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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (2/13/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Dolph Ziggler VS Baron Corbin; no contest.
  • Charlotte Flair VS Sarah Logan w/ The Riott Squad; Charlotte wins.
  • Baron Corbin VS Kevin Owens; Corbin wins and enters the WWE Championship match to make it a Fatal 4 Way.
  • WWE United States Championship Open Challenge: Bobby Roode VS ???; no contest.
  • The New Day VS Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable; The New Day wins.
  • Dolph Ziggler VS Sami Zayn; Ziggler wins and enters the WWE Championship match to make it a Fatal 5 Way.

PLAY BY PLAY

Dolph Ziggler VS Baron Corbin!

And after an initial record scratch, The Show-Off’s theme music actually does play. The Show-Off left SmackDown after vacating the United States Championship when he felt the fans weren’t worthy of his presence, but then he returned via the Royal Rumble match. Now he has an opportunity to leap over many other superstars and enter the WWE Championship match here tonight.

As for The Lone Wolf, his music plays from the start, yet he doesn’t come out. That’s because Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn are beating Corbin down to make sure he can’t compete! But Corbin doesn’t go down easy, he rocks both men back with heavy rights, only to be brought down by the 2v1 again. They even throw him into spare bins nearby!

“NOW that’s it!” One down, one to go, #Kami heads for the ring! Ziggler knows full well they’re on their way and gets ready for a fight. The fans boo as #Kami appears at the stage. Kevin sends Sami off to the side, and while Ziggler watches where the Underdog is going, the Prizefighter comes up the ramp. Ziggler intercepts Sami and they brawl in the bleachers! He bounces Saim off trunks but then Kevin comes in and it’s another 2v1 advantage! Sami throws Ziggler into the side of a trash barrel, and then Kevin slams the lid on Ziggler. The best friends clearly don’t want anyone else joining them against AJ Styles at Fastlane. Even so, Ziggler keeps fighting, until he’s pushed into a post. Kevin drags Ziggler up, for Sami’s HELLUVA KICK!

Ziggler goes down in a heap and #Kami stands tall while the fans boo and jeer. The referee backs them off, but the damage is done. However, Corbin returns! He takes them both on, but that’s still not enough with the numbers on #Kami’s side.

Kevin throws Corbin into the side rails, and security comes out to finally get them to stop. The fans boo and jeer harder, what will SmackDown management’s response be to this?

 

Charlotte Flair VS Sarah Logan w/ The Riott Squad!

The Queen of Flair and SmackDown Women’s Champion is on a mission to handle this trouble-making trio herself. She already beat Liv Morgan last week, now she wants #KentuckyStrong tonight. Can Charlotte go 2-0 in this unofficial best of three series? However, to make sure The Squad isn’t a factor, Charlotte has her own back-up in the form of The Lass Kicker and Ms. Glow Time!

The bell rings and both sides cheer on their woman. Sarah backs Charlotte down but Charlotte fires right back out. They tie up, push back and forth, then separate when neither gets anyway. They go again, Sarah with the waistlock and judo throw. Charlotte resists but Sarah maintains the hold. Sarah throws Charlotte down again and keeps back control as Charlotte tries to get free. They stand up, but Sarah brings Charlotte down again. Charlotte keeps working to get out of the hold, but Sarah shirts to a facelock. Sarah backs Charlotte down but Charlotte rolls and reverses into her own facelock. Charlotte throws Sarah now with a hip toss, then boots her down and out of the ring! We go picture in picture as The Squad regroups.

Ruby and Liv coach Sarah back up and into the ring. Charlotte gets Sarah in a waistlock and returns the slam now. Now Sarah works to get free, throwing a back elbow. She puts Charlotte into a headlock, Charlotte powers out and Sarah rolls to run her over. Cover, ONE, then Charlotte runs Sarah over. Charlotte rocks Sarah with a big knee, then styles and profiles like her father. Sarah comes back with forearms but Charlotte gives one of her own. Sarah runs but Charlotte knocks her down again with a back elbow. Charlotte drags Sarah up and to a corner for a buckle bump. She brings Sarah out and tries again but Sarah reverse, bumping Charlotte off the buckles. Sarah whips corner to corner but Charlotte tumbles to the apron. Charlotte shoulders in, slingshot roll-up, TWO. Charlotte rolls Sarah again, ONE, and Sarah hits Charlotte low. Sarah whips and reels Charlotte into another knee, then gives a dropkick that sends Charlotte out of the ring. The Squad troll the Queen but Naomi & Becky back them off. Charlotte climbs back up but Sarah gets her on reentry. Sarah gives forearms and stomps in a corner, only stopping to snapmare and wrap on a straitjacket hold. Sarah thrashes Charlotte around and the Squad likes it. Charlotte gets to her feet but Sarah gets the waistlock. Charlotte works to get out as we go single picture.

Standing switch and a German Suplex puts Charlotte back in control! The Squad panics as Charlotte lifts Sarah, but Sarah sips out to chop Charlotte.

That wasn’t good, because now Charlotte unloads her chops! Charlotte chops Sarah on the ropes, even in the shoulder, then whips to scoop. Sarah slips out and tackles from behind, cover, TWO! Sarah keeps on Charlotte with a rain of rights, then stomps and kicks her around. Charlotte gets up but Sarah throws her with a butterfly suplex. Cover, TWO, the Squad grows frustrated. Sarah puts Charlotte back in the straitjacket stretch while fans rally. The Squad trolls Charlotte again even as the rally builds. Charlotte gets up, Sarah whips her, but Charlotte evades and gives a big knee strike. Sarah staggers but comes back with a shotgun knee! Cover, TWO! Sarah keeps going, kicking and stomping Charlotte again, then rains down forearms. Cover, TWO, but Sarah keeps on Charlotte with an armlock, and even grinds a knee into Charlotte’s shoulder. The fans keep cheering for Charlotte, and Charlotte feeds off that to get up, only for Sarah to lariat her down. Cover, TWO! The Squad can’t believe this. Charlotte kicks and chops back, then goes to boot but Sarah evades! With Charlotte stuck on the rope, Sarah German Suplexes, covers, TWO! Sarah’s frustration reaches an all-time high and she just gives rough shots to Charlotte. Charlotte fires up from it and hits back hard! Charlotte runs in but Sarah sends her face first into buckles! They both stagger up, Charlotte hits a backbreaker and then shot into the buckles, Natural Selection!

Charlotte wins! The Queen goes 2-0 on the Squad, can she beat Ruby to make it a sweep?

 

SmackDown management meets backstage.

Shane McMahon addresses the issue. Kevin & Sami are the guys Daniel Bryan wants to be WWE Champion? “It’s not going down like that.” Shane talked to Corbin and Ziggler before coming in here. Corbin will take on Kevin, Ziggler will take on Sami, and if either of them wins, or even both of them, they’ll each be added. But if Kevin interferes with Sami and Sami interferes with Kevin, they’re thrown out. The Commissioner has spoken, is this going to work in his favor?

 

Baron Corbin VS Kevin Owens!

As Shane McMahon just said, the only way Kevin can keep The Lone Wolf out of Fastlane’s WWE Championship match is to win fair and square in the ring! Can The Prizefighter beat up Corbin without the Underdog helping him?

The bell rings and Kevin goes right at Corbin with body shots and mudhole stomps in a corner. Corbin fires back with heavy rights, but then Kevin slips out of the ring to catch his breath. Corbin shouts for Kevin to get back in the ring, but Kevin doesn’t. So Corbin takes the fight to him on the outside! They brawl back and forth, then Corbin puts Kevin back in the ring. Kevin pounces on reentry, stomping away on Corbin in the ribs he and Sami damaged earlier. He puts Corbin in a corner, whips but Corbin reverses. Corbin runs in but Kevin boots him away, only to get rocked on the ropes with that right hand! Kevin tumbles down and out, but Corbin is a step ahead of him. He comes around the corner to then put Kevin into barriers. Corbin keeps going, rocking Kevin with knees and another barrier bump. The referee orders them to get back in the ring, so Corbin puts Kevin back in. Kevin sips right back out then rams Corbin into the apron, and a post! Kevin brings Corbin up and into the ring now, keeping on those bad ribs. He elbows and stomps Corbin more, then brings him up to put him in a corner. He whips corner to corner, but Corbin slips out then in, into a mule kick to the gut. CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO, and Kevin is upset while we go to break.

SmackDown returns to see Corbin reverse a whip to send Kevin into barriers again!

