Alexander hops up, but Mike hits another rocking right!

Mike drags Alexander out, Backpack Stunner! Cover, TWO!! Mike grows frustrated, but he slaps himself back into focus. Mike drags Alexander up once more but Alexander shoves him away. Alexander rolls Mike up, TWO! Penalty Kick misses, small package, TWO! Backslide, TWO! Sudden Michinoku! Cover, TWO!! Now Alexander is shocked, but Maria is still worried for her husband. Mike crawls to the ropes but Alexander grabs the legs. Mike kicks Alexander away but Alexander comes back. They brawl between the ropes, Mike hotshots Alexander down. Mike drags Alexander back up to suplex but Alexander lands on the apron. They brawl more and double boot! Both men fall but Mike lands on the floor. Alexander’s still in the ring as the count begins.

Mike starts crawling away, he doesn’t seem to care anymore. But Alexander staggers his way over to Mike, only to get a SPINEBUSTER on the ramp!! The referee checks on Alexander as he writhes in pain. Mike crawls back towards the ring and gets in. The ring count passes 5 but Alexander hasn’t gotten up. Alexander crawls at 7, at 9, and gets in at 9.9!! Mike is furious but he goes right at Alexander. Alexander grabs ropes to deny the hold. Mike stomps Alexander out and drags him back over. Mike turns Alexander over for a Boston Crab! Alexander endures the leg and back pain as he crawls for the ropes. He reaches, but Mike sits down deep! Alexander still gets the ropebreak! Mike and Maria are beside themselves but New Orleans is loving this!

Mike paces to keep his cool while Maria glares at Alexander. Alexander makes it to the ropes as Mike blows a kiss to Maria. Mike runs in but Alexander dumps him out. Alexander builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit takes Mike out! Alexander puts Mike back in but can barely move on his own. Maria gets in Alexander’s way! Fans boo as Maria plays goalie, but Alexander gets past. To get a SUPERKICK!! Dragon sleeper, swinging neckbreaker! Cover, Mike wins!? No, no! The referee saw Alexander get his shoulder up! It was a TWO!! Alexander kicks out by mere inches, but it’s still a kick-out! The match must continue! Mike runs into Alexander, Alexander rolls but Mike sits on it! TWO, into the LUMBAR CHECK! Cover, Alexander wins!!

Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall

The narrowest of margins was the difference between a victory and a defeat! Alexander finds himself on the upside of the decision, but Maria actually smiles. Does she still believe the career-defining win is on the horizon? As for Alexander, is he going to repeat his path to Wrestlemania from 2018? Or is there a roadblock in the way for both of them just around the corner?

 

Drake Maverick speaks.

The 205 Live GM has made his decision on the first Cruiserweight superstars to enter the tournament. Deciding was not taken lightly, as he again considered both recent performances as well as past accomplishments. Therefore, the first of the first round matches Maverick has decided on are: Kalisto VS Tony Nese; and THE Brian Kendrick VS Drew Gulak. Half the field has been named, which of these first four in will make it to the finals? Who else will join as the last four in and join them on the Road to Wrestlemania?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A really great episode of 205 Live, and I like the announcement of another Cruiserweight tournament. Last year when Drake Maverick was first introduced to the show, the tournament was a necessity because of circumstances (Enzo Amore) but it was so good, doing it this year is a good move. Learning half the field now is alright, and gives Maverick time, in kayfabe, to figure out the other four after the matches we just got tonight. Kalisto VS Nese and Kendrick VS Gulak are going to be great, and the stories are all there. Nese wants to finally be champion, even if it’s going to be against his good pal, Buddy Murphy. Kendrick and Gulak are enemies and will fight even fiercer now that a chance at the title is involved. Nese is a given but Kendrick VS Gulak could probably go either way.

I was wondering when Gulak & Gallagher would make themselves Carrillo’s corner men and turns out that was tonight. Carrillo and TJP had a great match, and it’s great for Carrillo to defeat another Cruiserweight Division staple. I almost thought Gulak & Gallagher were going to Electric Chair Drop Carrillo while celebrating, but there’s a lot of time for their story to develop. As great as Carrillo is, his story with Gulak & Gallagher will sidetrack him from the title one way or another. Daivari sadly can’t do the story he was going to with Hideo Itami after Itami got his release. Daivari had to settle for getting cheap heat off of local sports teams. I’m not sure if he’s in the tournament, but his new push would dictate that he is, and probably reaches the semifinals just so he looks good.

