From the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, WWE brings us a massive Network special! Seven championship matches, from both Raw and SmackDown, and even 205 Live! A Casket Match between the Undertaker and Rusev! John Cena VS Triple H! And as the main event, the first ever FIFTY Man Royal Rumble match!
All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- John Cena VS Triple H; Cena wins.
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander VS Kalisto; Alexander wins and retains the Cruiserweight Championship.
- Raw Tag Team Championships: The Bar VS WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Bray Wyatt; Hardy & Wyatt win and become the new Raw Tag Team Champions.
- WWE United States Championship: Jeff Hardy VS Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh; Hardy wins and retains the United States Championship.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Bludgeon Brothers VS The Usos; The Bludgeon Brothers win and retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Fatal 4 Way Ladder Match: Seth Rollins VS Finn Balor VS The Miz VS Samoa Joe; Rollins wins and retains the Intercontinental Championship.
- WWE Championship: AJ Styles VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Double Count Out, Styles retains the WWE Championship.
- Casket Match: The Undertaker VS Rusev w/ Aiden English; Undertaker wins.
- WWE Universal Championship Steel Cage Match: Brock Lesnar VS Roman Reigns; Lesnar wins and retains the Universal Championship.
- 50-Man Royal Rumble match: Braun Strowman wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Byron Saxton, Jerry “The King” Lawler & Booker T are your Kickoff Show panel!
They give us the rundown on the match card order, and are most excited to see the fans’ faces as they watch this massive first-time event. King looks forward to seeing the Undertaker back in a Casket Match, and Booker looks forward to seeing if Nakamura can grab that WWE Championship from AJ Styles. Speaking of Styles, he’ll be in the Social Media Lounge later on, so get ready to #AskAJ your questions.
The Miz speaks.
“Samoa Joe, Finn Balor and Seth Rollins are terrible people.” They’re going to make his baby girl cry if Miz loses. But luckily, Miz is a winner and will cement his legacy as the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time. And that’s AWESOME.
Backstage interview with Jinder Mahal
The Modern Day Maharaja wants his United States Championship back. But he hasn’t won a match since being traded to Raw. It’s only two losses! Losers like Mike Rome just want to belittle former champions like Mahal. He still complains that he was not ready for defending his title against Jeff Hardy. However, Mahal is ready now, and is confident he’ll take the title back. Can Mahal reclaim the US Championship against the Charismatic Enigma in Saudi Arabia?
The Bar speaks.
“Well, well, well…” Sheamus & Cesaro know Hardy & Wyatt think they’re WONDERFUL~, but they’re just insane. Whether Woken or Broken, they’ll just be chokin’ on some Brogues! The screw-loose duo will be two titles short of being champions. Cesaro & Sheamus don’t just set the bar, they ARE The Bar, but will they be champions again?
Good ol’ JR joins the panel!
JR is honored to be part of history, especially this amazing atmosphere that’s “doing a lot of good in a lot of ways.” The Saudi Arabia WWE Universe is just as excited to see him.
AJ Styles is in the Social Medial Lounge.
The WWE Champion is set for a rematch from the Dream (Re)Match at Wrestlemania. He beat Shinsuke Nakamura fair and square on the Grandest Stage of Them All, but Nakamura ruined the moment with a low blow. Nakamura has since then tormented Styles with more low blows and several #Knees2Face. Styles now answers the fans’ questions under the tag, #AskAJ.
“What is your strategy against the new attitude” of Nakamura? Styles hasn’t changed plans, because this Nakamura is easier to prepare for. Nakamura takes cheap shots, and has shown his true colors, so Styles knows what to expect. “What was it like to be teamed up with Gallows & Anderson again?” The Club reunion put a smile on Styles’ face. Teaming in Japan was special, teaming on SmackDown will be just as special. “What went through your mind when Nakamura hit you with the low blow at Wrestlemania”, especially with all the respect between them? Styles did respect Nakamura, who he thought was a great person. That was a major shock, and it broke many hearts, to see that happen. But now Styles looks for payback to make it all right. The Phenomenal One now prepares for that major rematch, can he win all over again?
Paul Heyman surprises the panel!
The Advocate of the Beast agrees with King: “Roman Reigns doesn’t have a shot, does he?” Not against Brock Lesnar in a cage. And he won’t just lose, Roman will take a beating from Lesnar because Lesnar won’t let Roman take the Universal Championship. Lesnar will not let himself be embarrassed in front of such a massive, global audience. Lesnar is here because he truly wants to be in a cage with Roman, the man who kicked out of five F5’s, and finish Roman off. This will be the “declarative” moment of Brock Lesnar’s career. Roman won’t kick out, he’ll just take a beating and a defeat. Lesnar will then go after the UFC championship even as the “reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion”. Has Heyman given yet another “spoiler”?
Superstars speak on the 50-Man Royal Rumble.
Braun Strowman loves competition, and this match offers more of that than any match before it. Superstars, legends both past and future, Strowman wants to go first just make sure everyone will #GetTheseHands. The New Day want to know who, who who who, will be the winner? There can be only one, and that one has to be… Kofi Kingston! He is Mr. Royal Rumble, Mr. 24/7, and Mr. Trickster. This year’s trick will be winning, and that means we all win! Becaaaause~, New! Day Rocks!
The National Anthems of Saudi Arabia, and the United States of America, open the show.
The countdown begins.
Whatever language you speak, everyone knows history is being made. Saudi Arabia is the stage upon the truly largest Royal Rumble match itself is being held. It is also the stage for SEVEN championship matches that could change the landscape of WWE all over again. It may also be the place where Rusev Day Rests… In… Peace. And it could be where one man leaves the other for dead inside a steel cage. “Tonight, the eyes of the universe” all look to Arabia, and the Greatest Royal Rumble Ever.
John Cena VS Triple H!
Two of the best, most decorated champions in WWE History. They’ve had amazing matches in the past as both men have chased the world championship record set by The Nature Boy. This isn’t for anything more than pride, who will take that glory on this historic stage?
The bell rings and fans are already fired up as these two future Hall of Famers circle. They tie up, Cena pushes HHH back but HHH shoves Cena to a corner. Cena gets right up while HHH grins. Fans duel, “Let’s Go Cena!” “Cena Sucks!” Seems that chant follows Cena around the world. He and HHH tie up again, HHH pushes Cena back but this time, Cena shoves HHH down. Cena gives the “You Can’t See Me” while HHH gets back up. HHH shrugs it off while the fans are thunderous for this match. Cena calls for a test of strength, and HHH accepts. They tie up again and go shoulder to shoulder with the knuckle lock. Neither man backs down but HHH does have Cena falling to his knees.
HHH looms over Cena, but he can’t get Cena all the way down. Cena powers up and the fans rally behind him. Cena turns the tables but HHH kicks low. HHH whips Cena and runs him over with a shoulder. HHH even mocks the “You Can’t See Me” to Cena. He whips but Cena reverses and runs HHH over now! HHH flounders to a corner but Cena whips him corner to corner. HHH evades and then rocks Cena with a right hand. He drags Cena up and into a corner for a buckle bump, then rocks him with another right. The fans are a mix as HHH again mocks the “You Can’t See Me”, but Cena rolls him up! ONE and HHH clobbers Cena. Cover, TWO, but HHH keeps his cool.
HHH stalks Cena to a corner, and throws more right hands. He whips Cena corner to corner while fans duel, Cena hits buckles hard and hits the mat. HHH looms over Cena again, then whips Cena corner to corner even harder. HHH takes his time going back to Cena, then gives him more right hands. He whips corner to corner but Cena blocks! Cena fires off right hands and whips but HHH reverses, HHH gets Cena in the sleeper hold! Cena fades but the fans rally for him. He fights his way back up and pries his way out, then blocks HHH kick to get running. Cena hits the shoulder tackles, then goes for the spin-out, but HHH reverses with a headlock takeover to then deck Cena with a right!
HHH stalks Cena to the ropes and gives a right hand. Cena hits back and they go back and forth. Cena gets the edge, whips HHH but HHH comes back with the knee smash. Cover, TWO! That was a close one. Cena rolls to ropes but HHH is upon him again. HHH wants but Cena denies, Cena lifts but HHH grabs ropes. HHH slips off but Cena gets the Sit-Out Powerbomb! And now Cena gives HIS “You Can’t See Me!” But HHH is ready, he hits a saido suplex! And then HHH says “You Can’t See Me!” “Suck It!” Five Knuckle Shuffle, cover, TWO! HHH keeps his cool and goes for the Pedigree, but Cena whips out and throws HHH all the way out!
Cena rolls out to fetch HHH, and bumps him off the barriers. Cena also bounces HHH off a post, then puts him back in the ring. He climbs up to the top, and hits a flying– No, HHH counters the leg drop into a powerbomb! Cover, TWO! HHH grows frustrated, and both men are down. The fans rally again as they stir. HHH and Cena stand while the fans duel. HHH starts another brawl, but Cena’s haymakers hit heavy. The Game still hits back, but he gets caught with a drop toehold and the STF!
Cena has HHH trapped, but HHH powers his way around towards ropes. Cena shouts for HHH to tap as he wrenches back. HHH keeps going so Cena lets him go to drag him back. HHH shoves Cena way, Cena runs back in, but into HHH’s spinebuster! Cover, TWO! Cena rolls to a corner while HHH catches his breath. HHH walks over to throw more punches, then climbs up to hammer away. He gets only 4 before Cena powers him away for another Spin-Out, then the Five Knuckle Shuffle! Fireman’s carry, Cena gives HHH the AA!
Cover, TWO!? Somehow HHH kicks out at the very last second! HHH can’t believe it, but the fans are loving it. Cena stands up and he’s ready. HHH staggers up, Cena lifts him again, but HHH slips out! Pedigree!
Cover, TWO!! Cena survives HHH’s best move, too! Both men are down but the fans are still rallying. Both Cena and HHH stir, but HHH is up first. He wants another, but Cena lifts, sunset flip counter! TWO, back to the STF! HHH is again trapped, but he again wills himself towards ropes. Cena’s grip loosens, HHH slips around to a crossface! HHH wrenches back but Cena powers his way up to the fireman’s carry! And another AA! Then a catapult into corner, for a THIRD AA!! Cover, Cena wins!
Winner: Cena, by pinfall
“Big Match John” does it again! He took on one of the best and wins out, because he himself is one of the very best. History was made, but history also still waits. Will Cena one day become the record-breaking 17 time world champion?
Cena speaks to Saudi Arabia.
“What an honor and a privilege it is” to be part of this event. Regardless of what’s going on in his life, he wasn’t going to miss this for anything. Cena genuinely thanks Saudi Arabia for its hospitality that extends far beyond today. And he thanks the fans for allowing him to be part of it.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander VS Kalisto!
The former champion in the Lucha Dragon won a Gauntlet Match on 205 Live. Now he challenges the Soul of the Cruiserweight Division for the title Alexander won at Wrestlemania. Will the #AgeOfAlexander survive in Saudi Arabia?
The bell rings and the two circle. Kalisto starts up a “Lucha! Lucha!” chant, then ties up with Alexander. Alexander grabs Kalisto’s arm to wrench it, but Kalisto rolls and flips to reverse it. Alexander does the same, but Kalisto cartwheels to reverse it again. Another reversal back for Alexander, but Kalisto uses the ropes to arm-drag him away. Alexander handsprings back to headscissor, but Kalisto lands on his feet. The fans applaud the even match. Things speed up, Kalisto handstands and headscissors, Alexander lands on his back. “Lucha! Lucha!” starts up again before Kalisto runs at Alexander. Alexander side-steps and Kalisto tumbles to the apron. Alexander runs but Kalisto dumps him out of the ring! Kalisto takes aim to slingshot and springboard!
Down goes Alexander! Kalisto and the fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” as he puts Alexander back in the ring. Kalisto takes aim again as he climbs up top, but Alexander ducks under Kalisto. Alexander puts Kalisto back on the apron, and hits Kalisto with a Listo kick! Then he FLIES!
Down goes Kalisto now! Alexander gets Kalisto back in the ring, but that shoulder bothers him. Cover, TWO, so Alexander keeps on Kalisto with a bearhug. Kalisto endures while the fans build to a rally. Kalisto stands up and fights out of the hold. He runs, but into Alexander’s dropkick! Cover, TWO! Alexander grows frustrated, but he goes back to the bearhug. He squeezes Kalisto again while fans rally once more. Kalisto works his way back up, but Alexander just slams him back down! Kalisto endures again, but makes his way up a third time, only for Alexander to slam him all over again. Alexander adds more pressure through his full weight.
Fans rally for Kalisto, and Kalisto tries one more time. He arm-drags out of the slam, then goes to boot. Alexander blocks that and sends Kalisto to the apron, but Kalisto hits Alexander witht he Listo kick. Kalisto springboards for the crossbody! Kalisto mule kicks and hits the Spike-Rana, then runs for the tilt-o-whirl DDT! Cover, TWO! Alexander is dazed but both he and Kalisto are stirring. Kalisto drags Alexander up but Alexander keeps pushing him away. Alexander rams Kalisto into buckles, then runs in, but into a back elbow. Kalisto hops up, and jumps but Alexander gets under to then hit a sudden Michinoku Driver! Cover, TWO!
