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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (3/6/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Randy Orton VS Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh; Mahal wins.
  • Becky Lynch VS Carmella; Becky wins.
  • AJ Styles VS Dolph Ziggler; no contest.
  • Fatal 5 Way: AJ Styles VS Dolph Ziggler VS Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn VS Baron Corbin; Zayn wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown starts with a face-to-face.

The Queen appears in Green Bay just days away from her title defense at Fastlane, as does her wild child contender, Ruby Riott.

Charlotte and Ruby are both 2-0 in defeating the other’s allies, so the deciding win will be their 1v1 match this Sunday. Ruby starts by saying that this didn’t begin with her actions a month ago. This all started November 14th, 2017, when Charlotte became the SmackDown Women’s Champion. Charlotte’s entire life was set up for success. She’s tall, blonde, athletic, cunning, and daughter of a two-time Hall of Famer, the Nature Boy, Ric Flair. And when Charlotte became champion, she became the first woman to win NXT, Diva’s, Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships. Ruby watched as “the myth began to form”. The myth that Charlotte was the personification of the Women’s (R)Evolution. Which is why Ruby and her Squad showed up.

The Squad exists to do one thing: destroy the myth of Charlotte. Charlotte responds by saying the only myth is that she’s been handed anything in life. She’s worked hard, or even harder, because of who she is. Charlotte has the weight of the Flair expectations on her shoulders. That’s hard to live up to. Her failures are magnified and reflect on her family. She has to not only succeed, but be transcendent. The fact Charlotte did everything Ruby said proves she is no myth. And the reality is, Charlotte is right here, every bit as good as we’ve heard. And that’s what makes it so fun for Ruby. Whether Charlotte was placed there or put herself there, she’s on a pedestal. When Ruby takes her crown, the “Queen” will crumble, and becomes another “bleach blonde failure with a famous last name.”

Charlotte gets in Ruby’s face, the Squad get in the ring. And out comes Charlotte’s GLORIOUS new friend, Bobby Roode!

The United States Champion diffuses the situation with his presence, but he does have his reasons for being out here. He joins commentary for a match between his contender and the man who was overlooked, up next!

 

Randy Orton VS Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh!

The Viper wants the one title that has eluded him his entire career, but the Modern Day Maharaja wants to prove to “Bob Roode” that Orton is not worthy. Can Orton put Mahal away quickly so he can turn his focus onto the United States Champion?

The bell rings and this rematch from their days fighting over the WWE Championship begin. Mahal gets the arm lock and wrenches it to a keylock, bringing Orton to a knee. Green Bay is on Orton’s side as he powers his way out and around to a hammerlock. Mahal elbows out then puts on a headlock, but Orton powers out. Mahal runs Orton over, then gets running again. Orton jumps over then elbows Mahal down, and Mahal scrambles to ropes. They circle again but Mahal kicks low. Orton ends up in a corner and Mahal gives him stiff body shots. Mahal whips corner to corner but Orton evades, RKO narrowly avoided! The Viper grins at Mahal, as does Roode, while we go picture in picture.

Roode nods at his contender and would-be challenger, while Orton hears out the fans cheering. He welcomes Mahal back into the ring, and counters punches with punches. Orton gives Mahal a European Uppercut, then some more. He whips Mahal but Mahal reverses, Orton throws Mahal down by his hair. The Viper stomps on Mahal limb by limb, then drags Mahal up to scrape his laces on his face. Orton whips Mahal corner to corner, but Mahal shoulders his way out. Mahal stomps on Orton in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Orton reverses, puts on a headlock, Mahal powers out but Orton elbows him back. Mahal boots Orton and brings him down! Cover, TWO! Mahal grins as he stomps Orton more.

Orton ends up by the ropes and Mahal drops knee after knee before grinding a knee into his chin. Mahal grins at Roode, too, before dragging Orton up. He snapmares then dropkicks Orton in the back, cover, TWO. Mahal keeps on that back with a knee in the spine, and a seated half-nelson chinbar. Orton endures the holds and makes his way to his feet. Mahal keeps him down while keeping on the hold, but Orton feeds off the fans’ chants of “USA! USA!” while we go single picture.

Orton fights out of the hold but Mahal kicks low. Mahal whips but Orton kicks, only for Orton to run into Mahal’s leaping knee! Cover, TWO, but Mahal grins again. He runs to drop another knee, then drives elbows and knees into Orton again. The fans keep cheering for Orton, but Mahal puts him back in the half-nelson chinbar. Orton works back to his feet and fights out again, but Mahal kicks low. Mahal swings but Orton counters into a back suplex! Orton glares down at Mahal as the two stand up. Orton rallies with clotheslines, then baits Mahal into the powerslam!

The fans fire up while Mahal gets to the apron, and Orton comes over. He drags Mahal out but Mahal escapes, only to run into a Fall Away Slam! Orton keeps on Mahal with EuroUppers, then whips. Mahal reverses but Orton reverses back into the back2back backbreaker. Mahal returns to the apron, and escapes the DDT again. He even uses Sunil as a human shield! Orton takes Sunil and gives him a big back suplex, tossing him onto the announce desk!

Mahal pounces in the distraction, and goes to throw Orton at Roode, only for Orton to turn it around, Mahal collides with Roode! They both go down, then Orton drags Mahal up and into the ring. Mahal slips away but Orton is right on him. He drags Mahal out, draping DDT!

And now Orton hears those voices in his head! The fans fire up with him as he stalks Mahal. Roode gets on the apron? He’s pissed at Orton for what happened, but then Mahal gets up! Mahal knocks Orton into Roode, then KHALLAS!! Mahal steals the win! The Maharaja’s plan to use champion and challenger against each other has paid off, will this lead to a US Championship match after Fastlane?

 

Sami Zayn meets with Kevin Owens backstage.

They’re both ready for the Six Pack Challenge. However, this is every man for himself, at least on paper. Kevin is still unsure about how Sami said he’d lie down for Kevin. Yes, Sami said that, because he meant it.

After everything they’ve been through, Kevin can’t believe it. Though, Sami is such an amazing guy. It would mean so much to Kevin and their friendship. Sami knows all that, but it’s to thank Kevin for helping him turn everything around. There will be a day when Sami becomes champion, but Kevin is one win away from fulfilling a dream. He could be a grand slam champion! Sami is so proud of Kevin, and again thanks him. They hug it out, is #Kami stronger than ever?

 

Baron Corbin speaks.

The Lone Wolf is actually grateful to see John Cena has been added to the WWE Championship match at Fastlane. Because Corbin owes Cena for the Money in the Bank contract fail. He will make Cena’s Wrestlemania dream into a nightmare, and beat Cena’s eyes shut. That way, when Corbin stands over Cena with the WWE Championship, pointing to that Wrestlemania, “You Can’t See Me!”

 

SmackDown takes a look at the greatest tag team rivalry in recent history.

That is to say, the incredible war between two of the greatest tag teams ever, The Usos and The New Day. They went back and forth for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, leaving everyone in awe. Now they’re set for one more match at Fastlane, “This is Awesome!” There is much respect, but in the end, it’s about winning. When the New Day wins, they will go to New Orleans and Wrestlemania! But the Usos say that at the end of their war, they were the ones with the titles. They changed themselves in order to truly prove they are worthy of Wrestlemania. Nine years, zero ‘Manias. It won’t be that way this year, because this year is #OurTime!

But the New Day fired back! The New Day stepped up, getting to the top because they “rushed the field” and took what is theirs. They will rush The Usos and take those titles back to become five time tag team champions! It doesn’t matter how many times it’s been, this amazing rivalry goes for one more to see who is truly the better!

 

Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.

He knows of the Six Pack Challenge, but is he worried about not having the WWE dream (re)match of Nakamura VS Styles? “Yes, but I hope AJ wins, so that I can beat him at Wrestlemania, with a knee to…” However, Rusev & Aiden English appear. English can’t sing, because of the damage done by a “knee to throat”. This is like breaking Billy Joel’s hands. But English is not Billy Joel. Be that as it may, “you broke my friend.” Rusev wants a match at Fastlane to break Nakamura back. Challenge accepted! But when Nakamura wins, it will be NAKAMURA DAY~!