Alexander VS Mike was incredible, certainly Mike’s best match since coming to the WWE. Which is a shame, he should’ve been doing way more on Raw or SmackDown than what they had him do. Mike might make it far in the tournament, if he’s even in it. Alexander is definitely in the tournament, but I feel like it’d bee too easy to say he’ll return to Wrestlemania. As Murphy said in his promo tonight, he’s beaten just about everyone around, and he continues to establish himself as one of history’s best Cruiserweights. I’m betting on Kushida finally debuting in WWE to skyrocket to the top. He’ll make every match he has in the tournament into an instant classic, and then give us another one at Wrestlemania with Murphy to take that title and stop the unstoppable.

My Score: 8.5/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Results & Report! (2/19/19)

Who will be named Daniel Bryan’s Fastlane opponent?

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SmackDown cover image

The New Daniel Bryan returns to SmackDown STILL WWE Champion! But without wasting any time, a new #1 Contender to the title will be determined for Fastlane!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Aleister Black VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Black wins.
  • The Bar VS Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano; Ciampa & Gargano win.
  • Asuka VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville; Rose wins.
  • Ricochet VS Eric Young w/ SAnitY; Ricochet wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy VS Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton & Samoa Joe; Kingston, Styles & Hardy win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Shane McMahon heads to the ring!

Shane O’Mac is back in New Orleans, but not as a SmackDown Tag Team Champion. He and The Miz lost to Jimmy & Jey Uso at Elimination Chamber, but that’s not even the biggest thing to come out of that PPV. The WWE Championship Elimination Chamber closed the night, and Kofi Kingston stole the show! Kofi gave it his all against Daniel Bryan, but one missed splash changed everything, and the Planet’s Champion still has that title belt. The WWE Universe showed Kofi Kingston love, but where does Kofi go from here? Aside from tonight’s major main event, that is.

As for Shane, New Orleans is happy to see him and he’s happy to see them. Shane notes the amazing main event tag match, and the NXT superstars debuting on last night’s Raw. Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Aleister Black and Ricochet all impressed Shane so well that he’s invited them here to SmackDown tonight! But first, The Miz makes his entrance. The A-Lister apologizes for interrupting but he has to get this other apology out. Roughly 48 hours ago, Miz lost their titles. No matter where he goes or what he does, he can’t shake the guilt. Shane took a chance on Miz, and Miz knows his reputation in the locker room. Shane still took that risk because of Miz’s passionate plea. But to make a confession, Miz was just using Shane.

Miz knew Shane could relate about their dads being proud of them. Fans chant “Dad! Dad!” Miz got hurt at the World Cup tournament and Shane stepped in for him. When Miz wanted to be a tag team partner, Shane revealed he wanted to be a tag team champion. Miz always puts his all into making the titles he holds the best titles in the company. And they did that together. Shane surprised Miz by bringing out his dad. As Mr. Miz walked out, he said he was proud of The Miz. That was the first time Miz heard those words. Miz gets a little emotional as he says that was the best moment in his career and one of the best moments in his life. And it was all thanks to Shane, so Miz thanks Shane now.

But then in their first title defense, Miz let Shane down and he is sorry for that. Miz can’t change the past but he can control the future. There are no automatic rematches anymore, but Shane’s a McMahon. If anyone can make a rematch, it’s Shane. Fans want a rematch, too! And Miz knows Shane wants a rematch, too! Fans chant “Rematch! Rematch!” but out come the Usos! The NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions shout “Whoa! Whoa!” Wait for it. WHOA! It sounds like the WWE Universe want to see The Miz & Shane VS the brand new tag team champions! The Usos know there’s nothing automatic anymore. Maybe if Shane can forgive Miz, then the Usos will give them a second chance at being the Best Tag Team in the World.

But there’s a reason he shouldn’t, though: Miz is a joke. He’s a loser. A failure. A fraud. Miz is a wannabe A-Lister with C-List skill! Shane should ask Miz, because apparently Miz is a crybaby. Shane needs a better partner, because Miz ain’t cutting it. But Shane stands up for Miz! Do not disrespect his tag partner. The rematch is on! And it’ll be in Cleveland for Fastlane! Fans aren’t happy it isn’t tonight, but the rematch is happening! And that is AWESOME! Will the Co-Besties be back on top in Miz’s hometown? Or will the second visit to the Uso Penitentiary be their last?

