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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Report! (2/20/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Seventh Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Opening Round match: Buddy Murphy VS Ariya Daivari; Murphy wins and advances to the next round.
  • Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado w/ Kalisto VS Evan Daniels & Corazon Delgado; Metalik & Dorado win.
  • Eighth Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Opening Round match: Mustafa Ali VS Jack Gallagher; Ali wins and advances to the next round.

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PLAY BY PLAY

The WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament wraps up the first round!

Drake Maverick was put in charge of 205 Live and he has not disappointed bringing us the Cruiserweight action the WWE Universe deserves! First, the Carolina Kid won to keep his Cruiserweight Championship aspirations alive while the “Cruiser-Great” kept his cool to also earn his place. Then, we got some major surprises as NXT’s Roderick Strong and the WWE UK Division’s Mark Andrews won to create crossover potential. And perhaps most shocking of all, Drew Gulak got down and dirty to decimate his friend in Tony Nese. With just two matches left before the quarter finals, what more surprises will 205 Live give us tonight?

 

Seventh Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Opening Round match: Buddy Murphy VS Ariya Daivari!

The Privileged Persian lives such a lavish lifestyle, even his titantron has a pool. However, his love of gold will have to outshine the determination and drive of NXT’s Best Kept Secret. Daivari doesn’t care how much weight Murphy lost, this isn’t Biggest Loser. This is 205 Live, and “Buddy” will not steal Daivari’s Wrestlemania Moment of becoming champion. Which man will join six others in the quarterfinals of this incredible tournament?

The bell rings, the two go right at each other, but it’s Daivari getting the headlock. Murphy powers out and knocks Daivari down with a solid shoulder. He brushes himself off, but Daivari gets another headlock. Murphy powers Daivari to a corner while fans chant for him, but the ref calls for a break. Murphy backs off, but Daivari kicks low. Daivari whips Murphy but Murphy runs him over with another shoulder. Murphy runs, Daivari drop and Murphy cartwheels over before telling him, “Shhh”, because Murphy’s a secret.

Daivari swings but Murphy ducks under to then hit a flying headscissors! He sends Daivari out of the ring, then builds speed, to slide out and rock Daivari with a right hand. Murphy bumps Daivari off the apron and puts him in the ring, but Daivari slips back out to the apron. Murphy joins him, but Daivari shoves him away. Daivari kicks but Murphy blocks. Murphy scoops but Daivari slips out, to then grab some hair. Daivari pulls Murphy into the dragon sleeper, for an inverted DDT on the apron!

Murphy slumps down while Daivari reenters the ring. The ref checks on Murphy, but he’s okay to continue. Daivari comes out, and body checks Murphy into steel steps! Daivari trash talks in Farsi while fans boo and jeer. They reenter the ring, Daivari covers, ONE! Daivari drags Murphy up and chops him back, then whips him hard into a corner. Murphy writhes, Daivari talks more trash. The fans boo and jeer while Daivari drags Murphy back up. He whips Murphy but Murphy reverses. Murphy runs in but Daivari hip tosses him into buckles! Murphy writhes again as Daivari covers, TWO. Daivari protests the count, but two is two. Daivari drags Murphy up to bend him back with a chinlock. The fans build to a rally while Daivari talks trash in Farsi again. Murphy finds new life as he works against the hold. He gets up to his feet and jawbreakers free. Daivari staggers back, but then storms over, Murphy catches him with a kick from the mat. Murphy gets himself to a corner and back on his feet. Daivari runs in but into Murphy’s boot. Murphy hops up and hits a big missile dropkick! The fans fire up for Murphy as he fires himself up. He rallies on Daivari, and hits a calf kick on the run!

Murphy fires up again, as do the fans. He runs in but Daivari puts him on the apron. Murphy swing kicks and knocks Daivari down, then climbs up top. He takes aim at Daivari, but Daivari rolls out of the ring. Murphy changes plans, hopping down to build speed and FLY!

He wipes out Daivari then puts him back in the ring before climbing up again. Flying double knees! TWO! Murphy catches his breath while Daivari is still dazed. He stands up but Daivari yanks him out of the ring. Murphy returns, and Daivari rocks him with a rolling elbow! Daivari gets to a corner and climbs up top, to hit the Persian Lion Splash!

TWO, and Daivari is shocked and frustrated by this newcomer from NXT. Daivari drags Murphy up while the fans cheer, “Let’s go, Buddy!” Daivari prepares the hammerlock lariat and shouts, “Secret’s out!” but Murphy ducks the lariat to roll Daivari up! TWO, SUPERKICK from Daivari! Hammerlock Lariat!

Cover, TWO!! Now Daivari is really shocked about that one. He pleads with the referee that that was three. It wasn’t, so Daivari glares at Murphy. He drags Murphy up, back suplex but Murphy slips out. Murphy responds with a strike fest that is accentuated by a stomp on the toes and a knee to the head! He keeps going, getting Daivari in a pumphandle Death Valley Driver!

Murphy wins! The Best Kept Secret IS out, and it’s a winner! And he already declares 205 Live as his Division! Can he make Melbourne proud with a Wrestlemania Moment in the form of first Cruiserweight Championship reign?

 

205 Live General Manager, Drake Maverick speaks.

“As the first round of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship tournament comes to a close”, Rockstar Spud is proud to present to us the official brackets for the quarterfinals!

The 16 best Cruiserweights came to compete for a chance at a championship match at Wrestlemania. And as it shows, Buddy Murphy will know his future opponent with the end of tonight’s main event. Will the Best Kept Secret have to contend with the Pakistani Prince of the Extraordinary Gentleman on the Road to Wrestlemania?

In two weeks, we will see the Philly Fury, Drew Gulak, go up against the High-Fiving, Stage-Diving Mark Andrews for a dynamic clash of styles. But next week will be former Cruiserweight Champion, Kalisto, going up against NXT’s Messiah of the Backbreaker, Roderick Strong! Not only that, but next week will also have one of the tournament’s biggest match-ups in former #1 contender, Cedric Alexander VS Cruiserweight Classic winner, TJP! And speaking of, both TJP and Alexander appear.

TJ lets Alexander know that, “in case you haven’t been paying attention for the last two years,” this is about the time Alexander falls short. Then Alexander will explain why he’ll never give up. That’s “cute”, TJ, but Alexander knows that all the “dirty tricks” he’s been using lately won’t save him. TJP is in his way and Alexander won’t let anyone stop him from reaching Wrestlemania. He won’t hesitate to put anyone in a back brace. TJP shrugs that off as he takes his leave, while Alexander grins with confidence. Which of these two high caliber talents will make it to the semifinals of this high caliber tournament?

 

Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado w/ Kalisto VS Evan Daniels & Corazon Delgado!

While no longer in the Cruiserweight Championship tournament, the King of the Ropes and Golden Lynx keep the #LuchaHouseParty going. The Samurai of the Sun is also there to accompany his amigos while sending Roderick Strong a simple message for next week: “Speed kills.” Can this combination of lucha libre fighting spirit keep things rolling on the Road to Wrestlemania?

The bell rings, and Lince starts against Daniels while the fans chant for “Lucha Libre!” Lince gets the takedown and then shifts to a headlock. Daniels powers out but Lince goes up and over to handspring and run. Lince slips under and arm-drags Daniels, then dropkicks Daniels down. Lince whips but Daniels reverses, so Lince headscissors Daniels around. Standing moonsault then an arm-lock, but Daniels gets up and rocks Lince with a forearm. Daniels tags Delgado, but Lince sends him flying with a body drop! Lince chops Delgado then tags in Metalik, Lucha House Party double whips and double hip tosses Delgado down. They kick vice Delgado, and Kalisto starts up the “Lucha! Lucha!” chant. Metalik whips but Delgado reverses, then narrowly avoids the handspring attack. Delgado runs but Metalik ducks under, and catches Delgado into a tilt-o-whirl facebuster!

