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

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kevin Owens VS Dolph Ziggler; Owens wins.
  • Six Woman Tag: Charlotte Flair, Naomi & Becky Lynch VS The Riott Squad; Riott Squad wins.
  • SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders match: The New Day VS Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin; The New Day wins and will challenge The Usos at Fastlane.
  • The Bludgeon Brothers VS Eduardo Especial & Norville Rodgers; Bludgeon Brothers win.
  • Baron Corbin VS AJ Styles; Styles wins.

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PLAY BY PLAY

Renee Young introduces the Phenomenal AJ Styles!

The WWE Champion has found himself in another rough situation, all because SmackDown management cannot agree on what is fair and unfair to everyone else on the SmackDown roster. Last month, he took on Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn in a 2v1 handicap match for the title. This month, he will have to take on Kevin, Sami, and now Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler in a Fatal Five!

But Phoenix, Arizona is still on his side as they chant his name in a standing ovation. He thanks their ovation with a shout out on the corner, and Renee asks what Styles feels going forward. Is he still in control of his destiny? “Let me see…” He looks up at the Wrestlemania sign overhead, and says “I feel like any man that steps in this ring with me, I can beat.” Styles may sound cocky but he’s always backed it up. Though, he admits the Fatal Five is a big problem, because anything and everything can happen anywhere inside and outside the ring. Look over at the announce desk. He’d love to put Kevin Owens through that table. But the problem there is that over here in the ring, maybe Ziggler could pin Sami and Styles would lose his title. And speaking of outside, look at the steel steps here. They’re “tailor made” for that “ginger Yep Machine”, Sami, and Styles would love to do it. But then again, in the ring, maybe Ziggler will beat Kevin and Styles loses his title. However, if it was all 1v1, Styles could beat them all: Kevin the former Universal Champion, Styles can win; Sami the “ruthless” Underdog, but Styles can win; Ziggler the Show-Off, “every bit the man he says he is”, but Styles can win; and yes, there’s- Baron Corbin appears right on cue!

If Styles thinks he can beat Corbin, Corbin will stop him before he makes a fool out of himself. The fans boo and jeer, but the last time they went 1v1, Corbin beat Styles. He did it for the United States Championship, and in the rematch. Corbin has Styles number, because there’s a major difference: Styles is an athlete, but Corbin is a fight. Corbin can beat Styles, or someone else, because “there will be nothing” Styles can do about it. Either way, the Lone Wolf will be the new WWE Champion. However, Kevin Owens appears to respond!

The Prizefighter is “so sick” of hearing talk, so he came out to shut them up. Styles doesn’t have to worry about running around, because the one going through a table is Styles via the Pop-Up Powerbomb. As for Corbin, “trying to look tough”, but he wasn’t so tough when Kevin & Sami beat him up. But when Corbin got back up, he dropped Kevin “like the little punk” he is. How cocky for someone being handed an opportunity by Shane McMahon. Corbin doesn’t belong in this match, but Shane’s vendetta against Kevin worked in Corbin’s favor. All because Kevin “destroyed” Vince McMahon with the “headbutt heard around the world”, Shane’s been after Kevin. Kevin has had to scratch and claw for everything on SmackDown! Styles asks if Kevin could repeat some of that, he spaced out. Kevin looks great, by the way. Did he get that boil off his back? What boil? Sami Zayn. Oh ha ha, but Kevin doesn’t need Sami. Sami let Kevin down because Kevin had no time to prepare for Corbin. Sami had all night for Ziggler, yet he still lost. If things were reversed, Kevin would’ve won. But this is what Shane is all about! He’s– Shane appears!

The SmackDown Commissioner hears the “Shane O’Mac!” cheers and thanks Phoenix for that. He has also heard the talk, but no one wants a bunch of talk. It’s time for action! Corbin can put his money where his mouth is, going 1v1 in the main event against AJ Styles. As for Kevin, his conspiracy theory might hold up. Can he do what Sami didn’t do last week? He has a match right now, against… Dolph Ziggler!

Kevin Owens VS Dolph Ziggler!