Kevin staggers away but then evades to send Corbin into steel steps! The referee checks on Corbin while Sami watches backstage. Kevin fetches Corbin to put him back in the ring, then hits the back senton! Cover, TWO! Kevin hurries to put on a chinlock even as he complains, “That was three!” The fans rally for Corbin as he endures the hold. Corbin sits up and then works his way up to his feet. Kevin rams knees into Corbin, then runs, but into a Choke Slam Backbreaker! Both men are down and slowly stirring. Kevin gets himself to the ropes while Corbin stands up and fans rally. Corbin throws forearms, one big forearm knocking Kevin down. He runs in, slides out then in, lariat! Cover, TWO! Corbin is too sore to be frustrated as he gets up. Kevin is in a corner again and begging for mercy, but Corbin instead hoists him up to the top rope. Corbin rocks Kevin with another right before climbing up to join him. Kevin fights back, knocking Corbin off the top with headbutts. Kevin slips down, then evades again to send Corbin into a post! Roll up, TWO! Kevin stomps then climbs up top, but Corbin grabs him by the throat! Kevin fights back then hot shots Corbin, only to run into Deep Six! Corbin can’t cover yet, his ribs hurt too much.

Even so, he drags himself up to his feet and brings Kevin in, SUPERKICK instead! Then Kevin throws Kevin to ropes, Corbin holds ropes, then gets End of Days! Corbin WINS! The Lone Wolf adds himself to the championship match to make it a Fatal 4 Way! Can Sami keep it together to keep it at only four?

 

SmackDown Top Ten List!

As of last week the list was:

  1. AJ Styles
  2. Charlotte Flair
  3. Shinsuke Nakamura
  4. Naomi
  5. Bobby Roode
  6. The New Day
  7. The Usos
  8. Becky Lynch
  9. Randy Orton
  10. Tye Dillinger

Everyone from fans to superstars were both congratulatory and confused to at least one entry or another. Can The Perfect Ten remain in the Top Ten? Will he move up? Or will someone completely off the list jump on to bump him off?

 

WWE United States Championship Open Challenge: Bobby Roode VS ???

The GLORIOUS One is a fighting champion and is open to giving any superstar that wants at him their title opportunity. “From the moment I won this championship, I said I wanted to be the greatest United States Champion.” In order to do that, he had to steal a tradition for a man he wants to surpass, and that man is John Cena. Say what you will but Cena defended the US Championship week in and week out. Now Roode takes great pride in keeping the US Championship Open Challenge alive. Obviously this is for anyone in the back, but Roode hopes a certain someone meets him “face to face, rather than coming out here with an RKO outta nowhere.” We wait for someone to accept, and it IS Randy Orton!

The Viper has never held the United States Championship, and perhaps he will finally become a Grand Slam Champion. However, before the match can begni, the Modern Day Maharaja appears!

Jinder Mahal speaks, “Ladies and Gentlemen: The Viper, Randy Orton!” Mahal knows that at least the WWE Unvierse respects Orton. But it seems the SmackDown roster doesn’t, since they only saw him as 9th out of 10. The 13 time world champion, a first-ballot Hall of Fame candidate, from Legacy to Evolution to the face of the WWE, but only 9th as voted by his peers. Orton and Mahal have had their ups and downs, wins and losses, but Mahal still respects Orton. The fans chant “RKO!” as if to signal they want him to give one to Mahal. Mahal continues, telling Orton that everyone else on SmackDown thinks Orton’s “already peaked.” Orton responds, “Jinder, I don’t give a damn about any top ten list!” He expects Mahal to believe that? Orton’s been here for 16 years, but he’s only 9th. Yet Roode is 5th after only sixth months. Orton’s life has been dedicated to wrestling, yet he’s outdone by a newcomer. The fans chant “RKO!” even louder now.

Mahal repeats that he respects Orton, but Roode thinks himself the future Legend Killer. Roode responds, “Those are some pretty big words from a man who couldn’t even make the top ten.”

And why is that? “Because nobody here respects you!” And in terms of respect, Roode has nothing but for Orton’s career. But if he were to say why Orton’s only 9th, it’s because everyone in the locker room is getting sick and tired of getting attacked “out of nowhere.” Like, when he does this? RKO to Singh! They brawl, Roode wants his DDT but Orton wants an RKO, both are denied and Mahal gets the KALAS!! Roode goes down, then Mahal grabs Orton, for another Kalas! The Modern Day Maharaja stands tall, proclaiming that he doesn’t need respect. The Open Challenge is cancelled for tonight, but will Mahal be first in line the next time?

 

The New Day VS Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable!

Awwwwwwwwww… CALIFORNIA~!” The Power of Positivity is here with Booty O’s and pancakes a plenty! They even have a table loaded with even more flapjacks!

“Today is a very special day”, it’s “Fat Tuesday”! Or in this case, Pancake Tuesday, “babyyyyy~!” In order to celebrate, Big E will “destroy the record” of eating 113 pancakes in eight minutes. How does he feel? “Good.” Okay. Who wants to see Big E break the record? The WWE Universe does. Xavier Woods counts it down, and Big E begins! He tries to shove fist fulls of pancakes into his mouth, but has he even gotten one down?

Gable & Benjamin come out to ruin the fun.

“Wow. This is great, guys, really.” When Gable was training for the Olympics, this is exactly what he imagined being part of. Good job, guys, really. Benjamin also says this is great. What The New Day has done for pancakes is “astronomical.” They should go on the road, or open up a restaurant. And when they do, they can leave the SmackDown Tag Team Division in the hands of “serious competitors.” “Honey~,” are you saying Kofi isn’t a serious competitor? That Big E isn’t a serious competitor? That Xavier Woods is not a serious competitor? The New Day remind Gable & Benjamin that they set the record for longest reigning W, W, E, tag, team, CHAMPIONS! And who even wants these two as champs? Who who who? “NOBODY!” “SHUSH!” So they have a serious side? What would happen if Gable were to… throw a pancake on the floor? They didn’t ilk that, did they? Then what if Benjamin, tossed a pancake on the floor? Benjamin flapped a jack. Oh, go for the big one. Big E defends his pancakes.. “Don’t you touch our cakes!” Settle down, Big E. They have news for The New Day: “Nobody likes pancakes.” The fans boo, who would ever not like pancakes? Benjamin & Gable say it’s time for waffles! And the pancakes go flying! The New Day have to hold Big E back, until this match officially begins.

We go picture in picture as both teams go to their corners. Big E is still furious, but passes out pancakes while the table is taken away. The official team for The New Day will be Big E and Kofi, with Woods taking over passing out pancakes like Frisbees. Gable and Big E start with the bell, Big E runs Gable over as payback for the flapjacks. Tag to Kofi, and the running low… twerk! Then the kick. Cover, TWO, and Gable powers Kofi into a slam! Cover, ONE, tag to Benjamin. Kofi fights back but gets clubbed down 2v1. Benjamin puts Kofi in a corner for right hands and stomps while we go back to single picture.

Benjamin whips Kofi corner to corner, but Kofi slips out to kick him away. Kofi climbs up, but Gable distracts. Kofi jumps over Benjamin, but runs into a pop-up knee! Cover, TWO, Benjamin drags Kofi up to whip him into the corner. Tag to Gable, they stomp Kofi again. Gable slams Kofi’s arm on the mat, then wrenches it. Cover, TWO, Gable keeps Kofi grounded with an armlock. The fans rally and Kofi gets to his feet. Kofi reaches for Big E while fighting back against Gable. He arm-drags Gable away but Gable comes back with the rolling kick! TWO, but Gable keeps his focus. He tags Benjamin back in and they focus on that arm. Kofi fights back but ends up in the enemy corner. Gable tags in and they both stomp Kofi out. Tag back to Benjamin, double whip but Kofi kicks back. He throws Gable out but Benjamin gets the waistlock. Kaofi escapes, but Gable trips up Big E! Woods calls him out, protesting to the referee. However, Benjamin turns Woods around to rock him with a right! Benjamin returns to embrace the heat while Kofi gets to a corner. Kofi responds with jumping double stomps! The fans rally, both men crawl for their corners, and hot tags to Gable and Big E! Big E throws Gable overhead! Then again! Then, the side belly2belly slam! Big E fires up and swivels those hips before running, Big Splash! He isn’t done there, he rallies the fans again. Big E scoops but Gable slips out, waistlock to Chaos Theory!

Both men are down and crawling for their corners again. Woods distracts so that the tag to Benjamin doesn’t count! Kofi comes in and dropkicks Benjamin out. Gable throws Kofi out, then argues with the ref, but turns into the scoop! Tag to Kofi, Midnight Hour! The New Day wins! Is that serious enough for Gable & Benjamin?

 

Backstage interview with Dolph Ziggler.