Metalik gets moving, walking the ropes in a corner to hit Delgado with a missile dropkick. Daniels distracts Metalik, Metalik swings at him but misses, Delgado knees Metalik low. Tag to Daniels, and Daniels keeps on Metalik with clubbing forearms. Daniels grins and mocks the “Lucha Lucha” chants. Metalik fights back with body shots, but Daniels rocks him with a forearm. Daniels runs, but into a dropkick! Both men crawl for their corners, hot tags to Delgado and Lince! Lince rallies, running chop and a heel kick rock Delgado. Delgado swings but Lince blocks every strike to then catch Delgado into a swinging facebuster!

Kalisto and the fans cheer on Lince as he runs corner to corner, but Delgado puts him on the apron. Delgado thrusts a shoulder but Lince counters it with a guillotine leg drop. Lince climbs up while Delgado staggers away, and leaps for the flying crossbody! Cover, but Daniels breaks it. He and Delgado double whip Lince, but he handsprings to hit a DOUBLE Dorado Rewind!

Metalik returns, the “Lucha! Lucha!” starts up again, and Lucha House Party simultaneously DIVES and FLIES!

Lince hits Delgado and Metalik hits Daniels! The fans fire up while Metalik gets Delgado back into the ring and Lince climbs up. Lince takes aim as the fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” Golden Shooting Star!

The Lucha House Party wins! A formidable duo and even a trio, but will Kalisto be able to best the backbreaker machine known as Roderick Strong?

 

Drew Gulak speaks.

“People are saying that I went too far last week in my match against Tony Nese.” According to Gulak, winners can’t go “too far”, that’s just something losers say to make themselves feel better. As for Mark Andrews in two weeks, as good as Andrews is, he is just “flash and panache.” None of that will help Andrews when Gulak has him on the ground, forcing him to tap out.

But Mark Andrews has a response.

#Mandrews has made it to the second round of the Cruiserweight Championship tournament, and he’s psyched! Well, psyched for everything except Gulak thinking he can make Andrews tap out. “Drew, you wanna try to put me in the No Fly Zone?” Andrews vows to fly straight to Wrestlemania to become the next Cruiserweight Champion. Both men have the utmost confidence in their own styles, which style will prove superior in two weeks time?

 

Eighth Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Opening Round match: Mustafa Ali VS Jack Gallagher!

Per the orders of 205 Live GM, Rockstar Spud, the Ungentle Gentleman must return to appropriate wrestling attire. It may not be a pair of rainbow-striped tights but Gallagher has passed inspection. Will his new look and new edge help him edge out the motivated Mustafa?

The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Gallagher powers Ali to the ropes. He lets go but makes sure Ali understands who he’s up against before backing off. They go again, Ali gets the wristlock. Gallagher works on a reversal, spinning around and lacing through to bring Ali to the mat. Gallagher tortures and bends that arm, but Ali gets to his feet. Ali reverses the hold to a hammerlock, then spins to a snapmare, but Gallagher slips right around to a hammerlock. Gallagher keeps Ali grounded as he cranks the arm. Ali stands up again, arm-drags Gallagher but Gallagher keeps hold of the hold. Buddy Murphy watches backstage because he wants to know first hand who he’ll face in the next round.

Ali resists the hold but Gallagher keeps bending and twisting. Ali rolls and spins around to reverse, but Gallagher reverses again. Gallagher keeps up the torture into a hammerlock. Ali goes for a leg so Gallagher shifts to a headlock. Ali lifts but Gallagher holds on, so Ali powers out to ropes. Gallagher runs Ali over with a shoulder, then things speed up. Ali jumps but Gallagher catches him in a fireman’s carry for a facebuster drop back into the armbar.

He wrenches the arm but Ali scrambles to ropes for the break. Gallagher lets go, then mockingly bows. Ali gets up while fans are a mix of cheers and jeers. Gallagher taunts Ali even more by offering him a free go at his arm. Ali goes for the head instead, and brings Gallagher down. Gallagher headscissors out but Ali goes for the headlock again. Ali wants the takeover but Gallagher blocks and back suplexes. Ali slips out, gets the headlock back but Gallagher still blocks the takeover. Gallagher gets a leg, Ali rolls to throw Gallagher off then runs. Ali ducks the chop to roll Gallagher into a Half Crab!

Ali gives Gallagher a taste of his own submission game. Gallagher endures, working on a way out. He slips under to come around and kick Ali away. Ali grabs the other leg but Gallagher throws him with a twisting body scissors. Gallagher runs at Ali in the corner but Ali tosses him up, so Gallagher hits his Extraordinary Headstand.

He waves to Ali, then hops down as Ali slides in. Ali runs out but Gallagher gets him in a waistlock. Ali bucks Gallagher off and things speed up again, Ali shows off his agility with a handspring to then wave back at Gallagher. Gallagher laughs it off before running in and grabbing a leg. Ali counters the takedown by sitting on him for a pin, TWO into a sunset cover, TWO. Ali high stacks but Gallagher rolls through to sit on it, TWO and now into Ali’s sunset. TWO, and Gallagher tries the high stack only for Ali to roll through and sit on it again! TWO, and the cycle is broken as Ali gets the jackknife cover, TWO! The fans applaud this fast and furious pin attempt exchange. Ali says he was close, but Gallagher doesn’t smile. Phoenix, AZ shows more appreciation by chanting, “We Love Wrestling!” Gallagher and Ali go again, Gallagher getting the front facelock but Ali powering him to a corner. The ref calls for a break but Gallagher turns it around instead. Ali turns it back around on Gallagher, then back around for Gallagher. The referee insists the break, but the break isn’t clean as Ali shoves Gallagher away. Gallagher shoves him back, then pie-faces him. Ali swings but Gallagher headbutts and knees Ali. Gallagher goes to kick but Ali blocks it and rocks Gallagher with a spinning heel kick. Gallagher rolls out of the ring, so Ali builds speed. Ali slides for dropkick but ends up in Gallagher’s apron skirt trap!

Gallagher hammers away on Ali, even as the referee counts and reprimands him. The fans actually like his aggression, and cheer even as Gallagher backs off and reenters the ring. A ring count begins on Ali and Gallagher paces as he watches Ali get up. Ali reenters but Gallagher is right on him with a whip and back elbow. Cover, TWO, but Gallagher keeps his cool as he goes after Ali with a chinbar. The fans cheer for “Power Ranger” Ali, but Gallagher brings him up for a snap suplex. He adds elbow drops, then covers, TWO. Gallagher walks off his frustration, then drags Ali up. Ali fights back but gets a knee and headbutt to the ribs. Gallagher puts Ail in another corner for another headbutt, then yet another corner. Ali slips up and over to start rallying. He whips but Gallagher reverses, flapjack dropkick drops Gallagher. Ali fires up but Gallagher whips him. He kicks Gallagher away, then throws him with a headscissors. Ali brings Gallagher up again to whip to a corner but Gallagher again reverses. Gallagher runs in but Ali gets to the apron to roundhouse Gallagher in the corner. Ali fires up the fans before taking aim, and slingshots in for the facebuster!

Gallagher’s down, so Ali climbs up. Gallagher grabs a foot but Ali kicks him down. Ali climbs up but Gallagher slips to the outside to rock him with a right hand. Gallagher climbs up now, preparing something dangerous. Ali resists, so Gallagher gives him a SUPER hotshot to the arm!

Gallagher reenters and then throws Ali into a post hard! Ali falls to the floor but Gallagher does not stop. He puts Ali back in the ring, covers, TWO! The frustration grows but so does the cruelty as Gallagher puts Ali’s arm in a hammerlock and stomps on it. Gallagher keeps going, bringing Ali around into a modified Kimura lock!