 

Aleister Black VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega!

The Embodiment of the End made Elias #DriftAway and #FadetoBlack, and now he’s making his SmackDown debut the very next night! And he also revisits a feud from when both he and El Idolo were in NXT! Will history repeat itself on the main roster? Or will their time apart bring about a different result?

SmackDown returns as Almas and Vega make their entrance. The bell rings and fans chant for “NXT! NXT!” Aleister and Almas circle and tie up. Almas gets the wristlock but Aleister rolls and sweeps. Cover, ONE, and Almas sweeps to cover. ONE and Aleister swings a roundhouse! Almas stays back, and they circle again. They tie up, Almas gets the waistlock but Aleister slips out to a headlock. Almas powers out but Aleister slides under. Things speed up and Almas CHOPS Aleister off his feet! We see Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano watching backstage as Almas stomps Aleister on the ropes. Almas backs off at 4 but comes back to CHOP Aleister in the corner! Almas whips corner to corner and knees Aleister back in! Cover, TWO!

Vega is frustrated for Almas as he looms over Aleister. Almas drags Aleister up and CHOPS him again. He whips corner to corner but Aleister dodges! Almas tumbles over and out to the floor! Aleister builds speed but fakes Almas out, to springboard and sit down. The Dutch Destroyer gives the camera a glance while we go picture in picture. Almas catches his breath while Aleister stares intently at him. Almas slowly returns, keeping his eyes on Aleister. He rushes Aleister but Aleister ducks and kips up to speed up. Aleister rolls off Alma’s back to block and boot, then knee Almas down! Cover, TWO! Aleister keeps going, Japanese arm-drag to an armlock! Almas endures while Vega shouts at him.

Aleister wrenches the arm but Almas fights his way up. Almas pushes Aleister to a corner, then goes to chop. Aleister dodges but ends up on the apron. Aleister hits Almas back but Vega swipes at his legs! Almas attacks in the distraction! Almas drags Aleister up and goes to suplex, but Aleister resists. Aleister goes to suplex but Almas resists. Aleister still gets Almas onto the apron and the two brawl on the edge. Tey exchange heavy forearms, then Aleister boots and boots Almas. Almas boots right back, then dragon sleeper, for the inverted DDT on the apron! Vega applauds as Almas puts Aleister in for a cover, TWO! Almas is right on Aleister with a chinlock. He grinds Aleister down while fans rally up.

Aleister fights his way up and puts Almas into a corner. Almas holds on but Aleister again rams him into buckles. Aleister is free, but Almas hops up to grab him. Aleister denies the tornado  inverted DDT, but walks into a boot. Almas adjusts but Aleister kicks him down! Both men are down and Vega panics. We return to single picture as they both stand. Almas is on Aleister but Aleister throws forearms. Almas shoves but Aleister rallies with forearms! Aleister blocks a kick to give a kick then sweep the legs to drive in a knee! He kips right up and New Orleans fires up. Aleister goes to moonsault but Almas shoves him out!

Almas fetches Aleister into the ring, then drags him up and around for the hammerlock. Aleister slips through to roll him! ONE, but Aliester boots Almas away. Flying Meteora! Roundhouse, to Snap German! Bridging cover, TWO! Aleister is shocked Almas lives but Vega keeps coaching Almas up. Aleister drags Almas up but Almas blocks the suplex. Almas slips out of the suplex and boots Aleister away. Aleister comes back, but Almas hip tosses him into the corner! CIEN KNEES! Cover, TWO!! Aleister lives and Almas is seething. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” but this match has to end some time. Almas drags Aleister up again, hammerlocks, but Aleister fireman’s carry! Hotshot in the corner, then BLACK MASS! Cover, Aleister wins!

Winner: Aleister Black, by pinfall

Two matches in two nights and it’s two Black Masses for two victories! The Embodiment of the End will be a permanent part of the main roster one day, will that be Judgment Day for everyone else?

 

Backstage interview with Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano.

After an incredible debut on Raw, the expectations are high for all four NXT superstars. Can they keep up? Ciampa understands a lot of fans are seeing them for the first time. These two have made careers out of defying expectations. Ciampa and Gargano earned everything they’ve gotten in NXT, it won’t change here. These two went to war against each other in this very building last year, but they’ll wage war together and show everyone the future.