SmackDown returns and the match begins, Ziggler goes right at Kevin! They brawl with rights, Ziggler gets the takedown and rains down rights. Kevin gets free and then out of the ring, but Ziggler slips out to pursue. Kevin kicks low and clubs Ziggler over to the announce desk. He bounces Ziggler off the desk then puts him back in the ring, but Ziggler responds with a dropkick. Kevin exits the ring again, so Ziggler comes out to keep up the attack. Ziggler bumps Kevin off steps and the desk, then puts him back in the ring. Ziggler follows Kevin to a corner but Kevin chops back. He stomps Ziggler, then scoops, but Ziggler slips out to dropkick Kevin down again! Kevin again leaves the ring but Ziggler still pursues. Ziggler swings but ends up put into the barriers! Kevin shouts “Not showing off now, Dolph!?” before he puts Ziggler back in the ring. But Ziggler springs back up to dropkick Kevin back down! Kevin hits the floor on the outside, and Ziggler catches his breath before going back out. Ziggler whips Kevin but Kevin reverses to send Ziggler hard into the LED apron.

Kevin puts Ziggler back in the ring and goes for the back senton, but Ziggler evades! Ziggler gets to his feet and runs at Kevin in a corner for the big splash. He transitions to the neckbreaker but Kevin reverses that into a suplex. Ziggler resists, and suplexes Kevin up and over! Kevin clutches his back as he makes his way to a corner. Ziggler walks over and throws in hands before grinding Kevin’s face on the top rope. Kevin kicks back at Ziggler’s bad leg but Ziggler hits back with a back elbow. Ziggler runs into the corner but Kevin evades, Ziggler bounces off buckles. Kevin goes corner to corner and hits the cannonball! Cover, TWO! Kevin is already frustrated while we go picture in picture.

Ziggler rolls and slumps out of the ring, but Kevin shouts “This is MY show!” Kevin goes out and stomps on Ziggler before dragging him up. He whips Ziggler hard into the barriers, then takes his time mouthing off at Byron. Kevin returns to pick Ziggler up and into the ring, before covering. TWO, and Kevin continues to be annoyed. He taunts Ziggler as he crawls to ropes, but then Ziggler hits back with an elbow. Ziggler throws haymakers, then runs but gets a flapjack to ropes! Elbow drop DDT, cover, TWO! Kevin drags Ziggler up to drive elbows into his shoulders and neck. Kevin mocks the fans cheering for Ziggler before hitting the back senton. Cover, TWO, and Kevin wraps on an aggressive chinlock. Kevin continues to taunt the fans while he squeezes Ziggler’s head. Ziggler endures, reaching for a way out. He works his way up to his feet and fights his way out of the hold. Kevin throws in a knee, back suplex but Ziggler escapes to put on his own sleeper hold. Kevin backs into a corner but Ziggler holds on. Out of desperation, Kevin runs at ropes and they both fall out of the ring! We return to single picture as they both slowly stir.

The referee counts while Ziggler and Kevin slowly make their way over to the ring. Kevin puts Ziggler in but Ziggler jumps and hits the satellite DDT! The fans applaud while both men go down again. The fans duel with chants, Kevin and Ziggler drag themselves up with ropes. Kevin runs at Ziggler but into a back elbow, then into the post! Ziggler gets Kevin quick with the neckbreaker, covers, TWO! Ziggler keeps focus as he gets back to his feet. He throws in the kick but Kevin counters to the fireman’s carry, and gutbuster, to then Vader Bomb elbow drop! TWO! The frustration is growing, but Kevin keeps moving. The fans duel while Kevin climbs up to the top. Ziggler stops him with a right hand! Ziggler climbs up now, and the fans fire up, but Kevin resists the superplex. He headbutts Ziggler down but Ziggler returns, only to be shoved off again! SWANTON, hits knees! FAMOUSER!