Ever since giving up the US Championship, he was gone. Now he’s back, and he admits to be selectively picking his spots. He finds himself primed for another opportunity. Ziggler lives for this, he loves this! Because it’s about doing what he’s been put on this planet to do, and that’s perform in that ring. Ziggler vows no one will outshine him, and that’s why “those cowards” had to attack him together. It’ll take more than just that attack to stop Ziggler. The reason Ziggler is back, the only reason he’s back in the WWE is for one thing only, the thing that eludes him to this day: the main event of Wrestlemania. “And I’ll be damned if I don’t walk in there as WWE Champion.” Can the Show-Off make the most of this opportunity?

 

The Usos speak.

They’ve been telling us for weeks how they have the SmackDown Tag Team Division #OnLock, and how there isn’t a tag team around that can match them. They try to but it’s lights out! Other teams stand up, but they get sat back down. These two are brothers, true brothers from the Samoan Bloodline, “ride or die.” From the womb to the tomb, they welcome you to the “Uso Penitentiary!” But then The Bludgeon Brothers break the screen! Harper & Rowan have made their case, can they break out of the Penitentiary?

 

Kevin finds Sami Zayn at gorilla.

He apologizes to Sami for messing up. Now it’s a Fatal 4 Way, and could become a Fatal 5! Sami can’t lose, don’t let Kevin down! Oh don’t let Kevin down? There is no “we” in the coming match, it’s every man for himself. The music hits, and Sami heads to the ring.

Dolph Ziggler VS Sami Zayn!

This may be the make-or-break match for the returning Show-Off on this Road to Wrestlemania. Can he steal the show from the Underdog to then try and steal the title from the Phenomenal One at Fastlane? They circle even before the bell, but we have to go to break.

SmackDown returns and the bell rings, Ziggler going right at Sami. Sami gets to a corner for safety, and Ziggler is forced to back off. He dares Sami to come out but Sami waits for him to stay back. Ziggler rushes Saim again but sami gets back between the ropes for safety. Fans boo and jeer while Kevin watches backstage. Sami and Ziggler circle, Ziggler gets the waistlock but Sami gets to the ropes. The ropebreak is tense, and Sami tells teh ref to do his job. Sami and Ziggler circle again, Ziggler gets the leg then the facelock, but Sami still gets to ropes. Ziggler lets go but Sami has a hold on him. Cheap shot headbutt to the ribs from Sami, then Sami backs off to a corner again. Ziggler dares Sami to come out again. They tie up, scuffle up to ropes again, and the break is no longer clean as Ziggler rocks Sami with a right. He keeps going, giving Sami a neckbreaker. Sami gets to a corner again, Ziggler hits the corner splash and another neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, Sami rolls all the way out. He walks around the ring to cool off, but fans boo and jeer. Sami takes his time returning into the ring, and circles with Ziggler again. They tie up, Sami puts Ziggler in a corner and clubs away with forearms to the back of Ziggler’s haed. The referee backs him off, but Sami comes back to boot-wash Ziggler right out to the apron. Sami drags Ziggler up and around, for a rope guillotine. Ziggler clutches his neck as he rolls away, Sami trolls him about the bad neck while he grinds a knee into it.

Sami backs off while Ziggler gets himself to a corner. Sami embraces the heat before rocking Ziggler with rights. He stalks Ziggler but Ziggler fights back with haymakers of his own. Sami powers Ziggler to another corner and keeps up the attack. He drags Ziggler up for a chop, then whips corner to corner. Ziggler reverses and runs in but gets a back elbow. Sami hops up, boots Ziggler away, then flies for a dropkick to knock him out of the air!

He clutches his jaw as he spills out of the ring, we go to break.

SmackDown returns again to find Sami holding Ziggler down in a chinlock. The fans rally and Ziggler fights his way up, but Sami whips him to the ropes to run him over with a clothesline. Cover, TWO, and Sami grows frustrated. He toys with Ziggler, kicking him while he’s down. Sami brings Ziggler up, but Ziggler escapes the suplex. Ziggler gets the waistlock but Sami elbows out, only for Ziggler to come back with the satellite DDT! Both men are down and Kevin worries backstage. The two slowly stir, and Ziggler gets running. Sami dodges, rolls, but Ziggler rolls out to hit the Famouser! TWO! Now Ziggler feels the frustration boiling up. Ziggler heads over to a corner, glances at the Wrestlemania sign then climbs up. Sami springs up to anchor him, Ziggler knocks him away, but Sami returns and trips him up! Sami rains rights on Ziggler before climbing up to join him. He prepares a superplex but Ziggler fights back. Ziggler throws haymakers but Sami hits back, getting Ziggler in position, SUPER EXPLODER!!

The impact is too much for Sami to make a cover, the referee starts a ten count. The count reaches 5 before they start standing up. Sami throws a hand but then Ziggler unloads, only for Sami to rock him back. Sami unloads more forearms then runs, but catches Ziggler’s dropkick to catapult him into buckles and post! Ziggler slumps down whiel Saim goes corner to corner, HElluva misses, ZIG ZAG HITS! TWO!! No one can believe Sami survived, but it also seems like Sami is moving on instinct. The fans declare “This is Awesome!” while both men slowly stir. Ziggler stalks the dazed Sami, swings a kick but Sami counters to throw him into the post! Sami staggers over and drags Ziggler out of the corner, to then throw him in again! Ziggler slumps to the apron but Sami keeps going, dragging Ziggler up onto his feet. Sami tries but Ziggler resists! Ziggler slips down, victory roll, TWO! Exploder into the buckles! Sami walks to the opposite corner, and takes aim at the battered Ziggler. Sami runs in, SUPERKICK outta nowhere! Ziggler wins!! The WWE Championship is now a Fatal FIVE Way! And Kevin is furious. With the odds shrinking to 1-in-5, who will walk out of Fastlane the champion to then face Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestlemania?!

 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown feels good again, at least to me. It looked to open with what I expected to be a main event, but then it takes another swerve and it becomes Kevin & Sami attacking both Corbin & Ziggler. Another swerve was that I thought it was gonna be a Teddy Long moment of “impromptu tag team match”, but with the championship match stipulation. Instead, we get two separate singles matches to fill the card, both with championship implications and both really great matches. But before those matches, there was a lot of other great stuff tonight, and mostly all focused around matches. Charlotte-Sarah was really great, Sarah is a lot more polished than it seemed from her limited time on NXT TV. Charlotte wins because she has to stay strong and it makes for effective story that she’s already the winner of her Riott Squad series. Ruby uses social media to challenge #RoyalGlowFire to a new Six Woman Tag and that match is made for next week, so perhaps they’ll save Charlotte VS Ruby to determine the sweep. Then the Open Challenge turning into a three-way brawl was actually a good segment, too. Mahal stands tall after incorporating the SmackDown Top Ten List results into motivation, so perhaps instead of just Orton VS Roode, it’ll be a triple threat. A triple threat will make a way for Roode to still look strong even if he ends up losing, such as Orton pinning Mahal instead. Personally, from best to worst scenario, it’s: Roode retains; Orton wins to become Grand Slam Champion; Mahal wins to set up a Wrestlemania rematch.

The tag team division also had a great showing with New Day VS Gable-Benjamin, which can be framed as comedy VS seriousness. Comedic entertainment or not, the New Day is still a top tag team in the WWE and win as such to prove their point. They can continue a rivalry with Benjamin & Gable into Fastlane since it will clearly be Usos VS Bludgeon Brothers. The combination promo from those two was brilliant, as Usos show their great abilities on the mic but then Harper & Rowan counter with a proper “no words, just actions” display. Then as I said, both Kevin-Corbin and Sami-Ziggler were great matches, befitting of the motivations behind them. Fans actually cheered for Corbin for once, that alone is something to be impressed by. Then Ziggler had the fans back on his side despite the insistence of his record scratch to open his entrance. Ziggler and Corbin may just be in the match to help keep Kevin & Sami strong in the case where Styles retains, but I’m personally hoping for something else thrown in to really spice things up, given SmackDown has an extra month to build this PPV up.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/17/22)

Is Becky Lynch sweatin’ Doudrop?

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WWE Raw 2022

The Man prepares for the Royal Rumble!

“Doudrop” Piper Niven is coming for the Raw Women’s Championship, and she won’t be Manhandled so easily! How will Becky Lynch counter Piper’s power?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch; Piper & Becky win.
  • Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens; Kevin wins.
  • Finn Balor VS Austin Theory; Theory wins.
  • Nikki A.S.H. VS Rhea Ripley; No Contest.
  • Reggie w/ Dana Brooke VS Omos; Omos wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs; The Street Profits & Mysterios win.
  • Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Seth Rollins; Lashley wins, by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

Becky Lynch heads to the ring!