Pff, you can’t just make up holidays, bro. Will the Bulgarian Lion regret getting in the King of Strong Style’s path on the Road to Wrestlemania?

 

Becky Lynch VS Carmella!

A war of words on social media between the Lass Kicker and Ms. Money in the Bank has brought about this match. Will Becky make the Princess of Staten Island #TrendingANDTapping this close to Fastlane?

The bell rings, they circle and tie up, Becky backs Carmella down. Carmella swings things back out and knees Becky low. Carmella whips Becky to a corner but Becky goes up and out to forearm Carmella back. Becky shoulders in then climbs up but Carmella rocks her with a forearm. Carmella throws Becky with a FABULOUS Steiner, then rains left hands in a frustrated response to fans chanting for her opponent. Cover, TWO, so Carmella grinds Becky’s face in the mat. She bounces Becky off the mat before dragging her up. Becky hits back with stiff body shots and right hands, then whips Carmella into a tilt-o-whirl takedown! Carmella spins it around to put Becky in a corner, but ends up in the corner herself. Becky jump kicks but Carmella blocks to push Becky into buckles.

Carmella kicks Becky, then climbs up to put a hanging headscissors on. She lets go at 4, then drags Becky back by her hair to stretch her on the bottom rope. Carmella then brags that she’s Ms. Money in the Bank before kneeing Becky in the head! Naomi is watching her friend in this match, but Carmella covers, TWO. Carmella keeps her cool while throwing Becky out of the ring again. She embraces the heat while she drags Becky up and throws her into barriers. Carmella throws Becky again, then stomps away on her. She bumps Becky off a post, then puts her in the ring, cover, TWO. Carmella gets mad at the ref, then drives elbows into Becky before wrapping on a thrashing chinlock. The fans rally for Becky, and Becky fights out. Carmella knees low then slaps Becky, but Becky hits a leg lariat!

Both women are down and a ten count begins. Carmella gets up first and crawls over to Becky. She throws a forearm, Becky throws one back. They go back and forth but Becky gets the edge. Becky runs but Carmella evades to FABULOUS Kick Becky down! Cover, but Ropebreak! Carmella throws a tantrum, but this allows Becky to get up. Becksploder! Becky fires up but runs into another kick. Carmella wheelbarrows for the headlock takedown, but Becky slips out into the Disarm-Her! Carmella taps, Becky wins! Will this #StraightFire deter Carmella from #CashingIn at Fastlane?

 

Natalya walks in to join Naomi backstage.

According to the Queen of Harts, Becky is “lucky lucky.” Naomi says Ms. MITB tweets a big game. Well Carmella was sick, so that’s why Becky won. Naomi should stay away from Becky, because all Becky’s friends get burned. It seems Natty is jealous of Becky, seeing as Natty as no friends. Natty has friends. Name one that isn’t a cat. There’s no time for that. Natty knows Becky can’t beat “The Best There Is, the Best There Was, and the Best There Ever Will Be.” In that case, Natty and her “friend” Carmella can face Becky & Naomi at Fastlane. That’s fine, the Queen wants a warm-up before challenging the SmackDown Women’s Champion at Wrestlemania. The only thing Natty will be doing at Wrestlemania is sitting on the couch with Two Paws. Will the Glow and the Fire take care of the Queen and the Princess?

 

 

AJ Styles heads to the ring.

After hearing the fans out on their cheering, he says, “It wasn’t long ago where I only cared about one person.” But after becoming the WWE Champion for a second time, he sees things differently. Styles is the champion, “but here’s the thing.” It’s a grind to get here, which reminds him of his past, but it’s a grind to stay here. Fastlane brings on a match where Styles doesn’t need to be pinned in order to lose the title. The odds are against him once again, but he won’t cry or complain about it. He’s just gonna fight.

“This is SmackDown Live, the House that AJ Styles Built!” And sometimes, life just gets the better of you. Styles lost to John Cena, and Cena’s never at a loss for words.

We flashback to Raw last night, Cena talking about breaking the record of 16 WWE world championships, at Styles’ expense. Fastlane paves the Road to Wrestlemania, but Cena said Styles could just make his rematch at Wrestlemania. That’s not what Styles wants, and that’s not what the WWE Universe wants. Styles wants his Wrestlemania Moment by taking the most prestigious title to the Grandest Stage of Them All to defend them against the Best, and that’s Shinsuke Nakamura! Who would have ever dreamed that match could happen in the WWE? Styles isn’t’ just fighting for himself, he’s fighting for “us”. And his win at Fastlane will be Phenomenal.

However Ziggler makes his entrance to respond.

This is “for us”? What happened ot Styles? He used to be cool. SmackDown, the House that AJ Styles Built? He’s not phenomenal, he’s just desperate. Styles is desperate? From the guy who’s been here 13 years yet hasn’t reached his full potential? Says the guy that took a decade to even enter the House Dolph Ziggler Built! But let’s relax, Ziggler just wants Styles to know that at Fastlane, Styles will lose. It’s not numbers, odds, math, or any of that, it’s that Styles’ head isn’t in the right place. Styles wants to do it for the people, but Ziggler tells him about “the people”: the second you let them down, they will stab you in the back.

Ziggler has a story: he was told to his face that he’d never, ever be champion. But he always kicked down obstacles or got up from being tripped up. And somehow, Ziggler became Mr. Money in the Bank to become World Heavyweight Champion. He and the fans relished in it together, but “they didn’t deserve it.” The fans did what they always do: nothing! Ziggler proved he was “the best that ever happened to this company”, and the fact he has yet to have a 1v1 Wrestlemania match “is criminal.” Styles can say “us”, “we”, “them” but the fact is, they don’t care about your feelings. Take that dream match and shove it!

Well if that’s how Ziggler feels, let’s move this match up! Ziggler agrees, and it’s happening!

 

AJ Styles VS Dolph Ziggler!

With both men ready to fight, the Main Event happens now! The bell rings, Styles blocks the Superkick and goes for Clash but Ziggler bails out. Ziggler composes himself before returning, and he ties up with Styles. Ziggler gets the wristlock, then works into a takedown cover, ONE. Styles switches and floats to a facelock, but Ziggler gets to ropes. The break is tense but clean, and they circle again. Another tie up, waistlock for Styles but Ziggler elbows out. Ziggler throws a haymaker, then rolls Styles to a cover, TWO. They stand up, circle again, and Styles gets the waistlock to a takedown. Styles stays on Ziggler with a headlock, but Ziggler snapmares out. Ziggler dropkicks Styles down, then embraces the heat.

Ziggler brings Styles into a corner, then snapmares him back out for the elbow drop. Cover, ONE, but Ziggler stays on Styles with a chinlock. He drags Styles down, partial body scissors on. The fans rally while Styles works his way up and out of the hold. Ziggler keeps on the headlock, but Styles fights his way out. Styles whips and things speed up, Styles dropkicks Ziggler back. Ziggler gets out of the ring again, and Styles waits for him to return. Ziggler climbs up but then Styles kicks him back down. The ring count resets, and Ziggler gets up again, but Styles slingshot forearms to knock him down!

The champion has control while we go picture in picture.

Styles brings Ziggler up and into the ring, then drags Ziggler up into a corner. He kicks Ziggler right in the ribs, and Ziggler falls to the mat. Styles brings him back up, lift for the side backbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Styles keeps his cool. He stalks Ziggler to the ropes, but Ziggler hits back. Styles clubs Ziggler in the back, then brings him up in a corner for a stiff chop. Ziggler leans against the ropes, but Styles snapmares him for the running knee drop. Ziggler rolls all the way out, but Styles pursues. Styles puts Ziggler back in the ring but Ziggler pounces while we go back to single picture.

Ziggler catches his breath while Styles clutches his back on the outside. Ziggler wants the count out win, so he encourages the ref to count. Styles beats the count, but Ziggler is on him with a scrape of the laces on his face. Ziggler goes after Styles in the corner, then grinds Styles’ face on the ropes. Ziggler walks around to embrace the heat but Styles fights back with chops. Styles runs, but into a big back body drop! Cover, TWO, but Ziggler keeps calm. He grins as he watches Styles on the mat, then brings him up and into a corner. Ziggler gives Styles a forearm, then scrapes Styles’ face, but Styles hits back with a haymaker. Styles blocks to counter, then unleashes the Phenomenal Blitz! Ziggler goes down, Styles gets running, sliding forearm knocks Ziggler down again!