Ali rolls that to a cover, TWO! Gallagher keeps going after that arm, hammerlock and kick! He wants Ali to quit but when Ali doesn’t, he slams that arm on the mat. Gallagher keeps going, hammerlock scoop slam! Cover, TWO, and Gallagher glares. He puts Ali back in a hammerlock and again insists Ali quit. The fans chant “205! 205!” as Ali endures. Ali gets to his feet and runs to somewhat snapmare Gallagher out of the ring. Gallagher lands on his feet and gets up on the apron, but Ali baseball slides his feet out. Gallagher bumps off the apron and Ali builds speed! But that bad arm doesn’t support his weight, he crashes and burns out of the corkscrew!

The referee checks on Ali while Gallagher gets in the ring. Another ring count begins, to Gallagher’s liking. Ali crawls but the count gets to 8. Ali beats the count by a second, but Gallagher is on him again. Gallagher gives Ali a European Uppercut then hoists Ali onto the top rope. Ali fights back with the good arm, and Gallagher stumbles back. Ali jumps for the flying crossbody! But Gallagher rolls through into the Fujiwara Armbar!

Gallagher wants the ref to “Ask him!” but Ali endures. Ali gets up and rolls but Gallagher whips him to a corner. Gallagher runs in but into Ali’s back elbow! Ali hops up, flies, but back into the armbar! The fans are chanting on both sides as Ali endures the torture. He drags himself to ropes and gets the break with his legs. Gallagher feels the frustration, but Ali just tries to get feeling in the arm. Gallagher drags Ali up but Ali fights back. Ali bumps Gallagher off a buckle, then climbs up, but Gallagher is right on him and that bad arm! Gallagher wrenches that arm even though they’re on the top rope, but the referee says to bring it down. Ali knocks Gallagher down and away, then readjusts. But Gallagher runs back to Extraordinary Dropkick Ali down!

Ali flies so far he hits the barriers!

The referee again checks on Ali, but Gallagher embraces the cheers and jeers. Ali somehow manages to move, but Gallagher won’t leave him alone. He hammerlocks Ali’s arm and then throws him into more barriers! There is no mercy in Gallagher as he puts Ali in the ring. Gallagher grabs that bad arm, hammerlock scoop slam into buckles! Ali is limp as Gallagher drags him out for the cover. TWO!? Gallagher is furious, so he goes right for a cross armbreaker. Ali resists, hands clasped tight. Gallagher kicks Ali as he pulls on those hands. When Ali doesn’t let go, Gallagher shifts to sit Ali up and ram elbow after elbow into Ali’s head! Gallagher does not let up until Ali is limp again, cover, TWO!! Now it’s just exasperating for Gallagher that Ali’s survived this long. Gallagher drags Ali up and over to a corner to sit him backwards. He then climbs up to join Ali, and brings Ali all the way up, SUPER Back Suplex! But Ali lands on his feet!

He staggers back, SUPERKICK to the back of Gallagher’s head! Then, Ali hits a leaping tornado DDT!

Ali hurries to a corner and fans fire up while he climbs up. He takes aim, and hits the 0-5-4!!

Ali wins!! All of that damage to his arm, and yet Ali did not give up. Phoenix and even Nigel McGuinness give him a standing ovation. Truly an inspiring performance for all those back home in Chicago. Ali may taste a bit of blood in his mouth, but will he taste gold on the Grandest Stage of Them All?

 

My Thoughts:

205 Live is on a hot streak thanks to this Cruiserweight Championship tournament. The only disappointment, at least for me, was learning the brackets were just taken from each of the past four episodes. Alexander and TJP were in the first, Strong and Kalisto in the second, etc. until we get to tonight’s episode and the first match winner knows they’ll be facing the main event winner. This already breaks the bracket I had in my head where TJP and Alexander could potentially be a championship match at Wrestlemania. Instead, we get that match next week as just part of the quarterfinals. But my feelings aside, all four coming match-ups are still quality just on paper. TJP VS Alexander, Strong VS Kalisto, and Gulak VS Andrews will all be great for clashing styles and personalities. Buddy Murphy gave a great performance for his first televised match in months, especially in a new weight class. Obviously he was going to win, he wasn’t going to be in the tournament just to job. And now with him on the opposite side of the bracket as Alexander and Strong, I could see Murphy be the dark horse going to the finals (he is engaged to Alexa Bliss, after all). Gallagher VS Ali was an amazing main event and took the aggression that Gulak showed last week and kicked it up a notch by the end there. I almost though Gallagher had this, but then Ali surprises us with one last gas and moves on. I feel it’d be a shame if he lost to Murphy, though, but it’s not like losing in the tournament will mean he never gets a Cruiserweight Championship shot in the future. At the same time, Ali VS Alexander has been a great match before and can be a truly Wrestlemania worthy one in the near future.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/24/22)

Time to weigh in before the Rumble!

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WWE Raw 2022

Raw prepares for the Royal Rumble!

Before fighting for the WWE World Championship, Bobby Lashley and BRRROCK LESNARRR step on the scales to make this one heavy Monday Night Raw!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Bianca Belair VS Queen Zelina Vega; Belair wins.
  • WWE United States Championship: Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens; Kevin wins by disqualification, and Priest retains the title.
  • Six Woman Tag: Rhea Ripley, Dana Brooke & Liv Morgan VS Tamina, Carmella & Nikki A.S.H; Ripley, Brooke & Morgan win.
  • The Alpha Academy Academic Challenge Round 1, Spelling Bee: The Alpha Academy VS RKBRO; RKBRO wins and gets to choose next week’s challenge.
  • Randy Orton w/ Matt Riddle VS Chad Gable w/ Otis; Orton wins.
  • AJ Styles VS Austin Theory; Styles wins.
  • The Mysterios VS The Street Profits; The Mysterios win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Corey Graves is in the ring with Adam Pearce.

Pearce welcomes the fans to the official WWE World Championship weigh-in for the Royal Rumble. “Without further ado, please welcome the challenger, Bobby Lashley!” The Rocky Mountain Machine makes his way out, MVP right behind him, and some pyro added to his pose, and some more pyro in the ring. And of course, the WWE Champion, Br- “Ladies and gentlemen.” Paul Heyman walks out on stage to give his introduction, and says he’s so tired of everyone trying to steal his shtick, especially when no one does it as good as he does.

So about to walk down the aisle and step onto the scale, your REIGNING! DEFENDING! UNDISPUTED! WWE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD~! BRRROCK! LESNARRR!! Lesnar makes his entrance, wearing a cowboy hat and jeans, and he goes to the ring to join Lashley. But given the attire and the smirk on his face, it’s hard to say he’s taking this serious. Graves points it out, and Lesnar asks if Graves would like Lesnar to get naked. How about just carrying on with this then? Graves says Lashley is the challenger, so he will go first. Lashley throws off his jacket, steps over, and stands on the scale.

The ref checks, and Lashley weighs in at 273 pounds. MVP says, “See that? 273 pounds of All Mighty killing machine! 273 pounds of specimen like no other. Closer to a god than a man. 273 pounds of bottled lightning that Brock Lesnar will have to contend with at the Royal Rumble.” The match so many had written off as impossible is happening. But Lashley knew it was inevitable. 273 pounds, and then after the Rumble, Lashley will gain some weight. The exact amount as that WWE Championship weighs. Lesnar and Heyman laugh that off, and Graves says it is Lesnar’s turn. Lesnar takes off his hat and lets Heyman hold that while he steps on the scale.

The ref checks, and Lesnar weighs in at 286 pounds. Lashley is upset, though. Lesnar thinks this is funny, huh? He’s acting like a fool because he knows Lashley will beat him for the title this Saturday. “Mark my words: this will be the shortest title run of your entire career. And that’s not a prediction. That’s a spoiler.” Lesnar laughs and says, “Well who’s the comedian now? Paul, get this. On Sunday morning, hot off the press, Bobby Lashley beats Brock Lesnar in the Hurt Lock. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new champion! The new reigning, defending, WWE Heavyweight Champion of the world~! Bobby Who?”