Tulsa, Oklahoma, The Man has come ’round! Fans chant her name as she gets the mic, and she welcomes them to the Big Time! “Now we are less than two weeks away from the Royal Rumble, and the Raw Women’s Division has never been hotter. And whether you like to admit it or not, there’s only one person responsible for that, and that’s me.” Becky says it is so hot that there are stars from generations past, like Lita, Mickie James and the Bella Twins, all hoping that they can win the Rumble and challenge the #VanGOAT at WrestleMania. Face it, they need Becky because she makes stars.

Look no further than Doudrop. Becky has kindly given her the biggest opportunity of her life, a taste of the Big Time at one of the biggest events of the year. The people didn’t get her that! Piper Niven didn’t get it for herself. Becky did that! That is what Becky does! She makes people better, than she beats ’em! But Becky will admit that she admires Piper’s tenacity. She came from the rolling hills of Scotland and made a name for herself. Well no, someone else had to make up a name for her. So Becky will shoot it straight for “Doudou.” A doudrop will never be champion so long as The Man is still here.

But speaking of, here she comes! Piper storms right up to the ring, gets herself a mic and says she’s gonna tell Becky something. “You didn’t get me anything. I got myself this title match at Royal Rumble. But if it was really your plan to face me instead of Bianca, than it’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made. Just make sure you stay well out of my way tonight.” Becky says she did get Piper that win last week, and if Piper just follows her lead, they’ll get a win here tonight. But here comes Bianca Belair! “Oh, Becky. You really out here spittin’ all this nonsense about being the GOAT, the greatEST of all time, but let me remind y’all that you can’t spell greatest without E S T.”

Bianca joins Piper and Becky in the ring as fans chant for “EST! EST!” Bianca reminds us SHE is the EST of WWE. And Doudrop, uh, okay. The only reason Piper is facing Becky is because Ms. Big Time was so scared of Bianca, she interfered in last week’s match. But girl, uh-uh. That’s just buyin’ time. Because Bianca is officially entering the Royal Rumble match! And it’s gonna be every woman for themselves, so if Bianca’s gotta throw out every 29 other women like she did last year, she’ll do it. Then she’ll go main event WrestleMania… again. And Bianca can go after whichever champion she wants, which could be Becky or Piper.

But now, Bianca’s tag partner, Liv Morgan, arrives! “Well, well, well, Bianca. We may be tag teaming tonight, but I am also officially entering myself in the Royal Rumble match. And that’s not all, that’s not all. Because in two weeks, I’m also the one winning it.” But that means Bianca will be one of the 29 she outlasts on the way to WrestleMania. But since we’re on the same page- Piper pretends to snore and then says this is boring. Everyone, shut up and ref, get in here! Piper wants to fight, but it’s Becky who riles up Liv and Bianca, and then uses Piper as a shield! Piper welcomes someone to bring it, but this starts after the break.

 

Chad Gable prepares a speech.

“Greetings and salutations…” Otis walks over, the valedictorian of The Alpha Academy. Will this graduation ceremony go off without a hitch?

 

Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch!

Raw returns and the bell rings, and Bianca dropkicks Piper! Piper stays up but Bianca whips. Piper blocks, reverses, but Bianca goes up tot ell Piper to kiss this. Then Bianca leaps over Piper, spins her around and reels her in, but Piper blocks the suplex. Piper suplexes, Bianca slips out and then dodges in the corner! Piper hits buckles, Bianca ROCKS Piper with a forearm, then runs in to ram Piper. Piper rebounds to run Bianca over! Piper runs, Becky tags in! Piper is annoyed with Becky but Becky says she’s got this. They argue, Becky turns around into a dropkick! Bianca kips up, tags Liv, Liv dodges Becky to DECK Piper and SHOTGUN Becky!

Becky is in a corner, Liv back body blocks, then SHINING WIZARDS! Liv whips, Becky reverses but Liv stops to back elbow. Liv goes up to leap and missile dropkick Becky down! Liv then brings Becky around, springboard CODE BREAKER! Cover, Piper breaks it! Bianca gets in to ROCK Piper, but she can’t lift Piper for the torture rack. Piper shoves Bianca into a corner and SPLASHES! Piper runs at Liv but Liv sends her out! Becky rolls Liv up, has feet on the ropes, TWO! Liv kicks low, KICKS again, then runs in, but Becky dodges! Liv elbows Becky again, but runs into a MANHANDLE SLAM! Cover, Piper breaks it?! But that was her own teammate!

Piper drags Becky out of the way, wants to cover, but she’s not legal! So Piper hurries back to her corner, tags herself in, and then runs to SPLASH Liv! Cover, Piper and Becky win!

Winners: “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch, by pinfall

Then Piper celebrates by giving Becky a VADER SEATED SENTON! Piper laughs as she looms over Becky, but will she have the last laugh at the Rumble?

 

Reggie and Dana Brooke talk with someone.

Reggie knows they’ve faced giants in their career, so can they give Reggie any advice when facing Omos tonight? The person he’s talking to is Edge! Edge thinks, and he tells Reggie that he can do things Edge can’t even comprehend. So he has a chance? Hell no! Beth Phoenix scolds Edge with a smack, and Edge says he still wishes Reggie luck. And Beth talks with Dana real quick. She’s seen Dana bust her butt for years here, so it’s so great Dana has a title. Dana thanks Beth for that, and hurries away to keep up with Reggie. Edge and Beth then see Damian Priest. They shake hands and hug and Priest is happy to see the Grit Couple.

Edge says he likes what he sees with Priest’s other side. Yeah, Priest’s other side is a bit edgy, but being serious here, Priest wants some ideas on the Rumble match. Edge has experience, having won two, one of which he won from starting first. There’s no better man to ask for pointers than Edge. Well cardio is one thing, but the main thing is to keep doing you. Priest’s style is working. Someone brings over a note for Beth, and it’s from Maryse. She wants to meet Beth 1v1, woman to woman. Edge says that’s suspicious. Beth is of course going to go but Edge is going to go with her. Beth agrees, and Edge says he and Priest can talk more later. What will the It Couple have planned for the Grit Couple?

Kevin Owens then walks over to ask Priest something. Kevin is looking forward to their match tonight. Really? Yeah, no lie! He’s looking- Oh, right, because Kevin’s so honest. Yes, especially having a good, clean match. Good competition, show off some technical prowess. But also that side, that nutso, vicious side. That side shouldn’t come out. Kevin is just hoping for them having a good, clean match. Kevin also has an announcement to make, so see you then. Good talk. Kevin and his tie hurries off, but will Priest keep Damian from tearing into the Prizefighter?

Kevin heads to the ring!

The KO Show is back, and tonight’s guest is Seth Freakin’ Rollins! What will Kevin ask his new best buddy? We find out, after the break.

Raw returns and Kevin welcomes us to his show. He wishes he could say it’s good to be here in Tulsa, but that would be a vile lie because this place is brutal. Don’t get mad at him telling the truth! And another truth is that Kevin has a very special guest. He is a man Kevin is proud to call his best friend, and after this man beats Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble like he has in a plethora of matches before, he will be called the Universal Champion. Please welcome Seth! FRRRRREAKIN’! ROLLINS~! Rollins makes his way out to the ring, fired up as always, but especially now after having evaded a Bloodline beatdown on SmackDown last Friday.

Rollins takes up a mic and Kevin lets Rollins decide if they sit or stand. Rollins wants to stand, so he and Kevin kick the chairs aside. Kevin thanks Rollins for accepting his invitation to be a guest. Kevin wants to tell Rollins that he admires Rollins so much. There is so much Kevin admires about Rollins. From the great suits, like this striped one. He looks like a million bucks! MAHVELOUS! And even more so, Kevin admires Rollins’ courage. Do people realize how much guts it took for Rollins to show up on SmackDown, into the lion’s den, get face to face with Roman, and berate him into realizing that “The Head of the Table” is only possible because Rollins set the table.

“Yes, yes, yes! Kev, you hit the nail on the head right there!” Friday got a little testy, but the truth is, Roman’s rattled. Roman’s nervous, and dare Rollins say, Roman is scared. He’s scared! You heard it here first! Roman took the low road taking shots at Rollins’ family, sending the Usos after him. But everyone saw that the Usos couldn’t get the job done. Rollins says Roman is playing checkers while Rollins is playing chess! If Roman keeps this up, winning at the Rumble will be like taking candy from a baby. A little baby Roman! And Rollins will turn the title from blue to red and bring the Universal Championship back to their show, Monday Night Raw!