Ziggler crawls to a corner, Styles goes to the opposite corner and runs in, big corner clothesline. Fireman’s carry but Ziggler grabs ropes and slips out to rake the eyes. He kicks low, Famouser hits! TWO, and Ziggler grows frustrated. Styles rolls away for separation, then crawls back to meet Ziggler. Ziggler throws a haymaker, Styles throws one back. They brawl back and forth with heavy hands, but Ziggler kicks low to then forearm Styles against ropes. Styles staggers up and out to the apron, but Ziggler comes over. ZIggler drags Styles up, and goes to suplex him back in but Styles blocks. Styles tries to suplex Ziggler out but Ziggler resists. They go back and forth, but it’s Styles who brings Ziggler outside with him. Ziggler trips Styles up to catapult him into a post!

Styles goes down, we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Ziggler stops Styles on the top rope with right hands. Ziggler drags Styles off the top to be in Clash position, bu Styles slips that around to try for a submission. Ziggler slips out so Styles SUPER– No, Ziggler blocks the kick and deflects it into ropes, to Zig-Zag! Cover, TWO! Styles survives the Show-Off’s best move, but now the match is invaded by Kevin & Sami! Sami & Kevin attack Styles and Ziggler both to throw this match out! Kevin & Sami continue to beat down Styles and Ziggler, embracing the heat from the fans.

But then Styles and Ziggler fight Kevin & Sami off! They send Sami & Kevin running, so SmackDown Commissioner, Shane McMahon, appears.

Shane O’Mac wonders if Kevin & Sami were trying to take out two opponents before Fastlane. But since they want a match so bad, get back in the ring. Green Bay probably expects a tag team match, but Shane knows this is about bringing the best. And since we’re days away from Fastlane, let’s change things up! AJ Styles VS Dolph Ziggler VS Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn VS one more for a Fatal 5! Yes, it’s Baron Corbin!

 

Fatal 5 Way: AJ Styles VS Dolph Ziggler VS Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn VS Baron Corbin!

This was the Fastlane WWE Championship match until John Cena won his way in. Who will win this what-could-have-been just days before the real deal?

We come into this match while it’s under way, and Sami throws Styles into barriers. Ziggler is also on the outside while Corbin throws Kevin into barriers, too. Corbin then goes after Sami to put him into barriers. Ziggler and Kevin crawl back to the ring while Corbin puts Sami in. Styles is not far behind while Corbin enters the ring to go after Sami more. Corbin unloads right hands, and even hits Styles. Kevin goes after Corbin but Corbin backs him down with elbows. Corbin goes after Ziggler with a stiff right, then another. He goes after STyels with a corner to corner whip, bouncing Stylse off the post, then throws him across the way! Corbin runs at Ziggler but Ziggler dumps him out, for Sami and Kevin to pounce on! Kevin & Sami throw Corbin into steel steps, working together as always.

Sami & Kevin go after Styles and Ziggler in the ring again, because “This is MY Show”, according to Kevin. Sami whips Ziggler and runs him over, then Kevin drops the back senton. Kevin covers, TWO. Kevin grinds his forearm into Ziggler while Sami keeps Corbin out and Styles down. Sami drags Styles up while Kevin stomps Ziggler, then wrecks Corbin with another dropkick. Kevin goes after Styles again, then Sami drags Styles up. They double whip Styles, drop toehold to a back senton on Styles’ back.

Cover, TWO, but #Kami keeps control. Sami grinds Ziggler while Kevin grinds Styles, and Corbin is still on the outside while they hug.  Kevin kicks Corbin down again, then Sami drags Corbin back up. Corbin shoves Sami away then knocks Kevin, Corbin returns to boot Sami. SUPERKICK from Kevin, Famouser from Ziggler! Helluva Kick from Sami, but Styles Pele kicks Sami! Everyone is down while we go to break.

SmackDown returns once more, and Sami fights against Styles on the top rope. Ziggler comes over to add on, but Sami still holds on. Corbin and Kevin come over now, and we have a full Five-Man Tower of Doom!

Double powerbombs and double superplex! Everyone is down, with Styles and Kevin spilling out of the ring. Corbin slowly stands up with Sami and Ziggler in opposite corners. Corbin runs and clotheslines Ziggler, than clotheslines Sami. Ziggler dodges, stinger splash to Sami and one to Corbin. Sami evades but runs into Corbin’s boot! Ziggler runs out but Sami feeds him into Corbin and those two collide. Blue Thunder Bomb! But Styles breaks the cover! Sami throws Styles out then returns to Ziggler.

Kevin returns but Ziggler throws Sami out. Kevin German Suplexes Ziggler! He takes aim from the corner but Corbin runs in, Kevin evades to send him into the post! Then Kevin hits the cannonball on Ziggler, and Vader Bomb elbows Corbin! Cover, but Styles breaks that up, too! Kevin goes after Styles, throwing him out, but Ziggler hits Kevin with the satellite DDT! Corbin goes after Ziggler, back suplex but Ziggler escapes to ZIG-ZAG! Sami returns, chop and acrobatic moves, but Ziggler avoids the DDT to SUPERKICK Sami down! Cover, but Styles breaks this for a hat trick! Corbin returns and goes after Styles, then throws him out. Styles stays on the apron, shoulders back in, and slingshots, but into a stiff right hand!

Sami dodges Corbin, who slides out and in for a lariat! Corbin blocks the Superkick to hit Ziggler with the Choke Slam Backbreaker, then goes after Kevin. Kevin boots him back, but runs into DEEP SIX! Cover, but Styles breaks this for four! Everyone is down from exhaustion and soreness.

Styles sits up first while the fans cheer. Corbin gets up, too, and goes after Styles, but Styles enziguris and clotheslines him out. Ziggler tries but is denied, Styles heel kicks him down. Styles boots Sami away, then moonsault DDT’s him down! Styles rolls out to the apron and takes aim, but has to sliding knee Corbin down. Ziggler runs over but is thrown out, #Kami get Styles! HELLUVA KICK on Kevin?! Sami wins?! Was this Sami’s plan all along?! Are there truly no friends when it comes to the WWE Championship?

When Kevin comes to, he’s just a shocked.

Interview on stage with Sami Zayn.

After everything Sami promised his “best friend”, why? Why? How about Sami is the best WWE has? Or the fact that Sami has been without a doubt, the most overlooked superstar? Why is she asking dumb questions? This may not have been about the title tonight, but this was about the best, and that’s SAMI ZAYN! Will he prove this all over again when the gold is on the line?

 

My Thoughts:

What a truly strange episode of SmackDown, even for a go-home. The night starts with the Women’s Championship face-to-face encounter, and both women do well with their promos to frame this match’s story. However, the segment doesn’t really resolve itself given the strange segue into the next segment. Roode appearing makes sense because he is both Charlotte’s Mixed Match Challenge partner and because he wants to watch his challenger up close. Orton VS Mahal was alright, nothing too different from their multiple matches before this. The usual “this guy throws that guy into the other guy” was a nice touch, it finally gets Roode and Orton going after each other, and perhaps gives Mahal his way into the US Championship scene on the home stretch to ‘Mania. In which case, I hope Roode retains to keep match-ups fresh.

Nice to hear we’re getting Rusev VS Nakamura even if it’s just to tide them both over, they can have a really good match. Keeping the Tag Team Division off helps give time to everything else, such as Becky VS Carmella 1v1 and set-up for a Woman’s Tag Team Match at Fastlane. Keeping Carmella busy on the Fastlane card could be both a way to stop a MITB cash-in or a smokescreen so we won’t expect it.

The promos before the “moved up” main event were only alright, but were still good with how Styles and Ziggler work-shoot on each other. They have a great 15 minutes before things are “ruined”, and then we get an honestly amazing Fatal 5. It seems odd that we’d get what is 90% of the Fastlane match for free, but it was still great action from everyone involved, especially Corbin for the stretch near the end. And then that swerve ending was great, because it really seemed like Sami meant it when he said he’d just lie down for Kevin. Sami may have just out-Heeled Kevin, and could easily become the superior Heel in this long and winding story SmackDown has been giving us. Assuming Sami & Kevin don’t win the title, I could see a great grudge match between them at ‘Mania as the blow-off to all of it.