Alexander keeps his focus, and glares at the resilient Kalisto. Alexander takes off the elbow pads and dares Kalisto to get up. He then runs in but Kalisto evades. Alexander knocks Kalisto away but Kalisto kicks the slingshot down! Kalisto climbs up but Alexander fights with him. They brawl but Kalisto climbs. Kalisto goes for the Super Steiner, but Alexander blocks! Alexander brings Kalisto back up, but Kalisto fires off punches, and hits the springboard SUPER Spanish Fly!
The landing takes a lot out of Kalisto, but he covers, TWO!! And just barely. Both men slowly stir. Alexander pushes and chops Kalisto, but Kalisto kicks back. They go back and forth, Kalisto gets a strike fest of palm strikes, but Alexander uses a European Uppercut! Alexander runs but Kalisto goes Matrix to dodge, but Alexander also dodges, to rock Kalisto with a back elbow. Alexander lifts Kalisto, but Kalisto counters with a huricanrana that sends Alexander into buckles. Kalisto comes back for Salida Del– LUMBAR CHECK!
Cover, Alexander wins!
Winner: Alexander, by pinfall; still Cruiserweight Champion
Alexander wins his first title defense and continues his reign. However, this will not be the end of challengers who want that title. Who will step up to challenge him in the coming days of the #AgeOfAlexander?
Raw Tag Team Championships: The Bar VS WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Bray Wyatt!
This WONDERFUL match came about because 1) Braun Strowman and 10-year old Nicholas won the titles at Wrestlemania but had to vacate them, because Nicholas is again only 10 years old, and 2) the #DeletersOfWorlds won a Tag Team Eliminator to earn a title shot. Can the Celtic Gladiator & Swiss Cyborg win back the titles, or will they be… DELETED!?
Hardy and Cesaro start for their teams with the bell. Fans chant “DELETE! DELETE!” as they tie up. Cesaro pushes Hardy but Hardy puts Cesaro in a corner. Hardy honors the break, then tells Cesaro that Hardy will “DELETE!” him. But Cesaro counters with “The Bar!” “DELETE!” “The Bar!” “DELETE!” “The Bar!” Cesaro kicks but Hardy blocks, Cesaro pushes but Hardy runs him over. Hardy drags Cesaro up and tags in Bray, for a unique combination of headbutt and neckbreaker! Bray keeps on Cesaro with an uppercut, but Cesaro boots back. Cesaro tags Sheamus and they stomp a mudhole into Bray. Sheamus whips Bray but Bray reverses, only for Sheamus to kick him back. But then Sheamus runs into the turn-around clothesline!
Bray tags Hardy back in, they double whip Sheamus to double elbow, then leg drop and back senton. Cesaro runs in but gets hands. That was WONDERFUL~! Hardy clotheslines Sheamus in a corner then hits a neckbreaker, cover, ONE. “DELETE! DELETE!” then a kick, but Sheamus denies the twist. Hardy elbows back but Cesaro gets the cheap shot hotshot! Sheamus runs Hardy over, then shoves Hardy outside so Cesaro can get another cheap shot. Bray protests, but The Bar gets away with it. Sheamus goes out to give a clubbing clothesline, then puts Hardy back in the ring. He grounds Hardy with a facelock, but Bray rallies the fans. Hardy reaches, but Sheamus tags Cesaro. The Bar goes Super Saiyan kicks! Cover, TWO, but Cesaro keeps Hardy from his Woken corner.
Cesaro wraps Hardy up in an armlock, but fans rally for the Woken Wisdom. Hardy stands up and fights back, but Cesaro tags in Sheamus. The Bar keeps Hardy isolated as they hit the Bar lariat. Sheamus drops a knee, cover, TWO, so back to a chinlock. Fans rally again, and Hardy fights out with a jawbreaker. Sheamus tags Cesaro, Cesaro whips Hardy and hits a running EuroUpper. He gut wrenches Hardy, covers, TWO. Cesaro chokes Hardy against the ropes, then Sheamus gets in a cheap shot, cover, TWO. The Bar grows a bit frustrated, but they know they’re in control. They embrace the heat before Cesaro gives Bray a cheap shot. Hardy rolls Cesaro up, TWO, and Cesaro tags in Sheamus.
EuroUppers and then the backbreakker elbow drop! Sheamus covers, TWO! He trash talks but Hardy fights back with body shots. Sheamus gives some of his own, but still gets the Side Effect! Hardy and Sheamus are down but crawling for their corners. Hot tags to Cesaro and Bray! The Eater of Worlds rallies on Cesaro, then even Sheamus. He runs corner to corner for a big corner splash, then again for the body check! Bray covers, TWO! Bray laughs as he drags Cesaro up. He prepares but Sheamus goes after him. Sheamus hits Hardy, too, and Cesaro covers, TWO. Cesaro tags Sheamus and they hit the A-Swiss-ted White Noise!
Cover, Hardy breaks it just in time! Cesaro goes after him but Hardy reverses into the Twist of Fate! Sheamus throws Hardy out, then takes aim at Bray. Sheamus calls for it, hammering his chest. But Bray spider-walks and that stops Sheamus. Hardy distracts, then Bray dodges the Brogue, to then hit Sister Abigail!
But that isn’t all, he goes to the corner for a Woken Spider-Walk. Hardy tags in, and together with Bray, gives Sheamus the floating Twist of Fate!
Cover, Hardy & Wyatt win!
Winners: Hardy & Wyatt, Hardy pinning; NEW Raw Tag Team Champions
The Expedition of Gold is a success! This yin-yang of madness grab gold together, rendering The Bar OBSOLETE on Raw! Will they continue to DELETE the tag teams of the Red Brand?
WWE United States Championship: Jeff Hardy VS Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh!
The Modern Day Maharaja won the United States Championship in a Wrestlemania Fatal 4 Way. But then he lost the title his very first day on Raw! And to complicate things, the Charismatic Enigma was then sent to SmackDown! Which superstar and which brand will have this historic title once this is all over?
The bell rings and we begin. Hardy rallies the fans but Mahal kicks him low. Mahal clubs away but Hardy jawbreakers back. Hardy runs and dropkicks Mahal out of the ring, then drops Mahal with a swinging dropkick. Hardy slips out of the ring, and walks the barriers, to jump at Mahal! He wipes Mahal out but it was a bit double-edged. He drags Mahal up and into the ring, but Sunil grabs at Hardy’s legs. Hardy kicks Sunil away but Mahal pounces on Hardy. Mahal gives Hardy a clubbing crossface punch, then drops springboard knees on Hardy again and again. Sunil praises Mahal, but he’s the only one. Mahal stomps Hardy, then whips him corner to corner. Hardy hits buckles hard, but Mahal drags him back up for a neckbreaker. Mahal drops another knee then covers, TWO.
Mahal clubs Hardy more before putting him in a half nelson. Fans rally for Hardy and Hardy fights out, but Mahal throws him down. Mahal drags Hardy up into a chinlock, then an armlock, but fans chant for Hardy. Hardy stands up and fights back, but Mahal denies the Twist, double clotheslines take both men out! Mahal rolls to ropes while Hardy stirs. The two stand, Hardy blocks punches to give punches. He kicks but Mahal dodges, fireman’s carry for a gutbuster– No, Hardy blocks to hit his leg-splitting leg drop! Hardy dropkicks then covers, TWO. Hardy keeps his cool while Mahal rolls away. Fans rally while Hardy stands up again. He kicks but Mahal again denies the twist. Hardy boots and drives Mahal down, then climbs up, but misses most of the Whisper in the Wind. Cover, TWO!
The two stir, and Hardy ax handles Mahal down. Hardy whips but Mahal reverses, yet Hardy kicks Mahal away. Hardy then hits the swinging dropkick in the corner, and drags Mahal into position. He takes off the shirt, but Sunil distracts on the apron. Sunil gets knocked off the apron for it, but Mahal grabs Hardy from behind! Mahal wants his finish, but Hardy victory roll counters, only for Mahal to sit on the counter! TWO! Hardy kicks Mahal, Twist of Fate stunner! Then he climbs up, for the Swanton Bomb!
Cover, Hardy wins!
Winner: Hardy, by pinfall; still WWE United States Champion
Not only does Hardy win, but so does SmackDown! They both still have the US Championship. Mahal will have to turn elsewhere for gold now. Hardy has the title, but who on SmackDown will step up to challenge him next?
WWE takes a moment to thank and honor the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hosting the event.
It is the dawning of a new age for this nation, and a large part of that is thanks to the crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, who is allowing his people to make decisions for themselves to be the best they can be for themselves, the country and the world. With that, the people of Arabia have both integrated much of the modern world while maintaining their heritage. This event with WWE proves the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is willing to open themselves up to the rest of the world, here’s to more progress being made in the future.
Backstage interview with Chris Jericho.
Y2J returns to be part of the 50-Man Royal Rumble match, is tonight going to be another historic night with Jericho winning his first Rumble ever? Jericho’s first, the biggest one yet, Jericho loves being back in WWE. All these amazing competitors, from Hall of Famers to living legends and even that “stupid idiot” Kevin Owens. Jericho would love revenge on Kevin most of all. But with a field of 50 of the greatest ever, Jericho could make this moment his, Tom. No, this is Mike. Stop playing around, Tom, Jericho knows who you are. But since you’ve gone and done this, “YOU JUST MADE THE LIST!!” Jericho also puts the cameraman and the sound guy and whoever else is around, they’re on the list. Will Jericho put all 49 other superstars in the #GRR match on his List?
SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Bludgeon Brothers VS The Usos!
The Uso Penitentiary used to have the tag team division on #Lockdown, but Harper & Rowan have shown there are weak points. Can Jimmy & Jey get things back under control against the chaotic and destructive duo?
Jey and Rowan start with the bell, and Jey throws hands! Rowan pushes Jey but Jey runs, only to run into a dropkick! Jey rolls to ropes but Rowan is on him with a knee drop. Tag to Harper, and Rowan holds Jey for Harper to mug him. Harper keeps on Jey in the corner, then tags Rowan back in. Rowan stomps Jey then drops another knee, grinding Jey into the mat. Rowan drags Jey up, for a pumphandle backbreaker, then a big splash! Cover, TWO, but Rowan keeps on Jey by hooking the nose and squeezing the head. Jey endures the vice of fists, and the fans rally for the Usos. Jey hits back but Rowan shoves him to then clobber him with a shoulder.
Rowan clubs Jey in the chest, then runs in but Jey evades! Harper tags in as Rowan hits the post, but Jey dodges him, too! Harper tumbles out of the ring, Jey crawls for his corner. Jimmy rallies the fans, hot tag to Jimmy! Jimmy aims at Harper and FLIES!
He keeps going, and FLIES on Rowan! Harper returns, Jimmy kicks him away. Jimmy kicks Rowan away, too, then climbs up top. Jimmy leaps at Harper for the crossbody, ONE! He dodges the discus and hits the dragon whip, Harper ends up in a corner. Jimmy rallies the fans, then runs in, hitting the hip attack! Jimmy runs but Harper catches him with a back elbow. Harper lifts Jimmy but Jimmy slips out to tag in Jey! The Usos evade Harper, then give him double boots. Harper is dazed, the Usos give him more double boots! Jimmy tags back in, double SUPERKICKS for Harper! Rowan returns, he gets double SUPERKICKS that send him out of the ring! Jey goes to a corner and climbs up, Uso Splash!
Cover, TWO! Harper shakes his head, he’s not losing to that. Jimmy tags in and climbs up on one corner while Jey takes another. But Rowan returns to pull Jey down and wreck him with a spinning heel kick! Harper shoves Jimmy down, and Rowan comes around to run him over! Rowan feeds Jimmy to Harper, then tags in. Harper slaps Rowan to fire him up, then whips Rowan into Jimmy for the corner splash. They work together, full nelson powerbomb!
Cover, Bludgeon Brothers win!
Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan), Rowan pinning; still SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
The Uso Penitentiary could not contain the cruelty, and Harper & Rowan still reign. Can any team hope to ever stop the tag team Armageddon these two bring?
WWE Intercontinental Championship Fatal 4 Way Ladder Match: Seth Rollins VS Finn Balor VS The Miz VS Samoa Joe!
The Architect hit the Grand Slam back at Wrestlemania when he won the one title he had yet to hold. It also denied The A-Lister a historic record, but he vows to again make the title AWESOME. Meanwhile, the Extraordinary Man and Samoan Destroyer both want to add the IC title to their collection. Two superstars from each brand, which brand will hold this title by the end?
The bell rings, and all four men stare each other down while glancing up at the belt. They close in and then pair off into brawls. Rollins fires off on Joe while Finn goes after Miz, but then Joe and Miz turn things around on them. Miz whips but Finn reverses, Finn rolls through to hit Miz with a dropkick. Finn chops Joe then whips but Joe reverses. Joe runs in and hits the back elbow and Pele! Joe stomps Finn, then goes back to Rollins, but Rollins boots Joe away. Rollins also boots Miz away, then hops up, to hit a two-for-one Blockbuster!
