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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (2/12/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • The Miz VS John Cena; Cena wins, Miz must enter the Men’s Elimination Chamber match first.
  • The Club VS The Revival; The Revival wins.
  • Bayley VS Sasha Banks; Bayley wins.
  • Absolution w/ Paige VS Mickie James & Alexa Bliss; Absolution wins.
  • Sheaums w/ Cesaro VS Roman Reigns; Reigns wins.
  • Elimination Chamber Qualifying Fatal 4 Way: Finn Balor VS WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Apollo Crews w/ Titus Worldwide VS Bray Wyatt; changed into…
  • Elimination Chamber Qualifying Fatal 5 Way: Finn Balor VS WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Apollo Crews w/ Titus Worldwide VS Bray Wyatt VS Seth Rollins; double pinfall, Balor & Rollins both win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Raw opens with JOHN CENA!!

The Face that Runs the Place appreciates the mixed reaction from San Jose as fans sing “John Cena Sucks~!” Cena says “The past is the past”, and focuses on the present that is the Road to Wrestlemania. Everyone is excited because they know the importance of Wrestlemania. Whether you’re live in the arena, watching at home or a superstar in the back, everyone knows Wrestlemania “can make a superstar’s career.” Wrestlemania can bring someone back from the dead, and can be the most important night in a WWE superstar’s career. Every week, every wrestler makes their case for a ‘Mania Moment, but Cena must face the truth. Cena has to win the Elimination Chamber Match to get to Wrestlemania. He knows the fans have mixed reactions, but “for the first time in 15 years”, Cena may not have a Road to Wrestlemania. So to those who oppose, Cena will state his case: “I have to survive the most unwinnable match” to face “the most unbeatable champion in WWE history.” In other words, it’s “impossible.” But whether you’re for him or against him, everyone knows Cena loves making the impossible possible! Cena vows to win the Chamber and vows to go to Wrestlemania against Brock Lesnar! But The Miz comes out to respond.

“You’re gonna go on to main event Wrestlemania?” This isn’t 2013, this is 2018, The Year of the Miz! Maybe Cena’s been off in Hollywood too much and is losing track of reality. Cena defeat Lesnar? Cena’s a founding father of Suplex City! The Miz will go on to Wrestlemania because that’s where his Intercontinental Championship belongs. He will be the first dual IC & Universal Champion when he defeats Brock Lesnar! Cena points out fans quite literally laughing at Miz’s comments. Miz has no chance– no wait, there is a small chance, like Lesnar not making his flight. But Miz’s first match with Lesnar may very well be his last match ever. That’s where Cena is wrong. Cena made a mitake beating Lesnar at his own game, but Miz will play to his own strengths, i.e. his brains. Miz does “whatever it takes” and uses “whatever is at my disposal”. He wins because he does what others won’t, he crosses lines that others won’t, which is why Miz beat Roman Reigns for the IC Championship and will beat Lesnar in the main event of Wrestlemania! But, Miz has to survive the Chamber first. He sounds overly confident. Well Miz is confident because he’s done it before, to John Cena.

Cena admits that he likes Miz being bold enough to run his mouth. But in the middle of “Miz Country”, Cena suggests Miz VS Cena! And they need to make it huge: the loser enters the Chamber first!! now that’s a Monday Night Raw worthy of the Road to Wrestlemania! The fans agree with “YES! YES!” Miz isn’t stupid, Cena. The fans think he is, though. But Miz knows that going in first means the worst chance of winning. And as insurance, The Miztourage goes after Cena! Bo Dallas & Curt Axel hit him with the back suplex neckbreaker! Miz still accepts the challenge, and calls for a referee! But instead, he gets Raw GM Kurt Angle!

Angle won’t allow this match to happen like this. He likes the idea, making the loser enter the Chamber first. The match is on, but “speaking of eliminations,” The Miztourage is eliminated from ringside! Bo, Axel, get the hell out of here! The A-Lister no longer has his aces in the hole, has he just stuck his foot in his mouth?

The Miz VS John Cena!

The Bell rings and Miz covers right away, TWO!! Miz freaks out, he swears that was three! It wasn’t, so Miz goes after Cena with a hammer of left hands. Another cover, another TWO! Miz begs he win already, but we go to break.

Raw returns to see Miz blast Cena off the apron. Miz slips out to fetch Cena, not satisfied with his work. He throws Cena into the barriers along the ramp! Then he throws Cena back into the ring before climbing up top. Miz takes aim at Cena, and knocks him down with double ax handles. Cover, TWO, Miz returns to being frustrated. He looms over Cena while the fans duel “Let’s go Cena!” “Cena Sucks!” Miz knocks Cena down each time he gets up, but then Cena flips over and gives knees to Miz’s groin. Cena dropkicks Miz, covers, TWO. Cena gets up and drags Miz to his feet for the Fisherman suplex. Cover, TWO, and Cena tries again. Miz knees low a few times then kicks Cena in the head. Miz gets a running start to boot Cena in the face, covers, TWO. The frustration builds, but Miz keeps his cool. Cena stirs, crawling to a corner while the fans rally. Miz goes after Cena with body shots, and backs off at 4. He runs back in but into a back elbow, Cena hops up for a tornado DDT!

Cover, TWO! Miz crawls to ropes while Cena stands up. Cena whips but Miz reverses, into the sleeper hold! Miz brings Cena to his knees then to the mat, but the fans keep dueling. Cena wills himself back up as the fans fire up, but Miz adds on his full weight. Cena fades and falls back to the mat. Miz keeps squeezing, but Cena finds his second wind. He reaches but can’t get out while we go to another break.

Raw returns again, and Miz stalks Cena for his finish. The full-nelson is on but Cena throws Miz off. Fireman’s carry but Miz slips down to Figure Four!

Cena endures the legendary leg lock while the fans “WOO~!” and Miz shouts for him to give up. But instead of giving up, Cena pries himself free and reverses into his hold, the STF! Miz endures the combination crossface and toehold, but drags himself towards ropes. He reaches out, and gets the ropebreak! Cena lets go at 2, and Miz gets to the apron while he goes to the other side. Cena returns, drags Miz up, but Miz hotshots Cena back. Miz climbs up to the top rope again, crossbody, but Cena catches him! Pop-up to the fireman’s carry but Miz slips out, kicks out a knee, low DDT! TWO! Miz can’t believe it! Cena gets himself to a corner for safety while both men catch their breaths. San Jose declares “This is Awesome!” while both men stand up. Miz takes aim and runs corner to corner, and hits his A-List corner clothesline! Cena drops tot he mat while Miz fires himself up. Miz sees Cena in the other corner and runs in, but Cena catches him into the AA!

TWO!! Cena is in disbelief as he gets himself to the apron. He thinks about what to do next, and decides to climb up. Miz bumps ropes and that brings Cena down. Miz gets the Figure Four again! Cena tries to pry himself out again but Miz keeps him from doing that, so Cena drags Miz into a crossface! Miz endures, drags himself again, and gets another ropebreak. The two separate again, but Cena run sin but into buckles! Skull Crushing Finale!! TWO!! The advantage in the Chamber means this much to both of them! They both catch their breath while down on the mat, Cena back in a corner again. Miz gets up and brings himself over. He hoists Cena up to the top rope, then makes his way up from the outside. Miz climbs up from behind and puts Cena in the full-nelson… But Cena breaks out to get the fireman’s carry! SUPER AA!! Cena wins!

Miz must enter the Chamber first! The leader of the Cenation celebrates with fans in the front row, thanking those that inspire him.

Can Cena outlast The Miz and five others to become #1 contender to the Beast? As for Miz, can he survive at all?

 

WOKEN Matt Hardy speaks.

“Tonight I have a second chance to fulfill my destiny.” However, her has Apollo Crews, Finn Balor and “the vile” Bray Wyatt to contend with. But Hardy has been blessed by the Seven Deities to render them OBSOLETE! Hardy shall be victorious and make the Elimination Chamber shall become the DELETION Chamber! Will Hardy DELETE the other three tonight to then DELETE five others at the Elimination Chamber PPV?

 

The Balor Club’s Good Brothers speak.

The Revival have been pushing the “Nerd-o-meter” to the absolute limit when they talk about being tag team specialists. Yet, Finn and ol’ Karlski shut them up last week. This week, Gallows wants his turn. Being able to name tag teams from 1902 doesn’t make them #TopGuys, it makes them… NEEEEERDS!!

The Club VS The Revival!

But while Anderson & Gallows make their entrance, Dash & Dawson ambush them from behind! Gallows gets a chop block, then Anderson gets a double lariat. The #TopGuys leave the Good Brothers writhing on the outside while they enter the ring, then dare them to get in. Gallows & Anderson recover and get pissed off before rushing the ring. Dash & Dawson run out of the ring to troll The Club, because this match starts “when we say.” The Revival talk strategy then return to the ring. Gallows and Dawson start, Gallows going right at him with big rights. He pushes Dawson into a corner and unloads body shots, then blasts Dash for good measure. Gallows rocks Dawson with an uppercut, then throws him halfway across the ring!

Dawson gets to another corner but gets more heavy hands from Gallows! Gallows drags Dawson up and whips to ropes, then boots him right down. Dash returns, to get a big body drop. Anderson goes after Dash himself with a rain of rights. The referee gets in the way, Gallows shoves Dash out but Dawson chop blocks again! The Revival gain control while we go to break.

Raw returns, and Dawson has exposed Gallows’ battered knee to go right at it. He tags in Dash, and they keep on the knee from all sides. Gallows shoves Dash but Dash stomps him back. The fans rally for The Club even as Dash puts on a knee wrench and toehold.

Gallows endures the torque, and even kicks out with his good leg. Dash holds on as Gallows stands up and gets a haymaker. Dawson tags in and jumps, but into a YAKUZA kick! Gallows crawls for hsi corner and hot tags The Machine Gun! Anderson rallies on Dash, his whip is reversed but he hits shotgun knees. He takes out Dawson then jump kicks Dash down! The fans fire up as Anderson hops up, and hits a flying neckbreaker! Dawson returns but Gallows drags him out to rock him with uppercuts. But then Dawson throws Gallows into steel steps! Anderson goes after Dawson, Dash rolls up with tights, TWO! SPINEBUSTER!

TWO! Anderson keeps focused on Dash, then runs in corner to corner. Dawson tags in, but Anderson fights them both, He still goes after Dash, but ends up in SHATTER MACHINE! Revival wins! These rough and tumble boys prove they’re #TopGuys tonight, can they get ahead in the Raw Tag Team Championship hunt?

 

Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, returns.

The Olympic Gold Medalist comes out with “mixed emotions.” He announces that Rhonda Rousey will officially sign her WWE contract! But he also must update us on the situation with Jason Jordan’s neck. Jordan got surgery, and will be out to miss Wrestlemania. Some fans actually like that news. Angle does his best to come to work with a smile on his face, but not right now. He is speaking not as GM but as a father. For those to take join in a superstar’s injury, you should be ashamed of yourself. Jordan may not be everyone’s favorite, but he’s a human being and is Angle’s son. Angle just wants everyone to wish Jordan “Get Well Soon”. But then, Seth Rollins comes out!

The Architect was the Gold Blooded Son’s most recent tag team partner, and the two were Raw Tag Team Champions together. Therefore, Rollins comes out to apologize and give his best wishes. Rollins knows what it’s like. He was WWE Champion, and won it at Levi Stadium after caching in his Money in the Bank contract. Rollins felt unstoppable, on top of the world, even. But then “it all came crumbling down” when he messed up his knee, forfeited the title and missed ‘Mania. But missing ‘Mania helped Rollins learn that no one’s moment is guaranteed. Rollins realizes that he, too, is without something to do at even Elimination Chamber. Angle did say that last week’s match was Rollins’ last chance, but maybe they can change that. All they have to do is find Rollins another tag team partner. Rollins speaks up, saying thanks, but no thanks. When Angle became GM, he said Rollins could be a mainstay. Rollins doesn’t want to be part of Raw anymore. No, he wants to be ALL of Monday Night Raw! Rollins wants to make this Monday Night Rollins!

