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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Report! (3/13/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Akira Tozawa & Hideo Itami VS Lucha House Party w/ Kalisto; Tozawa & Itami win.
  • Jack Gallagher VS Murphy Myers; Gallagher wins.
  • WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Semifinal Match: Cedric Alexander VS Roderick Strong; Alexander wins and moves on to the finals at Wrestlemania.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Cruiserweight Championship Tournament is nearing its end!

While Mark Andrews was flying high, he came crashing down against the ground game gladiator, Drew Gulak. Then, Buddy Murphy was bigger, stronger and faster, but all of that was not enough to stop the hungrier Mustafa Ali. Ali was cunning enough to find a weak spot in the Best Kept Secret’s armor, and overcame those disadvantages to win. Now the semifinals will have a storied rivalry reigniting their animosity, but that’s next week. Tonight, it will be the Carolina Kid, who was so close to the title yet so far, and NXT’s Messiah of the Backbreaker who wants his own first taste of gold. One man’s heart, and possibly back, will be broken by the end of tonight. Who will be the first man to qualify for the tournament finals at Wrestlemania?

 

Akira Tozawa & Hideo Itami VS Lucha House Party w/ Kalisto!

The Stamina Monster & Innovator of the GTS are the newest tag team on the block, but already called out the team of luchadors for a match. 205 Live GM Drake Maverick liked the idea, and made it reality! Will the Strong Style super duo defeat Dorado & Metalik to foil the fiesta?

Te bell rings, and Tozawa starts against Dorado, also starting up the “AH! AH!” chant. Tozawa and Dorado circle but Dorado gets the single leg pick and facelock. Dorado wrenches and whips but Tozawa reverses. Dorado sunset flips over, Tozawa rolls through, but Dorado narrowly avoids the Penalty Kick. Fans applaud the stand-off, and the two circle again. They tie up but Tozawa gets the arm. He wrenches and gets the wristlock, but Dorado flips and reverses to a headlock. Tozawa powers out but Dorado runs him over, then Dorado gets going and handsprings over. Tozawa arm-drags, Dorado arm-drags back, Tozawa trips him and covers, ONE. Dorado trips up and covers, ONE, double dropkicks deflect each other, and fans applaud this second stand-off.

Tozawa and Dorado both go for boots but also block, so they both set the feet down, then Dorado surprises Tozawa with a dropkick! He drags Tozawa up for an arm wrench then tags Metalik. Lucha House Party double whips and double hip tosses to then double kick! Metalik covers, TWO, but Metalik keeps on Tozawa with stomps. He lifts Tozawa into the fireman’s carry, but Tozawa slips out. Tozawa waistlocks but Metalik elbows out. Metalik runs, but into Tozawa’s headscissors! Tozawa crawls and tags Itami, and Itami swings kick after kick. Metalik dodges them to then kick back, and whips but Itami reverses. Itami dodges the handspring attack, then they both speed up, Metalik hits a handspring arm-drag! He then dropkicks Itami down, and tags in Dorado. Double dropkicks now, and Dorado turns Itami over for the standing moonsault. TWO, but Dorado keeps Itami grounded with an armlock.

Itami gets up and goes to a corner, but Dorado chops him. Dorado whips but Itami reverses, Dorado goes up and over then runs to slide under a kick. He dares Itami to bring it, they speed up again, and he headscissors Itami now. Another whip but Itami reverses again to hit the big kitchen sink knee! Itami waits for Dorado to stand up, to roundhouse him down. He whips Dorado, then boots him down. Tag to Tozawa, and the former champion chops Dorado. He chops again, then fakes a chop to hit the jab! Dorado sits down and Tozawa stomps a “AH! AH!” mudhole. He brings Dorado up, then over to tag Itami. Itami stomps and whips, then runs Dorado over with a back elbow. Cover, TWO, so Itami drops knees right into Dorado’s head. He takes down the pad, then hops over for the heel scrape.

Itami brings Dorado up, whips him into his corner, then tags Tozawa. They double whip corner to corner, Tozawa runs in for the back elbow, then hustles to the apron, he and Itami hit a knee strike swing kick combo! Tozawa climbs up, then hits Dorado with a screaming missile dropkick! Cover, TWO, and Tozawa is a bit surprised. He keeps on Dorado with a chinlock, but Kalisto rallies with “Lucha! Lucha!” chants. Dorado gets up and fights out, but Tozawa rocks him back. Dorado chops, Tozawa chops, and Tozawa keeps Dorado away from his corner. Tozawa swings, Dorado ducks under, and they double boot each other down!

Both men go down, and both sides rally for their teammate. Dorado and Tozawa crawl, hot tags to Itami and Metalik! Metalik springboards to crossbody, then scoops for a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! He loudly chops Itami, then whips corner to corner, but Itami reverses. Itami runs in but into the SUPERKICK! Metalik runs to Sling-Dog Itami down! He keeps moving, running the ropes for a springboard missile dropkick! The King of the Ropes fires up and climbs but Tozawa tries to stop him. Metalik kicks him away, then acts as Dorado’s springboard for a HUGE FLYING TACKLE!

Itami runs in again but into another kick. Metalik climbs up, walks the tightrope and springboards, but Itami rolls and Metalik lands on his feet. The landing is rough on his leg, and Itami goes right at it with a kick. Then Itami brings Metalik into the dragon sleeper, and swings him into the GTS Mark II!

Cover, Itami & Tozawa win! Strong Style trumps lucha libre tonight, can this duo of the Rising Sun conquer the Cruiserweight Division?

However, Dorado doesn’t appreciate how Itami stands over Metalik, and pushes him away. Itami gets in Dorado’s face now, but Kalisto and Tozawa come in to keep them from fighting after the fact. Everyone keeps their cool, but there’s tension growing between these two teams of international flavor. Will there be any respect to be found should these two teams tangle again?

 

WWE and 205 Live take a look at Roderick Strong.

After opening his heart to the WWE & NXT Universes, showing us how rough his life was before wrestling, and the fans embraced him. He thrives on going up against varying styles and finding answers to them. He’s ready for any and every situation, and has proven as much in both his NXT and 205 Live careers. Strong looks at the bracket, and feels none of the remaining superstars can match up to him. He hasn’t had it easy, and he doesn’t want it that way. “To become Cruiserweight Champion at Wrestlemania would mean everything” to him. For his family, for himself, “when it’s all said and done” he can look back and say he did it. Strong promises “you’re looking at your next Cruiserweight Champion.” Can he earn his spot? Or will he get a Lumbar Check?

 

205 Live General Manager, Drake Maverick, heads to the ring.

The man formerly known as Rockstar Spud comes out to join commentary for the upcoming match.

Jack Gallagher VS Murphy Myers!

The Ungentle Gentleman has returned to a more proper wrestling attire, prompted by stern words from Drake Maverick. Will combining that with his sinister edge help him “sort himself out” and move towards the top of the Division?