My Score: 8/10

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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Mixed Match Challenge 2 Results & Report! (12/11/18)

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WWE Mixed Match Challenge

The Mixed Match Challenge is almost done, but there’s been a last-minute substitution! Apollo Crews replaces Finn Balor, can he help Bayley make it to TLC?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Jinder Mahal & Alicia w/ The Singh Brothers VS Apollo Crews & Bayley; Mahal & Alicia win and advance to the Finals at TLC.
  • The Miz & Asuka VS R-Truth & Carmella; Truth & Carmella win and advance to the Finals at TLC.

PLAY BY PLAY

It’s time for the Mixed Match Challenge Semifinals!

The final four teams will be cut down to just two tonight! The Season One champions are still in the running, but they’ve had a rough go of it this year. The Miz and Asuka lost to the #ExtremeFlair after Jeff Hardy stepped in for AJ Styles. However, not even the top seed still stands as the #FABULOUSTruth pulled off the biggest upset to date! Can Truth & Carmella pull off another upset against a tense and dysfunctional Team AWESKA?

As for the Raw Block, #Mahalicia is the only team standing with its original members! Of course, Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox have yet to truly see eye to eye despite making it back from the bottom of the block. That said, Finn Balor must step down from the Mixed Match Challenge because of the beating Drew McIntyre gave him on Raw a week ago. In his place now stands Apollo Crews, who wants to finally make his mark on the main roster! Can this new Team A’n’B go all the way to TLC?

 

Backstage with Bayley & Apollo Crews.

New partners start big with a semifinals match, but the dynamic doesn’t change for Bayley. These two are more prepared than ever, and they’ll be so close to being the #30 spots in their respective Royal Rumbles! But the Singh Brothers come in to get them to slow down. No one cares about where they “think” they’re going, because they’re going home! The Maharrrrraja and Foxy will be Too Sweet. No, better: they can hug it out! Bayley boots the Bollywood Boys out, and says she and Apollo will worry about vacation destinations after the match.

 

Backstage interview with R-Truth & Carmella!

The FABULOUS Truth is ecstatic for tonight. They had a rough start but are on a roll. They’ll be up against the MMC Champions. Miz & Asuka were worried about every team but Truth & Carmella. Well Miz has run his mouth a long time, and Truth knows that from teaming with Miz back in the day. Truth knows for a fact Asuka carries that team. As for tonight, Mella & Truth will carry SmackDown’s flag all the way to TLC. They vow to win, and that’s the truth. Also, Miz said something about shoes? Check these! Carmella’s kicks are F A B U L O U A S! That’s not how you spell fabulous. That aside, let’s move on to choosing a vacation site. Truth likes the idea of Athens. Greece? Georgia? No, Ohio. Well on to match preparations!

 

Jinder Mahal & Alicia w/ The Singh Brothers VS Apollo Crews & Bayley!

Team A’n’B already meshed well together when they and The Boss, Sasha Banks, took it to #Mahalicia on Raw. However, Sasha Banks won’t be present to help cancel out Samir & Sunil, will #HugNation be able to overcome Shanti and head to TLC?

Bayley and Apollo talk on the way out, and it’s decided: once they win that vacation, they’ll go to Jamaica. “This one’s for Finn!” The teams then sort out, and the men begin. Apollo circles with Mahal and they tie up. Mahal gets a headlock and the Singhs already celebrate. Apollo powers out but Mahal runs him over with a shoulder. Mahal runs but Apollo gets up, only for Mahal to whip him. Apollo leaps over for the sunset flip, TWO! Backslide, TWO! Apollo rolls Mahal up, TWO! Mahal scrambles away and Alicia tags in. Mahal claims he had this, but Alicia doesn’t care. Vegas fires up for Bayley as she circles with Alicia. Bayley rolls Alicia, TWO! She tries again, ONE! A third time, TWO!

Alicia wants a breather and she bails out of the ring. She reprimands the Singhs and Mahal for not helping out. Alicia wants that 30th spot and vacation, but the Singhs and Mahal remind her she needs to win first. Alicia gets back in the ring, but Bayley gets her with a drop toehold! Bayley wants to put on an abdominal stretch, but Alicia resists. They go around and Bayley gets a facelock. The Singhs say that’s cheating, but Alicia drives Bayley into a corner. Alicia throws forearms then wrenches the arm. She kicks Bayley around then reels her in. Bayley reverses to a cradle, TWO! Bayley gets to a corner and flapjacks Alicia on the buckles! The Singhs coach Alicia up and she tags to Mahal!

Apollo comes in, but Mahal wants him to take it easy. Mahal kicks but Apollo blocks to counter punch. Apollo whips but Mahal hits a body shot. Mahal stomps a mudhole into Apollo, then whips him corner to corner. Apollo goes up and over and handsprings, then leaps over Mahal to hip toss him down. Fans fire up with Apollo and Apollo back flips. He lansd on his feet but walks into a hotshot and big knee! Cover, TWO! Mahal keeps his cool as he drives an elbow into Apollo’s head. He whips Apollo corner to corner hard and Apollo hits the mat. Mahal stomps away but Bayley keeps the Singhs back. Mahal drops knees then grinds Apollo down. The ref counts and Mahal stops at 4. Mahal brings Apollo up in a half nelson chinbar.

Apollo endures as fans rally up, and Apollo fights out. Mahal shoves Apollo and runs him over with an elbow! Cover, TWO! Mahal puts Apollo back in the half nelson, but Apollo endures. Fans rally up and Apollo fights back. Mahal shoves but Apollo kicks back. Apollo runs but into a clobbering clothesline! Mahal pulls back with a camel clutch. Fans rally again but Mahal wrangles Apollo back down. Mahal wrenches back on the chinlock, but Apollo endures. Fans rally up and Apollo gets moving. Apollo arm-drags out and enziguris Mahal down! Both men crawl for their corners, hot tag to Bayley!

Alicia comes in but Bayley rallies! Bayley puts Alicia in a corner for the back elbow, and corner punches! She gets 8, but Alicia slips out. Bayley jumps over to hit a big back suplex! Bayley runs in for the big knee, but Alicia gets to the apron. Alicia bumps Bayley off buckles, but Bayley hotshots her back! Bayley2Belly! Cover, but the Singhs drag Alicia out! The referee reprimands them but Apollo wipes them out with flying clotheslines! Apollo then leaps up again, asai moonsault takes them out again! He feeds Samir to Bayley2Belly! Then the same for Sunil! Bayley fires up but Mahal boots Apollo down! Bayley DIVES on Mahal! She puts Alicia back in, but walks into a boot!! Cover, Mahalicia wins!!

Winners: Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox, Alicia pinning; advance to the MMC Finals at TLC

The dysfunctional duo makes it work! Granted, they succeeded against teams that had substitute members, such as how Curt Hakwins stepped in for Braun Strowman last week. But a win is a win, and now Mahalicia will represent Raw in the Finals! Who will they face in their shot at the 30th spots and the all-expenses-paid vacation?

Backstage interview with Mahalicia.

Did they ever think this day would come? Of course they did! Mahal meditated and visualized, and he sees himself, Alicia, and the Singhs on the beach. Alicia agrees with winning, but NOT with letting the Singhs joining them. They’re successful because SHE is the Captain! She’s driving this ship into Port Victory, without them! But Asuka comes over, laughing at how Mahalicia thinks they’re gonna win. It doesn’t matter what happened on tonight’s SmackDown, Asuka says she’s gonna win, because her match is next!

 

The Miz & Asuka VS R-Truth & Carmella!

The Season One champions are on the rocks right now as The Empress doesn’t appreciate The A-Lister trying to take credit for her work. Meanwhile, the fourth seed FABULOUS Truth have put in the work to make it back up from the bottom. Will we see another historic upset from Truth and the Princess of Staten Island?