TWO! Both men are too exhausted and sore to express much of anything, but the fans know “This is Awesome!” Kevin and Ziggler get to ropes and drag themselves up, but Kevin holds ropes to deny the Zig-Zag. He goes to throw a kick but Ziggler blocks, Ziggler goes to kick but Kevin blocks. Kevin throws Ziggler to ropes, Pop-Up but no powerbomb, ZIG-ZAG! TWO!? Ziggler’s best move didn’t end this and he shows his frustration. The two get up slowly again, but Ziggler runs in for the big splash! he runs again, but Sami Zayn comes out? He runs right up to the very end of the ramp, Kevin SUPERKICKS Ziggler in the back of the head! Cover, Kevin wins! Sami gets the assist, but will this come back to bite one of the two “best friends” at Fastlane?

 

Jinder Mahal comes to the ring.

The Modern Day Maharaja has made a “startling discovery”. He believes the WWE Universe needs to know this. For Bobby Roode has a secret, but Mahal believes in transparency. The fans are in for a “Roode Awakening” of sorts. Roode has his own SmackDown Top Ten Superstars List! The list has:

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

Obviously Bobby broke the rules, he made himself Number One. Another thing to note, aside from Mahal being off the list, is that a certain someone else isn’t on the list either. There is no mention of Randy Orton. Roode thinks he’s better than Orton, thinking himself “the new Legend Killer”. Yet Roode says he respects Orton? If no one has put it together, it’s that Roode is just a GLORIOUS ego maniac and INGLORIOUS liar! But the GLORIOUS One appears to respond.

Roode doesn’t know what Mahal is talking about, but that isn’t Roode’s list. However, Roode has a secret about Mahal: he can’t even make a single Top Ten List. But also, Mahal just wants to be US Champion so hard that he’s trying to use Orton and Roode against each other. He wants Roode paranoid, but the truth is, “in a fair fight”, Mahal can’t beat Roode. The fans agree, “You Can’t Win!” Mahal admits to the fact that he wants the US Championship, but he wants Roode to “speak the truth”, too. Roode does think he’s better than Orton. No, Roode never said that. So then he does? No, he never said. So, Roode is afraid of Orton? He’s never said anything of the sort. But one person he’s not afraid of, is Mahal. “Well you should be.” Mahal beat Orton, so then- FORGET Randy Orton!! Roode takes off his jacket, because “this is about you and me.”

The two stare down and fans cheer on Roode, but The Viper appears anyway!

Orton knows Roode has been running his mouth, but so has Mahal. That said, Orton goes after Mahal, and Roode helps out! Mahal gets sent out of the ring, but then Orton goes for an RKO on Roode! Roode narrowly denies it, and hits the GLORIOUS DDT! The fans cheer for Roode, and Roode tells Orton, “fool me once, shame on me!” He won’t be caught off guard again! At least, not by Orton, as Mahal returns to hit Roode with a Kalas! The Modern Day Maharaja is once again standing tall over Roode and Orton. Is Mahal’s plan going to work out all the way to making him the next United States Champion?

 

SmackDown General Manager, Daniel Bryan, sees what has happened.

He didn’t realize the SmackDown Top Ten would cause such a stir. Clearly Mahal has a plan on how to use it to his advantage. Shane wonders what Bryan plans next. Obviously Roode should defend his title at Fastlane, “against the man who has gotten the better of him.” That’s Mahal. But Orton answered the open challenge last week, and fans would love that match-up. They’re oddly not on the same page. Not the first time. But that’s only because Bryan wants two names to compete for the title: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. #Kami is already back to their old ways, they can’t be trusted. That’s why Shane had to give a chance to Corbin and Ziggler. Bryan says that Shane chose him to be GM because he trusted him to run SmackDown. Yet, Shane’s been questioning him at every turn. Only because Bryan makes emotional choices. Roode VS Orton is the better choice, and Shane makes it that, period. “Whatever you want, boss.” The tension remains, what will it take for SmackDown management to put differences aside?

 

Six Woman Tag: Charlotte Flair, Naomi & Becky Lynch VS The Riott Squad!

The Queen of SmackDown has gone up 2-0 on The Riott Squad by defeating Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan. Her sweep will have to wait, however, as she and her friends take on the entire Squad amidst the race to find a #1 contender to her title. Can #RoyalGlowFire keep up the momentum on the Road to Wrestlemania?