The bell rings, and Gallagher circles with Myers. They tie up but Gallagher pie-faces Myers. The fans are on Myers’ side as he circles with Gallagher again, but Gallagher puts him up against the ropes. Gallagher honors the break, but isn’t very respectful with that stoic gaze. He then grabs Myers’ hand, puts it on the mat, and stomps it! Gallagher snapmares Myers then runs him over. They speed up, Gallagher catches Myers and then hotshots him on the top rope. Gallagher keeps going to run him over again! Gallagher scoop slams Myers quick, then scrapes his soles on Myers’ face. He won’t stop, he wrenches the hand and fingers, then wrings Myers to the mat. Gallagher clubs and stomps Myers, then brings him to the apron to slam his chest on the edge. The Ungentle Gentleman glares at Maverick, and Maverick likes what he sees.

However, Myers attacks Gallagher upon reentry! He throws furious forearms and then an enziguri! Gallagher tumbles off the apron while Myers builds speed, but Myers’ sliding dropkick gets caught in the apron skirt, and Gallagher tees off! Gallagher clubs away with forearms, then kicks Myers in the back again and again. He finally puts Myers back into the ring, then finishes him with the Extraordinary Headbutt!

Cover, Gallagher wins! The Ungentle Gentleman continues his streak of cruelty, but will have to wait for a later chance at the Cruiserweight Championship. Will a harsh reality be awaiting the tournament winner on the other side of Wrestlemania?

 

WWE and 205 Live take a look at Cedric Alexander.

Alexander was part of the Cruiserweight Classic tournament in 2016, but only made it as far as the second round after running into Kota Ibushi. He still earned the respect of the WWE Universe, and he was able to fight his way through the Division to get to this point. Many say Alexander “can’t win the big one”, but he’ll show them all he’s not a choke artist. “No one on 205 Live has been hotter than me,” and he won’t stop until he finally wins. He knows he has an unorthodox style but he did start his career as a heavyweight. He’ll hit hard, fast and from everywhere, “no one else on the roster can touch what I do.” Alexander vows to go to Wrestlemania, no matter what, but will he only end up on the wrong end of the End of Heartache?

 

Mustafa Ali speaks.

“We all have that one mistake from our past that seems to follow us no matter where we go.” When Ali was younger, a friend and him ran into a bully. The bully knocked his friend down, but Ali stepped down. He feels like that’s happening all over again. Andrews not only got beat by Gulak, but he got bullied by Gulak, too. Ali will make things right when he gets back at a bully. He will take Gulak head on and fight back! Can Ali come out of this rematch of a very personal feud the victor? Or will he crash and burn in the No Fly Zone?

 

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Semifinal Match: Cedric Alexander VS Roderick Strong!

The tournament is still far from over, but one Cruiserweight’s dream could be after tonight. Both men love to hit hard, hit fast and prove doubters wrong, but only one can prove himself worthy of Wrestlemania!

The bell rings and the fans duel while the two circle. Alexander and Strong tie up, pretty even in strength, but Strong swings around to roll Alexander up, TWO. Alexander goes after Strong with a waistlock, getting a facelock. They go around and Strong gets the switch, but Alexander switches back to roll Strong up, ONE, and the two break off. Fans applaud the stalemate, then the two circle again. The dueling chants continue while Strong gets a headlock. Alexander puts Strong in a corner, and honors the break while Gulak watches backstage.

Gulak, perhaps looking ahead to the finals already, watches as Alexander whips Strong corner to corner. Strong goes up and over and keeps moving, to then shove Alexander to ropes. Alexander comes back and rolls under to handspring back, and headscissors Strong to then dropkick him down! Cover, TWO, but Alexander grabs Strong in the facelock. Now we see that Mustafa Ali is also watching this match closely.

The fans duel while Strong powers his way up and out, then knees and clubs Alexander. He chops Alexander in a corner, but Alexander forearms back. Strong kicks and whips but Alexander reverses to launch Strong with a body drop! Alexander runs in but is put on the apron. He hits back then jumps up, but Strong disrupts the springboard to send Alexander into buckles! Alexander crashes and burns while Strong staggers back.

Strong stomps away on Alexander at the ropes, but backs off at the ref’s count. He waits for the dazed Alexander to stand up, then chops him before more stomps. Strong won’t let up, he brings Alexander up for the butterfly suplex. Cover, ONE, another try, ONE, so Strong puts on a chinlock. He keeps Alexander grounded as he shifts to a seated abdominal stretch. Strong even grabs an ear to tweak Alexander further. Fans rally and Alexander stands up, to fight out. Strong forearms and whips Alexander, but Alexander ducks to handspring, only to jump into Strong’s dropkick!

Cover, TWO, and Strong grows frustrated. He hammers away with rights, then stomps again. The referee backs him off to check on Alexander, so Strong taunts Alexander. He goes after Alexander, and Alexander tries to fight back, but Strong just clubs and stomps him down again. The fans keep dueling while Strong stretches Alexander in a half clutch. Strong taunts Alexander, shouting “How bad do you want it?!” The fans rally for Alexander and Alexander works his way out. Alexander fights back but Strong hits back each time. Strong whips but Alexander reverses and Strong hits buckles hard, Alexander catches his breath and slowly fires up while Strong stirs.

Alexander and Strong get to their feet, Strong runs in to Alexander’s boot. Alexander uppercuts, ends up in a corner, but dropkicks Strong’s knees out to send him face first into buckles again. He then gets to the apron, and says “Good night!” with a kick to Strong’s face! Strong staggers back, and Alexander gets him with the springboard complete shot! Strong rolls out of the ring but Alexander kip-up. Alexander builds speed, and FLIES!

He wipes out Strong, then hurries to put him back in the ring. Alexander takes aim from the corner, springboard clothesline! Cover, TWO, and Alexander grows frustrated. He drags Strong up, but Strong elbows him away. Alexander runs into the boot, but ducks the enziguri, so Strong kicks him away. Strong runs, Alexander scoops and hits Strong with a sudden Michinoku Driver! Cover, TWO! Alexander is again in disbelief, but he won’t slow down. He gets up, grabs Strong, but Strong blocks the Check. Strong fights Alexander off then throws him out, but Alexander shoulders him away. Alexander again gets to a corner, springboards, but Strong catches him! Strong lifts Alexander up, but Alexander counters with a crucifix roll, TWO! Alexande runs into that boot again, and the enziguri connects this time, and Strong follows up with a half-nelson backbreaker!

Cover, TWO! Strong is too sore to be frustrated, he just stands up and drags Alexander up again. He lifts in a fireman’s carry but Alexander slips out, so Strong throws in a knee. Strong tries again, but Alexander counters the Olympic Slam with an arm-drag! Strong runs, Alexander handsprings, Neuralizer! LUMBAR CHECK!

Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Strong survives by a foot on the bottom rope! And Alexander can’t believe it. Strong gets to the apron, Alexander takes off his elbow pads and walks over. They both end up on the apron, Strong kicks out a leg, then kicks Alexander’s face. Strong lifts Alexander into a torture rack, to then toss him at the post!