Joe and Miz roll out while Rollins stalks Finn. Rollins swings Finn out but Finn elbows the knee away. Finn ducks to get around Rollins, but Rollins knees the slam away. Finn chops but Rollins Peles, sending him out of the ring. Rollins builds speed to DIVE on Finn!
They end up against the Arabian announce desk! But Rollins keeps moving, and DIVES on Miz! Then Rollins searches under the ring, and finds a ladder. Joe grabs the ladder and then so does Miz. Miz and Rollins work together to shove the ladder into Joe and Joe into the apron’s edge! And again as Finn returns in the ring. Finn sees them all grouped together, and decides to FLY!
Finn takes out Rollins and Miz, then goes after Joe, but Joe uses the ladder as a battering ram! Joe takes the ladder and puts it in the ring. Miz pursues at a crawl and grabs the ladder, but Joe shoves him away with it. Joe stands the ladder up, all alone, but then Rollins comes in and attacks. Rollins chops and forearms Joe, then runs, but into a drop toehold that drops him on the ladder. Finn returns, Joe goes after him first with a chop. Joe drags Finn up for a headbutt, then drags him up again to put him in a corner. Joe rams his knee into Finn, then brings Finn over. Finn trips up Joe, who lands on the ladder, then Finn double stomps Joe into it! Joe rolls out of the ring while Finn and the fans fire up.
Finn stands the ladder up now, and begins a climb. Miz returns to yank Finn down, for a boot! Now Miz climbs, but Rollins returns. Rollins yanks Miz off, Miz goes for the Finale, but Rollins shoves him into the ladder face first. The ladder falls over, then Rollins clotheslines Miz out of the ring. Rollins takes the ladder and stands it back up. He climbs now, but Finn returns to yank him off. Finn climbs, but Rollins yanks him down. Rollins climbs, but Finn climbs from the other end. Finn punches at Rollins, Rollins punches back, but Miz and Joe return to tip the ladder over! Both Raw superstars go down, but now the SmackDown superstars are alone. Miz pleads, saying they should work together. Joe shakes his hand, but reels him into a headbutt.
Joe stands the ladder up in a corner, but it falls over. No big deal, Joe just scoop slams Finn onto it! Then he pushes Finn away to stand the ladder up again. Joe drags Rollins over and throws Rollins into the ladder. Joe takes the ladder again, and rams Miz back out of the ring. He stands the ladder back up in another corner, then goes back to Finn. Joe brings Finn up, then throws him, but Finn slides to a stop to Slingblade Joe in return. Finn dropkicks Joe into the ladder, and the ladder falls on Joe!
Finn positions things, then climbs up. He takes aim, but Rollins climbs up. Finn resists the superplex while Joe gets himself and the ladder clear. Miz returns to add on in the corner, but Joe uses the ladder to scrape Miz off. Joe joins Rollins and Finn, for the Tower of Doom!
Down go Rollins and Finn, and Joe smirks as he rests in the corner. Fans are loving this as Joe gets back on track. He brings a new ladder out and puts it in the ring. Miz clobbers Joe from behind, then gives him a Skull-Crushing Finale to the ladder!
Joe rolls out of the ring, and Miz finds himself alone. Miz stands that ladder up, and climbs towards history. But Rollins returns to scramble up and stop him! Rollins punches Miz then reaches, but Miz hits him back. Miz bounces Rollins’ face off the ladder then tosses him down, but Finn returns! Finn stops Miz now, and now they brawl. They go back and forth, punching while pawing for the title. Finn fires off enough to knock Miz down, but Miz yanks Finn off, A-Lister combination! Rollins climbs up but Miz tips the ladder over again. Miz kicks Rollins low and hits the low DDT!
Fans rally while Miz picks the ladder up. He rams Rollins’ ribs with it, then Finn in the face! Miz then gets Finn again, and Rollins a second time. Rollins flies off to the announce desk while Miz goes at Finn. Finn kicks Miz back and Miz falls onto the ladder. Finn climbs up again, COUP DE GRACE with the ladder!
Miz is crushed and rolls out of the ring. Finn is alone, he stands up the ladder. Joe returns and yanks Finn off. They brawl, Joe roaring elbows but Finn Peles! Fans are all fired up as Finn climbs up again. But Joe yanks him down once more, for the Coquina Clutch! But Finn slips through to double stomp! Finn wills himself up the ladder, fans rallying behind him. But Joe is back up, and gets Finn on his shoulders. Finn punches Joe in the head, and slips off the back, but runs into Joe’s yurinagi! Joe teeters but makes his way to the ladder. He begins to climb, but Finn revives to tip it over! Now Joe gets a hotshot! Finn stands the ladder up while Joe rolls away. Finn climbs, but Rollins returns with a springboard!
Rollins cuts the line and grabs the belt before Finn, to take it down! Rollins wins!!
Winner: Seth Rollins; still WWE Intercontinental Champion
And Finn cannot believe it! He was inches away, yet Rollins literally jumps into the gap. Rollins snags that belt away from Finn and maintains his first reign as IC Champion. With resolve and cunning like that, will anyone take that belt away from The Architect?
WWE welcomes the stand-outs of their Saudi Arabia tryouts.
Please welcome four prospects that impreessed the most: Nassar, Hussein, Monsoour and Jedda’s own, Fisal. These four went through a week of what it’s like to train at the Performance Center. It was never expected to have WWE in Arabia, so to have four future Saudi superstars is a dream come true. Years ago, they were all just kids with a dream. But today, they live that dream! They all hope to represent their country as the first superstars from the Kingdom of Arabia. But wait, the Daivari BROTHERS appear!?
Yes, both Ariya and his older brother, Shawn Daivari, are here in Arabia, but proudly waving the flag of Iran. Shawn returns from being away, but now he and his brother are together to ruin Arabia’s moment. Ariya takes the mic while fans boo and jeer this disrespect. Shawn tells the fans to silence themselves while Ariya insults the four superstar prospects. They’re “pathetic, nothing” wannabes! The Daivari Brothers come from the strongest nation of all, Iran! Shawn speaks in Farsi to insult them all over again.
But when Monsoour stands up to the Daivaris, the fans fire up. Ariya shoves Monsoour, but Monsoour shoves him back! Then Fisal hits Shawn with a swift roundhouse! Shawn staggers to his feet, Nassar picks him up and carries him around. Arabia cheers their countrymen on as Nassar slams Shawn down! That’s not all, because Hussein then brings Shawn up for the big ejection. Arabia’s prospects run off Iran’s superstars and soak in the applause. Which of these four, or maybe all four, will become future WWE superstars?
WWE Championship: AJ Styles VS Shinsuke Nakamura!
The Phenomenal One and the King of Strong Style had their Dream (Re)Match at Wrestlemania. The champion retained, but the challenge changed, in terms of attitude. Nakamura has since disrespected and tormented Styles at every turn. Will Styles get revenge? Or will Nakamura take that title from him?
The bell rings and they circle. Both men are way of the other. Styles gets the waistlock but Nakamura reverses to an arm wrench. Nakamura yanks on Styles’ arm again and again, then wrenches the wrist. Styles rolls to reverse the hold onto Nakamura. Nakamura rolls and kicks Styles away to then exit the ring. Nakamura takes a moment to refocus, then reenters the ring. He and Styles circle again, tie up, Styles puts on the headlock. Nakamura tries but fails to power out of the hold. He puts Styles against the ropes, the referee calls for the break. Nakamura flicks Styles’ hair on the break, so Styles goes right after Nakamura again. They end up in a corner then out again, the referee calls for another break. Nakamura rests on the abs like he always does, then dares Styles to “C’mon!”
Styles runs into the knee and Nakamura clubs away. Nakamura runs and things speed up, Styles dropkicks Nakamura down! Styles drags Nakamura up and puts him in a corner. He chops Nakamura, then snapmares to kick him in the back. Cover, TWO, but Styles keeps his focus. He brings Nakamura up and whips him into a corner. Nakamura boots him away, then ducks the clothesline. They end up at the ropes again, but Nakamura kicks out the knee! Styles collapses but Nakamura is on him with spiteful stomps. Nakamura then slips to the outside with Styles across the apron, for a running knee! Nakamura keeps going, falling knee drop! He puts Styles back in the ring, covers, TWO. He tries again, ONE.
Nakamura drags Styles up and puts him in a corner for knees, then the Good Vibrations. He drags Styles and snapmares for the knee drop, cover, TWO. Nakamura keeps on Styles with a chinlock. Styles endures while fans rally. Styles stands up and fights back, but Nakamura knees him low. Nakamura throws with the inverted exploder, but Styles lands on his feet! Styles lifts Nakamura for the wheelbarrow facebuster! Both men are down while the fans rally again. Styles stirs and clobbers Nakamura with clotheslines. He snapmares then hits the sliding forearm! Nakamura gets to a corner while Styles kip-up. Styles hits a corner clothesline, but Nakamura slips off the fireman’s carry. Nakamura goes for a sleeper but Styles lifts him and this time gets the Ushigoroshi!
Cover, TWO! Both men are down again, but the fans keep cheering. Styles brings Nakamura up but Nakamura gets away from the Clash and to the ropes. Styles clubs Nakamura, then whips, but Nakamura counters with a knee. Nakamura swings one kick but hits the second! They’re both down again while fans rally again. Nakamura rams knees into Styles’ shoulders, then drags Styles up for a gord buster. Nakamura takes aim from a corner, firing himself up. Styles crawls then staggers up, but counters the Kinshasa to a schoolboy, TWO! Nakamura rushes Styles at the ropes, but runs into the Calf Crusher!
Styles has Nakamura in the middle of the ring! Nakamura endures, biting his fingers to focus on something else. He drags himself to ropes while fans rally. Styles rolls him around, but Nakamura still gets the break. Styles lets go, but he grows frustrated with Nakamura. He grabs that leg again but Nakamura enziguris with the other! Styles staggers, Nakamura stands up and runs in, but into Styles’ boots. Styles springboards but Nakamura catches him to set him up top, for the Top Shelf Knee! Cover, TWO.
Nakamura works to get feeling in that bad leg while the fans declare “This is Awesome!” Nakamura hoists Styles up to the top, then rocks Styles with a roundhouse. He climbs up to join Styles, but Styles resists. Styles slips out and under, to trip up Nakamura. Nakamura hits buckles and clutches his face from the impact .Both men are down but the fans rally again. They both stir and stand up. Nakamura throws a forearm, Styles fires back. It’s a brawl as they go back and forth. The fans are on Styles’ side as he and Nakamura keep going.
Styles gets the edge, Nakamura falls to a knee as he clutches his face again. But then he fires back with a strike fest! Styles ducks the kicks to give his Phenomenal Blitz, but Nakamura ducks the back hand to bring Styles into a cross armbreaker! Styles clasps his hands as Nakamura pulls. Nakamura breaks those hands apart and extends, but Styles rolls it to a cover! TWO! PELE! Nakamura staggers around before falling. Styles and Nakamura are both down again but stirring. Nakamura gets to a corner while Styles stands. Styles runs in but is put on the apron. He hits Nakamura with one forearm, then prepares the Phenomenal. Styles springboards but Nakamura ducks under, that forearm almost hits the ref! And in this distraction, Nakamura gives the low blow uppercut!
Cover, ROPEBREAK! Nakamura is furious that he hasn’t finished Styles through his cheating. He stands up and decides to use a real finisher. Nakamura fires up as he takes aim. Nakamura runs, but into a leaping forearm from Styles! Styles can’t cover, so Nakamura makes an escape to the outside. Styles crawls his way out and runs at Nakamura, and spears him over the Arabian announce desk! He won’t let up, even as the ring count reaches 7. He throws Nakamura into the barriers, the count reaches ten!
Double Count Out draw; Styles retains the WWE Championship
But the result means nothing to Styles, he keeps going after Nakamura with right hands. Styles backs off, but then runs back in, for a big tackle! It bends Nakamura backwards as they both fall into the timekeeper’s area!
The champion stands up and SMACKS Nakamura with a chair. Styles drags Nakamura up and into the ring, he wants to finish this. But Nakamura bails out of the ring to avoid the forearm. That doesn’t change anything for Styles, he takes Nakamura out with a slingshot forearm!
The Phenomenal One still has his title, but is this enough to finish his feud with the Con Artist?
Casket Match: The Undertaker VS Rusev w/ Aiden English!
The Deadman still lives. His return happened at Wrestlemania, and may be thanks in part to the goadings of John Cena. Now, Taker looks to continue his comeback by bringing back a match he invented! Will the Bulgarian Lion be buried in Saudi Arabia?
Aiden English helps with Rusev’s entrance, saying that this will be Taker’s final day, “locked in the casket and buried away~”, then they will celebrate on… RUSEV DAY~!