That’s huge! When Rollins wins, he’s staying on Raw with Kevin! Yes, 100%! Incredible! Then that means Raw has the best champion! Raw wouldn’t need Lesnar or Lashley, they’d have Rollins! Kevin again hits the nail on the head. Get rid of Lesnar. Rollins has a match with Lashley tonight, they can get rid of Lashley tonight! Who knows? Kevin likes the sound of that. But he has something of his own to announce and it is “earth shattering.” It will change the face of the industry! Right here and now, Kevin is officially declaring for the Royal Rumble! Rollins says that IS earth shattering!

Kevin will win the Rumble, Rollins will beat Roman, and the WWE Universe will get the match they… well, not deserve. But they’ll get the biggest Mania main-event ever! SETH FREAKIN’ ROLLINS VS KEVIN FREAKIN’ OWENS! Rollins likes where Kevin’s head is at. But here comes Damian Priest! Rollins says this is his time and Kevin’s show! If Priest steps any closer, Kevin will kick his ass! Kevin wants Rollins to stop but Priest tells Rollins to shut up! They’re both delusional idiots! There is not one person on this planet that believes Rollins will win at the Rumble. And Kevin is just a liar, so he isn’t winning, either.

And if Kevin doesn’t want to see Damian, then don’t wake him up. Oh and by the way, Priest talked with Pearce and Sonya. Their match tonight? That starts NOW! Kevin is freaking out, but Rollins tries to encourage him. Will it not matter when the Archer of Infamy takes aim?

 

Veer Mahaan.

In the animal kingdom, the lion bides its time as it hunts its prey. Step by step, until it finally strikes, leaving only scraps for the hyenas. When will the Million Dollar Arm finally strike?

 

Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens!

Raw returns and the bell rings. They tie up, Kevin waistlocks, but Priest pries free to wrench to a wristlock. Kevin rolls, headlocks, but Priest uses a chinbar to push Kevin back and power out. Kevin rams Priest, but then Kevin apologizes, Things speed up, Priest runs Kevin over with a shoulder! Priest runs in at the corner, but Kevin puts him on the apron! Kevin elbows Priest away, but Priest ROUNDHOUSES back! Priest steps in but into a SHOTGUN! Kevin stomps Priest at the ropes, lets off as the ref counts, then drags Priest to center for a SENTON! Kevin wraps on a chinlock and leans on Priest but fans rally up.

Priest fights up, priest the hold open but Kevin CLUBS him on the back. Kevin CHOPS, whips, but Priest reverses. Kevin KCISK back, CHOPS again, and CHOPS! Priest snarls, but Kevin apologizes again. This is just good, clean wrestling! Priest cools off, but then he fires off fast hands! WHEEL KICK! Kevin goes to a corner, Priest runs in but Kevin bails out. Fans boo, Priest keeps cool, but then Priest goes out the side. Priest runs in around the way, leaps off the steps, into a SUPERKICK! Kevin gets back in the ring to refresh the count, then FROG SPLASHES off the apron! Kevin roars while Priest sputters! Kevin drags Priest up and in as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Priest CLOBBERS Kevin! Fans fire up as Priest aims from a corner, and Priest throws haymakers! Priest fires off KICK after KICK, then a ROLLING ELBOW! Kevin rebounds, into a FLAPJACK! Priest runs at Kevin in the corner, for a big back elbow! Priest reels Kevin in, but Kevin wrenches out to ROCK Priest! Kevin whips, Priest rebounds to LARIAT! Priest gets Kevin up for the BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Priest is annoyed but he drags Kevin up. Priest ROCKS Kevin with a right, hoists him up top in the corner and ROCKS him again! Priest climbs up, but Kevin hits back!

Priest and Kevin brawl, Priest gets the edge. Priest brings Kevin up, but Kevin blocks the superplex! Kevin throws body shots, and even a headbutt! Kevin headbutts again, Priest falls down! Kevin adjusts, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Kevin thinks of what he has to do now. Kevin aims, kicks but no stunner! Kevin ducks the heel kick, tries gain, but Priest dragon sleepers! But Kevin slips free to pop Priest up, SIT-OUT POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives again and Kevin is shocked! Fans rally up, Kevin aims, kicks, but Priest blocks to spin and ROUNDHOUSE! Kevin wobbles into a choke grip, SOUTH OF HEAVEN CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!!

Priest is shocked that Kevin survives! Kevin rolls away to a corner but Priest follows. Priest throws hands, whips Kevin corner to corner, but Kevin falls, clutching his leg. The ref checks on Kevin, Kevin flounders up saying it’s cramping up. The ref wants a medic to check this, fans boo but Priest isn’t sure what to make of this. But then Kevin suckers him in for a STUNNER!! Cover, Kevin wins!

Winner: Kevin Owens, by pinfall

Priest was right about Kevin being a liar! But now, Kevin could also be a contender! Will Kevin add the US Championship to his Road to WrestleMania?

 

Backstage interview with Nikki A.S.H.

What is her plan heading into tonight’s match with former tag partner, Rhea Ripley? Nikki tells Sarah that this is no different than any other match. It is clear to Nikki now that she stands on her own, and she couldn’t feel any better. Rhea should be down and out, completely mortified after being proven the friend Nikki didn’t think she was. But Nikki, you were the one who attacked Rhea- Sarah, you need to get your facts straight! Rhea is the one who broke up the team. Rhea is the one who decided to take their friendship and flush it! She is the villain, not Nikki! And Nikki is the closest thing that the people of Tulsa will ever have to a real hero. She will be the People’s Hero.

And sometimes, heroes have to do things that regular people don’t understand. After tonight, Rhea will realize that she needs a superhero, whether she likes it or not. Nikki strikes her superhero pose and walks away, but will Rhea’s brutality smack some sense into her?

 

The Alpha Academy heads to the ring.

Pomp & Circumstance plays because today is Otis’ graduation! Will the NEW Raw Tag Team Champions be celebrating on top of their big title victory from last week?

Raw returns and Gable is at the podium. “Greetings and salutations my fellow colleagues and… Oh who am I kidding? I don’t have any colleagues here, considering I’m an Olympian with a Master’s Degree that did it with an immaculate 4.0 GPA! Thank you! Don’t do that. Don’t boo education. That’s gross, everybody.” But it makes sense, since the odds of anyone in Oklahoma having a Master’s, let alone graduating high school, are slim to none! Now shoosh! Tonight is about celebrating. Not just an institution but an individual. Gable could go on and on about himself, because his list is long.

But tonight is about a man who overcame the odds. An absolute tree trunk in the ring and a great student in the classroom. Gable’s prized pupil, his protégé, his number one guy, OTIS! Gable’s so proud. Last week, Otis applied the lessons and passed his final exam by decimating the moronic RKBRO and claimed the Academy’s rightful spot as tag team champions! So tonight, it is Gable’s honor and pleasure- Fans chant with “RKBRO! RKBRO!” They’re trying to have a ceremony for Otis! Gable presents to Otis, who has no last name anymore, the highest graduating honors from the Alpha Academy! The music plays again as they hug it out.

Gable says Otis has the floor. Look at that face! Otis thanks Chad, and says Gable has helped him reach his full potential. But now he has a warning: expect pure carnage for anyone who messes with the titles! They ain’t stopping, and they ain’t ever gonna stop! But here comes Matt Riddle! The Bro is in his own graduation gown, but it has mismatched sleeves… Riddle asks, “What’s up, bros? Big O, you’re looking pretty, pretty tight. And you guys don’t even wanna know what I had to get this graduation gown on time.” But when he got invited to this ceremony, he knew he had to make a very special speech.

Riddle brings out his speech, written on a napkin from this morning’s breakfast buffet. “Fellow graduates and Tulsinians. IT felt like just last week, Randy and I were the WWE Raw Tag Team Champions. We were livin’ on the edge, drivin’ with the top down, lettin’ the wind blow through our hair. We were just a couple o’ young, wild stallions runnin’ free. But today is graduation day. And our lives will change forever. Randy would always say, ‘Life comes at ya pretty fast.'” Gable stops him there, he has no idea what he’s going on about. Riddle was NOT invited to this. And Oklahoma can’t afford to lose another braincell, so just be on your way.

Riddle has “Gablestiltskin” take it easy. Riddle wants to say how proud he is of them. Them and their astronomical necks. See? He can use big words, too, Chad! Gable says Riddle is an idiot. He already ruined Otis’ night, so get to the point. RKBRO wants a rematch? Problem is, Riddle probably can’t even define the word rematch. Riddle so can! A rematch is… uh… when you have to light something up twice! Like a candle! But hey, a rematch sounds like a pretty sick idea. Fans wanna see it! Gable knew it. No wonder Orton left Riddle high and dry. Where even is he? Riddle unzips his gown to show off his “Hey Raaaandy” shirt.