Alexander tumbles to the ground, and the referee checks on him. Strong shouts for the ring count while Alexander spasms, eyes glazed over. The count begins, and Strong waits it out. Alexander stirs at 5, and crawls up to the apron, and seeing Alexander will beat it, Strong runs in! But into Alexander’s kick! Alexander climbs up, but Strong jumps to rock him with a knee! Strong climbs up to join him, and hits the SUPERPLEX!

Strong covers, TWO!! He can’t believe that Alexander is somehow still going, but the fans declare “This is Awesome!” Strong gets up, goes over to Alexander, and brings him up. Alexander is mostly dead weight, and Strong clubs him. Alexander fights back and they throw heavy hands. Strong gives several elbows but Alexander gives a mule kick. Alexander blocks the boot, but misses the back elbow, Strong rocks Alexander with a jumping knee! They both stagger, but Strong brings Alexander in for END OF HEARTACHE!

Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Now they’re even, and fans are loving it! They chant “YES! YES!” while Strong shakes his head “No.” Alexander drags himself to the apron but Strong drags him back in. Strong drags Alexander up, but Alexander elbows him down! Both men down again, but Alexander’s eyes are still pretty spacey. They both struggle to stand up while fans rally. They’re back to back, miss swinging haymakers, but Strong lands a chop. Alexander uppercuts, they stagger, and then they both glare at each other. They throw furious hands at the same time! Strong gets the edge, but then Alexander lifts for Lumbar, but Strong slips right out. Alexander runs, but into a takedown, so he twists, only for Strong to sit on it for a cover, TWO!!

They both scramble to their feet, BIG knee strike from Strong! Alexander is out, Strong grabs him, but then small package surprise, ALEXANDER WINS!! And neither man can believe it!

Somehow Alexander pulled it out, and is headed to the Show of Shows for a Cruiserweight Championship match! Alexander’s smiling, but Strong’s heart is breaking. He put his all into the match but came up short. Even so, Strong gives a nod of respect to Alexander and lets him have the ring.

In-ring interview with Alexander.

He is headed to Wrestlemania, how does that feel? The fans know “You Deserve It!” But Alexander says he earned it! “This is the single most important match of my life”, because now he’s going to Wrestlemania. He has a four year old daughter who already calls him champion, so now he wants to become THE Cruiserweight Champion! Alexander won this big match, but must still win THE Big One. Will it be his friend in Mustafa Ali, or old foe in Drew Gulak, that meets him on the Grandest Stage of Them All?

 

My Thoughts:

I don’t care what anyone else says, 205 Live is quite possibly some of the best wrestling WWE is putting on today. While it isn’t “developmental” like NXT and it isn’t considered quite the same as Raw or SmackDown, the Cruiserweight Division’s 51 minutes of programming far out-shined SmackDown’s 2 hours. There may not be a lot of promos to propel story, but that’s because the matches did more than enough to do that. Itami-Tozawa VS Dorado-Metalik was some great tag team wrestling, and really impressed with the chemistry already between the two Japanese superstars as well as the creativity of the luchadors. I’ve never seen a springboard quite like the one Metalik helped Dorado achieve. Plus, the story comes out from the tense stand-off afterwards, and could easily build into a more involved story in the rematch.

Jack Gallagher does a great job in making a squash match feel like it actually matters for his character. He wasn’t as technically torturous as he usually is, but his aggressive striking did more than enough to remind us of his new found edge from teaming with THE Brian Kendrick. I sense something between him and Maverick starting up once we’re past Wrestlemania, as a way to tide Gallagher over until Kendrick returns. Once Kendrick returns, he and Gallagher can go back to being a tag team and joining in what is clearly growing into a Cruiserweight Tag Team Division, and as rumored, complete with Cruiserweight Tag Team Championships. That’s three teams easily established, but perhaps more will pop up now that 205 Live is gaining some ground.

Mustafa Ali gave us another great video promo, he’s really coming into his own with this somewhat edgy Face angle. His match with Gulak promises to be a really great one worthy of the Road to Wrestlemania. The Alexander and Strong video packages were also great, and helped refresh the memories of the audience. I don’t think they got the date right on when the CWC happened and where Alexander finished in it, though. But then Alexander VS Strong was some top level action and story telling, worthy of any PPV. The parallels in their styles and especially their finishers were clear, so it was great that the way they survived the finishers were the same. Alexander’s story is the stronger one, so naturally he goes over. Strong still has NXT he can fall back on, and Alexander VS either Ali or Gulak will be ‘Mania worthy.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Coverage

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

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

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

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

Drake Maverick reviews last week’s Cruiserweight Championship match.

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

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

 

TJP VS Noam Dar!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: TJP, by submission

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

 

205 Live takes a closer look at Alexander VS Itami.

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

 

Mustafa Ali speaks.

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

 

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

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

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

Winner: Drew Gulak, by submission

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Tony Nese & Buddy Murphy.

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

 

Akira Tozawa VS Lio Rush!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Lio Rush, by pinfall

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

 

Drake Maverick meets with Cedric Alexander.

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

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

My Score: 8/10


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

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Will Hardy reclaim his title on SmackDown tonight?

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

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

Jeff Hardy heads to the ring!

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

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

Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: AJ Styles, by submission

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

 

Aiden English meets with someone backstage.

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

 

Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville!

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

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

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

Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission

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

 

SmackDown GM Paige likes what she sees.

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

 

R-Truth checks in with Tye Dillinger.

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

 

Samoa Joe VS Tye Dillinger!

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

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

Winner: Samoa Joe, by submission

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

 

The Miz holds a memorial service for Team Hell No.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The New Day is fired up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Eric Young, by pinfall

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

 

WWE United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jeff Hardy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (7/16/18)

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Will Brock Lesnar appear on Raw tonight?

Will the Beast, Brock Lesnar, appear on the Raw After Extreme Rules to answer Kurt Angle’s Universal Championship ultimatum? Or are his priorities with MMA?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Triple Threat: Finn Balor VS Drew McIntyre VS Roman Reigns; Reigns wins and moves on to next week’s Universal Championship #1 Contender’s match.
  • Dolph Ziggler VS Bobby Roode; Ziggler wins.
  • Tyler Breeze VS Mojo Rawley; Rawley wins.
  • Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Alicia Fox & Dana Brooke; Alicia & Dana win, by disqualification.
  • The B-Team VS The Ascension; The B-Team wins.
  • The Authors of Pain VS Titus Worldwide; The Authors of Pain win.
  • Ember Moon VS Sarah Logan w/ Liv Morgan; Sarah wins.
  • Triple Threat: Elias VS Seth Rollins VS Bobby Lashley;  Lashley wins and moves on to next week’s Universal Championship #1 Contender’s match

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE and Raw pays respect to Masa Saito.

 

Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, is already in the ring.