Fans are already excited for this match as they chant for Undertaker. The bell rings, and Taker glances over at the casket as it opens. Rusev bails out of the ring, but English helps him keep focus. Taker waits while fans duel between “Undertaker!” and “Rusev Day!” Rusev returns and circles with Taker, only to slip back out. But Taker pursues! Taker throws hands on Rusev then puts him in the ring. Rusev stomps Taker as he returns, then gives body shots in a corner. Rusev stomps Taker more, then roars, but Taker grabs Rusev to put him in the corner. Taker gives Rusev his body shots and haymakers. Taker wrenches Rusev’s arm then yanks on it. He rams shoulder into shoulder, then wrenches Rusev’s arm again. Taker climbs up, and fans know what’s coming: Old School!
Rusev goes down from the clubbing forearm, but Taker picks him up and throws him at the casket. Rusev freaks out from even being in contact with it! He and English regroup and English calms Rusev down. Rusev drags Taker out of the ring and throws haymakers. Taker staggers and Rusev rams him into barriers. Rusev whips but Taker reverses and sends Rusev into barriers. Taker drags Rusev up and brings him around to the announce desk to bounce Rusev’s face off the cover. They go back to the ring, and Taker positions Rusev on the apron. Taker climbs up onto the apron, and drops the guillotine leg drop!
Rusev is dazed as Taker rolls him into the ring. Taker calls for the lid, and starts rolling Rusev over. Rusev is inside, but English won’t allow the lid to shut! Taker chases English away, but Rusev escapes the casket in this time. Taker goes back into the ring, but Rusev catches him with a roundhouse! Rusev stomps Taker, then throws in forearms. Fans duel while English cheers Rusev on. Rusev keeps throwing punches, but Taker throws some back. They go back and forth with heavy haymakers. Rusev gets an edge, but Taker hits back harder! Taker drags Rusev up again, for a headbutt. Rusev staggers but Taker whips him. Rusev reverses and hits Taker with the leaping heel kick! Taker goes down and Rusev catches his breath.
Rusev keeps going, dropping elbow after elbow. He roars while fans jeer. Rusev shouts “MACHKA!” as he stomps Taker once more. Rusev puts Taker in the Accolade! English reminds Rusev, go for the casket. Rusev leaves Taker down on the mat while he calls for the lid. But Taker sits up!
Taker stands up and Rusev feels the dread come over him. Taker grabs Rusev, but Rusev slips out of the choke slam. They brawl again, back and forth. Rusev gets the edge again, then whips, but Taker counters with the CHOKE SLAM! Taker then drags Rusev over, the casket’s lid still open, and tosses him in. But then English goes after Taker! Only to get a CHOKE SLAM! Taker won’t leave it at that, he brings English up, for the Tombstone!
Taker puts English in the casket with Rusev, and closes the lid! The Undertaker wins!
Winner: The Undertaker
The Phenom rains on Rusev Day’s parade, and is back in rare form. Is this only the beginning of a new chapter for the Deadman?
WWE Universal Championship Steel Cage Match: Brock Lesnar VS Roman Reigns!
The Beast continues to dominate anyone and everyone put before him in the ring. However, The Big Dog has proven to be the most difficult to put away. It took FIVE F5’s to do it at Wrestlemania, in just the second 1v1 match Roman has had against the “reigning, defending, undisputed” champion. Will the third time be the charm? Or is The Beast too at-home inside of a steel cage?
The cage door is closed and the bell rings. Roman and Lesnar circle inside the steel, staring down. Roman rushes Lesnar, but Lesnar gets him with a German Suplex! Suplex City already begins as Lesnar throws Roman again. Lesnar stalks Roman, and already gets his third German Suplex. The fans chant “Suplex City!” while Lesnar stalks Roman again. He grabs Roman and throws him for a fourth German. Roman is gasping and coughing, his body sore all over again. Lesnar drags him up, fireman’s carry, and throws Roman for the first F5 of this match!
But Lesnar doesn’t cover, he both remembers Roman’s resiliency, and wants to punish Roman for being so resilient. He looms over Roman, grinning and laughing. The fans rally but Lesnar picks Roman up again. Another fireman’s carry, but Roman slips out to SUPERMAN Punch! And another! Then a third! Lesnar is reeling while Roman is aiming. Roman howls, then runs in, but the Spear is caught! Roman grabs the cage to prevent a second F5, then kicks Lesnar away so he can climb! Lesnar hurries up and after Roman, not letting him win by escape. Roman punches Lesnar but still gets brought back in. They’re both on the top rope, Lesnar elbows Roman and Roman falls to the mat.
Lesnar positions himself, he climbs up the cage! It’s not easy for him, but Roman makes it worse by catching up to him. Roman grabs the legs and pulls Lesnar back in. Roman clubs away, then gives Lesnar a powerbomb! Lesnar crawls away while Roman regains his breath. Heyman grows worried for his Beast, but Samoa Joe is watching backstage. Joe has told Roman that whether or not The Big Dog is a champion, Joe wants to destroy what’s left of him at Backlash. Roman walks over to Lesnar and throws him into the cage. Then he does it again! Roman drags Lesnar up a third time for a third throw into the walls. He then backs off and SPEARS Lesnar! But he knows that won’t be enough, he shouts for Lesnar to stand up again. He SPEARS Lesnar again!
Lesnar is down but Roman knows this won’t finish it. He builds up lots of speed, for a THIRD Spear! Both men are down, but Roman covers, TWO! Roman can’t believe it, but Lesnar survives. Roman calls for the door to open, he wants out. Lesnar crawls after Roman, but it’s Heyman who stops Roman’s escape by swinging the door on him! Lesnar lifts Roman, for the second F5! Cover, TWO! Lesnar is shocked, he thought he and his Advocate had finished this. Speaking of, Heyman throws a chair into the cage! There’s no disqaulifications, so anything goes. Lesnar grabs the chair, and takes off the gloves. Lesnar goes over to Roman but Roman SPEARS him again! Cover, TWO!!
But Roman sees the chair now. Heyman’s help is about to bite him in the ass, because Roman is grinning as he SMACKS Lesnar! And SMACK, and SMACK, and SMACK! Roman watches Lesnar writhe, then reloads the fist, for a fourth SUPERMAN PUNCH! Lesnar still moves, so Roman lets out another howl. He runs in, and SPEARS Lesnar, through the cage!!
Both men hit the floor, but who hit the ground first?! The decision is announced: “And still WWE Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar!”
Winner: Brock Lesnar, by escape; still WWE Universal Champion
It was a photo finish, but somehow the Beast gets away with the title. However, a crash landing like that, neither man is in much shape to acknowledge the finish. There is controversy, as well, as the escape rule is about whose feet touch first, and with the help of instant replay, it is clear one of Roman’s feet touch something other than cage chain-link first. Will Lesnar continue to survive Roman’s challenges? Will Roman ever get that title from Lesnar?
50-Man Royal Rumble match!
This is the first time in this match type’s illustrious history that the over-the-top-rope gauntlet style battle royal has been THIS massive! Fifty men, all sent out one at a time, until there is only one left in the ring. How long will it last? Who will last the longest? And who will be the winner of the Greatest Royal Rumble trophy and championship?
As always, two men start this match 1v1. The man who draw unlucky Number One is… Daniel Bryan! The leader of the #YesMovement starts off this historic match!
And he goes up against… Dolph Ziggler! The Show-Off also walks the toughest path with Bryan, as these two must both get through all 49 other entrants, which includes the other.
The bell rings and history begins! Bryan and Ziggler circle, both very skilled in technical mat wrestling. They both try to get control of the other while going for an early elimination, but neither man can get the other out. Ziggler puts Bryan in a corner and throws hands, then throws Bryan at the other end. Bryan holds on and fights back. Bryan runs but into Ziggler’s dropkick! Ziggler pounces, but Bryan still holds onto ropes. Bryan tries to bring Ziggler out with him, but Ziggler slips away as the countdown begins. Ziggler and Bryan are joined by Number 3: Sin Cara!
SmackDown’s lone luchador runs into the ring, ducks Ziggler and Bryan to hit a double quebrada! Sin Cara rolls and powerbombs Ziggler! He kicks Bryan’s legs then whips, but Bryan reverses. Cara dodges and springboards for a crossbody. He dropkicks Bryan into a corner but Bryan puts him on the apron. Cara kicks back and climbs up, for a swanton bomb! He drags Bryan up but Bryan clutches the ropes. ZIggler goes to superkick but misses, Cara uses strength to bend Ziggler in a torture rack. Cara lets Ziggler down, but Ziggler elbows him back. Cara bukcs off the Zig-Zag but runs into a SUPERKICK! Ziggler clotheslines Cara out, and ELIMINATES him!
But then Bryan goes after Ziggler from behind! The countdown returns and Number Four: Curt Axel! The Son of Mr. Perfect is here, making a start away from The Miz. Bryan and Ziggler brawl but Axel comes in to club away. He bumps Bryan off buckles then stomps a mudhole in him. Axel goes after Ziggler, Ziggler fights back, but Axel reverses the whip. Ziggler boots but Axel turns him around to crossface punch away on him! Axel runs side to side for a clothesline that brings Ziggler down. The countdown brings us Number Five: MARK HENRY! The WWE Hall of Famer and World’s Strongest Man gives one last match of historic proportions!
Henry heads down while Bryan fights off Axel. Axel has Bryan hanging upside down in a tree of woe, then goes after Henry. Henry lifts Axel up with ease, and puts him on the apron. Axel keeps fighting, but a headbutt sends him down, Henry ELIMINATES Axel. But then Ziggler and Bryan work together on Henry! Henry’s too big and strong, though, he fights them off. Number Six appears, it’s Mike Kanellis! “The Lover and a Fighter”, he’s back from helping wife Maria with their new baby girl. However, Henry is ready for him, and with one clothesline, he ELIMINATES Kanellis!
But Bryan gets right on Henry with a sleeper hold! Henry backs Bryan into a corner and rams in a shoulder. Henry whips Bryan corner to corner, but Ziggler goes after Henry. Now we get Number Seven, Hiroki Sumi! A sumo star from Japan makes a surprise appearance, and he stares Henry down. Sumi prepares himself per the ways of Sumo, but Henry isn’t having it. They push each other, but Henry gets Sumi to ropes. Henry dumps and ELIMINATES Sumi, but Bryan and Ziggler again work together, they ELIMINATE Henry! Now it’s just Numbers One and Two as the countdown begins again. Ziggler narrowly avoids elimination while we get Number Eight: The Ascension’s Viktor!
And he blazes down to the ring to chop away on Ziggler. He whips Ziggler and hits a leaping back elbow, then bumps Bryan before throwing Ziggler. Ziggler again avoids the floor while Bryan dodges Viktor. Viktor boots Bryan away, then hits a flying knee! Viktor goes after Ziggler with a back elbow in a corner, then scoops Bryan. He brings Bryan to the ropes, but Bryan stays on the apron and grabs Viktor’s arm for a shoulder breaker. Bryan drags Viktor up and over, and ELIMINATES Viktor! Ziggler and Bryan brawl again while we get Number Nine: The New Day’s Kofi Kingston! The living highlight reel of Rumble moments hits the ring and hits both Ziggler and Bryan with clotheslines!
Kofi is all fired up, he gives Ziggler the Boom Drop! Then Kofi rushes Bryan but Bryan dodges. Kofi stays in and goes to throw Bryan out. Bryan holds on again, then kicks Kofi in the chest. Bryan kicks him and Ziggler while the countdown brings Number Ten: Tony Nese! The Premier Athlete may have lost the Cruiserweight Gauntlet on 205 Live but he’s looking to make an even bigger splash in a Rumble debut. Nese runs in and catches Kofi with an elbow. He goes Matrix to mule kick, knee lift and sweep the legs. Nese is all fired up, and goes to throw Kofi out, but can’t. Bryan knocks Nese down with EuroUppers, and Kofi goes after Ziggler, while we get Number 11: The Revival’s Dash Wilder! One of the #TopGuys in tag team wrestling goes after Nese but then Bryan goes after him!
Neither man goes out, so Bryan gives Kofi a stiff EuroUpper. Dash throws Nese down but Bryan on him. Dash forearms Bryan and whips to rock him with a big back elbow. He puts Bryan in a corner and throws more hands. Kofi tries to get Ziggler out but can’t, and Nese is upon him instead. Another countdown, and we get Number 12: Hornswoggle?! The leprechaun is back and the fans go wild! He helps ELIMINATE Dash! Then he gets in the ring, and says hi to Kofi. Only to kick Kofi in the shin! And fireman’s carry Kofi for an Irish Drop! Hornswoggle climbs up high, but Ziggler SUPERKICKS him down!
Nese sees the little leprechaun, but Hornswoggle hits him back. Ziggler goes after him, but Hornswoggle bites Ziggler’s hands! Nese runs in and ELIMINATES Hornswoggle with the Premier Kneese! The four men continue brawling while we get Number 13: Primo Colon! The second generation Shining Star goes after Nese, but Nese reverses his whip. Primo slips on the springboard, then has a suplex tug-o-war with Nese. Bryan hits Kofi with a tornado DDT! Primo picks up Nese and throws him over, but Nese stays in. Ziggler brawls with Bryan again, but Bryan lifts him while we get Number 14: The New Day’s Xavier Woods!