Lesnar laughs, takes his leave with Heyman, but it’s only a matter of time. Will Lashley have the last laugh when he’s the one leaving St. Louis with the title?

 

Bianca Belair VS Queen Zelina Vega!

The EST is dressed in gold, because she’s ready to go for gold in the Women’s Rumble! Will the Queen of the Ring merely be a stepping stone on Bianca repeating history?

Raw returns and Vega makes her entrance. The bell rings and they tie up. Bianca scoops and puts Vega on the apron. Bianca then blows a kiss, ducks the haymaker, drags Vega back into the ring and swings her around in the waistlock before a SLAM! Fans rally for the “EST! EST!” and Bianca avoids Vega stomping her foot! Bianca ripcords and whips but Vega reverses, only for Bianca to go up and over. Bianca handsprings, eggs Vega on, then dropkicks her down! Bianca kips up, drags Vega up, and suplexes! Bianca holds Vega up but Vega STUN-DOG MILLIONAIRES! Vega stomps away on Bianca in a corner and digs her boot in!

The ref counts, Vega lets off at 4 to then JUMP KICK! Vega keeps moving, and she KNEES Bianca down! Vega soaks up the heat, takes a bow, and then drags Bianca up. Bianca shoves Vega away, runs in but is sent into buckles! Vega then goes up, but Bianca ROCKS her first! Bianca scowls, trophy lifts Vega off the corner, but Vega fights free to a SLEEPER! Bianca RAMS Vega into buckles but Vega just throws elbows! Vega brings Bianca down to her knees, squeezes tight on the sleeper, but fans rally up. Bianca fights up, RAMS Vega into more buckles and then throws Vega off! Bianca scoops but Vega headscissors, but Bianca handsprings through!

Bianca rallies on Vega, dropkick and kip up! Fans fire up as Bianca brings Vega in for a suplex! Roll through, another suplex, and she even jogs in place before the SLAM! Bianca runs, handsprings, and MOONSAULTS onto knees! Vega grits her teeth, hops on, CODE- NO! No red, Bianca pops Vega off to a torture rack! KISS OF DEATH! Cover, Bianca wins!

Winner: Bianca Belair, by pinfall

Well, she just beat a queen, so this was the royalEST win Bianca’s gotten yet! Will she go back-to-back at the Rumble and return to WrESTleMania?

 

Backstage interview with Kevin Owens.

Kevin Patrick tries to talk with him before his US Championship match but Kevin Owens refuses to talk. K-Peezy points out KO was the first person to give Damian Priest a pinfall loss here on Raw, and KO agrees with that. But he faked an injury. What? What did K-Peezy say? Faking an injury? Is he accusing KO of lying? Has K-Peezy been in the ring? No, he hasn’t, so his opinion is moot. KO says he fought through pain! Just reed his shirt! “Just Keep Fighting.” Now tonight, KO gets his US title match, and guess what he’ll do tonight? Read the third! Just Keep Fighting. That’s right! And he’ll do that until he is the new United States Champion.

WWE United States Championship: Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens!

The Archer of Infamy knows the Prizefighter is two-faced, but now he knows what to expect after being duped into a defeat. Will Priest keep the gold away from KO? Or will Damian make it hard for him to hold back?

Raw returns and Kevin makes his entrance. The introductions are made, the title is raised, and we see who goes into the Rumble with gold already around their waist!

Kevin kicks, Priest pushes him away and fires off in the corner! Kevin dodges to CHOP and CHOP and forearm in return! The ref counts, Kevin lets off but Priest turns things around to fire off fast hands! Priest CHOPS, whips corner to corner, but Kevin reverses. Kevin runs in but blocks the knee to throw the leg down. Priest ROCKS Kevin with an uppercut, then throws more forearms! Priest runs, but Kevin drops to come back and CLOBBER Priest with an elbow! SENTON! Cover, TWO! Kevin argues the count but he goes after Priest in the corner. Kevin stomps, the ref counts and Kevin backs off. Kevin then runs in, but into a choke grip!

Kevin slips out of the choke slam to CHOP and forearm, but he runs into a BOOT! Kevin bails out, Priest builds speed, and Priest goes up the ropes. Kevin gets away, Priest hops down and goes out after Kevin. Priest blocks the superkick and throws Kevin into barriers! Priest puts Kevin back in, but Kevin SUPERKICKS him off the apron! Kevin hurries to the apron, SWANTON onto the knees! Priest was ready this week! APRON CHOKE SLAM! Priest is fired up and so are the fans as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and Priest fires off kick after kick then a ROLLING ELBOW! Kevin goes to a corner, Priest hits a back elbow! But Kevin fights off the suplex, only to get a BELL CLAP! And a HEADLOCK DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Priest drags Kevin up, puts him in a corner and hoists him up top. Priest ROCKS Kevin with a right, climbs up, but Kevin hits back! Kevin adjusts and headbutts away on Priest! Then TORNADO DDT! Priest is in a drop zone, Kevin goes up top! FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Kevin can’t believe it! Kevin argues with the ref but the ref defends it was two. Kevin waits on Priest to get up, SUPERKICK!

Kevin gets Priest back up, whips but Priest holds ropes. Priest BOOTS back, ducks and dodges, to FLAPJACK Kevin down! Then a HEEL KICK! Cover, TWO!! Kevin survives almost being beheaded but Priest keeps his cool. Kevin claims he’s got a bad arm, but Priest doesn’t trust that! Priest stomps away on Kevin at the ropes, but lets off as the ref counts 4. Kevin still says he has a bad arm but Priest KICKS him out to the apron. Priest rushes over, Kevin HOTSHOTS him! Kevin give sup faking and rolls Priest up, with tights, TWO!! STUN- NO! Priest powers out to LARIAT! Priest is fuming, is Damian coming?

Priest KICKS Kevin into a corner, stomps away, fires down hands, but the ref backs him up. Priest still comes back for more, the ref has to push him away again. Priest BOOTS Kevin, fires off more elbows, but the ref calls for the bell!

Winner: Kevin Owens, by disqualification (Priest retains the WWE US Championship)

Damian got the better off Priest, but he still has the belt. Kevin may have gotten the win, but will he think again before pushing Priest’s buttons?

 

Royal Rumble entrees speak.

Rhea Ripley says, “I have a score to settle with Nikki A.S.H. But the one thing that’s consuming my mind right now is the Royal Rumble. This Saturday, it’s every woman for herself, so I’m going to win at any cost. It’s gonna be an absolute nightmare for the 29 other women when I win the Royal Rumble and move on to WrestleMania.”

Dana Brooke says, “Call me crazy, but this year is gonna be my year! As reigning 24/7 Champion, I’m ready any time, at any place. And this Saturday, I’m gonna continue riding that wave, and winning the Royal Rumble.”

Liv Morgan says we’ve all seen her from being happy to be here to the girl that took the Raw Women’s Champion to her limit. We saw her nearly become champion. But at the Royal Rumble, there won’t be “nearly.” She’ll win to become the NEW Raw Women’s Champion.

 

Sonya Deville finds Damian Priest backstage.

He was outta control! When the ref says to do something, he should listen. Or else he’ll get fined, suspended, or worse. So get it under control! Will Priest find a way to contain the rage inside?

 

Six Woman Tag: Rhea Ripley, Dana Brooke & Liv Morgan VS Tamina, Carmella & Nikki A.S.H!

We just heard from one team about the Women’s Rumble, but can they back it all up with actions? Or will they almost have momentum after facing the Daughter of Superfly, the Most Beautiful Woman in the WWE, and the Almost SuperHero?