“Las Vegas, make some noise! What’s up!?” The Miz and Asuka aren’t impressed, and aren’t in the mood for that Dance Break the fans are cheering for. The teams sort out and both Miz and Asuka say “I’ve got this.” Fans are on Asuka’s side. Miz concedes, and Asuka starts with Carmella. But then Miz calls over to tag in. Asuka refuses, because she’s got it. But then she chops him, which counts for a tag! Truth comes in and Asuka is annoyed. Truth rolls Miz up! TWO, but Truth stays on Miz. Miz powers out but Truth runs him over. Truth does his bunny hop dance, then things speed up. Truth holds ropes to do the rest of his dance. Miz runs in but Truth dodges to tilt-o-whirl Miz to a corner. Truth runs in to haymaker Miz. The ref backs Truth up and Miz kicks low.

Miz bumps Truth off buckles, then stomps him. Miz whips corner to corner but Truth goes up and over to dab on ’em! This annoys Miz and he runs back in, but Truth does the splits to dodge, then hip tosses Miz down! Truth clotheslines Miz out, and Carmella comes in, for the DANCE BREAK~! Asuka is furious at Miz while Truth and Carmella floss and twerk. Carmella calls out Asuka, so Asuka shows off her moves on the apron. Miz is annoyed but Truth hip tosses Miz back in! Truth throws hands then climbs up for corner punches. He gets 8 before Miz pushes him away and boots Truth down. Miz chokes Truth on the ropes, then hits his straddle attack. Cover, TWO!

Miz keeps on Truth with a camel clutch but Carmella rallies the fans. Truth gets up and fights back. Miz pulls hair to throw Truth down and deny the tag. Miz stalks Truth, to boot him down! Cover, TWO! Truth survives and Miz argues with the ref. Miz hears the fans rally and say “We Want Asuka!” Miz ignores that but gets rocked by haymakers from Truth! Truth back suplexes but Miz lands out to kick low and hit the basement DDT! Cover, but Carmella breaks it! Carmella goes back to her corner, but then Miz mocks the moonwalk. It wasn’t very good, but Miz stomps Truth down. Miz brings Truth up and uses his It Kicks. Miz winds up but misses, Truth rolls him up! TWO, and Miz clobbers Truth with a clothesline!

Fans rally but Miz grins as he runs corner to corner at Truth. He hits the dropkick, then keeps going to hit another. Miz soaks up the heat before running back in, but Truth clobbers him! Both men are down but fans are fired up. Truth and Miz crawl, hot tag brings in the ladies! Carmella rallies with lariats and a kick. She brings Asuka over for a bump off her boot. Asuka’s down but she dodges the bronco buster to then lift Carmella in a waistlock. Carmella screams and shouts to be let down, so Asuka gently sets Carmella back on her feet. To then lift her back up! Carmella fights out but gets the pop-up knee! Asuka runs, sliding wizard! Cover, TWO!

Carmella survives and Asuka grows frustrated. Miz is also frustrated but Asuka stays on Carmella with knees. Carmella jawbreakers and shoves Asuka away, Miz tags in! Miz goes after Truth but Truth punches him away. Truth rallies with the Lie Detector elbow! Cover, but Asuka breaks it! Carmella throws Asuka into buckles, and tunes up the band. She aims at Miz, but Miz uses Asuka as a shield?! The FABULOUS Kick hits Asuka, then Miz shoves Truth into Carmella before rolling Truth up! TWO!! FABULOUS KICK, to Scissor Kick! Cover, TWO!? Miz lives?! Fans are stunned but loving this!

Asuka throws Carmella out, then Miz dumps Truth out. Miz and Asuka catch their breath, but Asuka locks eyes with Miz. She knows what Miz just did, and he tries to say it wasn’t him. Asuka doesn’t believe Miz, she knows what she saw. Miz is afraid of what she’ll do, and says that they’re still a team. They can still win this together! Okay? No! Asuka fires off on Miz!! Buzzsaw! Miz is rocked, and Asuka ditches him! Truth gives Miz an Unprettier! Cover, Fabulous Truth win!!

Winners: R-Truth & Carmella, Truth pinning; advance to the MMC Finals at TLC

The Season One Champions are no longer in the tournament! The A-Lister made a major mistake thinking he could manipulate the Empress of Tomorrow, and now the FABULOUS Truth capitalize! It will be Truth & Carmella VS Mahal & Alicia at TLC, who wins to become the new Mixed Match Challenge Champions?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Last episode, last time for one of these. Admittedly, we all should’ve known, me especially, that this was not going to end with an amazing match up of top stars in the Finals. The big names like Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, Charlotte Flair, AJ Styles, etc were only in this second MMC to hook fans. WWE needs people to use Facebook Watch because of the deal they made, so that’s why we got great combinations to start. But naturally, it was all bait and switch, considering how those same big names would inevitably end up in more important stories like the titles and grudges we’re getting at TLC. Rest in peace, my dream of Bullet Club leaders and NXT Four Horsewomen members all in one match.

As for the bracket we did get, I knew it was going to end up this way. I thought Apollo was going to be Bayley’s second chance at that 30th spot after Finn had to step down for the sake of his match against Drew McIntyre. Then San Jose could cheer on their hometown girl as she goes against SmackDown’s finalist. However, Mahalicia still wins so that they are the Heels of the Finals. And while I knew Truth & Carmella were going to go in once Asuka ended up in the TLC Triple Threat, I really enjoy how they wrote it for the match. It was only a matter of time before Asuka got fed up with Miz’s ego, and this was the breaking point. Truth and Carmella will certainly benefit the most from being the 30th entrants, even if they aren’t destined to win the Rumbles.

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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Results & Report! (12/11/18)

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SmackDown brings us a Wrestlemania Rematch this close to TLC! The Queen ended the Empress of Tomorrow’s undefeated streak, but will history repeat itself?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Daniel Bryan VS Mustafa Ali; Bryan wins.
  • The Miz & Shane McMahon VS Chip & Chad; The Miz & Shane win.
  • Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jeff Hardy & Rusev w/ Lana; Hardy & Rusev win.
  • Charlotte Flair VS Asuka; Asuka wins, by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

Daniel Bryan heads to the ring!

Or should we say, the new Daniel Bryan. Either way, the WWE Championship will be on the line against the Phenomenal AJ Styles. However, it’s a minor miracle Styles can even compete after what this Daniel Bryan did to his leg at the end of last week. Fans boo and jeer this Bryan as he picks up a mic. Bryan recalls calling the WWE Universe a bunch of sheep. He wants to apologize for that. Bryan wants to apologize to sheep. Sheep don’t deserve to be compared to such idiots! They’re not the ones destroying the planet with endless consumption. It’s not a “carbon hoof print.” The fans aren’t sheep. They’re parasites! Fans disagree, and believe “Daniel Sucks!” He just calls them fickle.

As he was saying, fans are parasites because they take and take and give nothing in return, especially in Las Vegas. But Bryan isn’t surprised, because fans latched on tot he Old Bryan and lived vicariously through him. That’s what the Yes Movement really was. “Well guess what? The Old Daniel Bryan is dead! And the Yes Movement is dead!” But just like any parasite, the fans have moved on to a new “fickle field”. And these idiots all sit on the couch in the House that AJ Styles Built. Fans cheer for Styles, but Bryan reminds us he is the WWE Champion! And at TLC, Bryan vows to crush Styles’ dream of reclaiming the title, and then the announcement will be “Still WWE Champion, the NEW Daniel Bryan!”

Do fans not believe him? “No! No!” Well Bryan debates with friends all the time, “sometimes you don’t know whether your’e stupid or you deliberately pull the wool over your eyes so you don’t have to realize the facts.” Stupidity is the deliberate cultivation of ignorance. Like in Vegas! But wait, here comes Bryan’s opponent for tonight, the Beacon of Light, Mustafa Ali! Ali responds to Bryan with an introduction, but Bryan already knows who he is. The idiot fans might not but Bryan does. And he knows they’re having a match later, but Ali can join him now. Bryan gives Ali an introduction, and it seems fans do know who he is. Ali is the Heart of 205 Live, and is an incredible performer. Bryan sees a lot of his former self in Ali.

So Bryan gives Ali advice: they don’t need to have this match tonight. Bryan tells Ali that the fans won’t care, “they’re too self-absorbed” and xenophobic. These fickle fans do not deserve this great match. Fans boo so Bryan calls them all fickle. But Ali wants to know what happened to Bryan. Bryan inspired wrestlers like Ali to become a superstar. The entire 205 Live roster looks up to Bryan because Bryan stood toe to toe with any giant and proved he had heart. So what happened? Bryan talks about the Old Bryan, but that Old Bryan would want a fight. Ali wants a fight! Bryan paces while fans chant “Fight! Fight!” Bryan asks Ali what kind of car he drives. What does that have to do with this? But, it’s an SUV.