He wants to be The Man again. He wants Brock Lesnar, the Universal Championship, and at Wrestlemania. The only way to do that is to win the Elimination Chamber. Angle appreciates Rollins’ enthusiasm, but he can’t just cancel the main event. Rollins doesn’t want it handed to him, he wants to earn it. Make the Fatal 4 Way, and make it a Fatal FIVE, with Rollins as the fifth! The fans like that idea very much! Angle isn’t so sure, it doesn’t seem fair to the other four. Angle doesn’t want to be put in a bad spot. But Rollins’ fate is in Angle’s hands as he puts his body on the line for Raw. Jordan missing ‘Mania sucks, yes, but Rollins shouldn’t have to miss out, too. In all honesty, it isn’t up to Rollins or to Angle, it’s up to the WWE Universe. Angle asks, but the answer is pretty clear already. Should Rollins get a chance to enter the Chamber? “YES! YES!” Then the match is made! Can the Architect find a way into the high-stakes Elimination Chamber match!?

 

Bray Wyatt speaks.

“Well, well, well.” Seth Rollins joins the game? He doesn’t deserve a second chance, but neither do Balor, Crews or “that fool” Hardy. Hardy attacks Bray, yet he calls Bray vile? Hardy is “another sick disturbed man in need of help.” Bray knows how to fix him and everyone. They’re like fish by the sea, stalked by a shark. Bray is that shark, and he is starving. He vows to win his second Chamber match in a row, and then slay The Beast to become champion, and “have the whole world in my hands.” Can the Eater of Worlds follow through on his words?

 

Bayley VS Sasha Banks!

The “friendly” competition in trying to break Asuka’s Streak first has made these best friends a bit bitter with each other. Both women are in the inaugural Raw Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber match, but who will gain an extra step of momentum here tonight?

San Jose cheers on their hometown Huggable Bayley as the bell rings. Bayley and Sasha circle, hearing the thunderous chants. They tie up and Bayley rolls, ONE. Sasha tries but Bayley counters to a backslide, ONE. They stand up together, Bayley arm wrenches and La Mahistrol, ONE. Bayley is having fun but Sasha seems annoyed. Sasha kicks low then whips Bayley to a corner, but Bayley elbows out and jumps for a flying arm-drag. Bayley dropkicks Sasha down, then waits for her friend to stand back up. Sasha pushes Bayley into a corner and fires off forearms. The fans boo and jeer, the two scrap and Bayley gets a headlock. Sasha powers out but Bayley runs her over. Bayley runs, things speed up, Bayley rolls Sasha but Sasha slips around for the Bank Statement but Bayley slips out of that. Sasha sits for the pin, TWO. Sasha wrenches Bayley’s arm and yanks on it, then whips Bayley for the hip toss. She adds on double knees, covers, TWO. Bayley checks her teeth while Sasha stands up and walks around her. Sasha goes after the arm again, but Bayley fights out Bayley whips but Sasha reverses and hits her with a forearm before throwing her right out of the ring. Sasha catches her breath while fans boo and jeer. She welcomes Bayley back into the ring, but then dropkicks her back down. Sasha goes out to fetch Bayley, puts her in the ring, but Bayley powers her to a corner. Bayley rams in shoulders, but then Sasha slips out to hotshot the bad shoulder! The Legit Boss embraces the heat while we go to break.

Raw returns, and Sasha bends Bayley back with a straitjacket stretch. The San Jose fans cheer for their Bayley, and Bayley feeds off the energy to work her way up. She fights out of the hold but Sasha gives Bayley an armbar code breaker. Cover, TWO, and Sasha grows frustrated. She looms over Bayley in the corner, trash talking and shoving her “friend.” Bayley throws a forearm, then boots but Sasha turns her sideways, for the Stock- no, Bayley catches her, but on the bad shoulder. Sasha slips down and kicks it from behind. Then she hits double knees in the corner, mocks Bayley’s wacky waving tube men, runs corner to corner, but into Bayley’s big lariat!

The fans fire up for their hometown hero while the referee starts a ten count. Both women stir slowly, and brawl on their knees. They brawl up to their feet, Sasha slapping Bayley! She runs, but into Bayley’s Thesz press and fast hands! Bayley brings Sasha up but Sasha forearms back, so Bayley barrels her into a corner! Bayley throws in shoulders, then starts stomping a mudhole! The referee backs her off, Sasha runs out, into the saido suplex! Sasha rolls to the apron, Bayley goes over, second rope hotshot! Cover, TWO! The fans rally for Bayley as she gets to her feet. She brings Sasha back up, but Sasha jawbreakers. Evne so, Bayley runs to boot Sasha in the face! Sasha rolls away but Bayley gets herself to a corner. Bayley climbs up top and takes aim… Big Elbow Drop misses! Sasha gets the Bank Statement crossface! Bayley flails while the fans cheer her on! She crawls to the far side, reaches for the ropes, but Sasha blocks with a foot on the rope. The ref reprimands her, Bayley gets the break. Sasha keeps going, though, dragging Bayley away. Bayley uses that to fling Sasha face first into buckles! Both women are down recovering. Bayley gets up first, but Sasha boots her away. Sasha drags herself up but Bayley rocks her with a right. Bayley climbs up now, throws some forearms, then positions Sasha. Sasha resists and fights back. She shoves Bayley away, but Bayley returns, SUPER Bayley2Belly!! Bayley wins!! Best friends or not, these two went hard this close to the historic Women’s Chamber match. Can this victory carry Bayley all the way through to once again become Raw Women’s Champion?

Being a good sport, Bayley returns to her friend. But before either can do anything, Nia Jax runs them over from outta nowhere!!

She brings Bayley up, for the Samoan Drop! Then a Samoan Drop for Sasha, too. Charly Caruso appears to ask her why she ruined a moment that has nothing to do with her. This has everything to do with Nia. Bayley and Sasha brought Asuka to her limit but she wrecked them in seconds. At Elimination Chamber, there’s only woman who can break the Streak, “and you’re looking at her.” The Brutal Beauty is set to face the Empress of Tomorrow for a major opportunity of her own at the Raw Women’s Championship. Can the Irresistible Force wreak her own havoc on the Road to Wrestlemania?

 

Seth Rollins encounters Roman Reigns backstage.

The Big Dog sees The Architect “worked your magic.” Well Roman can’t have all the fun in the Chamber. He’s not afraid Rollins will get in, will he? No, because Roman can eliminate him then like he did at the Royal Rumble. But then The Bar walk in and tell Rollins not to worry about The Chamber. With his track record, it’ll be another “failed opportunity.” Cesaro wonders if Dean Ambrose and Jason Jordan are doing physical rehab together, talking about how lousy Rollins is as a partner.

Roman keeps Rollins back, then grins at The Bar. What happened to Cesaro’s mouth again? Ran into the Shield. And Sheamus must not have gotten the memo. “But you will tonight.” Nice skirts, fellas. Is the partial Shield going to go after The Bar again tonight?

 

Raw takes a look at The Empress of Tomorrow’s historic undefeated streak.

October 7, 2015: “An undefeated campaign was born.” Asuka arrived in NXT with a win, and 860 days later, she has 240 wins, 0 losses. “How do you defeat the undefeated?” Asuka has defeated 34 different women, eight of them former women’s champions in their own right. She held the NXT Women’s Championship for 523 days, and only ended because she gave up the title to join Monday Night Raw. Asuka is the first woman to be a Survivor Series Sole Survivor and Royal Rumble winner, and now has her choice of Women’s Championships at Wrestlemania. There’s no end in sight, but she will face her toughest challenge yet in Nia Jax. Will the Empress of Tomorrow continue making history through Elimination Chamber?

 

Backstage interview with Titus Worldwide.

Apollo Crews could make history in his on right by entering the Elimination Chamber match. Titus takes over to give Renee Young a world class vacation. He asks if Crews is worried about being DELETED? No, Crews is here to CREATE! Bray Wyatt is a shark going after “another fish in the sea.” Is Crews afraid of the Eater of Worlds? Bray can’t digest him. Will Crews let Rollins #BurnitDown? No, he’s going to put Rollins out! And what about waiting in line for Balor Club? Crews is already in a VIP club right here. Yes, Crews is ready, and Dana crunches the numbers. She says #CrewsCan’tLose! Titus is all fired up for Crews, and Crews is ready to take one small step for Apollo, and one giant leap for Titus WORLDWIDE~!

 

Alexa Bliss encounters Mickie James backstage.

What is The Goddess up to? Why did she save her from Absolution and why are they teaming up against them tonight? Well, the match is because Alexa asked for it. She’s sick of the newbs thinking they can run Raw, and Mickie must want revenge. Plus, she wants to clear the air. Alexa did some and said some really mean things. Like calling her old? Buying Depends? Mickie remembers, but what about it, Biscuit Butt? Alexa admits she was jealous. Mickie is a six time women’s champion and mother who still looks amazing. She’s impressed and intimidated, that’s all. And? Well, that was an apology. But it’s fine, Alexa just wants to point out that if Absolution works together in the Chamber, everyone else gets screwed out of the Raw Women’s Championship. Is that why Alexa tried to weasel her way out of the match? No… But Absolution can just play keep-away with the title! Mickie appreciates what Alexa did last week, and will work together this week, but she wants that championship at Chamber. Play nice for now, but you’re “buttering the wrong biscuit, honey.”

Absolution w/ Paige VS Mickie James & Alexa Bliss!

As The Goddess and the veteran both said, the Gladiator and the Golden Goddess could easily work together to make sure one of them wins in the Raw Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber match. Can Mickie & Alexa keep them down tonight despite their dysfunction?

Mandy and Mickie start with the bell. They circle, tie up, and Mickie gets the headlock takeover. Mandy gets the headscissor counter but Mickie pops out to wrap on a headlock. Mandy powers out but Mickie runs her over then cartwheels to dropkick Mandy down. Cover, ONE, but Mickie keeps on Mandy. Mickie whips but Mandy reverses to elbow her back. Tag to Sonya, waistlock and slam to the mat. Sonya keeps hold but Mickie elbows her back. Mickie then dodges to kick and kick and run Sonya over with forearms. Tag to Alexa, they double whip and double back elbow Sonya down. Alexa gives Insult2Injury, covers, TWO. Paige coaches Sonya, Sonya fights back with body shots. Alexa knees low and bends Sonya back for the standing STO. She stands on Sonya’s hair, Paige protests, Alexa tags to Mickie. Mickie runs for the low boot!

Cover, TWO. Sonya powers Mickie to a corner an drams in shoulders. She runs out then back in but into Mickie’s boot, and into the mick-rana! Mickie hits Sonya with a Thesz press, then Mandy with a forearm. Sonya roundhouses Mickie down, covers, TWO. Paige coaches her team on as Mandy tags in. Sonya throws in body shots then Mandy throws in a kick. Mnady brings Mickie out for the standing abdominal stretch. Alexa cheers Mickie on while she endures the bend, Mickie slips out to snapmare Mandy away. Mandy kicks but misess, Mickie spins her around for the neckbraeker. Both women are down and a ten count begins. Paige distracts Alexa from the floor, Alexa argues with her, Sonya trips Alea off the apron! Mickie is too late to tag, Mandy pounces with the double underhook facebuster! Cover, Absolution wins! Their teamwork proves Alexa’s point, as does Paige sicking them on Mickie! Alexa returns to fight Absolution off, does this prove Alexa’s words of wanting to stand united against them?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter has come to San Jose, and as always, plays his guitar for all to hear. He has one question, the same question as always, “Who Wants to Walk With Elias?!” San Jose gives a “pathetic” response. The best thing about this city is that it’s just an hour away from a real city like San Francisco. Well no, every city in California is “a toxic dump.” Must Elias remind everyone that he is the man who defeated John Cena AND Braun Strowman at the same time, and made himself the “odds on favorite” to win the Elimination Chamber? Elias vows to win and go on to Wrestlemania. Then everyone will know what the WWE Universe knows, WWE means “Walk With Elias!” A much better response this time, Elias likes that. Elias also likes the sound of his own voice. He has come with a new song, The Elimination Chamber Blues. Please silence phones, hold applause and shut mouths while he performs. “Six men enter~, but really only one-” The fans’ booing disrupts him. “If that’s how you’re gonna be then I’m not gonna sing.” The fans like the sound of that even better! Elias keeps going, though, he’s already all warmed up. “It ain’t gonna be the Big Dog, because nobody believes. As for The Miz, he should watch his step. Maybe just stick to Miz TV. Remember those songs I wrote, Miz? Those weren’t for you, those were for Maryse!” He smashed JOhn Cena with a guitar, “the only thing he can’t see, is that the future is right here.” Then there’s Braun Strowman, “I get it, raise your hands, say a name but, I’m gonna douse your dreams in gasoline and watch them go up in flames.” But Jojo announces “Ladies and Gentlemen: Braun Strowman.”