Raw returns as Dana makes her entrance, followed by Liv. Then Mella makes her entrance, followed by Tamina, and lastly, Nikki. The teams sort out, Mella gets her protective mask while Dana starts with Tamina. They tie up, Dana wrenches to a wristlock, Tamina shoves her away then runs her over! Tamina soaks up the heat, taunts Liv and Rhea, then stomps Dana. Tamina rains down forearms, wraps on a chinlock and she thrashes Dana before clamping on a neck wrench. Fans rally and Dana fights up, Dana throws elbows. Tamina CLUBS Dana, back suplexes, but Dana lands on her feet to tag Rhea! Rhea dropkicks Tamina, then swipes at Nikki!

Rhea DECKS Mella, wrenches Tamina and hits her with short arm clothesline after short arm clothesline! Then a ripcord HEADBUTT, and a sweep to the legs! Rhea runs to basement dropkick! Fans fire up with Rhea, she brings Tamina up but Tamina shoves her away. Rhea comes back to sobat, then she NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Mella gets in and FABULOUS KICKS Rhea! Liv ENZIGURIS Mella! Nikki kicks Liv for a TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Dana SHOTGUNS Nikki, Tamina CLOBBERS Dana! Mella tags in, she pie faces Rhea, and that just pisses Rhea off! Rhea trips Mella, ties up the legs, PRISM TRAP!! Mella taps, Rhea’s team wins!

Winner: Rhea Ripley, Dana Brooke & Liv Morgan, by submission

That mask didn’t protect the legs! Will it protect Mella from being thrown out? but then Nikki SUCKER PUNCHES Rhea! What kind of hero uses a cheap shot?! Will Rhea personally make sure the Rumble is a nightmare for her former friend?

 

The Alpha Academy Academic Challenge Round 1, Spelling Bee: The Alpha Academy VS RKBRO!

In order for Matt Riddle & Randy Orton to earn a rematch for the Raw Tag Team Championships, they have to show their mental strength is superior in a series of challengers! Otis looked a little worried about that last week, but will he and “Master” Chad Gable be able to outsmart the Stallion & Viper? Or will #4PointOtis no longer be top of the class?

Raw returns and Kevin Patrick presides over this challenge. He welcomes to Raw Tag Team Champions, the Alpha Academy. Gable says that was a fine introduction but a terrible explanation. So he’ll put it in a way that even the mindless morons of Ohio can understand. SHOOSH. Tonight is the first in a triad of events over the coming weeks. Fans chant, “You Suck!” and Otis gets upset. Gable says SHOOSH, and realizes vocabulary isn’t Ohio’s strong suit. Triad means three, so there will be three events. These events will prove Gable is a genius, just as his Master’s Degree and 4.0 GPA does. Don’t boo education! If anyone needs it, it’s Ohio.

Now, this will also prove his protégé, his prized pupil, Otis has both the brawn and brains the size of a tree trunk when he and Gable decimate RKBRO into mental submission. Gable is so proud of Otis. And lastly, Gable will use this platform to officially announce that the Alpha Academy are in the Men’s Royal Rumble! And you better believe one of them is winning, and then the Alpha Academy will headline WrestleMania! Thank you! Kevin Patrick then introduces the former tag team champions, RKBRO! Orton & Riddle head to the ring, and Kevin Patrick reminds us that this is a spelling bee. Tonight’s winners will then choose next week’s challenge stipulation.

The champions open, and first up is Otis. Gable says Otis has this, and Otis nervously steps to the mic. Otis’ word is… Emmental. Can Kevin use that in a sentence? A form of Swiss cheese. E-M-M-E-N-T-A-L! CORRECT! Gable is proud and Otis is sure they’ve already got this. First up for RKBRO, it’s Riddle. Fans fire up as The Bro goes to the mic. Riddle’s word is… Calibration. Cali-bro-tion? No, calibration. Can he use that in a sentence? Uh, ok. “A simple calibration is used to set up the system for individual implementation.” Please put that into letters for Riddle. No, Riddle, you have to spell it. Oh, okay, like when he calibrates his scale for measuring ounces and-

Riddle, just spell it then! Right, sorry. C-A-L-I-B-R-A-T-I-O-N. CORRECT! Tied at 1-1 and Riddle is fired up! Gable is now up, and his word is… Disillusion. Gable laughs that one off. He was hoping for a challenger. For the sake of sportsmanship, give him the definition! SHOOSH! He didn’t need it! This is Mr. 4.0, baby! It is the disbandment of a group or organization- No, Kevin said disillusion, not dissolution. D-I-S-S-O-L-U-T-I-O-N! NO, Gable! Wrong word! What?! That was dissolution but Kevin said disillusion. This is a joke! Kevin said the word wrong! Gable says he spelled a word right! But it wasn’t the word that was said.

Orton says maybe Gable can just a freakin’ seat! Orton is ready to get this over with. Then his word and the win is… Well, one of the most commonly misspelled words. Dumbbell. Riddle says Orton has this! And looking at Riddle, Orton has this. D-U-M-B-B-E-L-L. CORRECT! Gable is furious! Dumbbell for Orton? Riddle IS a dumbbell! Gable, shut your mouth! And Ohio, let’s go ahead and shut Gable’s mouth for him! They can go 1v1 right here, right now! Gable is furious, and Orton says Gable is clearly not that smart so maybe he’ll spell out how he’s gonna beat Gable: the three most destructive letters in sports entertainment, R K O!!

Randy Orton w/ Matt Riddle VS Chad Gable w/ Otis!

Raw returns and the match is on! Orton and Gable circle, fans rally behind “Randy! Randy!” and ties up with Gable. Orton headlocks, grinds Gable but Gable fights up. Gable pries the hold, has a top wristlock and he brings Orton down. Otis says that’s the power of leverage, and Gable wernches to a wristlock. But Orton powers out to drop toehold and facelock! Gable moves around, Orton gets away, and the two circle again. They tie up, Gable wrenches, wristlocks, but Orton fights up. Riddle and the fans rally up, Orton wrenches through and headlocks. Gable powers out, Orton runs him over! Riddle is fired up as Gable gets to a corner.

Orton and Gable reset, tie up again, and Gable wrenches to a hammerlock. Orton slips around to hammerlock back, then headlocks. Gable powers out, Orton runs him over, and things speed up. Gable arm-drags, and arm-drags again! Gable keeps on the arm and fans boo as he wrenches the shoulder. Orton fights up, fans keep rallying, and Orton whips Gable to a corner. Gable goes up and over but Orton fakes out the arm-drag! RK- NO! Gable pushes Orton away, and then bails out of the ring to regroup with Otis. Fans boo and a ring count starts. Otis says you can’t RKO someone with no neck! Gable gets in the ring, he circles with Orton and they tie up again.

Orton wrenches to a wristlock, but Gable rolls, bridges, spins and handsprings to spin through and headlock. Gable then spins to the toehold and has the ANKLE LOCK! But Orton slips away and bails out to regroup with Riddle. Gable says it was that close, but Orton keeps his cool. Orton takes his time returning, but Gable throat chops him! Gable CHOPS Orton to a corner, throws body shots and haymakers, but lets off as the ref counts. Gable fires off more forearms, strikes a pose, but then Orton kicks back! Orton fires off EuroUppers over and over, whips Gable to ropes, then CLOBBERS him with an elbow!

Gable bails out again, Orton stalks up behind him! Back suplex to the announce desk! Gable flops to the floor and Otis can only glare as Orton looms over Gable. Fans are all fired up as Orton puts Gable in the ring. Otis gets on the apron, Orton knock shim down! But Gable CHOP BLOCKS a leg! Gable runs, runs Orton over, then hurries up the corner! MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Orton survives and Gable can’t believe it, while Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Gable has a standing toehold. Orton endures, Riddle coaches him up, but Gable stomps Orton down! Gable has Orton in a corner, hooks a leg in the ropes, then gets the other for a DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! The ref keeps Gable back but Gable shoots in to get the left leg. Orton CLUBS Gable, whips him but the bad leg gives up! Gable whips Orton into a corner, but Orton comes back to LARIAT! Orton manages to rally, and he dodges to BACK DROP Gable away! Gable goes to a corner, Orton runs in to clothesline! Fans are thunderous for RKBRO as Orton reels Gable in. Gable switches, Orton bucks the waistlock and hits a BACK2BACKBREAKER!