But Cesaro and Sheamus come by and make fun of “Bring Your NXT Title to Work Day.” The Bar says no one knows who DIY is, and no one cares. They can go to Raw or stay in NXT, just stay out of SmackDown. Is there a question here? Gargano and Ciampa aren’t here to set the bar, they’re here to break The Bar. But The Bar laughs. Will they have the last laugh after tonight?

 

Jeff Hardy encounters AJ Styles backstage.

Can they let bygones be bygones? They need to focus on the Six Man Tag tonight. Styles agrees to that, and then The New Day come extending an olive- er, pancake branch of peace. They are all on the same wavelength, right? Styles and Hardy each take a flapjack, truce accepted. Will the Phenomenal One, Charismatic Enigma and New Day’s Pegasus of Pancakes be able to defeat the Viper, the Destroyer and the Planet’s Champion?

 

The Bar VS Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano!

The Celtic Gladiator and Swiss Cyborg have already mocked the NXT Champion and NXT North American Champion, but will they regret thinking of DIY as a joke?

SmackDown returns to Johnny Wrestling and the Psycho Killer making their entrances. Teams sort out, and we begin with Sheamus against Ciampa. The two circle and tie up. Sheamus powers Ciampa to a corner then grinds his forearm in. He backs off at 4 but Ciampa slaps him back! Ciampa waistlocks but Sheamus elbows out and throws European Uppercuts. Sheamus whips but Ciampa kicks and boots him back! Ciampa runs to boot Sheamus down! Sheamus bails out and Ciampa eggs him on. The Bar regroups and Sheamus comes back to tag Cesaro in. Cesaro shoos Ciampa and wants Gargano. Fans want Gargano, too, so Ciampa tags him in. Gargano and Cesaro circle and tie up. Cesaro waistlock slams Gargano fast, then floats all over him. Cesaro mocks the fans and Johnny Wrestling, too.

Gargano rolls, handsprings and wrenches, but Cesaro whips. Gargano comes back with a tilt-o-whirl headscissor! He then hooks an arm and rolls Cesaro to a ghost pin! TWO, and Cesaro rocks Gargano with a BIG EuroUpper! The Bar laughs while Sheamus tags in. Sheamus stomps Gargano at the ropes! Tag back to Cesaro and The Bar double whip. Gargano dodges, Ciampa tags in! Gargano dumps Sheamus out and Gargano boots Cesaro back! Ciampa clotheslines Cesaro out, then knees Sheamus back out! Gargano builds speed to DIVE onto Sheamus! Cesaro comes around, Ciampa leaps! But Cesaro catches Gargano for a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Sheamus clobbers Gargano, and shouts the catchphrase while we go to break!

SmackDown returns and Cesaro has Ciampa down in a chinlock. Fans rally up and Ciampa fights up. Ciampa jawbreakers free then knees Cesaro away. Ciampa leaps but into a EuroUpper! Cesaro tags Sheamus and Sheamus hits Gargano! Sheamus swings at Ciampa but Ciampa dodges, only for no one to tag! Ciampa turns around into Sheamus’ bicycle knee! Sheamus hauls Cesaro up top and then throws haymakers before climbing up. Sheamus clubs away on Ciampa, then fireman’s carry. Ciampa fights out with elbows and then drives even more elbows in. Ciampa adjusts, Sunset Flip Powerbomb! But Sheamus’ body also lands on Ciampa’s knee! Both men are down from that and crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Cesaro and Gargano!

Gargano rallies on Cesaro! Enziguri, headscissors sends Cesaro out! Fans fire up with Gargano as he slingshots out,. He jumps over Cesaro’s sweep to SUPERKICK! Then he cannonballs onto Sheamus! Cesaro runs in but misses, only getting barrier! Gargano huricanranas Cessaro into the LED apron! Gargano puts Cesaro in quick, then slingshot DDT’s! Cover, TWO! Cesaro lives but Gargano keeps his cool. Gargano drags Cesaro up but Cesaro shoves him to a corner. Gargano goes up, over, schoolboy kick! Things speed up again, big tilt-o-whirl into the GargaNO Escape! Cesaro resists with one good arm, but Gargano still gets the hold! Cesaro powers through and lifts Gargano for a backbreaker! Tag to Sheamus, Sheamus climbs up, another backbreaker to the flying knee drop! Cover, but Cesaro breaks it in time!