He thanks all the stars who competed last night in Extreme Rules. Their dedication makes him proud to be GM. However, there is one star who has shown very little dedication, and that is Brock Lesnar. Angle issued an ultimatum for The Beast to show up and/or agree to terms on his next defense, or be STRIPPED of the Universal Championship. He has not heard a thing from Lesnar or Heyman, so he will– Paul Heyman interrupts!

The Advocate wishes to tell the “ladies and gentlemen” of Buffalo, New York, that– Everyone knows who you are, Paul! But if Lesnar isn’t the one to come out, this is just a waste of time. Heyman sees it as very interesting that Angle says that, because his client, “the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, BROCK LESNAR”, is not here. In that case, Angle strips– NO NO! Heyman hustles to the ring to speak face to face with Angle. With all due respect, Heyman feels Angle and the WWE Universe. They all think Lesnar doesn’t care about the WWE, and he only wants to be a UFC champion again. Nothing is farther from the truth! Lesnar loves being in the WWE. Lesnar loves being Universal Champion. Then where is he!?

Lesnar wants to represent the WWE as he challenges for the UFC championship. That way, when Lesnar is both, he elevates the WWE. Just like Angle being all the different champions with an Olympic gold medal. Well more power to Lesnar. But Angle still insists Lesnar defend his championship at Summerslam, or he is no longer champion! Heyman hears the fans chant, and must give his decision for Lesnar. Angle drives a hard bargain. Lesnar will defend his title at Summerslam. So on behalf of Lesnar, Heyman congratulates the fans for their voices reaching the company in demanding more Lesnar. They want more of the Beast, more of the Conqueror! The Network would be all Lesnar all the time! So it’s official: Lesnar defends his title at Summerslam, but it’s up to Angle to decide who gets “beaten, victimized and conquered”! Bobby Lashley appears!

The Dominator heads to the ring, fresh off his win over The Big Dog, Roman Reigns. Lashley has the fans chanting for him as he explains he did defeat Roman Reigns. But now he’s ready for the next step. Heyman backs up as Lashley says he’s going to beat Lesnar and win the Universal Championship! But now Drew McIntyre appears! And he wants Lashley to hold on just a moment. Why does everyone think McIntyre came back? To bolster the roster? To be in someone’s corner? No, he came back to change things and make sure Ziggler kept the Intercontinental Championship. He’s done that, and he’s on to Phase Two, just like Lashely. McIntyre enters the ring while fans chant “YES! YES!” because McIntyre wants at The Beast! But here comes Seth Rollins!

The Architect hits the ring, and he’s fuming over how McIntyre screwed him out of the IC title. Fans chant “Burn It Down!” while Rollins glares into the eyes of McIntyre. “Kurt, if you’re looking for an opponent for Brock Lesnar, I’m right here.” Angle smirks, but here comes Elias?! The Drifter is here in Buffalo and playing his guitar as always. Elias heads to the ring, because he has a question: Who Wants to Walk With Elias?! But questions aside, Elias knows “there’s a lot of noise going on in this ring.” Nothing sounds better than Elias as Universal Champion. Next week, 7/23/18, Elias’ debut album drops! Therefore, ride his wave of success into Summerslam and put Elias VS Lesnar on. But wait, here comes Finn Balor!

The Extraordinary Man and the original Universal Champion joins everyone else, saying that “what makes sense” is the answer to this question: Who was the very first? It makes sense for us to get Balor VS Lesnar. But here comes Roman Reigns!

The Big Dog may have lost to Lashley last night, but Greatest Royal Rumble is still the chip on his shoulder. He joins all the other men in the ring, and admits he has no excuses. Roman doesn’t care who, he just wants a fight tonight. Angle knows they all deserve something, so we’re going to divide things into Triple Threats. The winners of those move on to  #1 contender’s match, that man goes on to face Lesnar. It’ll be Elias VS Rollins VS Bobby Lashley, then McIntyre VS Balor VS Reigns. That latter triple threat is RIGHT NOW! Who moves on down this Road to Summerslam?!

 

Angle encounters Baron Corbin backstage.

What does he think he’s doing? Two triple threats? Did he get authorization? Angle didn’t think he needed to. That’s the problem! And why wasn’t Corbin in one? He wasn’t deserving. But Finn Balor does? Yes, because Finn beat Corbin. Think about that!

 

Triple Threat: Finn Balor VS Drew McIntyre VS Roman Reigns!

Finn is coming off a win over Constable Corbin and the Scottish Terminator helped the Show-Off screw over Seth Rollins while The Big Dog actually lost to The Dominator. Who will come out with this very important win to take one step closer to a match with The Beast in Brooklyn?

The bell rings and we begin. McIntyre rocks Finn but Roman throws hands on McIntyre. McIntyre shoves Roman away but Finn returns to throw hands, too. Roman comes back as Finn is pushed away. Roman lifts McIntyre, but McIntyre escapes, only to get an uppercut. Finn rolls Roman, TWO. McIntyre bulldozes both Roman and Finn! McIntyre bumps Roman on a buckle then chops and punches away. He goes to Finn to chop him, too, then stomps Roman down. McIntyre brings Finn up but Finn hits back. Finn dropkicks McIntyre, then Roman clotheslines McIntyre out. Finn clotheslines Roman out, then builds speed to FLY!

The inaugural Universal Champion flexes before putting McIntyre in the ring.

Now Finn chops and whips, but McIntyre reverses and hard. Roman returns, but is thrown overhead! Cover, TWO! McIntyre grimaces down at Roman as he stomps his ear and hand. He drags Roman up and throws a haymaker. Roman staggers but is bumped off buckles. McIntyre throws more hands, but Finn comes in to throw hands on McIntyre. Finn gets run over, and Roman gets a boot. McIntyre looms over them both, then drags Roman up for a big suplex. Cover, TWO! McIntyre leaves Roman alone to go after Finn. He stomps Finn then bumps him off buckles. McIntyre chops Finn, then goes back to Roman. He throws hands on Roman, then covers, TWO. McIntyre rains down rights while covering, TWO by an inch. McIntyre throws more hands, then goes after Finn. He blasts Finn to the floor, then glares at Roman.

McIntyre brings Roman up for a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, and McIntyre grows frustrated. The Scottish machine is in control while we go to break.

Raw returns as McIntyre hammers away on Roman in a corner. He backs off at the ref’s count, then fetches Finn for an apron snake eyes. McIntyre throws Finn in the ring, then stomps away on both men. He stalks Roman for a bigger stomp, then goes over to Finn for a big toss into a corner. Finn boots back, then Roman runs McIntyre over! Roman rallies but McIntyre reverses the whip, only to get the leaping lariat. Finn hits Roman! He throws hands and whips but Roman reverses to clobber Finn with a clothesline! Fans are mixed as Roman clears his head. He aims at Finn on the outside, for the Drive- No, it misses, and Roman gets slingshot stomps! Finn brings Roman up, but McIntyre FLIES!