Strowman has his OWN spotlight and microphone!? Elias isn’t sure what the Monster Among Men has planned, until he presents a cello to play as a guitar. Strowman strums but ends up breaking it. “Well Elias says he’s gonna win~. But we all know that that ain’t true. You look at me, boy, when I’m singing, cuz I’m not finished with you!” Elias gets worried, “but when this song’s over, you’re gonna get these hands~!” The fans chant “Get these hands!” Strowman broke the instrument so “there’s only one thing left I can do with it.” The Monster Among Men shoulders the “bass”, and brings it to the ring!

Elias gets ready with his musical weapon, but then says to “settle this like men.” They’ll put the weapons down, and have a fair fight. He puts the guitar down, Strowman puts the cello down, and the two meet in the ring, Elias blindsiding Strowman! However, he goes back to his guitar, only for Strowman to intercept him. Strowman clubs Elias right down! Then he pick shim back up, for the monstrous powerslam! Strowman roars victoriously, will it even matter that Elias goes in last if Strowman is still in the Chamber?

Elias tries to crawl away, but Strowman exits the ring. He looks at his cello, and picks it back up! Strowman stalks Elias up the ramp and to the stage. The fans want to see it, Strowman smashes Elias with the cello!!

Forget Elias, does anyone stand a chance in the Chamber with Strowman in the match?

 

Finn Balor speaks.

Hardy wants to DELETE him, Bray wants to eat him? Apollo wants to prove “Crews Can’t Lose” and Rollins wants to be The Man. Balor doesn’t care what they want, he wants to use his second chance to enter and win the Elimination Chamber match. Then he can get what he wants: what he never lost; the Universal Championship!

 

Sheaums w/ Cesaro VS Roman Reigns!

The Celtic Gladiator and Swiss Cyborg feel pretty good about still being Raw Tag Team Champions, despite the minor controversy of Jason Jordan’s interference. However, to get even for his Shield Brother, The Big Dog looks to drag Sheamus into His Yard. Can Roman use the tag team champion as a way to gain momentum before the Elimination Chamber match?

The bell rings and Roman makes sure Cesaro stays back. He circles with Sheamus then ties up. Sheamus pushes but Roman pushes him back into a corner. They break cleanly, then circle and tie up again. Sheamus gets the wristlock, the arm wrench, but Roman reverses to his own hammerlock. Sheamus gets to the ropes and they break again, but Roman teases the Mohawk. They go again, Roman gets the waistlock but Sheamus elbows out. Sheamus backs Roman into a corner with body shots, then rocks him with a European Uppercut and a headbutt. Roman hits back, bumping Sheamus off buckles and then whipping him corner to corner. Sheamus reverses but Roman fires out with a clothesline. The Bar regroups on the outside, Cesaro coaching up “Sheamy.”

Sheamus returns but Roman rocks him with right hands and then clotheslines him back outside. Cesaro helps Sheamus regroup again while the fans duel “Let’s go Roman!” “Roman sucks!” Sheamus drags Roman out and throws hands on the outside before bumping Roman off the apron. Roman keeps himself from going into the post then slings Sheamus into barriers! He bounces Sheamus off the apron in return, then throws him into more barriers. The fans cheer while Roman refreshes the count. He has to back Cesaro down, Sheamus takes advantage with the rolling senton!

The Celtic Gladiator has control while we go to break.

Raw returns, and Sheamus keeps Roman down with a keylock. The fans make noise but Cesaro doesn’t want to hear the random “Rusev Day!” chants. Sheamus wants them to “Respect the ‘Hawk!” Roman works his way up but Sheamus knees him back down. The fans tell Sheamus “You Look Stupid!” which upsets him, but Roman makes it worse with haymakers. Roman breaks free and starts rallying with lariats. He whips but Sheamus reverses, Roman runs Sheamus over with one more lariat. Roman runs at Sheamus in a corner but gets a big boot before being thrown right into the post. Then Sheamus adds the Irish Curse backbreaker, cover, TWO! Sheamus keeps going, stomping Roman in the stomach and tying up the legs in the Cloverleaf! Roman endures the bend while fans make noise both ways. Roman pushes himself up and reaches but Sheamus drags him away. Sheamus slips out of the hold, Roman shoves him then gets the Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO! Cesaro is relieved, but also coaches Sheamus to get back into this. Sheamus and Roman stir, the fans start firing up for Roman. He gets to a corner, locks and loads, then runs…

into White Noise! Cover, TWO! Sheamus is shocked, Cesaro protests. Cesaro gets Sheamus to stay focused, and Sheamus gets himself to a corner. Sheamus fires himself up, “FELLAAA!” He beats his chest a she takes aim at Roman, runs out, into a  SUPERMAN PUNCH! TWO! Cesaro is relieved again while Roman is a bit surprised. Roman gets up, lets out his howl, then runs in, to a foot! Sheamus runs out, but is picked up for the sit-out powerbomb! TWO! Both men are down from exhaustion, but Cesaro coaches Sheamus up. The fans keep cheering Roman on, and Roman gets up again. He fires up as he takes aim again, but Cesaro distracts from the apron. Sheamus rolls, TWO! Bicycle knee! Cover, TWO! Sheamus is furious with Roman’s resiliency.

He shoves Roman out of the ring, then distracts the ref for Cesaro to run in, but Cesaro is tossed into the crowd! Then SUPERMAN PUNCH brings Cesaro down! Sheamus rams a shoulder, but then Roman reverses a whip to send Sheamus into a post! Roman runs in for the Drive-By, but is intercepted by a lariat! Sheamus puts Roman in the ring then climbs up top. He takes aim, flying– SPEAR!! Cover, Roman wins! The Big Dog toughed it out with the Celtic Gladiator, can he show this same resiliency inside the Elimination Chamber?

 

Raw announces the newest Hall of Fame inductee: Ivory!

Starting in GLOW, Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, the California grown superwoman would come to the WWE and help revolutionize the Women’s Division! Unfortunately, her triumph went to her head, and attempted to straighten out the WWE with her Right to Censor faction. She took on other great women wrestlers, such as Lita, Trish Stratus and even the Ninth Wonder of the World, Chyna! Whichever form of Ivory fans liked most, everyone can agree she belongs in the HoF Class of 2018!

 

Elimination Chamber Qualifying Fatal 5 Way: Finn Balor VS WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Apollo Crews w/ Titus Worldwide VS Bray Wyatt VS Seth Rollins!

The Architect joins four other superstars who are receiving a second chance at entering the Universal Championship #1 Contenders match. Which man will rise above the others to then attempt another overcoming of odds?

Raw returns with this match already red hot. Hardy and Bray brawl on an apron while Rollins stalks Crews around a corner. Bray clubs Hardy into the apron while Crews ditches Rollins. Crews bumps Bray off to then hit an asai moonsault!

Balor returns but gets a mule kick and a boot! Rollins returns but gets the jumping lariat! Crews kip-ups and fires up as he runs at Balor. Balor puts him on the apron for the swing kick. Rollins gets up but Balor rallies with forearms on him. Takedown and double stomp! Bray returns, Balor gets him with the elbow drop DDT, Hardy breaks the cover. Hardy forearms Balor and whips him but Balor elbows him away. Balor climbs but Hardy stops him. Hardy drags Balor out in a crucifix, but Rollins SUPERKICKS that down. Balor unloads on Rollins but Rollins runs, into the Slingblade! Balor runs corner to corner but into a SUPERKICK! Rollins sees Bray and evades, but still gets the body check! Bray fires up and drags Rollins to his feet. He prepares Sister Abigail but Rollins rolls through, TWO! SUPERKICK! Cover, Balor barely breaks it in time. Rollins throws Balor back out, then keeps Hardy out before returning to Bray. He scrambles to a corner and the top rope, but Crews returns to rock him with a right. Crews climbs up to join Rollins, then Hardy joins in. Balor does, too, and they prepare a Tower of Doom, but Bray returns to break it all up with another body check. Bray throws Balor out, then throws hands on Hardy. He throws Crews away and drags Rollins out for the draping shoulder jawbreaker!  Crews runs back in, but into the yurinagi and back senton!

TWO! Bray simply grins and laughs while we go to break.

Raw returns again, Bray clobbers Balor in a corner then fires fans up with his creepy spider walk. But Hardy says “WONDERFUL~!” and applauds. Bray is taken off his game while Hardy and the fans give him an ovation. He runs but into Hardy’s haymakers and forearms, then the DELETE buckle bumps. Hardy runs in for the clothesline but Bray powers out, only to end up in the Side Effect! Balor returns, and he gets a Side Effect, too!

Hardy hops up and takes aim, elbow to Bray’s head. He continues the “DELETE! DELETE!” and goes for the Twist, but Rollins hits the flying clothesline! Rollins chops and punches Bray into a corner, then whips corner to corner but is reversed. Bray runs but is booted away, as is Crews. Rollins hops up, double blockbuster! The fans fire up while Rollins sees that Wrestlemania sign. He runs, DIVES on Balor! Then he DIVES on Hardy! Then he DIVES on Bray! The Architect gets back in the ring with Crews, runs in corner to corner for the forearm smash, then right into the suplex roll-through Falcon arrow! Cover, TWO, and Titus is relieved. Crews and Rollins are down inside the ring while the others are all down on the outside. Titus rallies the fans, Crews and Rollins stand up. Crews elbows Rollins away but then Rollins knees Crews out. Bray returns, gets an enziguri! Rollins runs, but into the turn-around lariat! Bray covers, TWO, while Balor blasts Hardy and Crews on the outside. Balor gets back into the ring and slingblade on Bray! Blasting dropkick puts Bray in the corner. Balor climbs up top, takes aim but Rollins springs up to join him! They fight each other, but Rollins clubs Balor down. He Phoenix Splashes but rolls through when Bray evade.s Sister- no, Twist of Fate! Cover, Coup De Grace to break it! CURB STOMP!!

But Crews breaks the pin! Everyone is down again and the fans are loving it! “This is Awesome!” Crews and Rollins stir while Balor gets to the apron. The fans rally while Crews fires off shots, but then Rollins responds. Rollins forearms away on Crews like mad, then runs, but into a trophy lift! He slips out but Crews still gets him, Fall Away Drop to Standing Moonsault! TWO! Titus can’t believe how close Crews was. The others are all still down, so time is of the essence. Crews brings Rollins up, but Rollins resists and fights back. Wristlock reel out but enziguri counter! Standing shooting star, cover, TWO! Titus coaches Crews on, and Crews positions Rollins before climbing up top. Hardy returns to go after him, climbing up to join him. Crews resists, but Hardy clobbers him down to try again. Crews keeps fighting, and Bray brings Hardy all the way down for SISTER ABIGAIL on the ground!