The Bar throws Ciampa out hard and goes after Gargano again. Double Irish Curse Backbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Gargano lives with that superhuman heart he’s made famous on NXT, but The Bar is furious. Sheamus drags Gargano up and talks trash. Gargano SUPERKICKS Sheamus down! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus got surprised but he still survives. Sheamus and Gargano crawl, tag to Cesaro! Cesaro swipes at Ciampa but gets rolled up by Gargano, TWO! Cesaro rams Gargano into the corner, Ciampa tags in! Ciampa slingshots and rolls Cesaro! DIY wins!!

Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano, Ciampa pinning

It wasn’t as definitive as defeating The Revival, but Ciampa and Gargano find a way to get one over on former SmackDown Tag Team Champions! Will DIY be right at home no matter what main roster brand they choose?

 

Samoa Joe and Randy Orton meet with Daniel Bryan and Rowan.

They’re all meant to team together tonight, but Joe and Orton take one look at the WWE Championship. There won’t be any problems tonight, though, right?

 

Asuka heads to the ring!

The Empress of Tomorrow, the SmackDown Women’s Champion, finally returns to New Orleans for an exclusive interview, after the break.

SmackDown returns and Kayla Braxton notes that Asuka was the winner of the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble and the record-holder for longest undefeated streak. But it seems like everyone is talking more about Raw Women’s Champion, Ronda Rousey. With so much going on with Ronda, Charlotte and Becky Lynch, does she feel lost? No, she’s just waiting for a new challenge. Asuka beat both Charlotte and Becky at TLC. Asuka made Becky tap out at the Royal Rumble PPV! She doesn’t care about them. She wants to know who is ready for Asuka tonight!! “Mandy…!” Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville walk out and tease “poor Asuka” for no one paying attention. Here’s some advice: take notes from God’s Greatest Creation, “the most magnetic, the most irresistible, and the most talked-about superstar in WWE.” If anyone’s ready, it’s Mandy.

Asuka grins as Fire & Desire walk out to the ring. Mandy takes off the jacket and walks into the ring. It seems this match is happening, right now!

Asuka VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville!

The bell rings and the two circle. Fans are strongly behind Asuka as she gives a quick kick to Mandy’s leg. Mandy comes back and headlocks, but Asuka powers out. Mandy runs but Asuka follows and dropkicks Mandy down! Cover, ONE! Asuka grins as she keeps on Mandy by her hair. But here comes Lacey Evans! The Model Soldier struts her stuff again and it gets everyone’s attention, from Sonya to Mandy to Asuka. Lacey smiles as she simply watches from the ramp. Sonya approaches, but Lacey struts back to the back. Mandy shoves Asuka! Russian Leg Sweep! Cover, ONE! Asuka survives the sneak attack and runs Mandy out of the ring. Asuka is furious while Fire & Desire regroups.

Mandy takes her time returning but Asuka is still stinging from the sneak attack. Mandy throws heavy knees and then throws Asuka down by her hair! Asuka kicks back from the mat but Mandy drags her up into a corner. Mandy stomps a mudhole in, then drags Asuka around. Asuka throws Mandy out! God’s Greatest Creation is down while we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Mandy has Asuka in the abdominal stretch. Asuka fights out and drop toeholds Mandy to a kneebar! Mandy scrambles and manages the ropebreak! Asuka lets Mandy go and Mandy drags herself to the apron. Sonya coaches Mandy up while Asuka slips out the side. Mandy sees her coming and rocks her with a golden knee! Sonya fires up for Mandy as she returns into the ring. Asuka is down and the ring count begins. The count passes 5 but Asuka hasn’t moved! The count reaches 9 but Asuka springs to life to enter at 9.5! Mandy is right on Asuka with stomp after stomp. She is furious but keeps focus as she drags Asuka up. Asuka fires up as Mandy pushes her around. Mandy slaps Asuka around, so Asuka SLAPS back!

Asuka fires palm strike after palm strike then whips. Mandy reverses but Asuka hops up and missile dropkicks! Asuka fires up and back hands Mandy again and again! Then the back heel kick! Cover, TWO! Asuka keeps on Mandy with a German Suplex! Asuka runs, Shining Wizard! Cover, TWO! Mandy lives but Asuka grits her teeth. Asuka drags Mandy up but Mandy pushes her back. Mandy runs into the pop-up knee! Mandy says her eye is damaged! The referee checks on Mandy and keeps Asuka back. Asuka doesn’t believe Mandy, and Mandy yanks Asuka into ropes! Mandy rolls Asuka, Mandy wins!!