Gable and Otis will give them a rematch, under one condition: they have to prove their mental aptitude in an Alpha Academy Academic Challenge! Otis suddenly looks worried. TO spell it out, it’s Riddle & Randy VS the Academy to prove the smarter team! Because we already saw who the physically dominant team is! Whoa, an academic challenge? Like Billy Madison? Or more like Wheel of Fortune? Riddle loves spinning that wheel, and maybe he and Otis could run in a giant hamster wheel. Gable kinda looks like a jacked hamster, but with three times the brains. Otis is furious and throws off his gown! Riddle wants Otis to back it up and cool off.

Otis storms up the ramp, barking about this being his night! But Orton gets in the ring to RKO Gable!! And then Riddle trips up Otis on the apron! RKBRO got one over on the Academy, and now Orton wears one of the red graduation gowns! Orton gets the mic to then tell the Academy, “We accept!” Will Riddle & Orton get PhDs in kicking the Academy’s asses?

 

Austin Theory visits Vince McMahon.

Theory thanks Vince for the rematch with Finn Balor. But uh, what’s Vince watching on his TV? It was the previous match, where Finn won. Oh… Theory knows he lost, but then he beat the hell outta Finn and nearly ended his career. In fact, it was like a half victory. No such thing. So tonight, Theory needs to beat Finn and beat him up. If Theory doesn’t, Vince will get someone to drag Theory to this office and Vince will beat Theory up! Smash him all over, and by the time he’s finished, it’ll just be blood, snot and broken teeth. Then Vince will take a selfie with that. And send it to Mama Theory! Oh… Theory has been warned, will he make good on this rematch?

 

WWE honors Martin Luther King Jr.

“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. That all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That dream of MLK’s, where we judge not by the color of skin but by character, is still alive. We will all reach the Promised Land together.

 

Finn Balor VS Austin Theory!

Raw returns and Theory makes his entrance. The Prince is back after being out a month, will he make Theory pay for every minute he’s missed? The bell rings, they circle and tie up, and Theory puts Finn on ropes. The ref counts, Theory lets off but Finn blocks the cheap shot to kick and headlock! Finn thrashes to grind Theory down, Theory powers out but Finn ducks and dodges, only for Theory to CLOBBER him with an elbow! Theory drags Finn out of the ring to smack off the apron! And then whip him into barriers! Theory goes into the ring and the ring count climbs. Finn stands but Theory goes out after him.

Theory whips, Finn reverses, and Theory hits barriers! Finn then hits a SLINGBLADE! Theory writhes, the count is rising, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns and Finn rallies, trips and DOUBLE STOMPS Theory down! Theory goes to a corner, Finn runs in and CHOPS! Finn whips Theory corner to corner, Theory reverse but Finn reverses back, ELBOW DROP DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn snarls, Theory crawl to ropes and Finn KICKS him out of the ring! Finn drags Theory up but Theory HOTSHOTS! Theory somersaults in, but into a SLINGBLADE! Finn then runs, into a LARIAT from Theory! Theory hauls Finn up to FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Fireman’s carry, A T- NO! Finn makes it a roll up, TWO! Theory and Finn get up, and Finn goes to the apron. Finn shoulders into Theory, GAMANGIRIS, then climbs up!

But Theory avoids the Coup De Grace to somersault SHOTGUN! Fireman’s carry, A T L!! Cover, Theory wins!

Winner: Austin Theory, by pinfall

Theory saves himself from Vince’s wrath, and he gets his victory selfie. But to make good on what Vince told him, Theory fires off fists! Theory then drags Finn up, fireman’s carries again, for another A T L! Theory tells Finn to expect the unexpected. But will Finn find a way to teach Theory and Mr. McMahon respect for The Prince?

 

Nikki A.S.H. VS Rhea Ripley!

Before the match, Rhea is interviewed backstage. How does she respond to Nikki saying it was Rhea who ruined the relationship? Rhea says she never intended for this to hurt their friendship. But Nikki made up her mind. Rhea isn’t one to forgive very easily, so what kind of hero attacks a friend? If Rhea’s the villain here, than Nikki’s more delirious than Rhea thought. It’s time to remind everyone who Rhea Ripley is. Is Nikki in for a Nightmare tonight?

Raw returns and Nikki makes her entrance, but then so do Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella. Mella says, “Hear ye, hear ye, Tulsa. The Most Beautiful Woman in All of WWE and Your Queen have arrived to tell everyone in this dusty arena that everything we predicted about Nikki A.S.H. has come true.” Zelina’s word is absolute, and therefore she is correct by default. Not only is she a beloved queen, but also a fairy godmother. Rhea would never have been rid of Nikki without their little push. Rhea should be thanking them! Because they’ve been telling Rhea for weeks that if she stuck with an Almost Superhero, she’d never be nothing more than an almost threat.

But seems things are too late. Rhea doesn’t look like anything more than a low class loser. Without Nikki as her security blanket, does Rhea have what it takes? As Zelina’s said, you’re either the most powerful women in the room, or you’re nothing. Zelina is queen, but Rhea will be standing there, covered in trash, looking for someone to leech off of. Rhea doesn’t have the guts to be champion all on her own. Rhea tells them to bring it, then, but Nikki goes after Rhea! The ref wants Nikki to let off, but Nikki keeps hammering Rhea down! Rhea hits back but Nikki throws Rhea down! Nikki is seething, and then she drags Rhea up. Rhea kicks Nikki away but Nikki throws her out!

Nikki WRECKS Rhea with a dropkick, then goes out to RAM her into steel steps! The Almost Superhero leaves Rhea down, but the match is called off. Will Rhea get right? Or will she get revenge?

 

Dana Brooke and Reggie regroup backstage.

What did they talk about? Staying low and staying mobile. That’s right! Reggie is faster, stronger and amazing! Use Omos’ size against him, tire him out, and go for the legs. Meanwhile, R-Truth, Akira Tozawa, Tamina, and a referee are watching while eating popcorn. Dana says Reggie can be vicious and ruthless while also super athletic. Reggie says, “Who am I kidding?” He ran into Omos full speed and bounced off him! Dana says Reggie is the most capable man she knows. Just stay away from him. But even Dana looks worried. Truth says Dana must really hate Reggie. She just told him to get got! Will Reggie even survive his run-in with Omos?

Reggie w/ Dana Brooke VS Omos!

Raw returns and Reggie makes his entrance. Dana is cheering him on, but she still looks very worried. Omos points out the clear height difference, and then he roars! Even that scares Reggie! But then here come the 24/7 Championship hunters! Dana runs into the ring, scoots under Omos and out the other side. Omos catches Tozawa, TOSSES him out, then CLOBBERS Truth! Tamina stares Omos down and Reggie climbs the corner. Tamina goes around Omos, the bell rings, and Reggie leaps! Into Omos’ arms! Omos uses both hands for the MOUNTAIN TOSS! Omos says it’s that easy. Cover, Omos wins.

Winner: Omos, by pinfall

Omos didn’t break a sweat with that one! Will the colossus of Raw continue to dominate until he’s on top of the world?

 

Maryse heads to the ring!

As her note said, she is here to talk with Beth face-to-face. But will that all this be? Or do Miz & Mrs. have a plan for the Glamazon? We find out, after the break.

Raw returns and Maryse has a mic to say, “Bonsoir (good evening), Tulsa.” She assures us The Miz couldn’t make it. He has a very big mouth and likes to agree to things without asking her first, so tonight, she is cleaning up his mess. She then asks Beth to come out alone so they can do this right. Woman to woman, wife to wife and mother to mother, Maryse wants to talk. Beth makes her entrance, but Edge still follows her out. Maryse wants Edge to wait on the ramp until they’ve had this conversation. There aren’t many ways to put this, but the match at the Rumble, it has to be canceled. Uh, okay. This oughta be good, so Beth is all ears.

Maryse says she doesn’t want it, surely Beth doesn’t want it, and the fans don’t want it! Fans boo, they DO want it. Maryse is trying to have a heartfelt moment, guys. Really? Really? Really? Maryse is sure sounding like Miz here… Maryse says she has the mic, so she can be louder than everyone here. It doesn’t matter what you think! Now she’s The Rock? But anyway, Maryse wants Beth to listen. They’re from the same generation in WWE. They fought together. Remember those two minute matches? Fans chant, “You Suck!” but Maryse asks if they’re done.

But Beth, c’mon. They fought together and made the Women’s Division what it is today! They’re great at what they do! Just look at them! Women nowadays main event WrestleMania thanks to these two! So if anything, Maryse thinks that they should be on the same team. They should be a unit! Friends! Even their daughters can be friends! They can have play dates, dinners, or even just a coffee. Beth wants Maryse to know that she speaks for everyone here when she says, “Just shut up!” Seriously? BFF’s? Playdates? Is anyone buying this? NOPE! So that means Maryse takes acting lessons from The Miz.