Bryan doesn’t like that. Ali is small, why does he need a car so big? Well, he has a wife and kids- Bryan slaps him! Bryan says Ali is ignorant, and slaps him again. So Ali fights back! Bryan whips but Ali reverses and headscissors Bryan tot he apron! Then dropkicks Bryan out, and leaps with a senton! Ali looks to shut this New Bryan up, next!

 

Daniel Bryan VS Mustafa Ali!

SmackDown returns as Bryan whips Ali and knocks him down with a kitchen sink knee. Bryan drags Ali up for a headbutt then toys with him. Fans boo as Bryan taunts Ali then bumps him off buckles. Bryan kicks away on Ali in the corner, then soaks up the heat. Bryan drags Ali up with an arm wrench, then whips him corner to corner. Ali goes up but Bryan catches him with a kick. Bryan kicks Ali while he’s down, then drops knees. Bryan hooks Ali’s face but lets up at 4. Ali gets to a corner but Bryan rocks him with a European Uppercut. Bryan grabs Ali for a toehold, then drops an elbow on the knee. Bryan hooks the legs and grabs at the arms. Ali resists so Bryan hooks the nose instead!

Bryan lets up at 4, then hooks the nose again. He lets go at 4, and then lets off the legs to stomp Ali on the back! Fans boo but Bryan soaks up the heat. Bryan stalks Ali and gives him the Yes Kicks. OR perhaps now, the “No Kicks” because fans say “No!” with each one. Bryan aims but Ali dodges to kick back! Ali SUPERKICKS Bryan in the back, covers, TWO! Bryan bails out but Ali builds speed to wreck him with a dropkick! Ali slingshots but Bryan dodges to send Ali into the post! Bryan grins while we go picture in picture.

Ali is down while Bryan catches his breath. Bryan climbs up top to make sure everyone can see him. Then he goes back for Ali on the outside, but leaves him for dead. Bryan soaks up the heat and counts along, but Ali gets in at 9! Bryan looks annoyed by the resilient Ali. He kicks Ali while he’s down, then drags him up. Bryan snap suplexes Ali down, then heads up top. Ali gets up and stops Bryan! Ali climbs up to join Bryan, and hits a SUPER SPANISH FLY!! But Ali flounders away, he crawls back to a cover, TWO!! Ali was so close to pinning THE WWE Champion! He hurries to put Bryan in a drop zone and goes back up. But Bryan trips Ali off and Ali hits the floor!

Bryan gets Ali back into the ring fast, and wraps on the No Lock! Ali moves around, enduring the hold. Bryan wrenches back hard, but Ali doesn’t give up. Ali drags himself and Bryan towards ropes as we return to single picture. Ali reaches, and gets the ropebreak! Bryan lets go, but is simply annoyed further. Bryan drags Ali up and puts him on the top rope backwards. He pulls Ali down into the Tree of Woe and gives more No Kicks. Bryan runs corner to corner, and hits a dropkick! Bryan drags Ali out of the Tree, then puts him back up. He climbs up behind Ali, but Ali slips out of the Super Back Suplex! Ali dodges Bryan and Bryan hits buckles! Ali CHOPS Bryan, and again, and again! Bryan kicks back and bump Ali off buckles.

Bryan whips but Ali reverses. Ali gets under Bryan to hit the tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! Ali again comes close and is shocked. Bryan ends up in a drop zone and Ali hurries up again. Ali leaps, 0-5-4 FLOPS! Bryan drags Ali over and slams his leg into the post! And again! And again! Ali crawls away but Bryan comes around from the corner to chop block the leg! Bryan drags Ali into the Heel Hook! Ali taps, Bryan wins!

Winner: The New Daniel Bryan, by submission

The WWE Champion’s new mean streak helps him snuff out the Beacon of Light tonight in Vegas! However, The Phenomenal One is coming for payback, will he become the new champion?

But Bryan isn’t done with Ali! He attacks Ali on the stage with those savage stomps! And he puts the Heel Hook on again! Ali taps but it doesn’t matter. More referees appear and Bryan lets Ali go. Fans boo but Bryan revels in it as he holds up his title. This mean streak runs deep, will it be the key to keeping the New Bryan the current champion?

 

Awww Vegas~! It’s time for a Rap Battle!

The New Day come out to host a special battle of bars between The Usos and The Bar!

SmackDown returns as Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E stand ready as judges for this second ever SmackDown Rap Battle. Meanwhile, The Bar look like they stepped out from the 90’s. Now they’ll all be battling in the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Triple Threat. The Bar requested this battle but the New Day won’t allow for any funny business. Sheamus starts off, “This has gone too far, Big Tony, hit them with the bar.” Cesaro starts a beat for “Ice Ice Shamy.” The Bar basically parody Vanilla Ice. Fans don’t know whether to laugh or boo. The New Day rank that… a trash can out of 10.

As for the Usos, Jimmy and Jey take a moment to collect themselves. “It’s the Usos VS the Bar in a rap off, I’m like it can’t be. What the hell are they about to talk about, UCe?” “Sheamus’ hair grease. Cesaro’s mouth piece.” The Usos got cheated, defeated, they removed it from their memories like Woken Hardy: DELETED. They beat the Ninja Turtles, and now it’s on to Bebop and Rock Steady. “FELLA~!” Mr. Movie Star, they’re not stealing a line but that was booty. Usos show love, like cupid. Sheamus looks dumb. No, like stupid! Is Sheamus purposefully staying white like chalk? Does he have Cesaro help him with the mohawk? Brogue Kicks VS Superkick, ain’t no pump action, those come from the hip, hit you in the teeth. But how do you knock Cesaro’s teeth out with no knuckles? I dunno. Let’s introduce our friend, Mr. Turnbuckle.

Hello, Mr. Turnbuckle! How did it feel? Well when he pushed Cesaro’s teeth down his throat, we learned who’s the real man of steel. Cesaro the Swiss Superman, right? King of Swing, right? But that won’t matter against their Uso kryptonite! The Bar sets the bar? No this is a true tag team, they’re the stars. Ten years, still going hard, zero injuries, Uso Iron Man! Tony Stark!! The Usos are bulletproof, are the truth and still have fun. Back to back tag team of the year, six time champs coming soon. The Bar, New Day, Usos, Sunday, Welcome to the Uso Penitentiary! The Bar have heard enough, they start swinging! The Usos are ready, and they hit back! Cesaro and Sheamus get sent out, and then the Usos are ready to throw with The New Day.

But The Bar comes back to blow it all up! BROGUE for Jey, and then a beating for the hosts! Jey gets up, but gets A-Swiss-ted White Noise! The Bar hold up their titles, and as the Usos said themselves, “We ARE the Bar!” Will #RunBAR continue to run the SmackDown Tag Team Division after TLC’s Triple Threat?

 

Asuka speaks.

“I thought nobody would be ready for Asuka. I was wrong, I was not ready, I made one mistake.” The mistake was Asuka let up. But this Sunday, Asuka will kick, strike, climb and grab that title to win. As for tonight, Charlotte won’t be ready this time! The Empress is fired up, will she settle the score from back at Wrestlemania?

 

The Miz is in the ring!

He holds the World Cup trophy, and tells Shane McMahon that while it’s his week to have custody, Miz needs to speak his mind. Miz wants Shane to come out, and doesn’t want to have to beg. Fans want to see him beg. Miz concedes, and kneels. He bends the knee, and asks Shane come out to talk. This is bigger than a trophy, so please come out. Shane O’Mac appears! He joins Miz in the ring, and says “What’s up, Las Vegas?” And what is up with Miz? Is he okay? Why is Miz out here with the trophy? It’s the only way Miz can get through to him! Shane won’t respond to him. They can be so good together, if he’d just give Miz a chance.