Fans fire up as Otis coaches Gable and Riddle coaches Orton. Orton puts Gable through ropes, drags him out, time to spell “vintage!” DRAPING DDT! Orton slowly gets up as fans fire up behind him. Orton hears the voices and he waits on Gable. Riddle sees Otis getting on the apron and runs over that way. But Otis gets him for an EXPLODER! Orton is distracted, Gable backslides him! TWO, and Orton hits a POWERSLAM! Orton’s bad leg slows him down, but the fans still rally as hard as ever. Orton stands over Gable, then aims from the corner. Otis shouts to Gable, but Orton runs in, only for Gable to dodge the punt! ANKLE LOCK!!

Orton endures as Gable thrashes the bad leg! Fans rally, Riddle CLOBBERS Otis with his scooter! And then again! And again! Gable is distracted, Orton rolls to send Gable into buckles! RKO!!! Cover, Orton wins!!

Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall

RKBRO gets extra credit on The Alpha Academy! A win in the spelling bee and a win in the ring, but Riddle gets a mic. Riddle congratulations Orton, and reminds us that they get to choose the second Academy Challenge. Riddle thinks it’s time to go old school to gym class! What better way to show some physical prowess than a good, ol’ fashioned… scooter race! Is that really part of gym class? And does Otis even stand a chance of finding a scooter that can hold him up? Will RKBRO make it a 2-0 sweep? Or can Gable find a way to make a comeback?

 

Alexa Bliss continues her therapy.

The doctor thinks they’re making progress. Oh? He asks her a personal question: When was the very first time that Alexa met Lily? Oh, well, Lily’s been around her whole life. Any time Alexa was looked down on or bullied, Lily was there to be her friend. Alexa was just six years old when she met Lily. These two teenage girls picked on Alexa cuz she wore glasses, and they shoved her off the monkey bars. Alexa got knocked out, and when she came to, Lily was there. Those cute button eyes and the braids and stitching. Is that too much? No, keep going. Okay.

That day, Alexa and Lily got ice cream and played on the monkey bars. Lily said those mean girls would never come back, too. Then they ate candy and gumdrops, and they did that game where you stuff marshmallows in your mouth and try to say, “Chubby bunny.” Well, Alexa has plenty more to say, will we get to the bottom of Lily’s hold over Alexa?

 

Vince McMahon talks with Austin Theory.

Vince knows Theory is doing really good lately, especially the selfies. Yeah, look at this one! No, not that one. Well, it did feel good destroying Finn Balor, just like Vince wanted. And in the Rumble, Theory will win and face the champion of his choosing at WrestleMania! That’s exciting. If it’s not too much to ask, maybe Theory could get a late number? Like 26 or 27?Why would Theory think Vince has any influence over that at all? Especially right now, when he should focus on his opponent, AJ Styles. Whoa, as in, former WWE Champion, US Champion, Intercontinental Champion, Tag Team Champion, Grand Slam Champion AJ Styles? Yep! That AJ Styles.

Theory says that’s fine. Sounds good, even! Okay, hang on. Don’t forget your phone. And bring back a really good selfie. Yes, sir! Will Theory be able to be more than Phenomenal here tonight? Or does he finally fall out of favor with Mr. McMahon?

AJ Styles VS Austin Theory!

The Phenomenal One himself just got finished with a bright and shining star with a big ego in Grayson Waller. Will Styles check off another future star in Vince’s newest pet project?

Raw returns and Theory makes his entrance. The bell rings, they tie up, and Theory powers Styles to a corner. The ref counts, Theory lets off to mock Styles’ pose, but Styles keeps cool. They tie up again, Styles powers Theory to a corner but Theory turns it around. The ref counts, Theory lets off, and then he double guns. Styles still stays cool, ties up with Theory and gets a headlock. Theory powers up but can’t power out as Styles holds tight. Theory powers out, Styles ducks the hurdle, rolls Theory up, TWO! Theory fireman’s carries, but Styles sunset flips! TWO, Styles wheelbarrows to a victory roll, TWO! Styles dropkicks Theory right outta the ring!

Fans fire up and Styles takes aim. Slingshot and FOREARM! Direct hit and Theory checks his chin. Styles puts Theory back in the ring, stalks Theory to ropes, brings Theory up and bumps him off buckles. Styles CHOPS, Theory staggers to another corner, but Styles brings him out. Theory kicks but Styles blocks. Theory ROCKS Styles with a forearm, but Styles KICKS Theory’s leg! Theory hobbles to the corner, but Styles storms over. Theory YANKS Styles into buckles! And then throws him down by his hair! Slingshot STOMP, deadlift suplex! Cover, ONE!! Theory is annoyed and he rains down rights before wrapping on a headlock.

Theory grinds Styles but fans rally up. Styles fights up, puts Theory in a corner, but Theory turns things around. Styles dodges to CHOP! And CHOP! Theory falls and crawls, but he throws body shots. Styles KICKS Theory in the side! Styles runs for a BIG knee drop! Cover, TWO! Styles gets Theory up, snap suplexes, covers, TWO! Theory grits his teeth but Styles drags him back up. Theory FLAPJACK HOTSHOTS him! Styles sputters while Theory seethes, and Theory stomps Styles down! Theory drags Styles up, throws forearms, then whips corner to corner. Styles hits buckles hard, and Theory gets in his face! “How’s that feel?!”

Theory throws fists down but the ref back shim off. Theory stands on Styles’ head, but lets off as the ref counts. Theory drags Styles up but Styles DECKS Theory with a forearm! Styles drags Theory up, but Theory suplexes for a GOURD BUSTER! Styles flounders in the corner, Theory hoists him up top. Theory throws forearms, climbs up to join Styles, but Styles throws body shots in return. Styles ROCKS Theory, Theory drops but then somersaults to SHOTGUN DROPKICK Styles to the floor! Fans boo but Theory grins as he looks down at Styles, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns and Theory has a headlock. Styles throws body shots, Theory knees low. Styles kicks back, then ENZIGURIS! Theory staggers, Styles runs in but Theory catches his crossbody for a BACKBREAKER! Then a SWINGING BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Theory grins as Styles survives, and he stalks Styles to ropes. Theory bumps Styles off buckles, then RAMS a shoulder into his back! And again, and again! Theory lets off as the ref counts, and Theory throws down more fists. Theory brings Styles up, but Styles JAWBREAKERS free! Styles ROCKS Theory with a right, then CHOPS him to ropes. Styles whips, Theory reverses and BACK DROPS! Cover, TWO!

Theory says HE is phenomenal but fans boo. Theory drags Styles up to snapmare and stomp him down! Theory mocks Styles’ pose again, but misses the elbow drop! Theory grits his teeth as he gets back up and runs in at the corner. Styles elbows Theory away, then QUEBRADA DDT! Both men are down but the fans fire up! Theory and Styles are on opposite ends, Styles runs in to LARIAT! Theory kicks back but Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz! Styles hits a clothesline in the corner, then suplexes Theory to a NECKBREAKER! Styles runs, SLIDING FOREARM! Cover, TWO! Theory is still in it but Styles keeps his cool.

Styles drags Theory up, fireman’s carries but Theory slips out. Styles ducks the haymaker but not the back elbow! Theory hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Theory checks his chin again, drags Styles up and says he’s got this. JAWBREAKER! Styles runs in, but into a BOOT! Theory somersaults for a BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Styles survives and Theory can’t believe it! Theory shakes his head, convincing himself he can do this. Theory gets Styles up to throw big forearms in the corner. Theory puts Styles up top, climbs up to join him, but Styles resists! Styles slips through and trips Theory up! Styles waistlocks, but Theory elbows out hard!