Bray laughs before reentering the ring and going after Crews. He turns Crews around and rock shim with an uppercut before climbing up. Balor and Rollins revive to go over, and TOWER OF DOOM!! Both Balor and Rollins cover Bray, double three-count!? They both win?!

But, there’s only one spot in the Chamber, they can’t both go. And once both of them realize what happened, they’re arguing their point. The referee explains he saw them both pin Bray, so who the heck won!?

WWE Facebook has video of Angle meeting with Rollins & Balor!

Kurt Angle addresses Raw's controversial main event

WWE Raw GM Kurt Angle has a solution following the end of the #Fatal5Way match! #WWEChamber

Posted by WWE on Monday, February 12, 2018

Yes, you heard right! Angle makes this Men’s Elimination Chamber truly historic by making it a SEVEN MAN match! Both The Architect and the Extraordinary Man join the Hollywood A-Lister, the Cenation, the Monster Among Men, The Big Dog and The Drifter in the Universal Championship #1 Contenders match! With the odds of the match growing even steeper, who will overcome and move on to face the Beast at Wrestlemania?!

 

My Thoughts:

What a fast-paced and entertaining Raw! Probably because it was more match and substance than promos and scripted attempts at building characters. Cena opens but gets right into a promo fight with Miz that leads to a match that actually impacts the Elimination Chamber match. Cena-Miz here tonight was incredible, championship/PPV worthy given the stakes. Miz losing isn’t even that bad, he can show how tough and intelligent he is by lasting a long time. And you may think, “What’s the point of making someone start first? Someone else will start with them.” But that in itself is the point: someone else starts with Miz, but that person could be anyone. Miz must be one of the first two to start the match, meaning he must survive them all to win. Then Revival VS Club was also great, and the back and forth in the wins and losses creates an evenly matched feud that helps build both teams up in the Raw Tag Team Division. The Bar doesn’t have challengers right now, but I imagine one or both of these teams could challenge them at Elimination Chamber or at Wrestlemania. And speaking of The Bar, Sheamus VS Roman was another solid match to keep Roman looking strong, as we can all tell he’s still the favorite for challenging Lesnar at ‘Mania.

The Raw Women’s Division moments were great, too. Sasha VS Bayley was amazing, on par with their instant classics from back in NXT, right down to Sasha being the all-but-stated Heel throughout. Even Nia attacking them both after was great, because Nia wants everyone to respect her. The fans already love her, but I still don’t think she’ll break Asuka’s Streak at Chamber, that’s something that should happen at ‘Mania, but maybe not this year’s ‘Mania. Meanwhile, Mickie rightfully questions Alexa’s motives, but they also rightfully keep it together as a team against Absolution. Absolution wins to further Alexa’s point, and to make the duo of Sonya & Mandy a strong alliance. The inaugural Women’s Chamber match could go anyone’s way but it’d be quite the pleasant surprise if Alexa lost to Sasha or Bayley so that they can fight over the belt on the Road to Wrestlemania.

Then there is THE major development in the Men’s Elimination Chamber match with the surprise Fatal 5 Way. Everyone was great it in, everyone got their moments, but then the finish was unexpected yet (in my opinion) spectacular. Balor and Rollins, the two men that first fought over the Universal Championship, both get a pinfall and though the televised version ends with controversy and confusion, WWE uses social media to sort it out. I’m thinking for this first ever Seven Man Elimination Chamber match, perhaps instead of two men starting it’ll be three so that Miz will have to use his two opponents against each other. If Roman winning is a foregone conclusion then there’s no point in complaining about the result, I just personally hope Balor lasts right up until the end.

My Score: 8.8/10


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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Report! (7/18/18)

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Who will challenge the Queen of Spades for her NXT Women's title?

The EST goes down with injury, so the odds go up for Mrs. Wrestling, the Pirate Princess and the Loony Lass to win and challenge the NXT Women’s Champion!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Dakota Kai VS Lacey Evans; Lacey wins.
  • Kassius Ohno VS Rick Ramirez; Ohno wins.
  • NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Triple Threat: Candice LeRae VS Nikki Cross VS Kairi Sane; Kairi wins and will challenge Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV.

PLAY BY PLAY

Dakota Kai VS Lacey Evans!

The Captain of Team Kick has gotten over her fear, but that doesn’t mean she’s gotten past being looked down on. Will the Lady of NXT use her Woman’s Right to knock Dakota out of the Women’s Division? Or will Dakota kick Lacey to the curb?

The bell rings and Lacey starts by mocking Dakota’s kicks. She then pie-faces Dakota, so Dakota trips her up and jackknife covers. ONE but Dakota throws Lacey around with arm-drags. Dakota runs and dropkicks Lacey, then whips her into a corner. Lacey reverses but Dakota goes up and over to then slip up and around for a roll up. TWO, but Dakota keeps on Lacey with a snapmare and kick! Dakota runs, for another kick! Cover, TWO! Lacey flounders to a corner but Dakota takes aim. Dakota runs Around the World, but misses! Lacey retaliates with her own kick, then sets Dakota up in the Tree of Woe. She ties Dakota in with the tag rope! Dakota is trapped but Lacey backs off at 4, to come back with the swinging bronco buster. Dakota is freed but Lacey mocks her while she’s on the mat.

Lacey watches Dakota crawl to ropes, then says “What’re you gonna do? Nothing.” Dakota stands while Lacey mocks the kicks. Lacey throws Dakota down to stomp her out. Fans boo and jeer as the Model Soldier covers. TWO, and Lacey gets frustrated. Lacey drops knees into Dakota’s back, then pulls her up by her hair. The ref reprimands her, and Dakota kicks back. Dakota rolls Lacey, TWO. Dakota kicks but Lacey blocks, takedown and gut punch! Lacey yanks Dakota around for an elbow drop. She keeps on that leg with a deathlock, then pulls on Dakota’s head and neck. Lacey pulls Dakota back, then slaps her on the side. Dakota endures while fans rally up. Lacey grimaces, then grinds her chin into Dakota’s head for added attack. She switches to her forearm across Dakota’s face, but stops at 4. Fans keep rallying for Dakota, and Dakota pries her way out.

Lacey comes back with a kick, then grinds Dakota back down in the arm-half of a surfboard. She grinds Dakota into the mat, then drops knee after knee into the back. Dakota refuses to quit, and fans rally up again. Dakota fights her way out with her legs, but Lacey pulls harder with full extension of her leg. Lacey uses both feet, but Dakota stands up to make it a cover! TWO, and Lacey kicks away on Dakota’s back. Dakota endures the stretching and bending, so Lacey just slingshots her down. Lacey sits for a cover, TWO. She drags Dakota up, then over to ropes to give her a knee and a sweep. Lacey slingshots out for more stomps. She literally walks all over Dakota, then salutes herself. Dakota rolls in but Lacey slingshots for the elbow drop.

Cover, TWO! Lacey grows further frustrated, and makes Dakota pay for it with stomps. Lacey climbs up, but her moonsault flops! Dakota grits her teeth and drags herself up. Fans fire up for her as she aims at Lacey. Lacey hits hard with that body shot, but Dakota kicks and kicks and kicks back! Dakota takes aim as Lacey crawls away. Kiwi Around the World! Then ANOTHER! Dakota scrapes her foot on Lacey’s face over and over, then gives the boot wash! Cover, TWO!!

Lacey makes sure her jaw is still there, but Dakota is on her again. Dakota’s kick misses, and Lacey pumphandles to a scoop slam! Lacey can’t cover, because her face hurts too much. Dakota slowly stirs while Lacey drags herself back up. Fans fire up again, and Dakota scorpion kicks! Dakota runs but into a drop toehold. Lacey grabs the leg and ducks the enziguri to hit the Woman’s Right! Cover, Lacey wins!

Winner: Lacey Evans, by pinfall

That’s all it takes for things to go the Model Soldier’s way. Then she gets in Dakota’s face, shouting “You will NEVER be a lady! I AM a lady!” Lacey wins big, but with the contenders match tonight, how long will she have to wait for her chance at the NXT Women’s Championship?

 

Backstage interview with Ricochet.

The One and Only lost to the Undisputed Era a couple weeks ago in a Six Man Tag with Mustache Mountain. Mustache Mountain then lost to the Undisputed Era 2v2 with the NXT Tag Team Championships on the line. Ricochet speaks up there. It’s no secret he doesn’t like the Undisputed Era, but he knows they’re still fighting champions and will defend those belts again. In fact, the Undisputed Era loves to do just that. Except for Adam Cole, who barely defends his North American Championship. Ricochet was this close to being the NAC, but Cole stole it out from under him. Cole hides behind his title and his team, everyone knows it. But Ricochet will not stop until he gets 1v1 with Cole, and then you’ll see the next NXT North American Champion.

 

The Street Profits return!

And they return home, too. They ball on the court. “You dust yourself off, you get back up.” That’s how Deangelo Dawkins & Montez Ford do. They’re motivated by what The Mighty did to them the last time they faced off. They won’t fall for those tricks again. The #CurseofGreatness is on its way back, will they give Shane Thorne & Nick Miller the payback they deserve?

 

NXT Media catches up with EC3.

The Top One Percent made his entrance just as Velveteen Dream was celebrating a win, what was that about? Just a “non-friendly reminder” that EC3 isn’t about to forget the betrayal at the Royal Albert Hall tag match against Ricochet & Aleister Black. It also means EC3 is always watching. A fan wants a selfie, EC3 is nice enough to give it to him. EC3 gets a compliment and gives a compliment back. He even gives away a free EC3 t-shirt, just like the one on sale at the WWE Shop! EC3 doesn’t need this guy’s money, he’s already rich.

But then The Finest, Kona Reeves, comes along. He admits that random “dirtbag” is right, EC3 has a really nice outfit. Custom? Yes. Of course, yes. But it’s not The Finest. But that watch, sick watch. Just not The Finest. And that tan, that’s real good. Though, Kona’s is all natural. Yes, okay, we get it, it’s not The Finest. But look at him with those glasses covering up those “dead, creepy eyes” while wearing the buy-one-get-one suit, and is that cubic zirconium? How many arcade tickets did it take to get that chain? If Kona is gonna banter, bring your “A” Game or else EC3 will chew you up, spit you out and feed you to his cats! Do you understand him?

The Finest should just fight the Top One Percent. Do it, fight him. Fight him, fight him. Kona doesn’t want to. Yeah, because he knows he’d get a Top One Percent beating! EC3 leaves The Finest behind, but only now does Kona man up. Kona was thinking they’d be the Finest Friends, but now they’re worst enemies. Who will put their money where their mouth is with a win?

 

NXT takes a look at Aleister VS Ciampa.

The Embodiment of the End makes his opponents #FadeToBlack, but the Psycho Killer has darkness in his heart. The champion defeated the Leviathan the same night Ciampa brutalized and cheated his former friend out of victory. “And now you have something that I want.” Aleister believes how you deal with adversity is what makes you a champion. Ciampa believes that in Aleister’s case, the belt makes the man. Ciampa got to main event two TakeOvers in a row, but wants the “boy” to be careful waht he says. He then took his shot with a sneak attack and draping DDT.

Aleister says that Ciampa may see himself as a devil, but Ciampa knows nothing of the devil on Aleister’s back. Ciampa brushes that off as smoke and mirrors. He promises to snuff out the mystique like a candle. Aleister tells Ciampa he’s lost and confused, but Ciampa has his path to the title. Whose darkness will envelope the other to take the NXT Championship for their own?

 

Kassius Ohno VS Rick Ramirez!

The Knockout Artist returns! He hasn’t had the best string of matches lately, but that won’t slow him down. Will he get back on track tonight against an impressive looking prospect?

The bell rings and fans are behind Ohno as he approaches Rick. They circle, and Rick gets a waistlock. Ohno standing switches and tosses Rick down. Ohno barrels in with the discus! Cover, Ohno wins!

Winner: Kassius Ohno, by pinfall

That was fast! Ohno looms over Rick, as if he didn’t want to do what he just did to the younger wrestler. Will this be the first of many wins that help Ohno get back towards the NXT Championship?