Winner: Mandy Rose, by pinfall

God’s Greatest Creation caught Asuka off guard! Her trick got the better of the Empress, but will she have another one that can take the title from her?

 

Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.

The Queen saw that upset victory of Mandy over Asuka, but she herself has had a shocking week. Becky Lynch attacked her at a live event, then again at Elimination Chamber, all in violation of the suspension. Is Becky going to haunt Charlotte the entire time? Haunting is a good word. Becky is a ghost who meddles in things she shouldn’t. Charlotte made Becky pay for it the first time, but then Becky got her back last Sunday. But if Becky does it again, she’ll be arrested. Whether Becky or Ronda or any of the fans want to face it, it will be Ronda VS Charlotte as the main event, because of Charlotte.

 

The Miz finds Shane backstage.

He can’t thank Shane enough for making their rematch official. They’re ready to get those titles back. Miz has more breaking news: Mr. Miz is going to be ringside at Fastlane! That’s great to have Miz’s dad there to support them. Will Miz and Shane make their fathers proud by becoming two-time SmackDown Tag Team Champions together?

 

Ricochet VS Eric Young w/ SAnitY!

The One and Only has an extraordinary Raw debut alongside the Extraordinary Intercontinental Champion, Finn Balor. Now he’ll debut on SmackDown standing alone against the loony leader of SAnitY! Will Ricochet be 2-for-2 like the rest of the NXT superstars? Or will the chaos ruin the fun?

SmackDown goes picture in picture while SAnitY makes their entrance. Young has Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe by his side as he walks to the ring. Fans are on Ricochet’s side as the bell rings and he circles with Young. They tie up and Young pushes Ricochet to a corner. Young shoves Ricochet but backs off as we return to single picture. They tie up again and Young wrenches Ricochet’s wrist. Ricochet rolls, handsprings and wrenches Young back. Ricochet brings Young to the mat, then wrenches again. He throws Young with a headlock takedown, but Young headscissors. Ricochet pops out and dares Young to bring it. They tie up again and Young headlocks. Ricochet powers out but Young runs him over. Young roars but Ricochet kips up!

Ricochet blocks the boot and whips but Young reverses. Ricochet rolls off Young’s back and handsprings back to headscissor Young down! Dropkick sends Young out of the ring but Ricochet builds speed. Ricochet fakes Young out and superhero lands! Young returns but runs into haymakers. Ricochet whips again but Young holds ropes. Young dumps Ricochet out but Ricochet shoulders back in. Wolfe distracts and Young clobbers Ricochet! The referee reprimands Wolfe while Young fetches Ricochet. Young puts Ricochet in and stalks him to a corner. He throws haymakers and then hops up for a hangman’s sleeper hold! The ref counts and Young lets go at 4. Young leaps and drops an ax handle on Ricochet! Cover, TWO!

Young keeps on Ricochet with a chinbar. Ricochet endures as fans rally up. Ricochet feeds off the energy but Young wrangles him right back down. Young puts more weight on Ricochet in the chinlock. Fans rally up again and Ricochet powers up. Young wrangles Ricochet down a second time and squeezes tighter. Ricochet gets a second wind and fights out with body shots. Ricochet throws haymakers but Young shoves him to a corner. Young runs in but gets buckles! Ricochet CLOBBERS Young! Ricochet rallies on Young then hits a huricanrana! Young flounders about, Ricochet rams a shoulder in. Ricochet springboards, flying uppercut! Standing shooting star! Cover, TWO! Ricochet keeps his cool as he dares Young to stand.

Young gets up, Ricochet fireman’s carry, but Young slips out. Ricochet elbows Young away, then whips him corner to corner. Young goes up and to the apron, and shoulders Ricochet. Young slides under but Ricochet boots him away. Ricochet somersault dropkicks Young all the way out! Ricochet triangle dropkicks Wolfe away! Then he builds speed, to FLY onto Young and Dain! Ricochet fires up with New Orleans as he puts Young back in. Ricochet climbs up while Young is in the drop zone, but Young springs up quick. Young runs into a kick and Ricochet finishes climbing. Ricochet aims, 630 senton! Cover, Ricochet wins!