Woods plays his trombone all the way down to the ring, then helps Kofi against Nese. The New Day hopes to win one way or another, but Primo goes after each of them. Primo puts Xavier on the apron, then throws Kofi up and over, but Kofi stays on Xavier’s back! Primo punches Kofi, he and Xavier both teeter! They hold on and hit Primo back. Fans applaud this combined effort from the New Day as they climb up top. The others gather, and Kofi uses Woods’ back as a springboard to FLY!
Kofi bowls over Bryan, Primo AND Ziggler. But Nese is up, clapping along? Nese shows off his dance moves, and the 76New Day picks him up to celebrate. Oh, and ELIMINATE him! Nese protests but now we get Number 15: the inspirational Bo Dallas! He throws Kofi but Kofi holds on. Bo clobbers Woods and drops a knee, then puts him in a corner to club away. Woods holds on but Kofi saves him. Bryan joins in and tries to suplex Kofi. Kofi tries to suplex him back, but it’s Bryan who suplexes Kofi over. Fans applaud and we get Number 16: KURT ANGLE!
The Olympic Gold Medalist makes his Rumble return, and is ready for Bo with a German Suplex! He throws Primo, he throws Ziggler, and then throws Bo out for the ELIMINATION! Angle ELIMINATES Primo, but Ziggler SUPERKICKS Angle! Ziggler mocks the straps down, but runs right into Angle’s belly2belly, Angle ELIMINATES Ziggler! The New Day go after Angle together now, but he fights them off. Bryan goes after Kofi while Angle keeps on Woods. Woods hits back, and Kofi tries to throw Bryan out, while we get Number 17: The Revival’s Scott Dawson! The other #TopGuy runs out and goes after Woods with haymakers and stomps. Dawson tries to throw Woods out, but Angle goes after him, too.
The New Day both work on Bryan, but Bryan holds on for dear life. They bring him back in to work over while we get Number 18: GOLDUST! The Bizarre One makes some history of his own by being in his 13th Rumble match. He gets Woods with a spinning powerslam, then throws him over. Woods holds on even as Goldust stomps away. Bryan pushes Kofi away and Goldust hits him one, Bryan hits a flying knee! But Goldust is on Bryan! He throws Bryan to the apron and throws haymakers. Bryan holds one and slides under while we get Number 19: The Ascension’s Konnor. Konnor goes after Kofi, but Woods saves Kofi. Konnor gose after Woods, but Kofi saves Woods.
Angle goes after Dawson while The New Day work together on Konnor. Goldust keeps on Bryan while Woods also goes after Angle. Angle blocks the takedown while we get Number 20: Elias! The Drifter is going international with an appearance in Jedda. He asks them, “Who Wants to Walk With Elias?!” Fans seem pretty eager to, because Saudi Arabia knows WWE really means “Walk With Elias!” Elias wants them to silence phones, hold applause and shut mouths while he plays. “Greatest Royal Rumble~!” And then he dumps out Konnor, Woods AND Kofi, TRIPLE ELIMINATION!!
Elias then goes after Bryan while we get Number 21: Luke Gallows! The Club’s Director of Chaos heads to the ring and goes after Dawson. Bryan and Angle brawl while Elias goes after Goldust. Angle throws Bryan with a German but Bryan lands on his knees, to hit the YES Kicks! Angle blocks the buzzsaw into the Ankle Lock! But Bryan slips out and shoves Angle away. Bryan misses in the corner and is thrown with the Angle Slam! Straps down, but Elias throws out and ELIMINATES Angle! But Gallows gets Elias and everyone else with a YAKUZA Kick while we get Number 22: Rhyno! The ManBeast of ECW and inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champion goes right after Dawson while Goldust goes after Elias.
Gallows stomps and grinds Bryan in a corner. Gallow sits Bryan on the top rope but can’t finish him before we get Number 23: Drew Gulak! Another Cruiserweight contender, the Philly Fury goes right at Bryan! As the self-proclaimed best submission specialist in the WWE, he goes after another man known for his submissions. However, Dawson goes after Gulak, and the two scrap and chop with each other. Rhyno goes after Bryan while Gallows clubs Goldust. The countdown brings Number 24: Tucker Knight! NXT is represented now as one half of Heavy Machinery hits the ring. He brawls with Dawson, endless haymakers and stomps sit Dawson down. Tucker clubs Elias, then suplexes Gulak! But Gulak reverses into a sleeper! Tucker throws Gulak over the top rope and ELIMINATES him!
Gallows uppercuts Tucker while we get Number 25: Bobby Roode! Mr. Halfway Point is GLORIOUS as the former United States Champion makes his Rumble debut. Roode hits Elias then clotheslines Tucker and gives Dawson a SPINEBUSTER. Elias goes after Roode but still gets the GLORIOUS Blockbuster. Goldust hits Roode with the uppercut, but then Roode puts him on the apron. With a dropkick, Roode ELIMINATES Goldust. Roode gives Dawson an atomic drop, then another, then catapults him at the corner. Dawson tumbles all the way out and is ELIMINATED!
The countdown brings Number 26: Fandango of the Fashion Police! He throws hands on Tucker, then chops. Roode and Elias go against each other while Rhyno helps Gallows against Fandango. Bryan and Elias work on Roode but Tucker goes after Elias! Elias survives while we get Number 27: Chad Gable! Gable wants to make a big impact as a singles wrestler, he chop blocks Elias and arm-drags Fandango. Tucker goes after Rhyno but Gable goes after Tucker! Gable has Tucker on his shoulders for an electric chair drop! Bryan fights off Roode to go after Gable with kicks and a suplex. We get Number 28: REY MYSTERIO!
The King of Lucha Libre and a former Rumble winner goes right after Gallows with kicks. Roode comes over, but that only helps Rey in the headscissors that ELIMINATES Gallows! Then Rey slingshots and sets Roode up for… No, no 619 as Fandango intercepts. Fandango lifts then tosses Rey to Gable, but Rey gives Gable a tornado DDT! The fans love Rey as he gives Tucker and Rhyno some shots. Elias goes after Rey while we get Number 29: Mojo Rawley! He runs to the ring, ready to use his Killer Instinct, and he quickly ELIMINATES Fandango with a clothesline. Mojo then goes after Gable with stomps and headbutts. Bryan brawls with Elias while Mojo and Rey work on Gable. Bryan hoists Elias up but Elias holds on. Elias saves himself while we get Number 30: Tyler Breeze!
Breeze gets in and goes after Mojo, but Mojo throws him out. Mojo swings on Breeze but Breeze leaps into the arms of Fandango! Fandango sets Breeze back on the apron, but Mojo just shoves him off and ELIMINATES him. All that teamwork for nothing. Tucker gives Gable a heavy Thesz Press, but then Bryan kicks away on him. Bryan passes 43 minutes as he and Gable suplex battle. Gable suplexes Bryan over! He and Bryan brawl more as Number 31 comes out: it’s The New Day’s Big E! He is the last chance for The New Day to become Greatest Royal Rumble champion, and he heads down as everyone brawls. Big E offers Tucker some pancakes! Tucker doesn’t want pancakes, he wants #SteaksAndWeights. Tucker rushes Big E, but ends up in the abdominal stretch.
Big E can’t hold Tucker, he’s too big, so he gives Tucker the Big Ending! Then he throws him out and ELIMINATES Tucker. Here’s some pancakes for the road. Big E goes after Roode while we get Number 32: Karl Anderson! The Club’s Machine Gun and Bryan brawl right away, Anderson gets the jump kick. Anderson avoids Roode’s spinebuster to give a spinebuster! Then Anderson rocks Big E, only for Big E to run him over. Big E throws Anderson but Anderson holds on. Bryan goes after Mojo while Rey drop toeholds Roode. 619 while we get Number 33: Apollo Crews! Titus Worldwide’s top star goes after Gable and hits him with an enziguri. Then the standing moonsault before he throws Gable out and ELIMINATES him.
Gable has a rough landing while Bryan goes after Apollo now. Apollo lifts Bryan but Bryan fights back. Elias has Rey on the ropes while Big E goes after Mojo. Bryan chops Apollo while we get Number 34: Roderick Strong! Another NXT star appears to #ShockTheSystem. Strong gives everyone chops, then reverses Elias’ whip to give him a dropkick. He gives familiar foe, Bobby Roode, a half-nelson backbreaker, then gives one to Anderson. Rey runs over, wheelbarrow, into the backbreaker! Strong even lifts Big E, for a fireman carry gutbuster! Rhyno goes after Strong but Strong throws him over, and ELIMINATES him with a knee strike! Strong goes after Rey but has to fight off Bryan while we get Number 35: Randy Orton!
The Viper has won two Rumbles before, can he make his third THE Greatest Rumble? He hits the ring and clobbers Mojo, then Apollo, then powerslams Anderson. Orton gets a back elbow from Apollo, and Apollo hops up to jump, but into an RKO! Anderson runs in but is thrown out for the ELIMINATION! Mojo runs but Orton throws him out for another ELIMINATION! Orton picks up the unconscious Apollo and throws him out for a third ELIMINATION. Fans fire up while Orton stomps on Rey. Orton remembers when Rey eliminated him way back in 2006, this is payback overdue. But now we get Number 36: Heath Slater! The One Man Band is doing this for his kids! Slater rallies with heel kicks and forearms, then goes after Elias.
Slater throws Elias to the apron but Elias holds on. Elias kicks Slater away and he returns into the rnig. Orton goes after Rey again while Bryan whips Roode. Roode kicks Bryan and Strong chops Big E while we get Number 37: Babatunde! Another NXT superstar, this massive Polish-Polynesian football pro clubs and tackles everyone that moves. Babatunde picks Roode up and clubs him in the chest, but Bryan doesn’t back down. Babatunde makes Bryan pay for that while we get Number 38: Baron Corbin! The Lone Wolf is an Andre the Giant Battle Royal winner, and he drags Elias out from under the ropes to throw him into steps! Corbin clubs Orton then rocks Strong and Roode. He boots Bryan and gives Rey the DEEP SIX!
Corbin clotheslines Roode but Strong boots and enziguris him back. Strong whips but Corbin slides out and in, to clobber Strong out of the sky! Roode wants his DDT but Corbin shoves him out for the ELIMINATION! Corbin then throws Strong out and ELIMINATES him! He goes after Babatunde while we get Number 39: Titus O’Neil! The Gator runs in but trips?! That historic crash and burn doesn’t stop him, he gets right up and into the ring. Titus clubs away on Bryan, then boots Slater and Big E and even Elias. Titus lifts Rey high over his head, but Rey fights back. Rey clubs Titus and Bryan adds kicks. Babatunde and Corbin brawl while Big E works on Slater. Bryan throws Orton but Orton survives, we get Number 40: Dan Matha!
Another big man from NXT, another former football player enters. He stomps Rey but Titus goes after him. Rey and Bryan work on Ortno, as does Slater. Matha puts Rey right into a corner, then whips him into buckles. Slater pushes Bryan but Bryan holds on while we get Number 41: BRAUN STROWMAN! The Monster Among Men is about to have everyone #GetTheseHands! Strowman stands in the ring and stares Babatunde down. To then throw him out and ELIMINATE him! Strowman grabs Matha and ELIMINATES him, too! Then Strowman rocks Bryan with an uppercut, and boots Elias right down. Big E lifts Strowman but Strowman fights out. Strowman throws and ELIMINATES Big E!
Slater boots Strowman but his crossbody is caught. Strowman throws Slater at Babatunder and Matha, they topple over and Slater is ELIMINATED. Strowman roars but everyone goes after him while we get Number 42: Tye Dillinger! The Perfect Ten appears at the perfect time if they want to get rid of Strowman. He helps out but that’s not enough, Strowman explodes out! Then he ELIMINATES Titus! Strowman grabs Tye, and ELIMINATES him with a toss. Strowman rocks Corbin, then scoops Rey. Orton lurks, dropkick! Rey dropkicks the legs out, then runs, for a 619! Then RKO! But Rey springboards and hits Orton with a seated senton! Only for Corbin to throw Rey out.
But Rey stays on the apron, and shoulders Corbin to then swing kick him. Rey slingshots but Corbin counters with a right hand, and ELIMINATES Rey! Corbin talks trash, but Corbin clotheslines and ELIMINATES him. But Elias ELIMINATES Orton! Only for Strowman to run him over and CHOKE SLAM him! Strowman stands tall while we get Number 43: Curt Hawkins! Hawkins wants to end his losing streak, but this is not where and who to do it. He chooses to NOT get in the ring, but Strowman slips out under the ropes and chases him down! Strowman drags Hawkins back to the ring, Hawkins begging for mercy the entire time.