Beth boils it down to a simple answer: the match is NOT off. Beth is NOT missing the chance to tag team with her husband for the first time ever. And she is NOT missing the chance to Glam Slam Maryse’s ass through the canvas! In fact, why not give the fans a preview? Beth storms up to the ring but Maryse stays put. Wait, Miz attacks Edge at the ramp! But Edge DECKS Miz! Maryse really was lying about Miz being at home! But then Maryse CLOBBERS Beth with her purse! What’s in that bag?! Maryse and Miz decide to show us: it was a BRICK! A literal BRICK! Maryse tosses her hair back and celebrates with The Miz. But will Edge and Beth only look to break The It Couple for that one?

 

The Street Profits are fired up backstage!

Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford have a dream! The dream is that they have a plan and will execute it and win! The best part is, they do it in Tulsa, Oklahoma~! YESSIR! All the bodies in the ring, it’ll be like a mini Rumble. Which is great cuz the Profits were the first to declare for this year’s Rumble! Their first one, tossin’ bodies! But will Ford throw Dawkins? Rey Mysterio & Dom walk over to say not to worry. They’re a team tonight, and they’ll also be in the Rumble. Rey has to get this off his chest: Los Mysterios will outlast 28 other men in the Rumble. And then, not only will they throw those guys out, they’ll take the Mysterio name back to the Mania main event!

Okay, all due respect, that’s only if the Profits don’t make it there first. Because the Profits are up! And WE WANT THE SMOKE! Will these four burn it down to then light it up on the Road to WrestleMania?

8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs!

Raw returns and the Dawgs make their entrance. Then the Pride of Nigeria and his right hand man make their entrance. Teams sort out, Dolph Ziggler starts against Dom. They tie up, Dom waistlocks but Ziggler elbows free. Ziggler talks trash, runs, but Dom follows to RANA! Dom runs at Ziggler in the corner but Ziggler CLOBBERS Dom! Tag to Robert Roode and he stomps Dom. Roode drags Dom up, suplexes, but Dom knees free! Dom kicks low, tags Rey, and Rey gets a boost to RANA! Rey whips, Roode reverses but Rey dodges and tilt-o-whirl headscissors! Rey runs in but Roode puts him on the apron. Rey DECKS Roode, climbs, and leaps, but the rana is blocked

Roode brings Rey up, but Rey RANAS Roode out of the ring! Ziggler and Dom get in, Dom whips but Ziggler throws Dom up and out! Ford and Dawkins DROPKCIK Ziggler out! All eight men are on the outside now and shouting, but the ref keeps the peace while Raw goes to break!

Raw returns, Roode tags Ziggler and the Dawgs double whip Rey to double elbow him down. Then the Dawgs hit Rey’s corner to knock everyone down! Fans boo but Ziggler drags Rey over to tag Apollo. Apollo hits a STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ziggler is upset on Apollo’s behalf, but Apollo decides he’ll finish it now. Apollo gets Rey up, trophy lifts, but Rey fights free to a DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up! Rey crawls, Dawks is back! Hot tag to the Curse of Greatness! And he rallies on everyone! He hurdles Apollo to hit a FLYING BACK ELBOW! Roode runs into an EXPLODER! Ziggler runs into an EXPLODER!

Dawkins gives Apollo a CYCLONE SPLASH, then the SILENCER! But Azeez gets in to break the cover! Ford returns to ENZIGURI Azeez out! The Dawgs TOSS Ford out! But the Mysterios dropkick the Dawgs onto the ropes! STEREO 619’s! Dom goes up and out to LEAP at Azeez! But Azeez catches him! Rey jumps to add on, the Mysterios take out Azeez! But Apollo rolls Dawkins up! TWO, and pop-up for SKY HIGH! Tag to Ford, he’s up top! FROM THE HEAVENS!! Cover, the Profits & Mysterios win!

Winners: The Street Profits & The Mysterios, by pinfall

Ford was five-star again with that splash, but then the Mysterios decide to dump the Profits out! Rey says that’s nothing personal, just a sample of the Rumble. And then he dumps Dom out! The son’s got a lot to learn still. But will Dom & Rey look to be in that final handful at the Rumble to put their name back on the WrestleMania marquee?

 

WWE looks at the parallels of Lashley and Lesnar.

“Forge: to form by heating and hammering; to beat into shape.” Great warriors are born at the forge, shaped by the heat of the fire and tried in the brutality of combat. This is the beginning of two such warriors. “The great plains often invoke idyllic dreams of an unending cascades of crops and green pastures. But in winter, these dreams are overtaken by the harsh reality of desolation and decay. It is here that the heart of a Beast was forged, and a Conqueror was born.” Brock Lesnar is a two-time NCAA All American with over 100 victories, and the NCAA Division I Heavyweight Champion. And just five months after his WWE debut, The Next Big Thing was WWE Champion.

After ravaging every challenger in the WWE, the Beast would go to the UFC, and in just three fights, he’d reign supreme as the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Then upon returning to the WWE, Lesnar’s path of devastation continued. He took 16-time WWE Champion John Cena to Suplex City, ended The Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak, and cemented his dominance as a three-time Universal and six-time World Champion. He is a Beast without limits, without remorse, and without fear.

“Discipline. Restraint. Control. It is from these fires that the All Mighty was forged. Son of a US Army drill sergeant, Bobby Lashley learned at an early age that only by rigorously harnessing his natural ability that he would the greatness that he sought.” A three-time NAIA wrestling champion, Lashley would follow his father’s footsteps into the Army, and he honed his craft onto his way to winning gold in the Armed Forces Championship. Lashley would emerge in WWE as a peak physical specimen, unleashing a torrent of physical power and ferocity. But while he won gold, Lashley couldn’t quite find that next level.

A sojourn into MMA ignited the fires and Lashley had a 15-2 record. Then he’d return to the WWE and he would unleash havoc on opponent after opponent with his arsenal of high impact moves, headlined by the Hurt Lock full nelson. He would become United States Champion, Intercontinental Champion, and ultimately, WWE World Champion. Now, Lashley is ready for the one challenge that eluded him. For 20 years, Lashley believes Lesnar was ducking him. But Lesnar is confident that if they’d met before, Lesnar would’ve already beaten him. But the Royal Rumble will see the champion Beast collide with an All Mighty challenger.

These paths have finally crossed. Two warriors, forged in flame, battle and gold, fight for the ultimate prize. Only one emerges THE WWE World Champion. Will the ring even stay standing as these wage war?

 

The Miz & Maryse are heading out.

Kevin Patrick stops them to ask about that vicious attack. Miz says it took ONE SHOT to take down the Glamazon! Now Beth needs medical attention! Now the Grit Couple is the SH- Maryse stops Miz there. The girls are watching at home. Oh, right. Daddy loves ya, girls! And Miz loves Mommy. He is the best husband ever, because he remembered that Maryse’s birthday is next week! So before saying bonny nut- No, no, it’s bonne nuit. The T is silent. Right, bonne nuit to the Grit Couple, Miz is going to throw the most expensive, extravagant and amazing birthday party that anyone has ever seen, because Miz loves Maryse.

Nothing, especially not Edge & Beth, is stronger than their love. These two make-out right in front of us… But will announcing the birthday party here come back to bite the It Couple?

 

Alexa Bliss has another therapy session.

She and her therapist sit quietly a moment before he welcomes her back. He’s happy to say that there are less breakable things here in the office. She isn’t sure about that. But these sessions will continue. He will not tolerate a repeat of last week, though. He does apologize for showing her such a sensitive subject, but he had to know where she stood psychological. He promises her that she will be on the road to recovery. Neat. Now, let’s do word association. Okay, sure. How does she feel about the word, “Trust.” “Lily.” Friend? Lily. Home? Lily. Doll… Lily. Imaginary. Alexa gets up out of her seat and glares at him. Okay, time’s up.

The doc bolts but Alexa cools off. She sits back down, looks around the room, but stays quiet. Will Alexa ever get over her twistedly tragic past?

 

Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Seth Rollins!

The Rocky Mountain Machine is ready to wreck everything, including Brock Lesnar. Meanwhile, The Visionary is preparing to repeat history and defeat Roman Reigns once again. But who will have some major momentum on their side going towards those titanic title matches? The main event of top championship challengers begins after the break!