Winner: Ricochet, by pinfall

The King of Flight is 2-for-2! He moves fast, flies high and hits hard, will both rosters have to prepare for the One and Only?

 

Backstage interview with The New Day.

Kofi did not become WWE Champion, he was the highlight of the night. Triple H said Kofi capture the hearts of the world. Xavier Woods says this didn’t just happen over the course of a week, but over the course of 11 years! 11 years is longer than Drake’s So Far Gone. Longer than Instagram! Longer than Empire’s been on air, and we all know they’ve been doing some crazy things to keep that show going.

Kofi himself says that this past week has been special for everyone. Kofi feels like the entire WWE Universe has his back. #Kofimania! This is wild, and to be honest, none of it would be possible without his brothers, Big E and Woods. They pushed for him to be the one to represent in the Chamber! Kofi loves his boys, dead serious. But now it’s time to introduce us to his other friend: Mo Mentum! Awwwww~ Nawlins~!

 

Six Man Tag: Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy VS Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton & Samoa Joe!

Pancakes and positivity follow The New Day wherever they go, and that’s no different when Kofi teams with the Phenomenal and the Enigma. Will momentum be on their side going against the other three men from the Elimination Chamber match? And who, who who who, will be named the new challenger to the Planet’s Champion?

SmackDown returns as the rest of the competitors make their entrances. But before the match, Daniel Bryan speaks. “Small minded skeptics throughout history have oppressed the great minds, the radical thinkers. Thomas Beckett, Joan of Arc, Socrates!” They’re not superheroes or celebrities, so that’s why no one here knows who they are. “Ignorant!” The WWE Universe tried to will the title off of Bryan, but Bryan survived! And that’s because Bryan serves a higher purpose: to enlighten and educate those who refuse to be educated! Bryan will educate everyone again about his opponent at Fastlane. But he won’t say who it is, he’ll say who it isn’t. It will be none of the other men in this match tonight, because he already defeated all of them in the Elimination Chamber! Bryan scratches everyone off his list, but will he regret saying that before this tag match even happens?

SmackDown returns again and this match finally begins. Bryan starts against Kofi but then he tags out to Samoa Joe. Joe and Kofi circle and tie up. Joe puts Kofi in a corner but Kofi dodges and fires off kicks! Kofi whips but Joe reverses, only for Kofi to go up and missile dropkick! Cover, ONE, but Kofi stays on Joe. Tag to Hardy and Hardy drops an ax handle on the arm. Hardy kicks and whips but Joe reverses. Hardy runs Joe over with forearms! Atomic drop and leg drop! Dropkick added, then a splash, TWO! Hardy calls for DELETE, but Joe denies the Twist of Fate to headbutt Hardy down! Tag to Orton, and Orton drags Hardy over. Orton stomps Hardy’s ankles, then his legs. Tag to Bryan and Bryan drags Hardy up for a facelock.

Fans boo as Bryan gives Hardy stiff No Kicks. Buzzsaw hits! Cover, ropebreak! Bryan tags to Orton and Orton stays between Hardy and the corner. Orton wraps Hardy in a chinlock but fans rally up. Hardy feeds off the energy and fights out with elbows and a jawbreaker! Hardy hurries, hot tag to Kofi! Springboard ax handle drops Orton! Kofi hits Joe and Bryan for good measure before rallying on Orton more! Kofi dropkicks and leaping lariats! Fans fire up with Kofi as he hits the Boom Drop! Kofi aims from the corner but Bryan runs in. Kofi sends Bryan out then clotheslines Orton out! Orton hits announce desk and Kofi climbs up high. Kofi aims but Bryan shoves him all the way down! Fans boo while Joe blasts Styles. Orton back suplexes Kofi on the announce desk! Momentum is going the other way while we go to break.

SmackDown returns once more, and Bryan rains down rights on Kofi. Bryan shouts that Kofi doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring, and he stomps Kofi out. Fans rally up for Kofi as Bryan tags in Orton. Bryan throws Kofi out and Orton back suplexes Kofi onto the announce desk again! Orton puts Kofi back in and covers, TWO! Orton drags Kofi around by his hair and into a chinlock. Kofi endures as Orton thrashes him around. Fans rally up again, and Kofi fights back with body shots. Orton clubs Kofi then whips him to a corner. Orton runs in but gets only post! Both men are down and fans are thunderous! Kofi crawls, but so does Orton. Hot tags to Bryan and Styles! Styles hits Joe and rallies on Bryan! Bryan back suplexes but Styles lands out for the STO backbreaker!