Miz knows Shane is scared, and so is Miz. But Shane owes Miz one. They should tag together again. If they lose, fine, this can stop. But if they win, they can be the #BestTeamintheWorld! Shane thinks this is getting weird. No, the trophy is just a symbol. They can be so much more! Then enlighten him. Okay, fine. Miz will say this for the first time in his life. In fact, Miz will show him! Get a referee out here! A referee appears. They’ll take on Chip & Chad, The Vegas Boys! Chip & Chad appear, and the match is set?

The Miz & Shane McMahon VS Chip & Chad!

Shane is very confused, and tries to reason with Miz while the bell rings. Chip and Chad attack Shane! Miz is shocked, but he coaches Shane up. Shane fires off fast hands! He knocks Chip(?) down then throws him out! Shane dares Chad(?) to fight, and he lights him up with jabs! Shane whips then hits a big back elbow. He hits Chip away and then gives Chad a float-over DDT! Fans want Miz to get in, but he’s busy holding the world cup. Shane brings Chad into a triangle hold! Miz is already celebrating before Chad taps out. Shane & Miz win!

Winners: The Miz & Shane McMahon, Shane by submission

The Best Team in the World finally succeeds! But Miz is clearly more pumped then Shane is about it. Will Shane come around and join Miz on this tag team journey to the top? Or is Miz just seeing what he wants to see?

 

Paige is furious with the referee.

They can’t just be making matches without the GM’s consent! Especially with the commissioner. But The Miz said she gave permission. Paige sees what’s going on now. But just as she tells the ref to hush, Chip & Chad come in, with invoices. The Miz said they were getting paid $5000 each for that match. Paige tears up the invoices, and tells everyone to leave. Will the GM have words for the overly ambitious A-Lister?

 

Randy Orton heads to the ring!

The Viper prepares for a Chairs Match with the King of Lucha Libre! These two will be able to do whatever they want with those infamous steel weapons. Orton brings one into the ring with him, and says “Nothing like a good ol’ fashioned solid steel chair, am I right?” They’re built for comfort, but can also make a statement. Orton rolls footage of how he’s used these chairs to brutalize Rey Mysterio these last few weeks, namely wrapped around Mysterio’s head before being thrown into a steel post. Orton likes that, but perhaps we can do better. He rolls more footage, as he did very much the same thing, but throwing Mysterio into steel steps this time.

“Now let me get this straight.” Mysterio knows he has a Chairs Match, and is okay with that? Everyone’s seen what Orton does to his opponent, yet Mysterio is okay with that? Mysterio must think he’ll get his revenge. But Mysterio is a victim, and victims don’t get revenge. The locker room will be worried about TLC, but Mysterio needs to be worried about RKO. But Mysterio SMACKS Orton from behind! Mysterio jabs the chair into Orton, then SMACKS him again! Then he tosses the chair at Orton, to dropkick it in his head! Orton is on the ropes, and Mysterio hits the 619! Orton bails out, but Mysterio wants more! Will the Viper be a victim after Sunday?

 

Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.

If Charlotte Flair and Asuka beat each other up badly enough, does that give her an advantage in the SmackDown Women’s Championship TLC? Advantage? Becky’s getting back in the ring, road testing both her banged up face and her banged up brain, in one of the most dangerous matches in all of WWE. And not just against one but two of the best. So no, there is no advantage. But Becky still loves it. Fighting against the odds is what Becky does. And doctors can get all twitchy, but she’ll still scout her opponents tonight. And then on Sunday, she’ll remind all of us how much chaos can happen when The Man comes around.

 

Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jeff Hardy & Rusev w/ Lana!

The Destroyer wants to remind the Enigma of his troubled past, while the King of Strong Style wants to make it clear the Super Athlete will never relive his glory days. Will Hardy and Rusev uniting be enough to show Joe and Nakamura that it’s not about the past but the future?

Nakamura and Joe troll their opponents, but then the FABULOUS Truth appears? Dance Break~! The music hits and the flossing begins! “Proceed.” Nakamura kicks Hardy and the match begins! Nakamura drives in knees, then stomps Hardy down. He tags in Joe and Joe drives down elbows. Hardy hits back and Joe bails out. Joe drags Hardy out to join him and then throws Hardy into barriers. The Destroyer looms over the Enigma as we go picture in picture.

Joe puts Hardy back in the ring and stands hardy up. He tags to Nakamura and Nakamura stomps away in the corner. Nakamura gives Hardy Bad Vibrations, then taunts Rusev. He says “C’MON!” and Rusev takes the bait, but the ref keeps him back. Nakamura goes back to Hardy for a snapmare and knee drop! Cover, TWO! Joe tags in but Hardy flounders for Rusev. Joe drags him back and stomps Hardy out, before driving elbow after elbow into Hardy’s shoulder. He wrenches Hardy’s neck and Hardy endures as fans rally. Hardy stands up and fights back, but runs into Joe’s back elbow. Joe covers, TWO! Joe stands Hardy up for jabs as we return to single picture.

The referee counts and Joe backs off. Hardy fires off but Joe reverses the whip to hit the back elbow to Pele! Hardy goes down, Joe covers, but Rusev breaks it. Joe keeps on Hardy with another snapmare, and chops to the shoulder. He tags in Nakamura and Nakamura stomps on Hardy. Nakamura brings Hardy up in a facelock, then rams his knee in. He puts Hardy on the top rope and hits the Top Shelf Knee! Cover, TWO! Nakamura keeps his eyes on Rusev as he tags Joe back in. Joe kicks Hardy while he’s down, then pulls on the arms for the half surfboard. Rusev and fans rally for Hardy, and Hardy gets up. Hardy kicks and punches Joe, but Joe denies the Twist. Joe runs into the corner but into an elbow. Whisper in the Wind hits! Both men are down but fans fire up!

Hardy and Joe crawl for their corners as fans chant “Rusev Day!” Hot tag to Nakamura, then to Rusev! The Bulgarian Brute rallies on the Rockstar, and throws haymakers! Rusev whips and clobbers him at the ropes. Rusev scoops Nakamura to ram in his knee, then throws him with the Fall Away Slam! Nakamura gets to a corner but Rusev runs in for the back shoulder, and then the spinning heel kick! Fans fire up with Rusev as he stomps the mat. Nakamura slowly stands, and he elbows Rusev away. Rusev still lifts but Nakamura slips out. Nakamura swings but misses, Rusev’s roundhouse connects! Cover, but Joe breaks it. Hardy gives Joe the Twist of Fate!

Hardy follows after, and leaps off the apron! He wipes Joe out, but Nakamura runs at Rusev. Drop toehold, into the Accolade. Nakamura escapes to use his strike fest, then aims from a corner. But he runs into a MACHKA KICK instead! Cover, Rusev & hardy win!

Winners: Jeff Hardy & Rusev, Rusev pinning

The Bulgarian Brute pins the United States Champion! Will Rusev use this to launch back into the title scene? Will Hardy be able to render Joe’s mind games OBSOLETE?

 

Shane McMahon confronts The Miz backstage.

What is going on with him and the trophy? Paying competitors to attack Shane? Tricking an official into calling a match no one sanctioned? Miz is crossing a line. Miz admits it! But he won’t apologize. Shane’s instincts kicked in and won, just like he did at the World Cup! That kill-or-be-killed McMahon instinct! Miz has main evented Wrestlemania, has a film franchise and a reality TV series, but he’s never been considered Best in the World. Not until Shane came along. Miz offers a handshake, but Shane denies it. Miz is left hanging, will he give up this pursuit? Or will he only be all the more motivated?

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

“The New Daniel Bryan” took the WWE Championship through underhanded means, but is Styles ready to take the title back? Styles is biding his time, because no one else wants to beat Bryan up more than he does. He’s counting the days, hours and minutes to TLC. This “new” Bryan isn’t that new. It’s more like “the real” Bryan. But there’s only one Phenomenal One, and that’s AJ Styles. Styles is ready for revenge, but will he get satisfaction on Sunday?

 

Charlotte Flair VS Asuka!

The Queen and the Empress are both ready for TLC’s first ever Women’s TLC match, that is also a triple threat with the champion, Becky Lynch. However, tonight is about a rematch from their epic SmackDown Women’s Championship Wrestlemania match! Will Charlotte be able to repeat history? Or will she find she’s no longer ready for Asuka?