The bell rings and we start with Sarah Logan and Charlotte. They tie up, Charlotte shoves Sarah away and dares Ruby to step up. Ruby refuses, so Sarah ties up with Charlotte again. Charlotte throws Sarah down and puts on a headlock, then tags in Naomi. Naomi prepares, and Charlotte feeds Sarah to the Twerk Attack! Naomi runs in but Sarah runs her over! However, Naomi springs right up and then ducks the punches to slide under and jump over. She kicks Sarah right in the thigh, then tags in Becky. They double whip and double hip toss Sarah down, before the Lass Kicker throws in leg drops and elbow drops. Becky covers, TWO, but Becky keeps focus. She scoops Sarah but Sarah slips out and throws Becky down by her hair. Sarah tags in Ruby and together they double suplex. Becky escapes and calls in reinforcements, she and Naomi double dropkick Ruby & Sarah. Liv gets mad, she gets a double hip toss then a clothesline! The Squad is on the defense while we go to break.

SmackDown returns to Becky and Ruby in the ring. Becky goes to kick but Ruby forces her to roll. Becky whips Ruby then arm-drags her down. Another arm-drag and Becky puts Ruby in an arm-drag. She taunts the rest of the Squad, which upsets Liv most of all. The fans cheer for Becky as she wrenches and yanks Ruby’s arm. Tag to Naomi for a slingshot sunset on Ruby, TWO. Ruby knees low and grabs Naomi in a headlock. She tags in Liv and Liv rolls Naomi, TWO. Naomi gets the waistlock but Liv the standing switch. Naomi bucks her off then they bump shoulders, but neither woman budges. They go again, still a solid collision. They go a third time but Liv goes Matrix, then Naomi does the splits! Naomi kicks then bulldog bumps Liv off buckles. The fans fire up while Naomi hits the split-leg moonsault, but The Squad drag Liv out. In that case, Naomi slingshots onto both Ruby & Sarah!

Liv throws Naomi into steel steps! She drags Naomi up and into the ring, then covers, TWO. Liv drags Naomi over and tags Sarah in. They stomp on Naomi, then Sarah puts Naomi in an Anaconda Vice of sorts. Sarah wrenches and thrashes Naomi around while the fans rally. Naomi feeds off the energy and gets up to fight back, only for Sarah to drag her right back down. The Squad taunt Naomi to give up, but Naomi endures. Naomi reaches for ropes with her legs but Sarah drags her away. The fans rally again, Naomi gets up but Sarah wrings her out for back elbow after back elbow. Sarah stomps Naomi in a corner, then drags her up for forearms. She runs in but Naomi evades, only for Sarah to suplex her. Naomi slips out and retaliates with a jumping headscissors! The two head for their corners while the fans rally, hot tag to Charlotte! The SmackDown Women’s Champion rallies on all three members of the Squad, then chops away on Sarah. She adds a jumping knee, then some styling and profiling…

Before the neckbreaker and boot! Charlotte grabs a leg but Liv distracts, so Charlotte boots her down. Sarah chop blocks the other leg! Then another chop block! Charlotte goes down but she manages to shove Sarah away to tag in Becky! Becky climbs up and hits a missile dropkick on Sarah. Sarah hurries to tag in Ruby, but Becky rallies on the Squad leader all the same. Becksploder, then another, and Becky has the fans fired up. She hits Ruby with a forearm smash, then one for Sarah. Becky grabs the arm, but Ruby rolls, TWO, into the Disarm-Her! Ruby endures, Liv breaks it up! Charlotte boots Liv then exploder suplex throws her! Naomi takes shotgun knees from Sarah, but Sarah takes a Becksploder! Ruby pounces, Riott Kick! Cover, The Riott Squad wins! Charlotte may be 2-0 in 1v1, but The Squad wins again as a unit. Can Ruby herself turn it around to even the score?

 

Kevin finds Sami backstage.