Finn evades and Roman is wiped out! And then Finn throws McIntyre into steps! Finn takes aim from the apron, and hits double stomps to McIntyre’s back! he and Roman return to the ring, double stomps for the Big Dog! Cover, TWO! Roman is gasping after all he’s taken, but fans are behind Finn. Finn drags Roman up but Roman powers him to a corner. Roman runs back in, but misses! Finn swing kicks from the apron, and Roman goes down! Finn climbs, but McIntyre uses a CHAIR! It’s legal in a triple threat, so no one can really complain. McIntyre targets Roman with that chair, but gets an uppercut first! Roman throws hands in a corner, then throws McIntyre across the way. McIntyre reverses to send Roman into the post, covers, TWO! We go to break with McIntyre back in control.

Raw returns again, and Roman hobbles over to McIntyre in a corner. He unloads the point blank clotheslines and gets all 10. Roman runs, and boots McIntyre down. Fans are mixed again as Roman locks and loads. Roman aims, but McIntyre SPINEBUSTERS! Cover, TWO! McIntyre grows frustrated with how close yet how far he is from the win. He drags Roman up, prepares a powerbomb, but Finn has that chair! SMACK for McIntyre! And another! McIntyre goes out, but Finn goes after Roman! SMACK for Roman! And SMACK and SMACK and SMACK! Finn fires up, and so does the WWE Universe. Finn blasts McIntyre into barriers! Then he drags McIntyre up, but gets out as Roman SPEARS McIntyre into the timekeeper’s area!

Finn SLINGBLADES Roman! He puts Roman in, takes aim again, and Slingblades again! Finn takes aim a third time, but runs into a SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO! Roman is shocked, and looks lost. Finn crawls away, dazed as he is, but Roman talks himself back into this. Fans duel as Roman stands up and fires up. Roman howls, but Finn knees the spear away. Then blasts Roman with the dropkick! Finn goes up while Roman’s down, COUP DE GRACE! Cover, but McIntyre drags Finn off!

Finn fires forearms but McIntyre throws knees. McIntyre puts Finn into steel, then puts him into the ring. McIntyre wants someone to get up. Finn sits up first, but SUPERMAN Punch! Roll up from Finn, TWO!! SUPERMAN PUNCH! Roman runs into a Glasgow Kiss, aka a stiff headbutt, from McIntyre. McIntyre runs, but misses Roman and hits Finn! SUPERMAN PUNCH! SPEAR to Finn! Cover, Roman wins!

Winner: Roman Reigns; moves on to next week’s #1 Contender’s match

The Big Dog is busted up but HE is the one moving on. He found a way to be the one to hit last, but will he be the one to punch his ticket to Brooklyn?

 

Bayley meets with Kurt Angle backstage.

But where’s Sasha Banks? Still in the locker room. Classic Sasha, only caring about herself. Which means the friendship counseling didn’t go well. Bayley tried to meet Sasha halfway, but for some reason, it didn’t work. They might never ever be friends again. Angle realizes he should’ve settled things in the ring. They’re gonna team up against Dana Brooke & Alicia Fox. That’s not a good idea right now. No, they’re so good together. If they don’t win, one of them is off to SmackDown.

 

Dolph Ziggler heads to the ring!

The Show-Off #AndStill the WWE Intercontinental Champion not only had Drew McIntyre on his side, he got lucky with the countdown as a last-second Curb Stomp was just a second too late. Either way, Ziggler smirks as he addresses Buffalo, saying “All I did was everything I said I was gonna do.” He put on an “absolute clinic”, and is the Ironman Intercontinental Champion! Ziggler knows something special happened last night, as the IC title main-evented a PPV for the first time in 17 years. That wasn’t because of Rollins. Ziggler came back to put everyone on notice, but he does give credit where it’s due. Rollins has Ziggler’s respect when it comes to making the IC title what it is today. “But you’re no Dolph Ziggler, brother.” Ziggler beat Rollins five times! But here comes Bobby Roode!

The GLORIOUS One and Dolph Ziggler have had matches in the past over the United States Championship on SmackDown, but now Roode and Ziggler are here on Raw. Roode knows Ziggler is giving credit where it’s due, but what about McIntyre? If it wasn’t for him, Ziggler wouldn’t be able to brag right now. Ziggler should be on his hands and knees thanking McIntyre. Otherwise, he might be telling some bad jokes at some comedy club. That’s right, while Ziggler was headlining Extreme Rules, Roode had fun watching from the sidelines. To be honest, the sidelines suck, but Roode is out here to challenge for the title, right now! Fans like the sound of that, but Ziggler doesn’t look to defend his title. Is he afraid he can’t do it alone? Ziggler decides to get a referee out here so they can!

The referee heads out to the ring, and it’s happening! Oh, but not for the Intercontinental Championship. Sorry about that.

Dolph Ziggler VS Bobby Roode!

Roode is upset but he still takes it out on Ziggler. Ziggler manages to deny the DDT and get Roode into a hammerlock. Roode resists but Ziggler shifts to a headlock. Roode powers out but Ziggler runs him over. Ziggler runs but Roode hip tosses him down! Roode gets the headlock takeover, then grinds Ziggler on the mat. Ziggler works his way up, then puts Roode in a corner. They break, but Ziggler kicks low. Ziggler puts Roode in a headlock takeover of his own, and even traps an arm. Roode works his way out as they go around the mat. They stand up, and Roode pries his way out to his own headlock on Ziggler. Ziggler powers out, but Roode runs him over. Roode runs, then throws Ziggler out! Ziggler hits the floor hard while fans fire up.

Roode waits for Ziggler, but then slips out the side. Ziggler manages to stand but Roode bumps him off barriers. Roode puts Ziggler back in the ring but Ziggler rolls to the other side. Ziggler wants a time out but Roode walks over. Ziggler yanks him back out, then dropkicks him on reentry! Cover, TWO! Roode gets to a corner but Ziggler brings him up for a chinlock. Roode endures, and gets up to his feet. He fights back but Ziggler knees low to then drop Roode with a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Ziggler grows frustrated with his old foe, but he puts Roode in a corner. Roode hits first with haymakers and chops. Roode backs Ziggler down, then whips him corner to corner. Ziggler reverses but Roode comes out with the clothesline! Ziggler yanks Roode into buckles now, then backs off while we go to break.

Raw returns to Roode stuck inside the sleeper hold and body scissors from Ziggler. Roode feeds off the rally from the fans and gets his second wind. They stand up and Roode fights back. Ziggler kicks low, then runs in at Roode, but into a back elbow. Roode boots Ziggler back, then dodges him in a corner. Ziggler’s splash hits buckles, but he slips out of the back suplex. Ziggler goes for another sleeper hold, but Roode rolls through. Roode rallies, then whips. Ziggler kicks him away, but he still runs into a yurinagi slam! Fans fire up for Roode and he hits the corner clothesilne. Ziggler denies the bulldog but gets boots. Roode hops up, GLORIOUS Blockbuster! The fans fire up as Roode winds it up… GLORIOUS Pose!