Theory reels Styles in, but Styles fights out of the powerbomb! Styles ducks and dodges to PELE! Both men are down again and fans are rallying! Styles reels Theory in, but Theory fireman’s carries! Styles fights free, rolls Theory, CALF CRUSHER!! Theory scrambles, ROPEBREAK! Styles lets go and both men slowly get up. Styles grabs at Theory but Theory holds the ropes. The ref calls the ropebreak, Theory throat chops! But Styles BOOTS back, goes to the outside, but Theory trips up his springboard! High stack, but with ropes! The ref sees that and stops the count! Theory and the ref argue, but Styles ROCKS Theory!

Styles is on the apron, he springboards in, PHENOMENAL FOREARM!! Cover, Styles wins!

Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall

Now that was phenomenal! Will Styles use this momentum to take the Royal Rumble and that golden ticket to WrestleMania? And what of Theory facing Vince’s wrath?

 

Raw holds a simultaneous interview with Becky Lynch and “Doudrop” Piper Niven.

Commentary wants to start with Piper. This match has been a long time coming, and Piper ran through the rest of the division to- Becky speaks up and asks if this is their first time. We start with the champion. And she’ll start with a champion of “a wee lass named Doudrop.” When she first got her start across the pond, who did she idolize? Becky. Who did she want to face most? Becky. Tell ’em how Becky paved the way, and as the groundbreaker she is, she gave Piper this match. People are asking, “Why would anybody in their right mind choose someone who can clearly out power them? Who can clearly break all their bones with one slam to the mat?”

Maybe that’s the answer! Maybe Becky isn’t in her right mind. Or maybe Becky is that confident in how damn good she is! Or that generous to grant an opportunity to a fellow Celt. Piper speaks up to suggest that maybe, Becky handpicked Piper because Becky is desperate. Maybe ever since she returned, she’s been ducking, dodging and scrambling just to hold onto the title. Maybe Becky thought putting the new girl in would be an easy victory. The only easy thing here will be how easy it is for Piper to break every single one of Becky’s ribs.

Becky wants “Doudou” to hold on there. Becky should be thanked for giving Piper her biggest match, her first title match here, and for paving the way and giving Piper a match at one of the biggest events of the year. If Piper had just said thanks, but no. Piper waited for Becky to get in and offer a handshake, so of course Becky slapped her across the face. And being the bigger person, Becky offers to lead Piper to victory in the tag match. But then Piper splashed Becky, dropped her, left her lying. Becky admits, she didn’t see that coming. But Piper’s in for a rude awakening at the Rumble when she steps in the ring with the #VanGOAT and Becky wins to stay Raw Women’s Champion.

Oh, is Becky done? Piper zoned out when she started hearing that whining, nagging sound, or else she was gonna lose it. But Piper will show gratitude when Becky shows respect. But Becky won’t, she will keep whining. She’s not a goat, she’s a little lamb on the way to the slaughter. The Dome is the slaughterhouse, and the new champion will be Doudrop! Becky says Piper was just another name to fill out the roster before this. Piper needs to know her place. It’s dead space and- Oh, Piper’s getting off the mic? She gonna run? She can’t run from the truth, or from this fight. Becky’s been champ for nearly three years !But then Piper barges into Becky’s room!

Piper and Becky scrap and referees rush in to stop it! Piper says her place is with the title, standing over Becky! Will Piper be the one to make Becky DouDROP that title?

 

Backstage interview with Rey & Dominik Mysterio.

Sarah congratulates Rey on being the WWE 2K22 cover superstar. What does it mean to be among the ranks like Stone Cold, The Rock, John Cena and The Undertaker? Rey says this is so dope. You have no idea what an honor it is to represent. Most superstars spend their careers chasing achievements, from main eventing WrestleMania or entering the Hall of Fame. Being on the cover of a WWE video game is no different, especially when that game is FIRE! Although, the one thing prouder would be seeing Dom on the cover one day. Dom says now Rey’s talking. Dom used to play those games growing up, and he knows he has to create his own legacy to be in those games. That starts Saturday when he wins the Royal Rumble.

Well okay, but that’d mean he has to throw Rey out. That’s not happening, right? Well after last week, he might be first to go! Dom’s got jokes. He’s playin’ right? Dom grins and heads out, but Rey laughs it off. Will “every man for himself” be true even for the Mysterio Familia?

The Mysterios VS The Street Profits!

Rey & Dom won alongside Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins last week, but now they’ll go against each other for some last minute momentum! Who will be on fire going into the Royal Rumble match after tonight?

Raw returns as the Mysterios make their entrance. The teams sort out, Dawkins starts against Dom. They circle, tie up, and Dom headlocks. Dawkins powers out, things speed up, Dom RANAS! Dom throws hands, knuckle locks and CHOPS, then goes up to FLYING ARM-DRAG! Dawkins dodges, Dom keeps moving, Dawkins hits a big back elbow! Cover, TWO! Dawkins drags Dom up, whips him to ropes, but Dom wheelbarrow sand throws Dawkins out of the ring! Rey gets in, holds the way open., Dom DIVES! Direct hit onto Dawkins, and then Rey crossbodies Ford! Rey runs, but Ford throws him out onto Dom!

Dom manages to catch Rey, but Ford FLIES! Direct hit and down goes everyone! Ohio is fired up as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns again and Dawkins grinds Dom down in a chinlock. Dom endures, fights up, throws body shots, but Dawkins DECKS Dom with a right! Cover, TWO! Dom is still in this but Dawkins wraps on another chinlock. Dom endures again, fights up, Rey coaches him through it, and Dom gets to his feet. Dom throws more body shots, but Dawkins knees low. Dom ends up in a corner, but he dodges the cyclone splash to kick and TORNADO DDT! Both  men are down and fans fire up! Dawkins and Dom crawl, hot tags to Ford and Rey! Rey dodges Ford to tilt-o-whirl and headscissor! Ford ends up in a corner, puts Rey on the outside, but Rey ROCKS him!

Rey goes up top, leaps, SEATED SENTON! Rey keeps moving, dodges again, but Ford FLAPJACKS Rey down! Ford somersaults, to a SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Rey gets to ropes, Ford whips him, but Rey kicks back. Rey slides under, Dom gets in, and he gives Rey a boost to RANA Ford on tropes! The Mysterios dial it up but Dawkins trips Dom and drags him out! Ford runs in but Rey drop toeholds him to ropes! 6 1 NO! Ford blocks that, gets Rey up in an Electric chair, but Rey victory rolls! The Mysterios win!!

Winners: Rey & Dominik Mysterio, by pinfall

The King of Lucha finds a way to snatch this one away from the Profits! But then Dom gets behind Rey and lifts him up, but Rey RANAS Dom out! Rey tells Dom he needs to try better than that, but then Ford TOSSES Rey! But then Dawkins tosses Ford! Dawkins says he got Ford there! But then the DIRTY DAWGS get in, and they both throw Dawkins out! Roode & Ziggler talk trash, but then the Mysterios and the Profits get in to go after them! It’s a huge scrap, but the Dawgs get tossed! And then the remaining four all square off in their own corners! Will any of these men make it to the end of the Rumble match this Saturday?

 

Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.

Kevin Patrick brings up how the Usos are barred from ringside during the Universal Championship match at the Royal Rumble, and Rollins says that sounds so good. Rollins likes K-Peezy and will give him a little “insider information.” This was never about The Usos, or anyone else but Roman VS Seth, Seth VS Roman. Now they go 1v1 at the Rumble for the title, and historically speaking, Rollins likes his odds. Rollins knows he can beat Roman because he’s already done it. Roman knows Rollins has his number. Roman wants people to think very highly of him, but Rollins is the one who can put Roman in his place.