Styles fires up and hits a big clothesline in the corner! Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Styles drags Bryan up for the Clash, but Bryan slips out. Orton comes in but Styles denies the RKO with a Pele! Bryan roundhouses Styles! Bryan runs in the corner but into a Calf Crusher! Styles has Bryan’s leg, but Joe stomps him out! Hardy hits Joe with a Twist of Fate! Orton throws Hardy right out of the ring, but Styles clotheslines Orton out. Bryan rolls Styles! TWO and Styles roles Bryan! TWO, Labell Lock! Styles scrambles to a ropebreak and Bryan lets him go. Bryan aims again, but his knee misses, and he gets a Pele! Styles and Bryan crawl, hot tag to Kofi! Kofi springboards on Bryan with ax handles! Bryan tosses Kofi out, Kofi wipes everyone else out! Kofi intercepts Bryan’s dive with a forearm! Kofi hurries up top, leaps, missile dropkick!

Bryan bails out but Kofi keeps moving. Kofi climbs up top and Trust Falls onto Bryan and Rowan! Kofi puts Bryan in fast and aim from the corner. Fans fire up behind Kofimania, Trouble in Paradise hits!! Cover, Kofi and team wins!!

Winners: Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy, Kingston pinning

Momentum carries Kofi through, and his team wins! Shane McMahon comes out and loved it all. He notes that there won’t be just one rematch at Fastlane. Bryan will defend his title against… Fans want “Kofi! Kofi!” and Shane makes the choice! Kofi Kingston IS facing Bryan for the WWE Championship 1v1! Is this FINALLY going to be Kofi’s time?!

 


 

My Thoughts:

An AMAZING SmackDown that is again like Raw but better. Firstly, we have Miz apologize to Shane but the Usos rubbing it in that Miz inevitably loses. Their Fastlane rematch is going to be great, but I have a bad feeling Miz and Shane will lose again and then we end up with their Wrestlemania match. Having Miz’s dad in the front row will likely be part of that result, such as Mr. Mizanin favoring Shane over Miz and Miz gets jealous. The NXT superstars do great here tonight, too, in a slight flip from Raw. Aleister Black has a great revisit match with Andrade Almas, while DIY and Ricochet have random but solid matches.

Ciampa’s leg getting squashed under Sheamus was a scary moment but good to see he’s okay. Ricochet VS Eric Young was definitely better for SAnitY since they’re finally on TV again. These debuts probably aren’t full call-ups as there’s a lot for them to still do on NXT, but I would love if this was to tie into a huge NXT invasion angle. NXT has felt better than Raw and even SmackDown for some time, and there’s word of Fox wanting more than just SmackDown, so perhaps this can all lead to a huge move for NXT to try and be the third brand come a PPV like Survivor Series.

It was great to see Asuka return to television, and obviously we get a lot of foreshadowing for her Road to Wrestlemania. She has a good match with Mandy Rose, and Lacey Evans’ random appearance wasn’t so random as Mandy almost took advantage. I’m a little disappointed Mandy beat Asuka by faking her eye injury when Asuka knew exactly that’s what she was doing. Clearly Fastlane will have Asuka VS Mandy, but Lacey Evans might be the Wrestlemania match. Lacey hasn’t even had a match on TV yet, but she’ll likely go through the rest of the roster to establish herself. Lacey came close to being a contender to the NXT Women’s Championship, so it’s not a stretch if she manages to make it to the SmackDown Women’s Championship.

The Six Man Tag was great, but too many commercials. But commercials aside, when Bryan declared no one in the match was going to challenge him at Fastlane, that literally meant someone was. And because of all the momentum at his back, it was going to be Kofi Kingston. It was therefore very fitting that Kofi did so great in this match and got the pin on the champ. Kofi VS Bryan 1v1 is going to be great, and the WWE Universe will surely be red hot for Kofi again. I really hope that this time, WWE pulls the trigger and gives us Kofi’s Grand Slam Championship moment. Houston was ready to explode, Cleveland will be more than ready.

My Score: 8.5/10


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