The kick, but Ziggler counters the DDT and sits on the sunset. TWO, but Ziggler misses the Famouser. Roode rolls him, Ziggler rolls back, but Roode does i back. TWO, and still no DDT, ZIG ZAG!! Cover, TWO!? How?! Fans rally up for Roode while Ziggler takes aim. Ziggler tunes up, just like last night. He takes aim, but Roode blocks the kick to get the catapult! Ziggler his buckles, then walks into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Roode keeps his cool while Ziggler rolls to the ropes. Roode drags Ziggler up on the apron but Ziggler hotshots back. Ziggler goes for but is denied a Zig Zag.

Roode boots Ziggler away, then hops up, but has to jump over. The legs give out, and Ziggler kicks them, but Roode denies the DDT to get a SUPERKICK instead! Cover, Ziggler wins!

Winner: Dolph Ziggler, by pinfall

The Show-Off wins cleaner than last night, but either way, he’s still a winner. Will Ziggler encounter a challenger worthy of a match on the way to Summerslam?

 

Bobby Lashley speaks.

They say the Beast fears no man. Lashley says the Beast has never faced someone like him. Lashley vows to be the next Universal Champion, but what will it take to get through both Seth Rollins and Elias in their Triple Threat?

 

Mojo Rawley “applauds” Bobby Roode.

“And you’re supposed to be Glorious?” Mojo grins at the defeated Roode before walking away. Roode doesn’t have a response, but will he give Mojo one next time they meet?

 

Tyler Breeze VS Mojo Rawley!

Now the Man with #KillerInstinct heads to the ring and goes against Prince Pretty. Will Mojo fare better than Roode did against Ziggler? Or will he be the one shown up?

The bell rings and Mojo goes right at Breeze with shoulders in the corner. He throws Breeze out, but Breeze dropkicks and clotheslines Mojo out! Breeze slingshots but misses, and Mojo POUNCES!

Mojo glares down at Breeze, then puts him in the ring. Cover, TWO, so he tries again. ONE, and Mojo puts Breeze in a half-nelson. Breeze endures while fans duel between them. Mojo says Breeze just has to tap and it’ll be over. Breeze refuses, but can’t get away from Mojo. Cover, ONE, but Mojo still has the half-nelson. Breeze continues to endure, and sits up again. Mojo powers up but Breeze sunset flips! TWO, and Breeze hits an enziguri! He hits a forearm in the corner, then whips, but Mojo reverses. Breeze holds ropes to dump Mojo out, but Mojo leaps back in! Mojo corner splashes, then hits THE Pounce! Mojo stalks Breeze to a corner, and hits the LIGHTS OUT Forearm! He’s still not done, he gives Breeze an Alabama Slam! Cover, Mojo wins!

Winner: Mojo Rawley, by pinfall

The Killer Instinct is strong in Mojo. He grins as he stares down at the defeated Breeze. Will he do the same to a champion in the future?

 

Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Alicia Fox & Dana Brooke!

Kurt Angle issued an ultimatum to these two friends on the rocks. If they can’t find a way to get along and win, one of them will be traded to SmackDown. Winning heals all wounds, but are these emotional wounds too deep?

Bayley and Alicia start and tie up. Alicia puts Bayley in a corner, then throws forearms. She wrenches and whips Bayley, but Bayley goes up and over. Bayley rolls Alicia, TWO. Alicia gets to ropes for safety, but then sucker BOOTS Bayley down. Cover, TWO! Alicia tags in Dana, then whips Bayley in for Danan’s handspring elbow. Dana stomps away, then puts Bayley in a corner. Dana runs in again but misses, so she makes sure to hit Sasha first. Bayley hits Dana back, then runs to run her over! Bayley throws hands but Dana gets away. The Huggable One still rallies, and hits Alicia for good measure. She elbows and wacky waving- gets run over! Dana throws Bayley out hard, and Alicia slaps away.

Sasha comes over to save Bayley, but then Dana gets Sasha. Sasha throws Dana down HARD, then rams her into barriers. She puts Alicia into the apron, but the referee keeps shouting for her to stop. She doesn’t and she hits a double crossbody!

Winners: Dana & Alicia, by disqualification

Was Sasha saving a friend in need? Or just getting hers while she could before someone gets sent to SmackDown?

 

Bayley confronts Sasha backstage.

Why did she do that? Sasha wants to leave, but Bayley wants to talk. Sasha won’t let someone else beat Bayley up. So she cares? yes, of course! She always has! But Sasha hates talking about feelings. Sasha loves that Bayley is a good person to everyone, and that she’s a role-model to little girls, or that she’s always there when Sasha doesn’t ask her to be. Why can’t Bayley get it? Sasha loves Bayley, ok? She said it. Sasha storms off, but will this be the last time they’re both on Raw?

 

Backstage interview with Braun Strowman.

The Monster in the Bank threw Kevin Owens off a cage! Does he have any regrets? Actually, he does. He regrets he wasn’t’ able to congratulate Kevin on the “win”. Why didn’t Strowman step up when all the others did for a chance at Lesnar? Because he has the briefcase! It doesn’t matter who wins, and whether they win against Lesnar, Strowman has his shot anytime, anywhere! Will everyone #GetTheseHands in the end?

 

The B-Team VS The Ascension!

And don’t adjust your television, they ARE the new Raw Tag Team Champions! They shocked the world by overthrowing WOKEN Hardy & Bray Wyatt, then celebrated all night long! Will they still be celebrating after this match tonight?

Raw returns as Konnor looms over Axel. The bigger Konnor stomps away, then back elbows Bo as he comes in. Axel kicks back, then throws Konnor into the post! Bo tags in and adds on with hammering fists. Bo then adds mudhole stomps, and fans cheer for the champs. The Revival are watching backstage while Axel tags in. Bo hits a clothesline, then feeds Konnor to the DDT. Cover, TWO! Axel facelocks Konnor, but Konnor uses his strength to head for Viktor. Axel piggybacks and clubs Knnor down, but is pushed away. Hot tags to Bo and Viktor, but it’s Viktor who rallies. Viktor chops and chops then whips Bo corner to corner for a big back elbow. He whips Bo again, but Bo dodges. Viktor goes up, flying knee! Cover, but Axel breaks it in time.

Konnor hits Axel, then dodges Bo. Axel dumps Konnor out, and Bo back elbows Viktor. Tag to Axel, Neck B-reaker! Cover, B-Team wins!

Winners: The B-Team, Axel pinning

The “undefeated” streak continues! They celebrate all over again, but the Deleters speak tot hem from inter-dimensional space. Enjoy your moment of glory, but understand that it won’t last. The B Team disrupted the divine equilibrium in a rematch for the titles. Bray & Hardy vow to take those belts back, and then DELETE the B Team Forever~! Will it be an eternal erasure for Bo and Axel?

 

Alexa Bliss & Mickie James head to the ring!