They enter the ring, Strowman runs Bryan over just because, then boots Elias, too. Strowman enters the ring, returns to Hawkins, and ELIMINATES him. Strowman runs at Elias but Elias dodges, sending the monster into the post. Elias drags Strowman up and throws him back into the post. He stomps away on Strowman while we get Number 44: Bobby Lashley! Dominance personifed, Lashley makes his return to the Rumble. He dodges Elias and runs him over. Lashley scoops and slams Elias, whips him to the corner, then fires up. Elias dodges but not for long, and Lashley whips him again. Lashley runs in for a BIG shoulder tackle. Lashley calls for the suplex but Elias counters with a knee strike. Elias runs but Lashley jumps over him to then dump him down.
Lashley throws Elias out and ELIMINATES him. Now he and Strowman stand in the ring. They brawl with haymakers, Strowman corner splashes but Lashley returns it. Lashley runs but Bryan returns to fire off dropkicks to both big men! Bryan goes back and forth, back and forth, while we get Number 45: The Great Khali! The Punjabi Nightmare makes his own Rumble return while Lashley and Bryan struggle in one corner and Strowman rests in the other. Khali goes after Lashley and clubs him with one hand. He clubs Bryan, then Strowman. Khali grabs Bryan, but Strowman clubs Khali back. Strowman and Lashley work together and ELIMINATE Khali! Then they turn back to each other! Strowman whips Lashley but double clotheslines take each other out!
All three men remaining are down while we get Number 46: Kevin Owens! The Prizefighter has his job back thanks to Stephanie McMahon, and he’s going to take advantage of this situation. Cannonball for Strowman, one for Lashley, then back to Strowman. He goes after Bryan but Bryan kicks him and throws him to the apron. Bryan clubs away on Keivn but Kevin hotshots Bryan away. Bryan has now lasted the longest of any Rumble participant ever, but that doesn’t really matter when he’s hit with a Pop-Up Powerbomb! Kevin stomps on Strowman to keep him down, then picks Bryan up while we get Number 47: Shane McMahon!
Shane O’Mac and Kevin still have hard feelings towards each other, Kevin would love to ruin Shane’s Rumble debut. But Shane fires off fast and furious strikes, then a big running elbow. Shane throws fast hands, then gives Lashley some stomps. Kevin goes after Shane again with right hands, then throws Shane to ropes. Shane holds on and boots Kevin bakc, then baits Kevin into the DDT! Fans applaud for Shane dancing around, but then Shane and Bryan lock eyes. Former coworkers as commissioner and general manager, but that won’t stop them from working together now. They both give Kevin some YES Kicks! Or perhaps, YE$ kicks. Kevin takes kick after kick after kick, then Bryan works to throw him out. We get Number 48: Shelton Benjamin!
The Gold Standard is also back to being a singles competitor, he’d love to grab up the Greatest Royal Rumble Championship. He goes right after Shane with a takedown and fast hands! Then he runs Bryan right over with that shoulder. Shane hits back, but Benjamin hits the Dragon Whip. Benjamin gives Lashley the step-up knee, then tries for Strowman, but Strowman throws him down. The Monster Among Men stands up, so Kevin convinces everyone to go after Strowman together. They do, but Strowman shoves them away in turn while we get Number 49: Big Cass!
The Human Skyscraper has returned to bully Bryan, this is a sampling of what we’ll see at Backlash. Bryan is ready for Cass, and Cass slides in right as Strowman explodes out again. Even with others in his way, Cass manages to club Bryan down. He throws hands on Bryan while Lashley goes after Kevin. Strowman stands but Cass boots him. Benjamin adds the knee, then Lashley adds a shoulder! Shane climbs up from the opposite side, steadies himself, and hits Strowman with Coast2Coast!!
The Monster is down but falls out the bottom. Everyone else breaks off to pairs again, Cass making sure he has Bryan. Kevin interferes so Cass gives him a corner splash. Cass lifts Lashley and throws him with a Fall Away Slam. Benjamin dodges Cass while we get Number 50: Chris Jericho! And Kevin is afraid… Y2J has been meaning to get revenge on this “stupid idiot”, so now we’ll finally see it. Kevin is furious, shouting for jericho to go back to Japan. Jericho runs in and unloads right hands! He runs Kevin over, then Lionsaults! He triangle dropkicks Cass but Cass survives. Benjamin avoids elimination from Jericho, but not that Code Breaker! Then Jericho ELIMINATES Benjamin.
Kevin goes for the Pop-Up but Jericho slips out. He takes Kevin down, for the Walls of Jericho! This isn’t for eliminations but for payback. Kevin taps out but that doesn’t matter in Rumbles. Cass stands and boots Jericho! Lashley grabs Cass and lifts him up for the suplex. He drops Cass down with a brainbuster, but then Kevin SUPERKICKS him. Bryan back suplexes Kevin, then unloads more YES Kicks. Bryan wants Shane to get up to help. Kevin gets dropkicks from Bryan over and over, then Shane hits another– No, Strowman stops Shane to throw him to the announce desk!!
Needless to say, this ELIMINATES Shane. Strowman roars while Shane is barely moving in the wreckage. Bryan goes after Cass but Lashley goes after Bryan. Strowman finally returns to the ring, and he catches Lashley to ELIMINATE him! Jericho runs in, but Strowman throws and ELIMINATES him. Kevin tries, but Strowman ELIMINATES him! Bryan goes after Strowman, but Strowman powers him off. Bryan punches, but it does nothing to the Monster Among Men. Strowman lifts Bryan, but Bryan slips out and works on Strowman! Strowman saves himself, but a roundhouse rocks him!
Cass boots Bryan! He drags Bryan up and throws him out, and ELIMINATES Bryan! The historic streak ends, Cass talks trash about Bryan taking out trash. But Cass should remember who is still in there with him.
The final two men are the two biggest men. They brawl with big haymakers, but Cass’ clotheslines don’t send Strowman out. Cass gets a running start, but Strowman blocks to then hang Cass up on the top rope. Strowman tortures Cass’ crotch, then barrels him off! Strowman wins!!
Winner: Braun Strowman, as Number 41
The Greatest Royal Rumble, the longest Royal Rumble, the BIGGEST Royal Rumble, is won by the massive Monster Among Men!
Vince McMahon helps present the trophy to the winner.
Not only does Strowman get to pose with the truly titanic trophy made for this occasion, but he also receives the Greatest Royal Rumble title! The Monster Among Men is the inaugural champion of this amazing and historic event.
It is a massive celebration for both Saudi Arabia, the superstars of the WWE, and even members of the WWE Universe around the world.
This was actually a damn good event. I’m not going to go into politics or social issues, I’m keeping it strictly business. Almost every match on this card was really good, and I really enjoyed them. The one that wasn’t as good was Hardy VS Mahal, but only because of that obvious Whisper in the Wind botch. But I had figured Hardy would retain, and that was why Raw kept the Intercontinental Championship. I was surprised it was Rollins, and certainly in the way he won it. I’d never seen anyone snipe their opponent so suddenly in a Ladder Match the way Rollins did Finn. Rollins still has Miz at Backlash, but after that, I’d imagine it’ll be Rollins VS Finn for the title the rest of the way.
Almost every match went the way I expected, too. To my surprise, all the other champions retained, including Lesnar! That cage spot was great, but I really thought that was how Roman was going to win. Instead, it’s Lesnar who wins by the skin of his teeth, to continue his reign and climb up the list of longest reigns ever. I really hope they don’t try to make Lesnar into the New Era Bruno, because first and foremost, Lesnar is not as entertaining anymore. Aside from the cage usage, this Universal Championship match felt exactly like the Wrestlemania match. But oh well, such is life, Lesnar will probably keep that belt until he’s at least past CM Punk’s record reign. That 50-Man Rumble was really incredible, too. There was so much going on because it had the most entrants ever, and all hail Strowman, he is the greatest.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE Stomping Grounds Results & Report! (6/23/19)
It’s time to kick ass and take names!
It’s the first-ever WWE Stomping Grounds event!
WWE debuts a brand-new PPV with a lot on the line! Who will Baron Corbin’s guest referee be? Who escapes a steel cage THE WWE World, Heavyweight, Champion?
- Kickoff – WWE Cruiserweight Championship Triple Threat: Tony Nese VS Drew Gulak VS Ariya Daivari; Gulak wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch VS Lacey Evans; Lynch wins and retains the Raw Women’s Championship.
- The New Day VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn; Owens & Zayn win.
- WWE United States Championship: Samoa Joe VS Ricochet; Ricochet wins and becomes the new WWE United States Champion.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Planet’s Tag Team Champions VS Heavy Machinery; The Planet’s Tag Team Champions win and retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross; Bayley wins and retains the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
- Roman Reigns VS Drew McIntyre w/ Shane McMahon; Reigns wins.
- WWE World Championship Steel Cage Match: Kofi Kingston VS Dolph Ziggler; Kingston wins and retains the WWE World Championship.
- WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins VS Baron Corbin w/ Special Guest Referee ???; Rollins wins and retains the WWE Universal Championship
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s the WWE Stomping Grounds Kickoff Show!
Join Jonathan Coachman, Charly Caruso, David Otunga and Booker T as they recap and prepare for all the action tonight in Tacoma!
Big E and Xavier Woods join the panel!
The New Day speak to the preparation of WWE Champion, Kofi Kingston, for tonight’s intense steel cage match with Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler might be watching, though, so they can’t give away any secrets about the W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, Champion. Big E guzzles down and drenches himself in water, because he’s thirsty for victory. As for Woods kicking Ziggler, Ziggler kicked him first, so things were even. Ziggler is a grown man, he got what he got. Then what does Kofi have to do to remain champion without them? “Coach, he don’t need us!” 11 years, Kofi doesn’t need The New Day. New Day will have Kofi’s back from the back.
Woods knows Coach knows players gotta get it done on their own. The New Day will do that to Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn when they “stomp their grounds.” Do better, Coach! But will all three men of the New Day be victorious tonight?
Backstage interview with Baron Corbin.
Has the Lone Wolf found his special guest referee for tonight’s WWE Universal Championship? He’s had people knocking on his door all morning. But yes, he has picked his referee. And the guest ref is… a secret! Corbin will keep Seth Rollins on his toes until he’s pinned him on his back. What Rollins did this past week was sadistic and cowardly. At Super Showdown, the ref screwed up. At Stomping Grounds, Corbin vows to slay the Beastslayer and become the new WWE Universal Champion. Will Corbin’s ace in the hole go the way he hopes?
Ricochet joins the panel!
The One and Only challenges for the WWE United States Championship against Samoa Joe after winning a big Fatal 5 Way Elimination. Booker T gives Ricochet props for making it here, and Ricochet notes his whole journey has been amazing. How does he feel taking on one of the most dangerous men in the WWE today? Ricochet worked so hard and sacrificed so much to perfect his style, and he will not waste this opportunity. But Joe’s mean streak only proves he’s a bully. Ricochet will be in the fight for his life, and will force Joe to respect him.
But then Joe communicates via video chat! Don’t think for a second he isn’t listening! Respect? Ricochet’s been here for a cup of coffee and not a good one. Ricochet knows nothing about surviving and competing int he WWE. Joe will show Ricochet what he’s really won in that Fatal 5 Way. “Being amazing has never saved anyone from the beating I put on them.” Ricochet will sleep tight, but tonight is not his night. Ricochet says he’ll respond with actions, but will it be enough to get the gold?
The Planet’s Tag Team Champions address the WWE Universe.
At least, they would if the stage hands would get out of the way! Once the referees get clear, Daniel Bryan rants about the treatment of the tag team divisions! “That’s the kind of disrespect people have for the entire Tag Team Division.” It’s because of The New Day and Usos, who have amazing matches, treating the division like a joke! Swivel hips, throw pancakes, play practical jokes. But the Planet’s Tag Team Champions vow to SAVE this division from teams like Heavy Machinery. Tucker Knight, an All-American, Otis Dozovic, a Pan-American medalist, but they just talk about “having a great time.”
Can you imagine the poor example those two would set. It’s Idiocracy come to life! Tucker and Otis would make this all a giant joke! “We’re trying to save the tag team division from being a joke!” The entire world should be thanking them! But it’s not for them. It’s for an ideal. It is for the greater good of tag team wrestling, and the planet. “Blue Collar Solid is no match for champions fighting for the greater good.” Now keep refs out of his shot!
Shane McMahon smells something good.
It’s the smell of victory for Drew McIntyre against Roman Reigns. McIntyre tells Roman that he’s too emotional. The mere mention of his family and Roman freaks out. All McIntyre has ever done is tell the truth. The truth is, Roman’s family won’t recognize him and his children will scream in terror. If that upsets Roman, that’s on Roman. The truth hurts, but not as much as what McIntyre will do to him. Shane loves the intensity! But will he love the result of tonight’s grudge match?
Kickoff – WWE Cruiserweight Championship Triple Threat: Tony Nese VS Drew Gulak VS Ariya Daivari!
The Premier Athlete didn’t expect two challengers, but he welcomes the challenge! But will he be able to survive both the Philly Stretcher and the Stamina Monster? Or will one of them come away with the title, without even pinning or submitting the champ?
The introductinos are made, Nese repping the 205 Live brand all the way with his new gear. The belt is raised and we kick off the action!