 

The Undisputed Era speaks.

The NXT Tag Team Championships are back where they belong. Was there any doubt. Just look at them! North American, Tag Team and Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, they might as well be champions of the world! The loss to Seven and Bate no longer counts. Cole asks if they want to hear a joke. Sure. “Ricochet.” He talks smack about being so close to being a champion. “This close, this close”, who talks like that? They don’t speak loser. Cole is a champion and Ricochet isn’t. But Cole is a fighting champion, because when you anger the Undisputed Era, you’ll regret it. Ricochet needs to back off before he gets hurt. And that’s Undisputed. Will Cole keep Ricochet frozen out of the North American Championship scene? Or will GM William Regal have something to say about it?

 

NXT looks at the 21st century Vikings, the War Raiders.

Hanson & Rowe have come, and “the raid has begun.” Their warpath has already steamrolled Heavy Machinery and made The Mighty fall. “There’s no secrets, there’s no tricks, it’s the same story everywhere we go!” From Japan to Mexico to the UK and all over the United States, they’ve been tag team champions. Back in 2014, they were on opposite sides of a tournament. They were in the business 10 years each before this, without ever meeting, but in that first encounter, they “beat the snot” out of each other. There is no respect greater. And then they thought, what if they took that fight to everyone else? And thus, one of the most powerful tag teams was born!

This alliance changed their lives forever. Through blood, sweat and tears, respect was earned around the world. Rowe & Hanson shocked, destroyed, and dominated ever since. Their inspiration was the Viking culture that took what they wanted when they wanted. They embodied that in every promotion they ever competed in, and there’s no one on Earth who can stop them. In fact, it was only a motor cycle wreck that could’ve ended Rowe’s life that stopped them. His arm was rebuilt, and he overcame fear. With that behind them, no one can overcome these two. They bring that same spirit to NXT now, and defy expectations. Rowe has strength beyond his size, while Hanson has agility beyond his. They’ve earned the right to raid NXT’s Tag Team Division, and they’ve only just begun. “We take gold, we break EVERYONE!” The war is here, who can hope to survive?

 

Velveteen Dream sets the scene.

The Experience hears it. He hears the people buzzing about what the next experience will be. TakeOver: War Games, the people and Aleister Black said his name. Philadelphia, Dream had a knockout performance. New Orleans, the Dream rose to unimaginable heights. Chicago, a MOTY candidate to say the least. And come Brooklyn, the spotlight will still shine on Dream.

 

NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Triple Threat: Candice LeRae VS Nikki Cross VS Kairi Sane!

This was meant to be a Fatal 4 Way, but Bianca Belair is unfortunately not medically cleared to compete. Her bad luck becomes good luck for the other three, who go from having a 25% chance to a 33% chance of winning. Will it be a rematch between The Queen of Spades and Mrs. Wrestling, the Loony Lass of SAnitY, or the Pirate Princess?

Nikki is rocking in a corner while fans cheer her on. But then Shayna Baszler makes her presence known, and Nikki smiles with wild eyes. Nikki waves at Shayna as the champion joins commentary. The bell rings and we begin.

Kairi and Candice aren’t sure what to make of Nikki, but then she blasts out of the corner at the two of them! Candice sends her into Kairi then rolls Nikki up, TWO. Kairi rolls Candice, TWO and Nikki rolls Kairi. TWO, and Candice throws Nikki with an arm-drag. Kairi arm-drags Candice, but then Nikki runs in again and crossbodies Kairi! Candice runs in but Nikki puts her on the apron. Candice hits Nikki away, but then Kairi runs in, and Nikki sends her into Candice! Kairi dodges Nikki to give double chops while fans duel between all three of them. Kairi keeps on Nikki in a corner, chop after chop after chop, then she runs in. Nikki dodges Sliding D to swing Kairi sideways! Kairi hits the post, and Nikki grins.

Candice gets back in the ring, builds speed, and DIVES on Nikki! Nikki seemed to welcome that. But Candice isn’t done, she builds speed again, but runs into Nikki’s elbow! Nikki puts Candice under the apron skirt and–after snuggling up to her like a kitten–clubs away on Candice’s back! Shayna says she doesn’t care who wins, she’s beaten all of them at least once. Nikki rams Candice off the apron while fans duel again. Nikki thrashes and grinds Candice into the mat, then hooks the nose. Cover, TWO, but Nikki keeps on Candice with a Rings of Saturn! Candice rolls but ends up in a crucifix, TWO!

Nikki puts Candice on the top rope and into a Tree of Woe for manic mudhole stomps! Kairi comes in and SPEARS Nikki! But Kairi goes after Candice with the Woe Stomps! Cover, TWO! Kairi keeps on Candice with the Anchor Lock! She bridges back and bends Candice, but Nikki breaks it up. Nikki hops on Kairi with a psycho sleeper hold, but Candice dropkicks them both down! Candice crawls after Nikki and chops away. She fires off furious htis from both sides, then runs in for a back elbow. She CANNONBALLS onto Kairi! Candice drags Kairi up while fans chant “NXT! NXT!” Nikki goes after Candice on the outside, for an inverted DDT on the ramp! Candice hits steel, and Nikki crawls away, only for Kairi to hit a flying kabuki elbow! “This is Awesome!” but Shayna is not amused.

Kairi stands first, all fired up, and she puts Nikki in the ring. Kairi prepares that elbow as she climbs up top. Nikki hits Kairi first, then climbs up to fight her on the top rope. Kairi fights back, but Candice returns to add on! TOWER OF DOOM!!

All three women are down but the fans are fired up to a fever pitch. Kairi gets to ropes while Nikki and Candice slowly sit up. Candice hits Nikki, but Nikki hits back. Kairi comes over while those two brawl, and then joins in with her own forearms. Nikki hits Kairi, but Candice hits Nikki. Nikki hits back but Kairi does, too. They all stand, Candice ducks and sends Nikki at Kairi. Candice enziguris Nikki, but Kairi backhands Candice! Kairi goes at Nikki but Nikki headbutts. Candice grabs them both, DDT and Complete Shot, 2-for-1! Candice springboards, LIONSAULT! Cover, but Nikki drags her off by the hair! Nikki gives Candice a draping, swinging neckbreaker!! Candice hits the floor while Nikki fires up.

Nikki goes at Kairi in the ring, but she takes her time letting the madness take over. She drags Kairi up, and hits a back suplex. She drags Kairi up again, for another! Then another! Nikki gets a hat trick but she’s not done yet. She grins as she drags Kairi up one more time. Nikki has the fisherman, but decides to up the ante! They go to the top rope again, but Candice crawls back in. Nikki stomps Candice then drags her up, small package! TWO! Nikki kicks but is blocked into the Unprettier! LIONSAULT! INSANE ELBOW! KAIRI WINS OUTTA NOWHERE!!!

Winner: Kairi Sane, by pinfall; challenges Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV

The Mae Young Classic finals are revisited once more, as this will be the tiebreaker between Pirate Princess and Queen of Spades. This rematch will mean so much more with the title on the line, who finishes the series with the gold?

 


 

My Thoughts:

What a great NXT! Not much time was wasted getting to the opening match, and it was really good. Lacey has really improved during her time as this Lady of NXT character, and she gets a surprising win over Dakota. As said earlier, Lacey will have to wait a bit before challenging the NXT Women’s Champion, but she will definitely reach that some day. Dakota will, too, even though she’s currently jobber to the stars. Good promos from Ricochet and the Undisputed Era, as well as videos from the Street Profits, EC3 and Kona Reeves. I am so excited EC3 is going to face Kona and more certainly beating him, in both the ring and in gimmick.

That War Machine/Raiders video package was great, and it drives home the point that those two are aimed right at the NXT Tag Team Championships. That makes for more great ROH-in-NXT action that will certainly please the fans. Ohno surprises with that extra fast squash of “Rick Ramirez” who has Rayne on his pants. I wouldn’t mind if this leads to either an edgier or even full Heel Ohno, he needs something that either brings him up to title contention or finally to main roster. The Aleister-Ciampa package was also great, as was Dream’s stylized video promo. The NXT Championship match is going to be great, as will Dream VS anyone in Brooklyn. Then the Women’s Triple Threat was incredible, and just when I thought Candice was getting her shot, Kairi literally comes in outta nowhere. Shayna VS Kairi 3 is going to be great and can go either way.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Report! (7/17/18)

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Can the Man of the Hour overcome a former Cruiserweight Champion?

Akira Tozawa is a former Cruiserweight Champion, but can he keep up with the ultra-fast Man of the Hour, Lio Rush, in their first-ever encounter?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • TJP VS Noam Dar; TJP wins.
  • Drew Gulak w/ Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick VS Danny Garcia; Gulak wins.
  • Akira Tozawa VS Lio Rush; Rush wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Drake Maverick reviews last week’s Cruiserweight Championship match.

The Japanese legend, Hideo Itami, put up a fight against the #AgeOfAlexander, but the Soul of 205 Live was tougher than even Itami expected. But not one to rest on his laurels or take it easy on himself, Cedric Alexander wants yet another challenger on this road to Summerslam. GM Maverick promises to address the state of the Cruiserweight Championship before the night is through. Who will Maverick choose to put before the champion as summer heats up?

Meanwhile, conflict is settled in the ring as the 23 Year Old Piece of Gold gets to main event against the Stamina Monster. Is the Man of the Hour ready for prime time as he goes up against a former champion? Though, Lio wonders what has Akira done lately? And before all of this, we open with the “Cruiser-Great” taking on the returning Scottish Supernova in a rematch from that surprisingly quick defeat a couple weeks ago! Can TJP get back the loss Noam Dar gave him? Or will Dar make it a quick 2-0 on the FilAm Flash?

 

TJP VS Noam Dar!

As he makes his way out to the ring, the inaugural (New Era) Cruiserweight Champion speaks to Wilkes-Barre. “What a treat!” Maverick lets TJP know who his opponent is beforehand. He’s feeling so spoiled getting his entrance music and ring gear of his choice, too! It’s like Christmas! Okay not really, because if it were, he’d be getting his chance at the title. Instead, he’s a “curtain jerker” in the “diaper storm” town of “Wilkes-Boring”. Do the people here admit they’re from here? Or do they pretend they’re from Philly? But TJP gives Dar credit for coming back from his knee injury. At least this match will be twice as handsome than TJP wrestling a local. But this comeback story will be just a comeback sentence. TJP is the one constant in this Division because he is still the best technical wrestler today. Dar makes his entrance, and we begin.

TJP rushes Dar but Dar sees it coming. Dar sweeps the legs out, then aims for his finisher, but TJP scrambles out of the ring. TJP takes his time recovering, but then Dar leaps in outta nowhere! Dar rocks TJP with a right, then a left. TJP is floundering as Dar puts him in the ring. Dar ducks and then tosses TJP, covers, TWO. Fans are behind Dar as he brings TJP up for another left. Dar whips TJP but TJP gose Spider-Man to then slide under and waistlock. Dar standing switches but TJP switches back. TJP trips up Dar but Dar resists. Dar pries free but TJP rolls Dar around for an armbar. Both men fight for control, and Dar slips free! He wants an STF but TJP gets the ropes.

Dar lets TJP go, but TJP gives him a kick. Dar rushes in but is sent into the ropes, then TJP springboards for the wrecking ball dropkick! TJP takes his time going over to Dar, then quickly runs him into buckles. TJP keeps going, throwing shoulders and elbows in the corner. He brings Dar up for a boot into Dar’s throat. Maverick watches backstage and disapproves of TJP’s attitude. TJP backs off at the ref’s count, but Dar comes back at him with a kick and a forearm. TJP European Uppercuts Dar down, then brings Dar up again. He scoop slams Dar fast, then slingshot sentons. Cover, TWO, but TJP keeps his cool.