It was thanks to the six-time Women’s Champion that the Goddess managed to survive “kendo sticks, chairs, trash cans, bullies and overrated rookies” to still be Raw Women’s Champion. “What an upset, right?” She knows the fans thought “poor little Alexa” was gonna lose to “big bad Nia”, but they were wrong. Alexa wrote the final chapter in her story with Nia, with a happy ending: the One True Goddess victorious. She has dominated the Women’s Division for so long, because her strongest muscle is her brain. She out-thinks everyone, but outsmarting Nia wasn’t that hard. Alexa says she’s officially beaten everyone in the locker room. But fans remind her of “Ronda Rousey!” She hears them, but Ronda doesn’t count. Ronda is not here because she’s suspended! And after last night, it should be indefinite! Ronda was just a fan last night, but now she’s here again!

The Rowdy Woman makes her way down the stairs, despite her suspension still in effect for another 48 hours. Mickie & ALexa make a run for it, but Ronda is already on the stage! They run the other way, but Ronda chases them down! She grabs Mickie first, for that same Rowdy Slam! And the ARMBAR! Alexa works to save her friend, and referees help her out. Ronda glares at Alexa as she retreats, but then runs her down! Ronda barrels through referees, Mickie AND Alexa!

Fans are loving it as Ronda drags the Goddess up by her pink-tipped hair and puts her back in the ring. Ronda throws Alexa down, for the armbar!! Referees safe Alexa while Angle comes out to talk sense into Ronda. Angle wants Ronda to listen and calm down, especially after last night. Ronda has two more days, so just go home and wait it out.

But Constable Baron Corbin says the GM needs to do his job! Reprimand Ronda! Angle is right, add another week onto the suspension. A week!? No, Ronda spits in the face of authority, and all she gets is a week? Stephanie’s not gonna be happy about this. Wait where is Corbin’s phone? Hold on, he has to go get it. But uh, Angle has it. But anyway, Ronda’s suspension will be up, but she will get a match with Alexa, unless she pulls another stunt like this. Don’t worry, the match she’s getting is a Raw Women’s Championship match at Summerslam! Alexa & Mickie protest, but Ronda is just fine with this deal! Seven more days on her suspension for a title match return is fine by her and the fans, but what about Corbin and Stephanie?

 

Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.

The Architect wants at Brock Lesnar, but between the Triple Threat tonight, Roman Reigns next week and the wear on his body from Sunday’s Ironman match, how does he feel? To be honest, Rollins’ night wasn’t last night. But this will be his night, as will next Monday and Summerslam Sunday. If it’s Roman Reigns, his Shield Brother, “I gotta do what I gotta do.” He’s sure Roman will, too, so there’s an understanding between them. Can Rollins #BurnItDown against Elias and Lashley?

 

The Authors of Pain VS Titus Worldwide!

It’s a rematch between the destructive upstarts and the well-meaning veterans. Titus & Apollo know AoP are big, bad and strong, wanting to take respect, but that’s not how that works. You earn respect. Apollo tried what they did, but they’re not stagehands. They’re going to hit back and represent. Will their mission matter to Akam & Rezar?
The bell rings and Apollo hits Rezar but Akam hits him back. Titus gest in but Akam attacks first. Akam bumps Titus right off a post and lets him fall to the floor. Then he runs Titus over with a clothesline for good measure. Akam returns but Apollo enziguris and dropkicks! But Akam still powers Apollo to a corner. Rezar tags in, full nelson slam! Rezar talks trash in Albanian, then rams his shoulders into Apollo.

Tag to Akam, and Rezar atomic drops for Akam’s boot. Akam drags Apollo up and over, then tags Rezar back in. They work together for the double gut buster. Rezar taunts Apollo, then tags Akam back in. The AoP bring Apollo back up, for the LAST CHAPTER! Cover, AoP wins!

Winners: The Authors of Pain, Akam pinning

That makes it 2-0 for the duo of behemoths, and they barely broke a sweat. Will they bulldoze their way towards the tag team titles in no time?

 

The Riott Squad encounters the conga line.

No Way Jose and his buddies don’t stop them and their trouble making. They’re on their way out to see if they can finally get a win over the Prophecy of Flame!

Ember Moon VS Sarah Logan w/ Liv Morgan!

The Juvenile Delinquent is 0-2 against the former NXT Women’s Champion, but can #CountryStrong get the Squad on the board?

The bell rings, and they tie up. Sarah arm-drags but Ember handstands through. Ember gets a waistlock but Sarah standing switches to throw Ember down. Sarah drags Ember up but Ember resists. Ember endures the facelock, then reverses it onto Sarah. Sarah rolls through to reel Ember in, but Ember rolls her up. ONE, but Ember gets a waistlock. Ember slips around to lift Sarah, but Sarah resists. Sarah elbows out, then whips Ember to a corner. Ember goes up but gets a forearm that sends her down! The Kentucky Viking wants at Ember, and throws her into the ring. Cover, TWO, but Liv is confident Sarah has this. Sarah grinds her elbow and forearm into Ember, then drags her up to the ropes. She chokes Ember against them, then Liv gets a cheap shot in! Cover, TWO!

Sarah keeps her cool while she drags Ember up again. She suplexes but Ember small packages! TWO, and Sarah dodges a superkick to deadlift suplex! Bridging pin, TWO! Sarah grows frustrated, but she keeps focus as she puts Ember into an anaconda vice. Fans rally for Ember, and she rolls Sarah over. TWO, and Sarah keeps on the vice. Ember fights against it, then stands up. Sarah wrangles Ember back for a backbreaker, then wrenches on the vice. Ember endures and fights her way up again. She pops her hips back and slips out, then kicks Sarah away. Ember and Sarah slowly stand, but Ember slips out of the back suplex. She dodges Sarah to rock her with a right hand! Sarah staggers over, but into headscissors! They both stand up and Ember rallies! Ember gives several big knees, then runs to slide in for a complete shot!

Liv distracts on the apron but gets a forearm! Sarah rolls Ember up, TWO! Mule kick! Cover, TWO! Ember and Sarah crawl towards ropes, but Ember dropkicks Sarah out. Fans fire up, and Ember builds speed to DIVE! She wipes Sarah out but keeps moving. They go back into the ring, cover, TWO! Ember grits her teeth as she gets up to the top rope. She aims at Sarah, but Liv distracts again. Sarah trips Ember up, covers, Sarah wins!

Winner: Sarah Logan, by pinfall

This was not only Sarah’s first win in a 1v1 match, but she got it done against the War Goddess! Will this be the beginning of the Squad turning it around while they’re without their Riott leader?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter realizes he’s in Buffalo, and is instantly depressed. But he can save everyone with his debut album next week. Fans need to buy it, listen to it and let it heal them. What is the album’s name? The answer is simple, it’s the three words we all know: Walk With Elias! Amen to that. Now imagine the history he will make: number one recording artist and Universal Champion. All he has to do is will himself through this performance. But first, shut up so he can sing the song for him and only himself. Elias begins playing, but no one stays quiet.

“Brock’s got to go, I’m in Buffalo.” Triple Threat ain’t no match for him, he’d rather watch paint dry than hear Lashley speak. Seth Rollins go take a DIVE off Niagra Falls. Elias could be IC champion but Rollins cheated. Speaking of Rollins, he interrupts and gets this show going.