Kevin thanks Sami, and apologizes for what he said, but Sami says he should thank Kevin. He was right, things have been rocky, but in the end, Sami owes Kevin. Sami was spinning his wheels, but now that he is alongside Kevin, he’s headlining PPV’s and title matches. Sami will be the Guardian Angel, because he has always done what’s right. In this case, that’s paying back a friend. Seriously? Yep. Which is why they need to use this plan of division against Shane, because they’re both stronger than anyone. Then when it’s just Kevin & Sami, Sami will do “the right thing”: He will lay down for Kevin. Kevin is taken aback, but that’s fine. Sami just wants Kevin to win and main-event Wrestlemania. THey hug it out, but Kevin still looks very confused. Is a lay-down victory really going to happen at Fastlane?

 

SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders match: The New Day VS Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin!

Awwwwwwwwww… PHOENIX!” Don’t be sour, the four time WWE Tag Team Champions are competing for a chance at a fifth! However, Gable & Benjamin felt robbed last week and demanded this rematch. SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan acknowledged the gripe, so this match will settle a grudge as well as determine who faces The Usos at Fastlane.

Woods and Gable start, at the bell. Gable gets the leg and covers, ONE. Things speed up, Gable shoves Woods to keep things moving, Woods gets the waistlock. Gable resists and gets the standing switch, then things speed up again, Woods runs Gable over with a lariat! Cover, ONE, but Woods stays focused. He brings Gable up but Gable escapes the suplex. Woods elbows him away, Benjamin tags in, Woods doesn’t see it until he runs into a kick. Gable feeds Woods to Benjamin’s spinebuster, cover, TWO. Benjamin sits Woods up to punch him down, then brings him up for a scoop slam. Benjamin brings Gable up but Woods fights back. Woods backs Benjamin down, then mule kicks, but Benjamin responds with a running knee. Cover, TWO, and we go single picture.

Benjamin drags Woods up, then Gable tags in. They lift Woods up for the flying knee back suplex. Gable blasts Big E away before covering, but TWO! Gable keeps focus as he goes after Woods’ arm again and again. He grounds Woods with the armlock, but fans rally. Woods gets up and fights back with body shots and chops. Gable blocks a chop to throw Woods down, then rock him with the rolling kick! Cover, TWO! Tag to Benjamin, and they continue working that arm. Benjamin drags Woods up, puts that bad arm into a hammerlock, then throws Woods into the buckles. Benjamin hoists Woods up to the top rope, then climbs up. Woods fights back, but Benjamin rock shim with the step-up knee!

SmackDown returns to single picture while Benjamin climbs up. He sits Woods up but Woods fights back again. They brawl on the top, Woods gets the better with a headbutt. WOods readjusts, jumps and hits the missile dropkick! The fans rally, “New! Day Rocks!” Hot tags to Gable and Big E! Big E rallies with overhead belly2belly suplexes, but Gable slips around the side belly2belly to try a backslide. Gable gets Big E halfway, but Big E swings it back to swing Gable over his back. But then Gable gets Big E with the Belly2Belly overhead! Cover, TWO! The Olympian can’t believe it, so he takes his frustration out on Woods. Gable then climbs up to the top rope, moonsault but he lands on his feet when Big E evades. He runs in at Big E, Big E yurinagis Gable down! Big E rallies the fans while he stalks Gable. The scoop, but Gable slips out to feed Big E into a corner. Big E elbows back then hops up, but Gable rocks him with a palm strike! Tag to Benjamin, Gable kicks Woods away before climbing up. Benjamin manages to power Big E up into powerbomb position, but Kofi gets on the apron to distract the ref. Gable & Benjamin hit the Doomsday, but the ref is slow to seeing it. This gives Woods time to get in and break the cover! Gable throws Woods out, then the argue with the ref. Woods tags in, the ref sees that. Woods throws Gable out, rocks Benjamin with a forearm and Shining Wizard! The New Day win again! They’re once again #1 Contenders!

However, while they’re celebrating with pancakes, the Bludgeon Brothers appear.