Dar gets to a corner but TJP is on him again. TJP Northern Lights then rolls through to hammerlock an arm and go for more limbs. Dar resists, but TJP gets the other arm and pulls on it. Dar endures as TJP wrenches and pulls the wrist and fingers. He gets around with his legs for a ropebreak, and TJP lets him go again. TJP brings Dar up but Dar throws elbows from both sides. TJP gives Dar a swift elbow of his own, then whips Dar. Dar comes back with a backslide, TWO! And TJP goes for the armbar! Dar tries to get to ropes, so TJP changes it up with an Indian Deathlock. TJP grabs at arms to then shift into the hammerlock, and he YANKS on that opposite arm!

Dar writhes while TJP catches his breath. TJP drags Dar back up, then suplexes. That’s one amigo, and he makes the second amigo a back suplex. Cover, TWO, but TJP goes right at the legs. It’s another deathlock variation, and TJP grabs at Dar’s arms again. TJP wrenches Dar’s arm from elbow to wrist, but fans rally up for Dar. Dar fights out of the hold and small packages, TWO! Dar runs in but TJP goes up and over, only to miss his crossbody! TJP and Dar slowly stand up, but Dar runs into a boot. TJP goes up but Dar sweeps the legs again! Dar takes aim, and he fires off a throat chop, headbutt and EuroUpper to TJP! TJP gets to a corner, but Dar runs in with the back elbow and suplex! Cover, TWO!

Dar works to keep focus as fans rally up again. He drags TJP up, but TJP fireman’s carry! Dar slips out but TJP elbows back. TJP runs, but Dar sweeps the legs once again. TJP staggers up but ducks one lariat, only to get the other! Cover, TWO! Dar gets up again, he still wants that finishing kick. TJP sees it coming again and manages to roll out of the way. Dar walks over but gets caught into a small package! TWO! TJP fireman’s carry but Dar slips out again. Dar runs into a drop toehold that sends him into ropes. TJP goes for but misses the wrecking ball to get a basement dropkick from Dar! Dar fetches TJP on the outside, but TJP throws him into barriers.

TJP drags himself up to the apron but Dar is there quickly. Dar wants a suplex but TJP resists. TJP hops down and sweeps Dar’s leg! Dar clutches that leg, and fights TJP off. Dar crawls away but TJP gets back up and in. The referee checks on Dar, but TJP doesn’t care, he chop blocks the leg! TJP shows no mercy as he stomps away on the leg. He drags Dar up to throw him to the apron. TJP keeps stomping Dar, then Half Crabs him through the ropes! He lets go at 4, and Maverick still doesn’t approve. TJP gets back in the ring and stalks the crawling Dar. He stands on the bad leg to torture Dar, then puts on the Knee Bar! Dar taps, TJP wins!

Winner: TJP, by submission

The Cruiser-Great tortures Dar by holding on after the bell, but lets go so he can boast about the ring. His attitude may not be so great, but has TJP earned that big opportunity like he’s been demanding?

 

205 Live takes a closer look at Alexander VS Itami.

The Don from Nihon demands respect, whether he deserves it or not. The Soul of 205 Live worked way too hard for way too long to earn that Cruiserweight Championship. It wasn’t about what Itami thinks he deserves, but Alexander adding Itami’s legend to his own legacy. The best striker in the Cruiserweight Division gave Alexander’s body bruise after bruise, but the agility and aerial attacks evened the playing field. Itami was merciless with those hands and feet, but Alexander would not die. All it took was the right opening to hit the Lumbar Check for Alexander to win #AndStill be the Cruiserweight Champion. The Age of Alexander continues, who will be the next challenger added to the legacy?

 

Mustafa Ali speaks.

“They told me it was dangerous. They said it was impossible.” The Beacon of Light means the No Disqualification match he had with Buddy Murphy two weeks ago. Ali admits it was dangerous, but he didn’t quit. He found a way to win, because he was fighting for millions. Ali vows to fight all the way until he’s Cruiserweight Champion. How long and how hard will his fight to the top be?

 

Drew Gulak w/ Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick VS Danny Garcia!

If Alexander is the Soul and Ali is the Heart, then perhaps the Philly Stretcher is the Brain of 205 Live. The self-proclaimed best submission specialist in WWE today looks to build more momentum for his Ungentlemanly Alliance tonight. Will the smartest Cruiserweight in the room be named the next challenger to the title?

Kendrick gives Garcia a handshake hello before he and Gallagher exit the ring. The bell rings, and Gulak clobbers Garcia right away! Gulak drags Garcia up for a STIFF back suplex, then into the GuLOCK! Garcia fades, Gulak wins!

Winner: Drew Gulak, by submission

The best and most dangerous submission specialist proves his word tonight with a fast and furious finish. But Gulak isn’t done, as he wishes to speak.

“Well you can’t always get what you want, but if you try some time, you just might find, you get what you need.” Gulak isn’t a big fan of “the rock ‘n’ roll” but Mick Jagger had a point there. The 205 Live Universe has been subjected to two years of “unworthy champions. But not anymore!” They’ll have the champion they need in Drew Gulak. And speaking of, that Danny Garcia reminds him of Alexander. Not physically, but in spirit, because when you step to Gulak, you WILL tap out. Will Gulak grind the rest of the Cruiserweight Division into dust in his pursuit of giving us all a #Better205Live?

 

Backstage interview with Tony Nese & Buddy Murphy.

The Cruiserweight Juggernaut lost his cool with Lucha House Party spinning their matracas last week, and that cost the Premier Athlete his match. Murphy just doesn’t like losing, but the luchadors were the wrong guys in the wrong place at the wrong time. He doesn’t regret what he did, just that Nese didn’t get to properly showcase himself. Nese can defeat a former champion on Kalisto. And Kalisto knows better than anyone that he was going to lose. But Nese is willing to give Kalisto a chance to prove him wrong. In fact, next week can be a match where the teammates are left behind to settle this 1v1. Will Nese and his eight abs be enough to show the Lucha Dragon who is worthy of moving up the ranks?

 

Akira Tozawa VS Lio Rush!

The Man of the Hour told the Stamina Monster that, at least from his perspective, the former champion hasn’t done much since losing that belt. Of course, Tozawa pointed out Lio hasn’t done all that much in just showing up in the Cruiserweight Division, either. Who will make something of this first-ever encounter of high-speed superstars?

The bell rings and “AH! AH!” echoes out already. Lio admits, the people love Tozawa. He circles and approaches Tozawa, but then backs off. They feel things out, but Lio always keeps just out of reach. Tozawa keeps chasing, but Lio is just playing with him as he gets to the ropes. Lio then rushes and gets a headlock. Tozawa powers out but Lio goes up and over. Tozawa tries to trip him up but Lio sees it all just in time to change direction. Lio keeps things moving, then counters Tozawa’s whip with a springboard huricanrana! Lio grins at Tozawa while lounging on the top rope. Maverick watches this, too, and is slightly amused with Lio’s swagger. Tozawa rushes Lio but Lio bails out. Lio takes a breather but Tozawa chases him down!

They go around the ring and back in, but Tozawa dodges Lio now. Lio sunset flips but Tozawa rolls through, to Penalty Kick! Tozawa has Lio now as he hits the screaming back senton! Tozawa copies the lounging to show anything Lio can do, he can do better.

Lio runs in but gets a chop for it! Tozawa chops Lio again, then stalks him to the ropes. Lio throws Tozawa out then fires off hammering hands. The referee backs Lio off, but Lio handspring kicks Tozawa down! Lio wants time to recover, “Count him out!” Lio swaggers about in the ring, though his chest is still stinging. Tozawa gets up at 6 and in the ring at 8, but Lio is on him with more hammering hands. Lio toys with Tozawa as he stomps away in a corner. They look like Tozawa’s shouting stomps. Tozawa hits back with body shots, but Lio stomps Tozawa down again.

Lio grins as he says Tozawa’s done already. He drags Tozawa up, suplexes him down, then covers. ONE, but Lio just grins. Lio kicks Tozawa while he’s down, then drags him up. Tozawa hits back, and now it’s a brawl of forearms. Lio gets some in, but Tozawa hits back. Tozawa runs but Lio runs Tozawa over with an elbow! Lio drops an elbow, then another, taunting Tozawa every time. The fans “AH! AH!” for Tozawa but Lio wraps on a chinlock. Tozawa feeds off the “AH! AH!” and stands back up. Tozawa hits Lio but Lio hits back. They brawl again, hitting each other back and forth. Tozawa chops, chops, feints, then jabs! But Lio saw it coming! Lio fires off a strike fest, but his kick is blocked. Tozawa flips Lio but Lio lands on his feet, only to get that jab!

Tozawa kicks, swings, slides under, and hits the kick. Lio is rocked all the way out of the ring. Tozawa builds speed to DIVE! The Tozawa Torpedo hits Lio right into the desk! Then they go back in the ring. Lio flounders while Tozawa climbs, for a missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Tozawa is surprised by the young upstart, but he isn’t done. Fans rally up and Tozawa feeds off the energy. Lio crawls to a corner but Tozawa pursues. Tozawa brings Lio up but Lio kicks again. Tozawa catches the kick, but Lio SLAPS the mouth piece out of him! Lio runs in, but into a saido suplex! Tozawa climbs up, “AH! AH!” from the fans at a fever pitch.

But Lio gets out of the ring. Tozawa goes to dive again, but Lio ducks, so Tozawa aborts the launch. Tozawa pursues Lio directly, but Lio throws him at steps. Lio gets away while Tozawa stops himself. Tozawa grabs at Lio, rocking him with a right. Lio staggers, comes back, but misses the shoulder tackle to get a kick. Lio goes down, Tozawa goes up. But Lio trips Tozawa up! Tozawa hits buckles, and now Lio climbs. FINAL HOUR FROG SPLASH! Cover, Lio wins!!

Winner: Lio Rush, by pinfall

He came to collect, and collect he did! The Man of the Hour gets the upset victory to add a big name to his short undefeated streak in the Cruiserweight Division. Will Lio make the entire Division, and the Cruiserweight Champion, #FeelTheRush soon enough?

 

Drake Maverick meets with Cedric Alexander.

Everyone heard from the 205 Live GM that there would be answers as to who is next for the champion to face. So who is it? Maverick has thought it over all night. Just look at tonight’s show! The best talent in the WWE is right here in 205 Live. That said, Maverick has narrowed it down based on each man’s “overall body of work” in the Division. Therefore, next week, Drew Gulak VS Hideo Itami VS TJP VS Mustafa Ali, Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender’s match! Alexander likes the sound of that. May the best man win. Who will be that best man to best the other three and go on to face the Cruiserweight Champion?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A very good episode of 205 Live from top to bottom. TJP VS Dar was great with TJP showing off those technical skills again. I figured he’d get the win this week to even things with Dar. Dar is fine, because he’s still promised a United Kingdom Championship match, so the Cruiserweight Division isn’t as crucial for him right now. Ali has a great promo and Gulak makes quick work of his jobber. Learning that these three plus Itami will be in a Fatal 4 next week is great, because all four options make for a great match with Alexander. All four men have had a match or two with Alexander in the past, but I don’t doubt the possible rematches will be even better than the originals.

Buddy Murphy & Tony Nese already take an interesting turn in their teaming together as Nese insists he doesn’t need a corner man to face Kalisto. I would hope Murphy honors the agreement so that there isn’t reason for this duo to break up already. And whether Nese wins or loses, the muscular pals going against Lucha House Party in tag team matches should be good to bolster the idea of a Cruiserweight Tag Division. Though, if they get a third guy on their side, I’m starting to think it’ll be a Trios Division. Then the main event, Lio VS Tozawa, was very good for their first time out, but with neither man at the championship level yet, I expect a rematch to give this feud plenty of fire.

My Score: 8/10


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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (7/17/18)

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Will Hardy reclaim his title on SmackDown tonight?