Gulak dropkicks Nese right down! Tozawa goes at Gulak but Gulak throws him to a corner. Gulak runs into forearms from Nese. Nese gets Gulak in a corner and throws haymakers until Tozawa hurries back in. Tozawa throws haymakers on Nese but Nese elbows him back. Nese springs up but Tozaa gets under. Nese still lands on his feet! He also goes Matrix as Tozawa swings at him, to kip-up and kick back! Nese knee lifts and sweeps the legs, cover, TWO! Nese suplexes but Tozawa slips out. They standing switch and Nese rolls Tozawa, but Gulak runs in, only to get turned around into a German Suplex! Nese has two covers, TWO! Both men get free but Nese stomps Tozawa down. Gulak bails out but Nese slingshots out. Nese cartwheels over Gulak’s clothesline to SUPERKICK him away!
But Tozawa DIVES to hit Nese! The Tozawa Torpedo takes out Nese, then he CANNONBALLS onto Gulak! All three men are down but the fans are fired up! Tozawa crawls away from Gulak to fire up and go after Nese. Tozawa drags Nese up and in and climbs to the top rope. He leaps at Nese, missile dropkick hits! Cover, but Gulak breaks it just in time! Gulak grimaces as he goes to Tozawa. Tozawa throws Gulak out and drags Nese to a drop zone. Tozawa climbs again, but Nese SHORYUKENS! Nese leaves Tozawa stranded, for a top shelf kick! And then a gut buster! Cover, but Gulak breaks in again! Gulak drags Nese up for a suplex, but Nese slips out.
Gulak standing switches and inverted suplexes Nese to the apron. Nese hits back but Gulak puts him through ropes. Gulak elbows Tozawa then suplexes him into Nese! All three men are down again while we go picture in picture.
Gulak drags Tozawa up and headlock takeovers. Gulak traps an arm but Tozawa endures the combination of holds. Tozawa fights out and lifts Gulak, but Gulak is just a bit too much. Gulak fights out of the fireman’s carry to drag Tozawa up for headbutts. Gulak whips but Tozawa ducks and tilt-o-whirls to the Iron Octopus! Now Gulak must endure a submission! Gulak endures, but starts to fade. We return to single picture as Nese picks Tozawa off Gulak, to throw at him! Nese then whips and ROCKS Tozawa with a left hand! But Gulak LARIATS Nese! Gulak roars and dragon sleepers to the GuLOCK! Nese endures the full hold, sleeper and body scissors! But he works his way out and around, reaching for ropes. Gulak pulls the arms away to sink it in deep! But Tozawa DROPS IN!! The super senton outta nowhere!!
All three men are down again and Tozawa grins that he saved the match. Tozawa covers Nese, TWO! He covers Gulak, TWO! Tozawa backs off to catch his breath. Gulak fireman’s carries, but Tozawa slips out to shove and huricanrana! Tozawa tries again, and manages the fireman carry slam! And then a shotgun dropkick! Cover, TWO! Gulak lives but Tozawa keeps his focus. Tozawa lines up a shot and runs in, but gets tossed out! Nese elbows Gulak then runs, but Gulak tosses him out. Nese lands and kicks back! Gulak is down, Nese Triangle MOONSAULTS! Cover, but now Tozawa breaks it in time! Tozawa and Nese glare at each other. Nese CHOPS but Tozawa CHOPS back. Nese CHOPS again, but so does Tozawa. Tozawa CHOPS, then fakes Nese out to the JAB! Nese is in the corner but right back up to put Tozawa up top. SHORYUKEN again!
Nese climbs up to join Tozawa, but Tozawa resists. Tozawa and fans shout “AH! AH!” as he clubs away on Nese! Tozawa forearms NEse into the Tree of Woe! But Gulak jumps over Nese to SUPERPLEX Tozawa! But Nese sits right up to adjust and aim, 450 FLOP!! Gulak avoids the splash and drags Nese up, only for Nese to bring Gulak up in the Dude Buster! Cover, SHINING WIZARD! Tozawa covers Nese, TWO!! All three men are down but fans are loving it! Nese crawls to a corner while Tozawa sits up. Tozawa goes at Gulak with the kick, the swing, the slide and the rolling roundhouse! Nese comes back and shoves Tozawa right out hard! PREMIER KNEE! But Tozawa rolls Nese!! TWO, and Nese rolls Tozawa! TWO, to a deadlift, BUCKLE BOMB! Cover, TWO!!
Tozawa bails out to leave Nese and Gulak alone in the ring. These old rivals glare as they stand up. They grab each other by the bear, but Gulak throws elbow after elbow. Nese forearms Gulak then German Suplexes him into buckles! NEse brings down the pad, runs, but into an elbow! Gulak torture racks Nese, but Nese slips out. Tozawa runs in and shotguns Nese down! Gulak ducks the kick, torture rack, neckbreaker! Cover, GULAK WINS!!
Winner: Drew Gulak, by pinfall; NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion
The Submission Specialist didn’t need a submission, and he beat the other challenger to take the title from the champ! Will Drew Gulak change the way 205 Live operates once and for all?
In the WWE, boots are made for more than just walking.
A Lady wants a belt. A Beastslayer won’t let his go so easily. The Big Dog wants to take a bite out of a Terminator, and a Show-Off wants to prove #ItShouldHaveBeenMe! Who walks on from here walking tall?
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch VS Lacey Evans!
They say ladies first, but The Man is the one who wants to get this over with! Will Lynch finally shut the Sassy Southern Belle up with this rematch from Money in the Bank? Or will a Woman’s Right be all it takes to take that last belt from the former Champ-Champ?
The introductions are made with Becky going out first. Lacey follows, in gear that already looks like she’s celebrating. The belt is raised and we begin Stomping Grounds with some Straight Fire!
The bell rings and Becky circles with Lacey. They tie up and Lacey powers Becky to a corner. Becky turns it around and talks trash. Lacey slaps Becky’s hand away then shoves her. Becky shoves back and the fans are already thunderous. Lacey waistlocks but Becky drop toeholds to a trailer hitch! Lacey grabs the ropebreak and Becky lets go at 3. Becky taunts Lacey as they circle and tie up again. Becky waistlocks and slams Lacey, but Lacey scrambles tot he ropes again. The ref counts but Becky yanks and slams Lacey! Lacey bails out but Becky pursues to club her down! Becky puts Lacye in and dodges the shoulder to knee and kick Lacey back.
Fans fire up as Becky gets in, and Becky catches the kick! Lacey asks Becky simply put it down, but Becky runs around to spin and throw Lacey! Becky bumps Lacey on buckles and then another corner, and then a third. Fans still cheer as Becky gets all four corners! Becky whips Lacey but Lacey reverses. Becky stops herself and elbows Lacey, but then springboards to kick Lacey back. Lacey gets out again which only annoys Becky. Fans chant “Lacey Sucks!” Becky wrecks Lacey with a baseball slide! Becky drags Lacey up and in, but Lacey kicks her back! Lacey crawls but Becky returns to backslide, TWO! Becky blocks another kick to dragon screw Lacey! Lacey punches Becky’s ribs! Lacey grabs Becky in a facelock, for a fallout DDT! Then Lacey gator rolls Becky to the apron and a post.
Lacey Bow ‘n’ Arrows Becky against the post by a leg and the ponytail! Fans boo as Lacey kicks Becky back in. Cover, TWO! Lacey stalks Becky to ropes and stomps away. She wrenches and wrings Becky out to then pull on the arm. Lacey kicks Becky in the ribs while fans jeer. Becky endures as Lacey pulls but she pops out to a cover! ONE, and Lacey bumps Becky off buckles now. Lacey stomps a mudhole into those ribs, then kicks Becky while she’s down. Lacey throws Becky down by her hair, and clamps on to an armlock. She hammers the ribs but Becky endures. Becky fights back as fans rally up, but Lacey hammers her to a cover, TWO! Lacey has the arm again and just hammers away! Becky still endures, but Lacey covers, TWO!
Lacey keeps on that arm while digging her knuckles and elbow into Becky’s ribs. Becky refuses to quit and fans rally up again. Becky kicks free then rolls Lacey, TWO! Lacey and Becky slowly stand but Becky throws hands. Becky whips but Lacey reverses to run her over! Lacey covers but Becky slips out! Becky mule kicks Lacey, then dodges in the corner for the jump kick! Becky grabs Lacey but Lacey elbows out. Lacey rams her shoulder into Becky’s ribs! Lacey hoists Becky up top but Becky fights back! Super armbar takedown!! Lacey flails and rolls to stack Becky, ONE! The armbar is back on! Lacey uses her legs for a ropebreak! Becky lets go at 3 and hobbles away. She runs in but gets sent into the buckles! Lacey hits her swinging bronco buster! Cover, TWO!
Lacey adjusts her outfit while catching her breath. She returns to Becky with the handkerchief to wipe herself off and throw it on Becky. Lacey adjusts her hair while fans boo. She toys with Becky but Becky shoves the tissue back in Lacey’s mouth! Becky throws off haymakers and uppercuts! Then she rallies with lariats! Becky gives back kicks and knees, then runs, but into a body shot! Becky boots Lacey back, then runs for big forearms! Lacey is down and Becky fires up with the fans. Becky stalks Lacey, takes aim, Straight Firearm! And more stomps! Becksploder! Cover, TWO!! Lacey still lives and Becky is beside herself. Becky drags Lacey to a drop zone and stomps her down to then climb up. Straight Fire Leg Drop FLOPS!! Lacey climbs while Becky writhes. Lacey slingshots but into knees! Becky rolls Lacey, TWO!
Becky grabs at the arm, but Lacey gets up and whips. Lacey follows but into a scoop. She escapes, and elbows Becky away. Springboard stunner! BOOT! Cover, TWO!! Becky survives and Lacey loses her cool. Lacey drags Becky into the drop zone and climbs up. Becky springs up to yank Lacey off! And into the Disarm-Her! Lacey taps, Becky wins!!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission; still Raw Women’s Champion
The Man denies the Lady again! Will this finally keep the Sassy Southern Belle out of her business? Who else will move up to challenge Becky for her belt?
Mustafa Ali will be the light of the WWE.
No matter who, no matter where, and no matter what the situation, he vows to protect, serve and inspire the WWE Universe.
Backstage interview with Paul Heyman.
The Advocate just came out of Baron Corbni’s office! Is he the referee despite what he said on Raw? And will Brock Lesnar follow? Those aren’t the questions to ask. Heyman wants to know if the WWE World and WWE Universal Champions are here tonight. And they are. So with both of them here, doesn’t that present multiple opportunities for The Beast in the Bank? Yes, it does. Heyman walks off, but did he really confirm or deny anything?
But then Corbin walks out, and he’s starting to think Kayla is after more than an interview. She wants an answer: has he chosen a referee? Yes, someone who won’t do any favors, who will call this down the middle. Corbin doesn’t need help to beat Rollins, he just needs someone who can do their job. Then when Corbin becomes champion, he’ll worry about Lesnar if he shows up. Will the Lone Wolf have to worry that far ahead? Or will he lose to Rollins even with a “competent” ref?
The New Day VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn!
Awwwww~ Tacoma~! While Kofi Kingston defends his W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, Championship, Big E and Xavier Woods will show these best frenemies what they get for sticking their noses in their business. Plus, this is finally a chance to get back at “Big O” for tricking them! But will Sami & Kevin ruin the New Day’s fun before the fairy tale is over?
The teams sort out and Woods begins with Kevin. They approach and Kevin SUPERKICKS Big E! Then SUPERKICKS Woods! Then another SUPERKICK! A fourth SUPERKICK! Kevin hurries up top for a SWANTON! Cover, TWO!? Tag to Sami and Saim drags Woods up for another SUPERKICK! Then a Blue Thunder Bomb!! Cover, TWO?! How is Woods doing this?! Tag to Kevin and Kevin climbs again, for a Frog Splash! Cover, TWO?!? Kevin and Sami are furious! How can Woods take all this damage?! Kevin rains down rights and then argues with the ref on the counts. Tag to Sami and Sami rains down rights of his own. Big E gets back on the corner and fans rally for the New Day. Kevin tells them to shut up but they only chant harder.
Sami drags Woods up for kicks to his face. Big E coaches Woods on but Sami punches Woods back down. Sami puts Woods in the corner then taunts Big E. Tag to Kevin and Kevin drags Woods around for stomps. Kevin backs off to taunt Big E while Sami gets cheap shots in. Then Kevin runs back in for a CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO! Woods somehow still has something left. Kevin taunts Big E more then drags Woods around for a back senton! Kevin mocks Woods to go tag Big E, before dropping another senton! Cover, TWO! Kevin mocks the New Day clap but fans genuinely clap. Kevin drags Woods up and puts him in the corner. Tag to Sami and Sami throws hands!