Triple Threat: Elias VS Seth Rollins VS Bobby Lashley!

The Drifter has been campaigning for a chance against The Beast for some time now, while The Kingslayer hopes to become The Beastslayer. They both will have to deal with The Dominator first, who will move on to then face The Big Dog next week?

But as Lashley makes his entrance, Elias attacks Rollins! Lashley runs in, and the referee keeps the peace in order to check on Rollins. Rollins wants this match to happen, so the bell rings. Elias goes after Rollins again, but Lashley pulls Elias over to bump him off buckles. Lashley throws hands then bumps Elias again. He stomps and punches away, then whips Elias to the ropes. Elias bails out, but Rollins is there to run him over! Rollins sees Lashley in the ring, and leaves Elias behind to test the Dominater. Fans duel while they circle and tie up. Rollins gets a waistlock and headlock takeover. Lashley rolls him over to a cover, ONE, but Rollins holds on. They stand up and Lashley powers out. Lashley runs Rollins over, then knocks Elias away. Lashley throws Rollins in the headlock takeover.

Rollins keeps it from becoming a cover, and fans rally up. They stand, and Rollins powers out. Things speed up and Rollins dropkicks Lashley down. Rollins stalks Lashley to a corner for chops. He whips Lashley to a corner, but Lashley puts Rollins on the apron. Rollins springboards in but into a kick! Lashley grabs Rollins, but Elias comes in to knee Lashley down! Rollins rolls Elias, TWO! Elias dodges and sends Rollins into buckles, tot hen shovel Rollins up. Rollins spins to huricanrana, but gets a knee from Elias! Cover, TWO! Heyman, Angle and Corbin watch intently from backstage while we go to break.

Raw returns once more, and Elias has Rollins in a cobra clutch. Fans rally up and Rollins fights back. Elias still puts his weight on Rollins, but Lashley returns. Elias pin balls between Rollins and Lashley, getting a jawbreaker to clotheslines. Lashley throws Elias overhead, then grabs Rollins in a swinging neckbreaker. He runs in at Elias for a shoulder tackle, then the vertigo suplex. Rollins kicks Lashley but gets tossed overhead. He lands on his feet, but is hit with a powerslam. Elias runs in but for a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Lashley takes aim but Elias bails out of the ring. Lashley pursues, but Elias throws him into a post. Rollins DIVES but Elias deflects him. Elias then throws Lashley into another post, and into the ring. He climbs up top, Macho Elbow! Cover, TWO! FROG SPLASH! But Elias throws Rollins out to cover, TWO!

All three men are down from exhaustion, but Rollins stirs. He drags himself back into the ring while Lashley slumps out. Elias sees him, and stalks him to a corner. He clubs away on Rollins, then shovels him up. Rollins fights out, wristlocks, but Elias elbows him away. Rollins boots Elias back, then hops up for a blockbuster! Cover, TWO! Elias gets to the apron while Rollins catches his breath. Rollins gets up as fans chant “Burn It Down!” for him. Rollins drags Elias up to the top rope, but Elias fights back. He clubs Elias then drags him up more. Elias still resists, and throws Rollins down. Elias adjusts, but Lashley returns! Lashley climbs up, clubs Elias, then grabs Elias for something. Rollins adds on, and has Lashley for the BUCKLE BOMB! Then he hops up to Elias, SUPERPLEX! Roll through, FALCON ARROW!

Cover, TWO!! All three men are down again, but Elias slumps out of the ring. Rollins sits up and sees he has two targets. He builds speed, and DIVES on Elias! Direct hit, and into the ring he goes. He DIVES on Lashley! Rollins returns to Elias, enziguri! Slingblade! But that’s not all, as Rollins fires up Buffalo with the “Burn It Down!” stomps. He aims at Elias, mule kick to CURB STOMP! Cover, but Lashley breaks it up just in time! They’re all done again, but Elias bails out again. Rollins goes after Lashley with a forearm, but Lashley gives it back. They brawl back and forth, but Rollins gets a furious edge. He runs, but into a BIG clothesline from Lashley! Lashley lifts Rollins with the Vertigo Suplex! He drops Rollins down, then prepares his ace. He runs, but into a post! Roll up, TWO, mule kick! CURB-

No, Elias dragged Rollins out! But he runs into a SPEAR! Lashley wins!!

Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall; moves on to next week’s #1 Contender’s match

We get a rematch from Extreme Rules between the two alpha males of Raw! Both men are armed with Spears, but who will be the one to barrel their way into Brooklyn and a match with The Beast?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Well, if Extreme Rules was a mixed bag of emotions, this Raw was the epitome of that. The matches were all filler, no matter how you look at them. It was great that Heyman panicked over his client being stripped over his not-so-subtle self-serving as a two-sport fighter, but this was just fancy wrapping paper on Vince’s gift to himself. Roman and Lashley being in the contender pool, or even just Roman himself, makes it clear we’re getting an Extreme Rules rematch that makes us all realize: they should’ve just made this the stipulation for Extreme Rules! Spare us the semantics and get to the point. Vince wants Roman to have another go, and we all know it. The triple threats were all booked great, but that was just something for the live audience to enjoy more than anything. I hope Lashley wins again, but we can’t be sure anymore.

Everything else that happened tonight also felt slightly off. Roode VS Ziggler is a revisit from SmackDown, and is thankfully now about Ziggler being a weasel than Roode having a fancy entrance. However, it feels like it might be Roode VS Mojo instead as Mojo gets in Roode’s face before squashing Breeze. I still want Breeze to try his hand in 205 Live while Fandango recovers. Breeze might not get to be Cruiserweight Champion, but he can at least get good booking away from Vince’s direct control. However, Mojo and Roode might both get thrown into the Intercontinental Championship scene as Ziggler will need challengers as much as Lesnar. I’m slowly coming around on B-Team, just on how over the top they are about themselves, but with next week’s rematch, I hope we get something a bit more in story, such as a visit to at least one Compound.

Angle has added a Fourth “I” with “Incompetence” if he only just now figured out Bayley & Sasha could wrestle it out instead of talk. I doubt he’ll really trade one of them to SmackDown just because they’ve lost another match, but it was a good breakthrough for Sasha to admit she still does care for Bayley. I don’t know if this means their story shifts gears so we can try for that Women’s Tag Championship story, but that might be what saves this story before it’s truly too late. AoP winning was filler, but there’s still time before they’re just giant versions of The Ascension. Same for the Revival, depending on what happens with the tag titles. Good for Sarah to be the one to win for the Squad, but I’m not sure where the story goes without Ember having her own teammate.

The best part of tonight was actually Ronda appearing to attack Alexa and Mickie again. It was better than what I was expecting tonight, and is the one part of Raw that might actually be booked correctly. Ronda adds time to her “suspension” but that’s fine, because she’s getting her Summerslam match. Ronda better win, or else WWE will have shot themselves in the foot, again.

My Score: 7.5/10


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