After a low blow got Shinsuke Nakamura the win, SmackDown GM Paige wants to make it right by giving Jeff Hardy his rematch tonight! Will Hardy get revenge?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • AJ Styles VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Styles wins.
  • Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville; Becky wins.
  • Samoa Joe VS Tye Dillinger; Joe wins.
  • Kofi Kingston w/ The New Day VS Eric Young w/ SAnitY; Young wins.
  • WWE United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jeff Hardy; Hardy wins by disqualification, Nakamura retains the WWE Untied States Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

Jeff Hardy heads to the ring!

The Charismatic Engima is feeling very, very sore after Extreme Rules in Pittsburgh. He got beat, but not the way he or the WWE Universe would’ve wanted. The King of Strong Style made sure to get a quick low blow while the referee’s back was turned, then gave Hardy a #Knee2Face. Hardy lost his title, but gets a chance to win it back later tonight. But for right now, Hardy speaks to Wilkes-Barre, who is happy to see him.

“I may look like Jeff Hardy. I may make an entrance like Jeff Hardy and wear face paint like Jeff Hardy. But I do not feel like Jeff Hardy. I feel like something’s missing. I feel incomplete. My heart… is BROKEN!” Hardy isn’t United States Champion anymore after what Nakamura did to him. Nakamura continues to prove “he is the embodiment of moral turpitude.” That’s a fancy way of saying he’s just a jackass! Nakamura uses a low blow because that’s the only way he can win. Hardy wasn’t thinking clearly Sunday, but now he’s mega clear. And Hardy wants to make sure Nakamura feels pain, to make Nakamura OBSOLETE, and to take back the United States Championship! But until then, enjoy SmackDown! Hardy is ready for Nakamura, but what about Nakamura being ready for him?

Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.

His response to Hardy is “Jeff Hardy is a sad clown.” He wears the paint to hide his tears. Nakamura cries his own crocodile tears over Hardy losing his title, because now it’s Nakamura’s title! That is a reason to smile. Smile, Renee, smile. Okay… And tonight, Nakamura gives everyone a reason to smile. He’ll make the clown cry. God Bless America.

 

AJ Styles VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega!

SmackDown is STILL the House that AJ Styles Built, because The Phenomenal One is STILL WWE Champion after a stellar match with the Bulgarian Brute. But after an encounter with Vega backstage, the Champ that Runs the Camp is willing to give El Idolo a go in the ring. Will Almas shock Styles with a major upset victory? Or will Styles show Almas that he’s not quite phenomenal yet?

The bell rings and we begin. They tie up, and Almas gets a waistlock. Styles works to get out but Almas arm-drags Styles down. Almas eggs Styles on, and they circle again. Styles gets a waistlock now, but Almas pries his way out to a shoulder breaker and standing switch. Almas arm-drags Styles again and confidently dusts himself off. They go again, Styles gets another waistlock. Almas elbows out then puts on a headlock. Fans rally for Styles as he powers Almas to a corner. Almas dirties the break with that kick. Almas gets a headlock again, and Styles can’t power out. Styles rolls it, ONE, and Almas grinds Styles on the mat. They stand up again and Styles fights out. Styles pwoers out of the hold and things speed up. Almas Tranquilo while Styles goes for a dropkick. The mind games begin while we go picture i picture.

Almas stays on the apron to embrace the heat, but Styles gets him with a sweep of the legs. Styles throws Almas into barriers, then puts him back in the ring. Alma sis up and ready, and he gets Styles with the back elbow. Almas runs in for a knee into the corner, then covers. TWO, but Almas keeps his focus. He drags Styles up for a forearm that floors Styles. Almas stomps away as Vega commands. Styles chops back hard, but Almas throws more strikes into him. Almas whips corner to corner, but Styles dodges and Almas tumbles out! El Idolo hits the floor, but Styles hits him with a slingshot forearm! Almas checks his jaw while Styles drags him up. They go into the ring, and Styles brings Almas up. Almas kicks but Styles blocks to dragon screw! Almas rolls out but Styles follows.

Vega stands in Styles’ way, and Almas gets Styles with a sucker punch! Almas chops Styles, then walks off the damage before putting Styles in. Almas chops Styles more, then brings Styles up for an arm-lock. Styles endures while Vega coaches Styles on. Styles gets up, fights out with forearms, then gets Almas with a wheelbarrow facebuster! Both men are down and Vega is upset. Almas and Styles stir, then stand up. Styles throws hands while blocking Almas, then clobbers him as we go single picture. Sliding forearm! Then a corner clothesline! He lifts Almas but Almas dropkicks him down. Both men are down again, and Vega coaches Almas while fans are behind Styles. Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz, but Almas stops it short. Almas throws elbows from both sides, then turns Styles sideways for the draping backbreaker and elbow drop DDT! Cover, TWO!

Vega grows frustrated for Almas, but Almas keeps his cool. He stomps a mudhole into Styles, then throws more elbows. Almas hoists Styles up top but Styles throws hands back. Almas triangle dropkicks Styles! Then he dumps Styles down, preparing the knees. He runs corner to corner, but into the USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Styles is a bit surprised by Almas, but he gets up again. He brings Almas up for the Clash, but Almas powers Styles to the apron. Styles knocks Almas away, then springboards, but Almas disrupts it with an elbow! Almas gets over to Styles and positions him. He climbs up top while fans rally up for Styles. Almas moonsaults, but Styles rolls, standing moonsault follows through! Cover, TWO!! Vega is beside herself with how close that was.

Fans are fired up as both men slowly stand. Almas grabs Styles, but Styles slips out of the suplex to enziguri! Almas staggers to a corner, but he boots Styles back. He climbs up and drags Styles with him, but Styles PELE! Styles climbs up to join Almas, and quickly adjusts, but Almas trips him up. Tree of Woe STOMPS! Vega wants him to finish, CIEN KNEES!!

Cover, TWO!! Almas was that close to pinning the champ! But Almas refocuses as he brings Styles up. styles blocks the DDT, Calf Crusher! Almas taps, Styles wins!

Winner: AJ Styles, by submission

The Phenomenal One found a fight in El Idolo, but he finds a way to win out! Almas stands back up, but before Styles has a chance to respond, Almas and Vega leave. Is this just the first of many matches between these two? Who will step up to be Styles’ new #1 contender come Summerslam?

 

Aiden English meets with someone backstage.

MC Artiste apologizes. To Lana. She must be so angry with him for the mistake he made. That was Rusev’s moment, and English ruined it. So please, talk to Rusev for him. Lana confirms Rusev is angry and disappointed, but needs his space. Why did he come to Lana about an apology? English needs to think hard and long if he’s what’s best for Rusev. English says he’s always had Rusev’s best interests in heart. He owes so much to Rusev, so he just wants a second chance. Don’t we all deserve that? Lana will take that into consideration. Will an apology passed on through the Ravishing Russian be enough for Rusev to forgive English?

 

Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville!

The Lass Kicker defeated the Gladiator Gal last time, but can God’s Greatest Creation get even for the duo formerly known as Absolution?

The bell rings and Becky ties up with Mandy. Mandy gets the wristlock but Becky reverses to her own. Mandy gives Becky a right, then runs, but misses the knee. Becky kicks then whips, but Mandy reverses. Becky dodges for the jump kick. Sonya distracts but Becky swipes at her. Mandy runs in and blocks the second jump kick to yank Becky down. Mandy covers, TWO, and she’s shocked. She bounces Becky’s face off the mat, then puts Becky in a corner. Mandy gives Becky stomps, then embraces the heat. She drags Becky up and Becky fights back. Mandy clubs away on Becky, then suplexes her over. Float over to cover, TWO. Mandy drags Becky up and puts Becky in a standing chinbar. Fans rally for Becky as she fights her way out. Mandy whips her then dropkicks her, then hits the big knee! Cover, TWO!

Mandy keeps on Becky with heavy rights, then covers again. TWO, and Mandy grows frustrated. She drags Becky up, and back into that standing chinbar. Fans rally up again, and Becky pries her way out again. Mandy reels Becky in but Becky reverses to roll her up, TWO. Becky boots Mandy, then rolls Mandy up again, TWO. They run, and Becky hits double forearms and a calf kick. Becky fires up with the fans, and throws Mandy with a Becksploder! She grabs the arm, Disarm-Her right away! Mandy taps, Becky wins!

Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission

That’s another win and another arm taken, Becky gets an Absolution Sweep! Becky speaks to Wilkes-Barre and the WWE Universe, thanking them for their support. Winning feels good, it feels “freakin’ great!” Becky says she’s been waiting, patiently and impatiently, but has never stopped working as hard as she can for the fans. But this is her just getting started. Hear that, Carmella? Straight Fire is coming for you. Becky Balboa needs to become SmackDown Women’s Champion again! What do the fans think? “YES! YES!” With Becky burning up the competition like she has, will she be given a Summerslam championship opportunity?

 

SmackDown GM Paige likes what she sees.

Carmella is with her as they watch Becky. The WWE Universe cheered her, which Carmella doesn’t normally hear. They love Becky! Yeah well people love British accents, but Carmella just finds they give her a headache. Speaking of headaches, how is her boyfriend, James Ellsworth, doing? Ew, he’s not her boyfriend And she doesn’t care, so moving on. Carmella has beaten Carmella and Asuka twice, so she wants another FABULOUS Mellabration. Paige loves parties, and will throw the biggest party of all for her. If she wins against Becky Lynch next week. No, she’s not defending her title already. Don’t worry, it’s not for the title. But if Becky does win, then they’ll have a title match at Summerslam!

 

R-Truth checks in with Tye Dillinger.

Is he ready? Yeah, he’s good. C’mon, are you ready? Is this one of those motivational speeches? Tye doesn’t need it. Truth can’t hear you. Okay! Yes, Tye gets his shot at Samoa Joe. Good talk! Wait, no, Truth was talking to someone on the phone. He wouldn’t have told Tye to take on Joe! But the Perfect 10 is, next!

 

Samoa Joe VS Tye Dillinger!

The Perfect 10 got a perfect blindside from Samoa Joe while cameras were to commercials last week. The Destroyer doesn’t respect Tye much at all, but he’ll have to take this match now. Will Joe come to regret what he did? Or will he put Tye to sleep all over again?

The bell rings and Tye fires off furious hands and feet on Joe! He backs off at 4, and Joe gets out of the ring. Joe drags Tye out to join him but Tye shoves him to the announce desk. Tye barrels Joe into the desk, then into barriers. He fires off more hands, then bares his knee to ram it into Joe’s face. Tye won’t back down, but then Joe throws him into a post! Joe drags Tye up and into the ring, then throws those swift jabs. Joe whips Tye into a corner, hits a back elbow and the Pele! Tye drops while Joe asks him, “Is this what you wanted?” Joe drags Tye up but Tye denies the Coquina. Joe makes him pay with swift kicks, then gets the Coquina Clutch! Tye flails but fades fast! Joe wins!

Winner: Samoa Joe, by submission

The Destroyer is not someone you want to anger. Tye showed courage but Joe showed everyone what they can expect if they get on his bad side. Will Joe carve a path of destruction to a title in time for Summerslam?

 

The Miz holds a memorial service for Team Hell No.

Daniel Bryan & Kane failed to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championships from the Bludgeon Brothers at Extreme Rules, but that was mostly because Harper & Rowan attacked backstage before the match. Details aside, pallbearers bring out Kane’s mask on a mannequin head. The four of them quietly go out to the ring, Miz shaking hands of “mourning” fans.

Miz takes the masked mannequin head and sets it on a pedestal. He picks up the mic and speaks. “Thank you all for being here tonight.” Miz is as saddened as they are, but we are all gathered here not to discuss the real news, Miz & Mrs. debuting in a week. No, that’s not what tonight is about, even though Miz was also in the MLB Legends & Celebrities All-Star Game, on the winning American League team and the game’s MVP. Tonight is about paying respects to “two of the worst friends ever”. In the words of N*Sync, Bye Bye Bye Team Hell No. They were polar opposites yet were once tag team champions. That was five years ago. But even so, their unlikely friendship inspired unity around the world, until Kane tombstone’d Bryan three consecutive times.