Harper & Rowan have cryptically yet also bluntly made it known they want after The Usos. They leave the New Day alone for right now, because they have their own match to worry about next. What poor souls will be sacrificed to these two in their pursuit of gold?

 

The Bludgeon Brothers VS Especial & Rodgers!

Double dropkicks from the bell and there is no hope of recovery. Harper & Rowan take one man each and hit the backbreaker sandwich on the floor! Then Harper becomes a weapon for a scoop slam senton! Harper rips apart the announce desk while Rowan hits both men with a running splash! They drag one man into the ring, then the other. “Eduardo Especial” is placed with “Norville Rodgers” in the corner, for an assisted corner splash! Then they hit Eduardo with the full-nelson sit-out powerbomb! Harper finally tags Rowan in officially, and they give Norville the Bludgeon Bomb! Cover, and the Bludgeon Brothers win again. No mercy, but no word on where Harper & Rowan are headed yet on the Road to Wrestlemania.

 

Ruby Riott speaks.

She and The Squad feel good about beating Charlotte’s team tonight. Naomi is welcomed to a 1v1 rematch next week, but the big prize is Charlotte. The only way Charlotte can attempt the sweep is if she puts the title up at Fastlane. “The cracks in your perfect little world are starting to show,” and Ruby will make it all come crumbling down. Daniel Bryan makes it happen! Can Ruby get the championship to make Charlotte only 2-1?

 

Baron Corbin speaks.

“Arrogant, cocky, smug.” That’s what people say about Corbin, but he prefers, “Dangerous, heartless and better than AJ Styles.” At Fastlane, people will also have to say he’s the new WWE Champion. Can the Lone Wolf take the first step to backing his words with a win here tonight?

 

Baron Corbin VS AJ Styles!

The Phenomenal One still has some time before his Fatal Five Way defense, can he build up momentum using the Lone Wolf while he can?

The bell rings and the two circle. Corbin pokes Styles, Styles fires off strikes. Styles backs Corbin into a corner, but then Corbin turns it around. Corbin swings but Styles slips out to chop away at Corbin. Styles puts Corbin in another corner then throws in shoulder after shoulder. He goes to whip but Corbin denies with strength, to reel Styles into a lariat. Dolph Ziggler watches backstage while Corbin bumps Styles off buckles.

Corbin rams a knee into Styles, Styles chops back. Corbin rocks Styles with a forearm then throws him out, but Styles stays on the apron. Styles shoulders in then slingshots, and narrowly avoids the punch to dropkick Corbin back. He sweeps the legs, then hits a low running forearm. Corbin rolls out of the ring while fans cheer Styles on. Styles walks over, then slingshots over, but Corbin catches him for the choke slam backbreaker! The Lone Wolf is in control while we go to break.

SmackDown returns to see Styles and Corbin brawling. Corbin rocks Styles with a right, and Styles end sup in a corner. Styles evades as Corbin runs in, so Corbin slides out to slide back in and he hits the big lariat! Cover, TWO, and Corbin’s frustration grows. He keeps on Styles with a chinbar and half-nelson. Corbin wrenches Styles but Styles gets to his feet. Styles fights out, but Corbin gets a waistlock, so Styles runs straight at a buckle to ram Corbin’s head into it. Corbin staggers back, Styles runs out but narrowly evades the scoop slam. Styles ends up in a new corner, Corbin runs at him again, but Styles side steps to send him into the post. Corbin tumbles to the outside, and Styles catches his breath before heading over. He wrecks Corbin with a dropkick, then runs at him from the apron for the sliding knee! Corbin goes down while Styles reenters the ring. Corbin drags himself up and around so Styles goes out again. He goes over to Styles but Corbin throws him right over the announce desk! But Styles lands on his feet to hop over the table and back into the ring!

Slingshot forearm! TWO! Styles stands up and drags Corbin up, but Corbin rocks him with a right. Corbin swings but misses, Styles lets out the Phenomenal Blitz. Corbin counters with a body slam, cover, TWO! Styles stirs and Corbin stalks him. Corbin drags Styles over to a corner, then gives a body shot before hoisting him to the top rope. Corbin keeps on Styles with forearms that almost send Styles to the floor. Styles fights back while Corbin climbs up, sending Corbin back. Styles adjusts and jumps but Corbin gets under, so Styles runs back but into a HUGE Deep Six!