SmackDown returns with a backstage interview from Charlotte. She’s days away from another historic first, but what about this amazing rematch? Charlotte knows what’s at stake. Asuka says she’s going to break Charlotte, but The Queen doesn’t break. The Queen breaks streaks. This will be a preview of how Charlotte will make them bow down to the Queen! The Queen makes her entrance, and we begin!

But wait, The Man promised to be ringside, and her she comes! Becky Lynch raises her belt all the way down the ramp and over to commentary where she takes her seat. The bell rings and Asuka and Charlotte turn their focus back on each other. Charlotte boots but misses, and Asuka puts on a waistlock. Asuka lifts but Charlotte fights out, only for Asuka to chop her back. Asuka runs, but her hip attack is caught! She still victory rolls through to a Kneebar! Charlotte scrambles around and stands up. She pries Asuka off and drives her down with a back suplex! Charlotte stands but Asuka follows. Charlotte CHOPS Asuka, and again. Asuka ducks the third to hit a German Suplex! Asuka fires up and runs, but Charlotte dodges the hip attack. Charlotte boots Asuka off the ropes, and takes a moment to catch her breath.

Fans echo the “WOO~!” as Charlotte brings herself over to a corner. Charlotte climbs up and moonsaults, but gets knees! And then flipped into the Asuka Lock! Charlotte scrambles more and gets up. Asuka holds on, but Charlotte makes it a backpack senton! Asuka grabs Charlotte again! Charlotte scrambles around but can’t get Asuka off. Charlotte roles to a ropebreak, and Asuka lets go at 4. This epic rematch continues after the break.

SmackDown returns once more, and the two are brawling on the mat! Charlotte and Asuka fire up with each hit and fans are dueling. Asuka hits, Charlotte hits, but Asuka gets an edge! Charlotte blocks, spins Asuka around, but Asuka switches to an octopus stretch! Charlotte endures as Asuka pulls back harder. Fans rally on both sides as Charlotte works against the hold. Charlotte pops Asuka up but Asuka makes it a crucifix driver! Cover, TWO! Fujiwara armbar outta nowhere! Charlotte struggles against it, but can’t get away. Becky seems unimpressed either way. Asuka wrenches back but Charlotte rolls through, only to end up in a triangle hold! Charlotte makes it a cover, ONE. She tries again, ONE! Charlotte rains rights then makes it a cover again, ONE.

Asuka fires palm strike while holding the hold. Charlotte deadlifts and powerbombs! Cover, TWO!! Charlotte almost had Asuka, but both women are down from exhaustion. Fans “WOO~” for Charlotte and cheer for Asuka as the two stir. Charlotte sits up first, and crawls over to Asuka. Asuka sits up and they both trash talk. Charlotte slaps Asuka as she says “You will never break me!” But Asuka gets the takedown, the jackknife, but Charlotte slips through to Figure Four! Asuka endures as Charlotte wrenches back. Asuka turns the hold over! The pressure reverses and now Charlotte endures! Charlotte scrambles to ropes and the two separate. Becky seems amused now. Asuka and Charlotte force themselves up, but Charlotte gets Asuka’s leg. Asuka endures the toehold, but Charlotte drives in elbows! Charlotte goes for another Figure Four but Asuka resists, so Charlotte drops a knee!

Fans duel as Asuka endures. Charlotte hammers away on Asuka, her frustration boiling over. Cover, TWO! Becky is again stoic as she watches Chalrotte drag Asuka over to a corner. Charlotte throws a leg into the post! She gives Becky a glare before she again throws Asuka’s leg against post. Charlotte then drags Asuka over, covers, TWO! She goes for the figure four, but Asuka cradles! TWO, and Charlotte CHOPS Asuka. And chops, and chops! Asuka blocks the next chop, and fireman’s carry takedown to kicks! Asuka runs, but Charlotte follows. Spear into a code breaker! Cover, TWO!! Asuka almost caught Charlotte there but this battle continues. Fans continue to duel as Asuka stands. Asuka kicks away on Charlotte, again and again and again, but then the buzzsaw is blocked. She still knocks the wind out of Charlotte, then fires off elbows from all sides!

Asuka kicks Charlotte in the face again and again, almost toying with her. She gives another shot then runs, but into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!? Asuka survives and Charlotte is surprised. Becky is stone faced, but on the edge of her seat. Charlotte flounders to her feet while Asuka stirs on the mat. Charlotte drags Asuka to a drop zone while fans duel. She climbs up top, moonsault! Asuka gets her feet up, but Charlotte saw it coming! Charlotte grabs the feet for a figure four, but Asuka sees that coming! Cradle to Asuka Lock!! Charlotte flairs but the hold is on deep! Asuka stays on Charlotte’s back, and they fall out of the ring! Charlotte resorts to a kendo stick! And she SMACKS Asuka!

Winner: Asuka, by disqualification

The Mad Queen returns as she swings wild! Charlotte gave Asuka the win, but The Man simply smirks as she looks at her battered competition. Becky goes to leave, but Charlotte SMACKS her in the back! Charlotte SMACKS away on Asuka, but Becky comes back with kicks! Becky throws Charlotte into the steps, then takes up the stick! She SMACKS Charlotte now! And again, and again! But Asuka attacks Becky! And throws her over the announce desk! Asuka picks up the stick for her own, and SMACKS Charlotte back! And Becky on the table, too! Asuka smacks everyone!! The Empress stands over The Queen and The Man, but will she stand tall as the Women’s Champion?!

 


 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown again has the superior main roster go-home! And oddly enough, that might be because they changed some things. Naomi and Mandy Rose were meant to spark a feud tonight, as started by social media, but perhaps there were factors beyond anyone’s control that cancelled that match. After all, this is a live show. But I do appreciate SmackDown at least wanted a midcard story going into TLC, it can’t always be about the title.

Moving on, Daniel Bryan’s opening promo was great. I knew he was going to pull that gag about “that’s an insult to [x]”. And it’s great for Mustafa Ali to be the one trying to get through to Bryan about his new behavior. For one, it’s just great that Cruiserweights are showing up on both main shows, and I hope this continues to some degree, in perhaps an effort to stop the isolation of the Division on 205 Live. Raw already has Lio Rush and the Lucha House Party, perhaps SmackDown can have stars like Ali, Noam Dar, or Cedric Alexander show up to give us some great matches. Bryan VS Ali was itself a great match and Ali looked strong even in losing.

I’m a little disappointed Bryan VS Styles won’t be a Chairs Match, but learning that Orton VS Mysterio gets that, that’s really great. Orton and Mysterio have been heading that way given the violent chair spots, and I am sure they’ll do the stipulation justice. But Mysterio standing tall tonight, I have a feeling that means Orton wins at TLC so his hunt for heroes can continue. The rap battle was great, from The Bar having a completely comedic routine to The Usos having a killer one. The Bar attack and manage to stand tall, but perhaps that, too, is a sign we get new champs at TLC. I feel that since The New Day already reached their five-time mark, The Usos will get another turn. And as great as these three teams are, I hope Usos becoming champs help shuffle challengers. SAnitY and The Club deserve second chances.

The Miz is definitely heading for a match with Shane, he just has to be. He goads Shane into a surprise match with jobbers, which actually helps cover up that Shane’s floatover DDT turned into a hungover DDT. I’m just wondering what he’ll have planned now that Shane seems firmly against #BestTeamintheWorld. Hardy & Rusev VS Joe & Nakamura was a really good match, and definitely builds things towards their respective blow-offs. However, it still feels too early to call who wins their respective feuds. It would be great if Rusev gets the US Championship back, he could use it after that detour with Aiden English. Hardy-Joe is also harder to decide, but Joe hasn’t won much lately so he could really use this one.

The SmackDown Women’s Championship scene is incredible right now. This Wrestlemania rematch tonight was amazing, and in the moment I was disappointed that it ended with a disqualification. But between the awesome brawl that happened between Charlotte, Asuka and Becky and how a disqualification keeps both women strong, I’m okay with it. The TLC Triple Threat is going to be off the charts, and it will definitely steal the show no matter where it is on the card. I’m hoping that if there is a new champion, it will be Asuka. The fans were so behind her, they have been behind her, and will be behind her even if she takes the title from Becky. The only other option fans will still be behind is if Becky retains, because otherwise Charlotte treads dangerous waters in her push.

My Score: 8.7/10

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