Any sane person would’ve thought that was the end. But “Hell No” it wasn’t, because Bryan made the same mistake by reuniting with Kane. But then Harper & Rowan destroyed them, and Team Hell No is six feet under. Everyone, please stand up and join Miz in a moment of silence. Miz raises his hand, but fans do not respect the moment of silence. Do they want to be treated like children? Now give him silence. Miz will wait as long as it takes. Fans do not quiet down, they chant “YES! YES!” Okay, that’s a good point, that was a better choice.

But one final note: Miz told you so! Miz told everyone how this would end, in the middle of this ring, and he was proven right! He’s also right about the “bogus hero”, Daniel Bryan! Bryan was never, ever an amazing wrestler, just a glory hound obsessed with impossible goals. Bryan threw a Hail Mary to stay relevant. It wasn’t about tag titles, it was so Bryan could roll out his greatest hits. News flash: no one’s buying the album. And as said as this whole thing has been, Bryan is the saddest. Bryan may not want to accept it, but he knows the truth. The truth: Bryan’s return has been a bust! Every week is another week Bryan destroys his own legacy, and no one will tell him. Miz will tell Bryan that his days of headlining are over! Bryan’s career is as dead as Team Hell No!

But here comes Bryan to respond! From behind! Bryan throws forearms on Miz then on the pallbearers! Miz gets away but Bryan isn’t done. Bryan tips over the pedestal and the pictures, to join in the “YES! YES!” chant. Knee Plus for the pallbearer!

Miz smirks at the angry Goat, but will Miz be smiling after Bryan gets done with him?

 

The New Day is fired up.

SAnitY? More like Unsanitary! Kofi Kingston prepares to get payback on the erratic Eric Young in the ring tonight!

Kofi Kingston w/ The New Day VS Eric Young w/ SAnitY!

The power of positivity wasn’t enough in Pittsburgh to keep the high-flying veteran from going through a table. Can positivity do better against the forces of chaos in Wilkes-Barre?

The bell rings and Young circles with Kofi. They tie up, and they push each other around the ring. Kofi gets a waistlock but Young gets the armlock. Kofi rolls and spins around to reverse it, but Young reverses it back. They go to a corner and Kofi dodges Young to kick the leg. Kofi grins at the fuming Young then dropkicks him down. Cover, TWO. Kofi gets a headlock then waistlock, but Young turns him around to club him down. Young drops more elbows, then haymakers. He has Kofi in a corner as he drives in more elbows. Kofi stands but Young runs, but Kofi sweeps the legs. Kofi gets back up, springboards and ax handles Young down. Young flounders up but is clothesline’d out. SAnitY regroups while we go picture in picture.

Kofi and the New Day rally up with the fans, and Woods plays the trombone. Kofi fakes Young out, but Young waits for Kofi to back up. Young returns but bails out again as Kofi draws near. They go again and Young shoulders in then slides under. Kofi throws him back out! Young dodges the baseball slide to bounce Kofi off the apron. He puts Kofi in, then covers, TWO. Young drives more elbows into Kofi then runs him over, then things speed up. Kofi hits a back elbow and covers, TWO! Young gets up and backs Kofi into a corner, then gets a cheap shot as we go single picture again. He runs back in but Kofi dodges. Young hits buckles, but he sweeps Kofi’s legs. The New Day glare at Wolfe & Dain while Young puts Kofi on the apron for clubbing forearms.

The New Day coach Kofi but he gets a kick while he’s down. Young catapult guillotines Kofi on the ropes, then covers, TWO. Young drags Kofi up for a stiff neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Young keeps on Kofi with a neck wrench. Kofi endures the twist, and fans rally up for him. He stands and fights back, then throws haymakers. Young throws a knee, then drags Kofi up for a buckle bump. Young throws a stiff right, then climbs up for a hanging dragon sleeper! He lets go at 4 and embraces the heat before leaping at Kofi. Kofi dropkicks Young down! Woods rallies the fans with his trombone. Kofi stands and rallies with double chops. He dropkicks Young down, then hits the leaping ax handle. He’s all fired up now, for the “New Day~!” Boom Drop!

Kofi calls for the finish, but Young dodges Trouble in Paradise to roll him up! TWO! Young is whipped to a corner but he tumbles up and out, only for Kofi to SUPER Belly2Belly suplex! Cover, TWO!! Young bails out to regroup with SAnitY, but Kofi builds speed to FLY! He leap frogs the ref to wipe out all of SAnitY!

Woods coaches Kofi up as he puts Young in. SOS! Cover, TWO! Frustration creeps in a bit but Kofi runs in at Young. Young dodges the splash, but Kofi swing kicks back. Kofi climbs, but Wolfe climbs up. BIg E gets him, but Dain is a distraction. Woods SUPERKICKS Dain while Kofi goes after Young. Young ducks under, but Kofi rolls, TWO! Dain throws Woods into Kofi! Wheelbarrow neckbreaker from Young! Cover, Young wins!

Winner: Eric Young, by pinfall

Give an assist to the anarchy on the outside, but a win is a win. SAnitY won as a team, and their fearless leader won 1v1. Will the trio of turmoil throw the SmackDown Tag Team Division into utter chaos?

 

WWE United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jeff Hardy!

It was a blow below the belt that brought victory to the King of Strong Style, and the Killer of Legends, Randy Orton, only added insult to injury with his return. But now, the BROKEN Enigma has his rematch courtesy of the Glampire Manager honoring his request. Will the painted visage of Jeff Hardy be smiling with a victory tonight? Or will he fall to more tricks from the nefarious Nakamura?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and the bell rings. Hardy unleashes upon Nakamura! Nakamura shoves him away then gets a waistlock. Hardy saw the low blow coming, he won’t let Nakamura get away that easy. Hardy stomps Nakamura in a corner to almost copy Bad Vibrations. Nakamura bails out but Hardy LEAPS onto him and into the barriers! He puts Nakamura back in, then climbs up, but Nakamura scrambles away. No Swantons yet, but Hardy has the champ reeling while we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Nakamura has Hardy down on the mat. Nakamura toys with Hardy as he slowly stands. Nakamura kicks away on Hardy, but Hardy catches on, only to get the enziguri. Cover, TWO, but Nakamura tires again. TWO, and again, TWO. Nakamura grimaces, but then digs a knee in for a chinlock. He digs his fingers into Hardy’s chin, but Hardy works his way up and out. Hardy elbows out, but Nakamura throws him down by his hair! Nakamura drags Hardy back up, then bumps him off buckles. He mocks the DELETE hands, then gives Hardy truly Bad Vibrations! Nakamura backs off to then come back with stomps. He drags Hardy up while fans rally for Brother Nero. Nakamura squeezes Hardy with the facelock but Hardy fights back. Nakamura denies the lift, then grinds Hardy to the mat.

Fans keep cheering for Hardy, and Hardy fights back with body shots. Nakamura knees and snapmares, but misses the knee drop! Hardy fires up with DELETE, then gives Nakamura buckle bumps in one corner, another corner, and a third corner. He goes for the fourth and completes the set. Hardy brings Nakamura out for a jawbreaker, then runs for a splash. Cover, TWO! Hardy gets the fans going again but Nakamura throat chops! Nakamura back suplexes but Hardy slips out to Russian leg sweep and leg trap cover! TWO, but barely! Hardy gets to ropes and drags himself up. Off comes the shirt, and he ax handles Nakamura. Nakamura denies the Twist, then heel kicks Hardy in the head! Hardy is out, but Nakamura hurries to give him an apron knee strike! Hardy slumps down while we go to break.

SmackDown returns once more, and Hardy fights out of a sleeper. Nakamura kicks him then whips him, but Hardy elbows back. Hardy haymakers and boots, then climbs up, WHISPER IN THE WIND! Cover, TWO! Hardy keeps his cool as he and Nakamura stand. He throws hands on Nakamura, then kicks. He whips but Nakamura reverses, only for Hardy to knock him down. Hardy hits the atomic drop and the leg splitting leg drop, then dropkick! Cover, TWO! Hardy slowly stands up again, DELETE echoing out. He kicks and prepares but Nakamura denies the twist again. Hardy still gets the spinning back kick! He climbs up, Hardyac countered with boots. Nakamura hoists Hardy up, for the Top Shelf Knee! Cover, TWO! Nakamura drags Hardy up, but Hardy denies the suplex with elbows. Hardy reaches for ropes but Nakamura gives him a backstabber! Sliding Wizard, TWO!

Nakamura can’t stand it. He is frustrated with Hardy as he rams in knees to shoulders and ribs. Nakamura goes to a corner and takes aim, but Hardy sees it coming! Slingblade! Hardy hurries up top, but Nakamura trips him up. Nakamura kicks Hardy in the face and Hardy drops down. Nakamura takes aim again, fires it up… But Hardy gets the Twist of Fate!

Hardy hurries back up, takes aim… SWANTON!! Cover, but RANDY ORTON drags Hardy out!?

Winner: Jeff Hardy, by disqualification; Nakamura retains the United States Championship

And Orton isn’t done with Hardy, either! He throws Hardy into steel steps, then asks Hardy “Do you want to know why I’m doing this?!” Orton keeps ramming Hardy into steel steps, then gives him European Uppercuts and forearms. Nakaura is the one most in shock over this turn of events. Orton clears the steps but Hardy fires back! Orton rakes Hardy’s eyes, then throw shim into the other steps! The Viper drags Hardy over to the first set, and stomps Hardy’s head!!

Hardy is down and Nakamura is confused as anyone as to why. Orton asks Hardy again “You wanna know why? You’re gonna have to wait to find out.” Then he pulls at the open earlobe!! Referees try to get Orton to stop, but he won’t! He throws hardy over the announce desk! Security has to come out now to keep Orton back. But Orton won’t stay back! He clears off the top of the desk to drag Hardy onto it. Orton rains down rights, then drags Hardy out for the draping DDT! Referees and security tell Orton get out of the arena. Orton leaves, but not because they told him to. Those voices in Orton’s head are violent as ever, but will there be hell to pay for what he’s done?

 


 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown redeems the main roster after the off-target Extreme Rules and filler Raw. Almas VS Styles was a sudden but amazing opener, and it really helps TV-only fans understand how great Almas is in the ring. Styles still wins because it’s too soon for Almas to defeat the WWE Champion. Joe wins against a very game Tye, which furthers my confusion as to why the advertised this before just to delay it. SmackDown plans to announce what Styles has in store for him at Summerslam, so I’m betting Joe is at least one superstar named as contender. Bryan and The Miz are likely, too, and it can also be part of their own story against each other. That “memorial” was a great segment in itself, too, so this is going to be the summer blockbuster Miz has been looking for.

Becky continues to win, and with her match against Carmella next week, I think we’re getting that championship match we were expecting months ago. If Ellsworth stays out during this time, Becky might actually get that belt back so that she can be the one going up against Asuka and Charlotte down the line. Kofi VS Young was great, and being the Heels, SAnitY wins thanks to distraction and number games, something The New Day were masters of when they were Heels. They already had a Six Man Tag, but maybe another one will decide who challenges the Bludgeon Brothers at Summerslam. English groveling to Lana worries me. They were teasing a Rusev Day break-up, and it might be coming back around. Vince can never let us have nice things, can he?

Hardy VS Nakamura was great, so it’s fine we got the six-second screw-job last night. Nakamura’s Heel game is strong, but I’m liking the idea that Hardy is becoming more and more Broken. His promo implied it, and after the beating Orton gave him, I’d love if next week we got the full Brother Nero. Nakamura’s reactions to Orton have also been great, and Orton saying we’re going to learn why he’s doing this is something to look forward to for next week. Hardy is still dealing with leg problems, so this either gives him a few weeks to be away from the ring and recover, or we just turn it up a notch and we get Hardy VS Orton before getting a Triple Threat for the title at Summerslam.

My Score: 8.5/10


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