TWO! Corbin can’t believe it, but he keeps on Styles all the same. He reels Styles in, but Styles counters End of Days into the Calf Crusher! The fans chant “TAP! TAP!” at Corbin as he endures. Corbin reaches back and rams Styles’ head into the mat! The hold breaks and Corbin gets away to a corner. Styles slowly makes his way up and runs back in, but Corbin puts him on the apron. Corbin sees the forearm coming and grabs Styles at the ropes. He shouts “You can’t beat me!” But Styles knocks him away, to springboard, Phenomenal Forearm! Styles wins!

The WWE Champion proved that he’s just as much a fighter as Corbin. However, #Kami appears to prove they’re as opportunistic as it gets! They go after Styles 2v1, and Kevin holds Styles up for Sami’s Helluva Kick. Kevin finishes dismantling the announce desk, but Corbin gets Sami with End of Days! Kevin returns but even he gets End of Days! The Lone Wolf may have lost tonight, but he is still a dangerous force. What will he do to make sure he wins the furious Fatal Five Way at Fastlane?

 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown already had a tall task ahead of them following up such a great Raw, but not everything in this episode was up to the task. The usual curse of opening with a promo still exists, but it made sense for Styles to explain his mindset going into a tall task of his own. At least it all led to matches like most opening promos do. Ziggler VS Kevin was a really solid match, but Sami showing up to distract was probably as confusing to fans as it was to Kevin in kayfabe. The skepticism is setting in as Sami claims to be putting Kevin’s interests ahead of his own only 7 days after what both sides said last week. Following it up with Mahal trying to use the SmackDown Top Ten List as a way to turn Orton and Roode against each other wasn’t much better. Clearly the list is nothing more than a kayfabe excuse to push feuds, including the Shane-Bryan feud of disagreeing management styles. Bryan wants to help Mahal, but Shane “hinders Jinder” by choosing Orton instead, both options still falling short of the superior triple threat option. Then we follow that up with another copy-paste Six Woman Tag match. The match itself was great, and I did enjoy that Corey Graves actually referenced how similar this is to the Raw Women’s Division situation. However, the difference of Riott Squad winning wasn’t unexpected, since they can’t just be buried so easily. Charlotte VS Ruby for the title, even with The Squad ringside, probably won’t end in Ruby winning the title, it still feels too soon.

Another thing that felt off was making New Day VS Gable & Benjamin a #1 Contenders match out of the blue. The New Day win with more of their old number game tactics, but given what has been building between Usos and Bludgeon Brothers has to play into this. There’s still plenty of time left before Fastlane, perhaps the Bludgeon Brothers will bash their way into the tag title match. But at least Corbin & Styles have an incredible main event match for us. That was probably the most revolutions on a Deep Six ever. Styles wins to live up to his word that he can beat anyone 1v1, and it’s somewhat emphasized by #Kami attacking him 2v1. Again, confusing to see #Kami having patched things up so quickly, but hey, Corbin earns some points by putting them both down. I can’t imagine Styles would lose so close to Wrestlemania and the dream rematch of Styles VS Nakamura, but I expect Corbin to have a pretty good showing at some point during all the Fatal Five madness.

My Score: 7.7/10

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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report & Results! (12/17/18)

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WWE Raw Cover image

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

Mr. McMahon is here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

John Cena wins the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.

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

 

Finn Balor VS Dolph Ziggler!

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

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

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

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

Winner: Finn Balor, by disqualification

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

 

Dean Ambrose heads to the ring!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Shane McMahon.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: The Almighty Bobby Lashley.”

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Seth Rollins!

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

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

 

Ronda Rousey is here!

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

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

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

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

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

8 Woman Gauntlet Match!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Score: 7.7/10

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The Chairshot Match Of The Year Final Match Pool

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






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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

This is wrestling.

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Thoughts:

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

Will New Japan end up winning this year also?






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

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