So speaking of Roman, Rollins is going to pay SmackDown one more visit this Friday, because unlike Roman, Rollins delivers his messages in person. See you Friday, brother! Rollins laughs it up, but will he have the last laugh this Friday? And will this Saturday be the first time Roman gets the better of Rollins?

 

The Miz heads to the ring!

The Hollywood A-Lister promised it last week, and now it’s here! Maryse’s birthday celebration will be here on Raw, and the ring’s already filled with presents! Will all go smoothly for the It Couple this close to the Royal Rumble? We’ll see, after the break.

Raw returns and Miz welcomes us to the Maryse Birthday Extravaganza! It’s a celebration of his wife’s birthday, and then Saturday, we will celebrate The It Couple beating The Grit Couple! So without further ado, welcome the birthday girl, a woman more gorgeous, more sexier and more intelligent than anyone here, Maryse! Maryse makes her entrance, and there’s security at ringside. Miz says he speaks for everyone here when he says, “Open your first gift!” Maryse pulls the veil off a painted portrait of her and Miz as a prince and princess! Miz has done it! She feels even more special than the day she became a mother!

Or when he got her that pink Rolls Royce! Or when he got her that $500,000 ring. Well no expense spared. He got top of the line security to make sure there will be no intruders! They checked the ceiling so there wouldn’t be a Brood Bath! There will be no Edge or Beth here! Miz speaks for all of us when he says, “Open your second gift!” Miz hands it to Maryse, she pulls off the lid, and it’s… A custom hand purse! It says “No limit” on the side because there is no limit to their love. Wait, what’s this big one? Miz thought Maryse got him something. Uh, it’s her birthday. Why would she… Wait, then if he didn’t get that, and she didn’t get that… Then what’s in the box?

SECURITY! Get in here and open the box for Miz! The guard goes up to it, rips the paper away, and it’s all a trick! Miz put the brick that Maryse hit Beth with in a frame! This demonstrates that these two will always be one step ahead of Edge & Beth. Just watch this recap video as proof! Maryse asked Beth to call off the Mixed Tag, Beth refused, Miz tried to jump Edge but failed, but it still distracted Beth enough so Maryse could CLOBBER Beth! Fans boo but Miz & Mrs. just soak it up. Now it is time for everyone to get up out of their seats and sing Happy Birthday to Maryse. On three. One, two, DO NOT BOO! This is a birthday celebration! Stand up and sing!!

Now, one! Two! Three! HIT IT! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you~! Miz is so sour… But here comes EDGE! AND Beth! Edge has the music cut to tell Mike ‘n’ Maryse that they’ve been real clever. But being clever won’t matter on Saturday. All these security guards won’t matter on Saturday. Because Miz & Maryse stepped in it now! They’ve got a pissed off Rated R Superstar, and an extremely pissed off Glamazon on their hands. These two are gonna show everyone why that’s not a good thing. The Grit Couple storms to the ring, CLOBBER guard after guard, and Beth scoop SLAMS the next one! Edge TOSSES another, Beth sends one more into the steps!

The It Couple bail out of the ring, so Edge and Beth tear everything up! Beth SPEARS one guard, Edge SPEARS another! Miz & Maryse freak out over the cake being in harm’s way, but the Grit Couple give a guard a HART ATTACK! Shout out to the days of Beth teaming with Natty. Another guard gets in, he gets a 3D!! A shout out to some of Edge’s greatest rivals, before he BOOTS another guard! Edge sees the cake still standing, and Miz says he better not! Edge drags the guard up, reels him in, and POWERBOMBS him through the cake AND table! The terror on the It Couple’s faces is real this time! Will they even show up in St. Louis for that Mixed Tag match?


My Thoughts:

I have a feeling word got back that last week’s Raw was pretty sad, because they made sure this week’s Raw was really good. Now, a weigh-in segment for a title that doesn’t really have weight restrictions was really just an excuse to get Lesnar and Lashley to interact one more time. But Lashley and Lesnar are both doing really well on the mic these days, and Lesnar being dismissive of Lashley is such a great element of this. It’d be wild if Lashley won this but there’s a good chance Lesnar retains and we still get something of Lesnar VS Roman, title for title. Rollins has a good promo rather late in the night, but him hyping up the SmackDown go-home means something good is coming.

Bianca VS Vega was a short match, as was the Six Woman Tag, but sadly that’s how things are in RawDown these days… But at least we got a great promo segment from Becky and Piper. Piper leaving her room to find Becky and brawl with her was awesome stuff, and their match is going to be awesome stuff, but pretty sure Becky wins. Then they’ll set up Becky VS Bianca at WrestleMania, Bianca finally avenges her SummerSlam loss. Also, Alexa Bliss has to be returning to action during the Rumble. She might not win but she could have a really good showing to reestablish herself. Tonight’s vignette didn’t really do much, it just had her rambling about Lily’s origin story with no serious revelation.

We got a really good US Championship match, but it was a bit cheap for Priest to get disqualified when “Damian” let loose. Maybe Kevin comes back after the Rumble to try again and that builds to a US title match at the Elimination Chamber PPV in February. Styles VS Theory was a great match, too, just wish Vince would’ve let Theory and Finn have a match as good as that. And if Styles was still feuding with Grayson Waller, we could’ve built to Styles & Finn VS Theory & Waller, but nope. Vince has apparently given up on Finn, but not enough to cut him the same way they cut a lot of other great people. What a weird old man.

I loved so much of the Academic Challenge segment. Great promos from everyone, and I love that Gable got so cocky that he went with what he thought he heard and not what Kevin Patrick really said. Then we got an awesome match of Orton VS Gable, that also had the awesome aside of Riddle attacking Otis with the scooter. Now, going with a scooter race next week isn’t really something you’d see in gym class from what I’ve experienced, but it’s definitely a Riddle kind of choice. I’m not sure how, but Alpha Academy is definitely finding a way to win to push this to the third challenge, which RKBRO will win to get a tag title match.

The Mysterios VS Profits was really good, with Ford and Rey really standing out in this match. Mysterios get the win for momentum, but then the Dirty Dawgs get in on things for a nice brawl. I don’t see any of those six winning, though, but maybe the Mysterios come out tag title contenders for after RKBRO and Alpha Academy sort out. And then we got a pretty good final segment. As birthday parties that get ruined goes, I like that Miz swerved us with the giant box and then we get Edge & Beth straight up crashing the party. I spotted the Tate Twins among the security guards that got bodied, I hope that means they’re signing with NXT 2.0. The Grit Couple standing tall here, the math would suggest The It Couple finds a way to win, but who knows, Edge & Beth could defy the math.

My Score: 8.3/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (1/24/22)

Washington DC gets Elevated!

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AEW Elevation Coverage

AEW has eight for America’s capital!

Team Taz’s Ricky Starks & “Powerhouse” Hobbs look to clear out Dante Martin’s allies, Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty, as AEW continues in Washington, DC!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Leyla Hirsch VS Brittany Blake; Hirsch wins.
  • Private Party VS Myles Hawkins & Action Andretti; Private Party wins.
  • Brandi Rhodes VS Willow Nightingale; Brandi wins.
  • The Men of the Year VS Logan Easton Laroux & Mike Fowler; The Men of the Year win.
  • Red Velvet VS Janai Kai; Velvet wins.
  • Santana & Ortiz VS Breaux Keller & Goldy; Santana & Ortiz win.
  • Thunder Rosa & Ruby Soho VS Leva Bates & Jordan Blade; Rosa & Soho win.
  • Ricky Starks & “Powerhouse” Will Hobbs VS Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty; Starks & Hobbs win.

QUICK NOTES

Great to see Leva Bates back in action, but I have a feeling she and Jordan Blade will put Rosa and Soho over. Leyla Hirsch is in her first match since her Heel turn, so seeing how #LEGITHEEL wrestles compared to when she was a Face will be one to watch. And Team Taz taking on Sydal & Moriarty is going to be great, especially since it ties story in from Dynamite.


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