Raw returns and Rollins makes his entrance. The bell rings and Lashley glares while Rollins smirks. The two circle, fans rally up, and the two tie up. Rollins headlocks, Lashley powers up to power out, but Rollins duck sand dodges. Lashley hurdles then runs Rollins over! Fans cheer as Lashley mocks Rollins’ pose. The two reset, circle and tie up again. Rollins waistlocks, Lashley uses ropes to buck Rollins away, but Rollins hurdles and drops to then go perpendicular, SLINGBLADE! Rollins kicks, reels Lashley in, but Lashley back drops free! Lashley stalks Rollins, but Rollins fights the full nelson! Rollins drops to KICK Lashley, then he dumps Lashley out!

Rollins builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit but Lashley stays up! Rollins goes back in, builds speed again, DIVES, but into a clinch! OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Lashley roars and Rollins flounders while Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Rollins has Lashley down now! Rollins drags Lashley to a corner to SLAM a leg against the post! Rollins SLAMS the leg again, talks trash to MVP, then gets in as the ring count reaches 5 of 10. Rollins drags Lashley up, puts the bad leg in the ropes, pulls until the ref counts, then dropkicks the leg! Lashley falls, Rollins drags him to center and steps through to drop a leg on the knee! Lashley snarls and fans rally up. MVP coaches Lashley, but Rollins drops another leg on the bad knee! And then another! Rollins has the toehold, ties up the legs, but Lashley fights, only for Rollins to still get the Indian Deathlock!

Rollins keeps Lashley’s hands away while Lashley endures the hold. Rollins SLAPS Lashley in the side, but Lashley pulls hair! The ref reprimands, Lashley lets go but he punches Rollins! Rollins lets the legs free, but then he gets the bad one for a DRAGON SCREW! And into a HALF CRAB! Lashley endures, even as Rollins sits deep! Lashley powers up, fans rally up, and Lashley turns, only for Rollins to stomp the leg! Rollins has the Half Crab again! MVP coaches Lashley more but Rollins talks trash on “Bob.” Lashley fights up, turns things over, and he boots Rollins away! Rollins falls out of the ring but he’s right back in! Lashley avoids the stomp for a COMPLETE SHOT!

MVP says that’s the All Mighty Lashley he knows! Lashley grits his teeth and pushes up, just as Rollins also sits up. Rollins turns around into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! And then another! Lashley runs in at the corner, to RAM into Rollins! Lashley turns Rollins around, NECKBREAKER! Lashley fires up and Tulsa fires up with him! Lashley gets Rollins up, suplexes, but Rollins fights free! Lashley kicks low to gut wrench, DOMINATOR! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives but MVP coaches Lashley to keep going. Lashley aims from a corner, Rollins rises, Lashley runs in, into a KNEE! Rollins hits a ROLLING ELBOW! Then runs, but into a scoop!

Rollins slips out, shoves Lashley into buckles, then kicks low! Rollins underhooks the arms, PEDIGREE!! Cover, TWO!?! Lashley survives but Rollins is too tired to be shocked! Fans rally behind Lashley but Rollins stands. Rollins goes to a corner, climbs up top, but Lashley gets him with a choke grip! Lashley climbs up, but Rollins fights with elbows! But Lashley clinches, for a SUPER BELLY2BELLY!! Rollins goes flying to the other side of the ring! Lashley gets back to a corner but the Hurt Business go after him!!

Winner: Bobby Lashley, by disqualification

Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin mug Lashley but Lashley fights back! That’s still 2v1, and they POST him! Alexander & Benjamin shout that he’s brought this upon himself, and then the POST Lashley again! They glare at MVP but then drag Lashley back up. But Lashley DOUBLE SUPLEXES them instead! COMPLETE SHOT for Benjamin! Fireman’s carry and the POST for Alexander! Lashley SPEARS Benjamin through barriers! Rollins is shocked at seeing the carnage, but the USOS run out from the crowd! Rollins turns around, into DOUBLE SUPERKICKS! Jimmy & Jey make up for missing the target on SmackDown!

Rollins lost the match and then got got! Will he stand a chance of dethroning the Head of the Table if the Usos can get him on his show? As for Lashley, will he be able to go for the gold if he has his former henchmen coming after him?


My Thoughts:

This was a decent episode, but with really glaring low points. Does Vince just hate Women’s Wrestling again? Why is it that the matches tonight were basically filler to move the story along? Nikki VS Rhea being No Contest was whatever since it at least went with story. But that opening tag match had Becky, Piper, Bianca and Liv, all of which are basically the stars of the Raw Women’s Division. Yet Vince couldn’t be bothered to give that match more than a bathroom break amount of time! I suppose because it was Piper ending it all very quickly, we’re supposed to think Piper is that great, but honestly it just hurt all four women. If Bianca was taken out by just a corner splash, how is she to win the Rumble?

Finn VS Theory 2 was also way too short. I get there was a commercial break in the middle but that just makes it worse. Theory winning was clean also a shame, and not because of Vince’s weird threat to him. I get that Theory needed to win to make a feud out of this, but why not dirty it up a little? When is Finn going to get a chance to comment on how Theory is Vince’s pet project and all that? This whole thing is just hurting my brain. And only a little less than the Veer Mahaan videos coming back. He better show up in the Rumble. And this week’s Alexa therapy session was filler. It was just her associating everything with Lily but not even in a more compelling way than last week’s “triggered Alexa” vignette.

We got a good 8 Man Tag but it was also on the short side. It was pretty standard Rumble season stuff for Rey & Dom to dump the Profits out, but Rey dumping Dom was a bit of a surprise. Maybe Dom will do the same during the Rumble on Rey? I did appreciate them weaving three backstage segments into one, going from Reggie wanting advice from Edge but basically striking out, and then Edge talking with Priest and then Priest talking with Kevin. If Dana still has the 24/7 title come the Women’s Rumble, can that title end up hot potato’d around to end up on someone from SmackDown? Or does Fox just hate that title?

Omos of course destroyed Reggie, but I almost thought he was going to somehow end up 24/7 champion. That’d probably put the end to the title, though, because who would even try to take it from him? Kevin had a very good match with Priest, and his win definitely puts him in line for the US Championship, but who knows if Kevin will even go for it with him so closely connected to Rollins in their stories. And we got a good promo segment out of Maryse and Beth. But Maryse bringing up the Diva Era short matches and yet we got a short women’s match here, the irony clearly goes over Vince’s thick head. That brick in the purse, though. And telegraphing the birthday stuff for next week, Maryse’s cake is definitely going into someone’s face.

The Alpha Academy graduation was a pretty good segment. I am sure Riddle was referencing something but I can’t place it. I can’t believe they’re kayfabing that Otis never had the last name “Dozovic.” That’s taking Vince’s love of editing names to a new, dumber level. But I loved the face Otis made when Gable said they were going to have a tag team academic challenge. He’s going to end up the weak link for his team since this graduation was based on his in-ring skills. The Lesnar Lashley vignette was well made, but a rather melodramatic theme in the narration. After the string of short matches, it just felt like WWE trying too hard to be cinematic and not enough about action.

Lashley VS Rollins was great stuff, until the Hurt Business “ruined” things. It just keeps reminding us of how flippant they’ve been with that faction’s story. They work together against Goldberg but then not together against Lesnar, and now the Hurt Business is just being thrown at Lashley in an attempt to build Lashley as brutal and dominant without it being in the matches. The Usos getting the drop on Rollins was pretty good, though, since that carries over from SmackDown. If they’d let it just be the Usos trying to mess with Rollins, I think things would’ve felt a bit better.

My Score: 8/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (1/17/22)

Raleigh gets Elevated!

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AEW Elevation Coverage

A lucky seven for Elevation!

AEW continues in Raleigh and has a strong seven for Elevation! Jay Lethal is keeping himself sharp for what could be an FTW Championship showdown!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty VS JR Miller & Marcus Kross; Sydal & Moriarty wins.
  • Tay Conti VS Ameera; Conti wins.
  • Gunn Club VS JB Cole & T.I.M; Gunn Club wins.
  • Frankie Kazarian VS Labron Kozone; Kaz wins.
  • Ruby Soho VS Kenzie Page; Soho wins.
  • Private Party VS Chase Emory & Patrick Scott; Private Party wins.
  • Jay Lethal VS Alexander Moss; Lethal wins.

QUICK NOTES

Pretty clear cut stuff here, but I like that we’re seeing Sydal & Moriarty in tag action again. Kenzie Page is back in AEW and she’ll give Ruby Soho a good match. Good to see Kaz back in action, they kinda let the ball drop on his Elite Hunter story but maybe he can build himself up towards the TNT Championship. And I have a feeling in Gunn Club’s match, fans will troll Austin & Colten as “Ass Boys” again and that could come close to costing them.


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