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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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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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