Sami stomps Woods, then distracts the ref for Kevin to get a cheap shot in. Sami slaps Woods, so Woods SLAPS Sami! Woods also CHOPS Sami, but Sami wrangles Woods to a crossface! Woods endures the hold as Sami cranks back. Fans rally up again and Woods rolls Sami, TWO! Sami anchors Woods down and drags him away. Sami tags Kevin and Kevin stomps Woods down. Kevin mocks Woods’ pain before bringing him up. Woods dodges the clothesline to enziguri Kevin! Kevin tags Sami and Sami hits Big E down! Sami stalks Woods and drags him up for a back suplex. Woods slips out to give Sami the back suplex! Both men are down but crawling.
Sami tags Kevin and Kevin runs, but Woods dodges the senton! Woods jumps for the corner but Kevin catches him. Woods turns around, wheelbarrow facebuster! Big E rises and returns to his corner! Hot tags to Sami and Big E! Big E throws Sami overhead! And again! And then belly2belly! Big E swivels them hips! But he has to hit Kevin down first. Sami gets up but gets a big elbow, then the Big Splash! Cover, TWO! Now Sami survives, but Big E keeps on him. Big E waistlocks but Sami fights out with elbows. Sami boots Big E then hops up to bring Big E in. Sami rains down rights and lefts, and grins as he facelocks, but Big E powers out of the tornado. Big E urenages Sami down! Cover, TWO!
Tag to Woods and the New Day coordinate. Woods tries but can’t lift Big E the first time. He gets it the second time for the human weapon, Big E splash! Sami writhes and Woods runs, banzai leg drop! Cover, but Kevin breaks it! Big E throws Kevin out then scoops Sami. Woods climbs up but Sami wiggles free. Woods jumps over Big E into Sami’s boot! Big E hits post, too, and the New Day is down! Sami tags Kevin and gives Woods a HELLUVA KICK! Then feeds to the POP-UP POWERBOMB! Cover, but Big E breaks in! Fans say “This is Awesome!’ as Sami runs into Big E’s lariat! SUPERKICK from Kevin! Woods denies the stunner for a rolling elbow! All four men are down but Tacoma is giving a standing ovation!
Kevin goes to a corner but so does Woods. Sami joins Woods on the apron, but Woods mule kicks. Big E runs and SPEARS Sami down to the ground! Woods kicks Kevin down into the drop zone! Woods climbs but Kevin trips him up! STUNNER! Cover, Kevin and Sami win!
Winners: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, Owens pinning
After dealing out so much damage, the best frenemies finally down the New Day! Is this the start of Kevin and Sami turning things around?
Nikki Cross checks in with Alexa Bliss backstage.
The Loony Lass is excited for her friend and tonight’s SmackDown Women’s Championship match. The Goddess appreciates having Nikki in her corner. It won’t be Alexa against the world anymore. They wanted to be tag team champions together, but Bayley cost them that. Alexa also feels responsible, but Nikki says Alexa doesn’t need to feel bad. Bayley showed her true colors, so hopefully fans see her for who she really is. But that title is too special to belong to someone like Bayley. Which is why Nikki will love watching Alexa win. It’s them against the world, but will Nikki ever see she’s on the wrong side?
WWE United States Championship: Samoa Joe VS Ricochet!
The Destroyer lost the belt because of controversy, but Rey Mysterio was noble enough to give it back. Joe was less so when he still attacked an injured King of Lucha for even having the belt at all. Now the King of Flight steps up, can he succeed where even the living legend failed?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin!
Joe and Ricochet circle as fans chant, “Joe’s gonna kill~ you~!” They tie up and Joe wrenches Ricochet to then slap and kick away! Ricochet gets right up but Joe has his guard up. Joe grins as Ricochet stays back and they circle again. They tie up and Joe JABS Ricochet down. Ricochet keeps his cool while Joe dares him to come back for more. They tie up again and Ricochet ducks the jab this time to CHOP Joe! Joe just shrugs but he runs into Ricochet’s forearms. Ricochet runs and rolls off Joe’s back to then huricanrana Joe down! And dropkick him out! Ricochet builds speed and slides out but Joe dodges. Ricochet throws more haymakers but Joe rams him into the apron! Joe looms over Ricochet and throws him into steel steps!
Joe refreshes the count to then stalk Ricochet more. He drags Ricochet into the ring at the count of 5, then runs in at Ricochet in the corner. Ricochet goes up and over but runs into the urenage! Cover, TWO! Joe keeps his cool as he looms over Ricochet again. Fans duel as Joe stalks a crawling Ricochet. Joe drags Ricochet up for a CHOP and Ricochet falls back down. Ricochet gets to a corner but Joe is on him again. Ricochet CHOPS and forearms back, but runs into a back elbow! Joe covers, TWO! Ricochet is dazed and the referee checks on him. Joe comes back as Ricochet slowly gets up. Joe bumps Ricochet off buckles to CHOP him back! Ricochet throws forearms and whips, but Joe reverses. Joe back elbows and PELES! Cover, TWO! Ricochet lives and Joe grows annoyed.
Joe pulls Ricochet’s arms and wraps on a chinlock. Ricochet endures and fans rally up. Ricochet feeds off the energy and works his way up. He fights back with elbows and body shots but Joe clamps on tighter. Ricochet stands to jawbreaker out! Joe checks his chin while fans rally again. Ricochet stands and throws forearms on Joe. Joe hits Ricochet back with one big swat! Joe has Ricochet at the ropes and grabs the legs to yank Ricochet up into a powerbomb! Cover, TWO! Ricochet flounders away but Joe keeps his focus. Joe drags Joe up again for a snapmare and neck wrench. Ricochet endures but fans rally up again.
Ricochet reaches but can’t get ropes, so he works his way back up. He fights out with body shots again, but Joe CHOPS him back! Joe runs but into Ricochet’s dropkick-flip and enziguri! Ricochet ducks the lariat to PELE Joe back! Both men are down and fans fire up! Ricochet gets back to his feet but Joe follows. Joe swings but Ricochet counter punches. Ricochet then runs to forearm, but Joe stays up. Ricochet tries again, for another huricanrana! Joe is in a corner and Ricochet runs in to ram his shoulder in. Ricochet springboards and clotheslines Joe down! Joe bails out but Ricochet runs to FLY! Direct hit takes Joe down! Ricochet hurries to get Joe up and in! Ricochet springboards again, missile dropkick! But he’s not done, LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO!
Ricochet keeps his cool as he heads for another corner. He climbs up and aims, but Joe gets up. Ricochet jumps over but Joe scoops him for a powerslam! Cover, TWO! Joe grows frustrated, but keeps his eyes on Ricochet as Ricochet stirs. Joe drags Ricochet up but Ricochet throws forearms and CHOPS! But Joe CHOPS back again! Ricochet stands so Joe whips, Ricochet handsprings, but into a full nelson! Ricochet breaks free but still gets a German Suplex! Joe runs as Ricochet rises to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives and Joe is shocked. Joe glares at Ricochet as he clamps hands on the shoulders. Joe drags Ricochet up for another urenage, but Ricochet fights out! Ricochet boots but Joe blocks it, to FLIP Ricochet!
Joe puts on the Coquina Clutch! But Ricochet climbs the ropes! Ricochet hotshots Joe down! Joe is in the drop zone, and Ricochet climbs up again! Ricochet 630 but he has to roll through! Joe LARIATS Ricochet, but Ricochet springs back up! CODE BREAKER! Ricochet keeps going and gets back up top! Ricochet tries again, 630 SENTON! Cover, Ricochet wins!!
Winner: Ricochet, by pinfall; NEW WWE United States Champion
Incredible! Ricochet’s first try, and he’s already a champion! The One and Only surprises himself more than anyone, but now he IS United States Champion! Will Ricochet ascend to even greater heights now that he’s got gold?
Ricochet is welcomed and congratulated by other WWE superstars.
Former and current champions alike welcome Ricochet, but even Triple H! The King of Flight clearly has the respect of The Game, but will Samoa Joe be coming back for revenge?
SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Planet’s Tag Team Champions VS Heavy Machinery!
Big Red Rowan and “The New” Daniel Bryan vow to save tag team wrestling in the WWE by ending the fun and the jokes. But perhaps the new YOLO County Tag Team Champions, Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic, will show them you can have fun and win at the same time!
The introductions are made, and the Washington crowd is strongly behind Aberdeen’s Daniel Bryan. The belts are raised and the teams sort out, we begin this champions vs “champions” match with Dozer and Rowan.
Dozer shimmies those legs but Bryan calls Rowan over. Fans hope he tags in, and he does! Bryan circles with a stomping and jiving Dozer, then they approach. Bryan kicks Dozer in the leg but Dozer shrugs it off. They circle and Bryan kicks again. Fans cheer but Dozer still isn’t bothered. Bryan and Dozer circle again and Bryan gets in another kick. Bryan kicks Dozer more, but Dozer keeps moving. More kicks land but Dozer blocks one to shove Bryan down! Dozer flexes but Tacoma boos. Bryan gets up and circles with Dozer again. They tie up and Dozer shoves Bryan again! Dozer shows off the pythons, brother! Fans still cheer Bryan as he stares down the shimmying Dozer.
Bryan and Dozer approach and Bryan gives more kicks! Fans chant “YES! YES!” and Bryan runs, but into a trophy lift! Dozer dumps Bryan down then suplexes Bryan up. Dozer holds him as Tucker tags in. Tucker takes a hand-off, and he keeps Bryan up for another five before dropping him! Cover, TWO! Tukcer keeps on Bryan with a headlock and he grinds Bryan to his knees. Fans rally for Bryan and Bryan powers out. Tucker runs Bryan over then things speed up. Tucker shows that agility to then LARIAT Bryan down! Cover, TWO! Tucker keeps his cool as he back suplexes. Bryan lands on his feet and Rowan tags in. Bryan kicks Tucker and Rowan crossbodies Tucker down! Rowan roars and drags Tucker to a corner for buckle bumps.
Rowan clubs away then runs corner to corner, for a big corner splash! He pushes Tucker to then dropkick him down! Cover, TWO! Rowan keeps on Tucker with a chinbar while fans cheer, “Please Recycle!” Tucker endures the neck wrench and fights his way up. Rowan throws Tucker back down and soaks up the cheers. Tag to Bryan and fans cheer louder as the Planet’s Tag Champions mug Tucker. Rowan whips Bryan in for the dropkick, then adds his own clothesline! Bryan drags Tucker to a post to swing the leg into it! And again! Bryan stalks Tucker as he crawls, then grabs the legs for a surfboard! Bryan stomps the knees! Tucker writhes while Rowan tags in. Rowan drags Tucker up for headbutts then drops elbows on the legs. Rowan runs to splash down! Cover, TWO!
Tucker crawls to a corner while Rowan argues with the ref. Rowan claws at Tucker’s face! Rowan clubs Tucker then whips him corner to corner hard. But Tucker boots back and dodges, to send Rowan into the post! Tucker crawls while Rowan falls to the mat. Hot tags to Bryan and Dozer! Dozer rallies on Bryan with big arms and shoulders! Fans boo as Bryan gets scooped for a spinning, spinning, spinning slam! Dozer runs at Bryan but gets sent into buckles! Bryan runs corner to corner to hit a dropkick! Then another! But Dozer pops Bryan up to a powerbomb! Cover, TWO!! Heavy Machinery was so close! But Dozer has Bryan in a drop zone and climbs up. Dozer banzais, but misses the Vader Bomb! Bryan grits his teeth as he fires up.
Dozer sits up and Bryan unleashes Yes Kicks! Bryan kicks Dozer over and over, then prepares the buzzsaw, but Dozer is the one powering up! Dozer takes more kicks as he pumps his hips! Bryan kicks and kicks but Dozer leans into them! Then he scoops and SUPLEXES Bryan! Dozer runs corner to corner for a splash! Bryan flops down, and Dozer has his target. Dozer pumps up and hits the CATERPILLAR ELBOW! Tag to Tucker, and Dozer catapults Bryan into the belly2belly suplex! Cover, but Rowan breaks it! Rowan clotheslines Dozer down then kicks him out. The ref reprimands Rowan and the Big Red backs off. Tucker gets to his feet but Bryan gives his leg kicks! Tucker haymakers back but Bryan still kicks. Bryan kicks but misses, into a back suplex!
Tucker gets to a corner, climbs up, and MOONSAULTS! But flops!! He clips Bryan but it was far from what he wanted! Both men are down, and they crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Rowan and Dozer! Dozer and Rowan stare down and start brawling with haymakers! Rowan runs to bump shoulders but Dozer comes back to give it. Rowan clotheslines but DOzer stays up> dozer clotheslines but Rowan stays up. They both go and collide, butn either aflls! Rowan runs, Bryan tags in, Dozer dodges to scoop! Powerslam on Rowan, tag to Tucker! They grab Rowan, but he’s not legal! Bryan dumps Tucker out! Bryan climbs and leaps at Dozer, flying knee! Then he runs at Tucker, but gets a haymaker! Tucker climbs, to LEAP onto Rowan!! Tucker goes back to Bryan, but gets caught in a cradle! Bryan & Rowan win!!
Winners: The Planet’s Tag Team Champions, Bryan pinning; still SmackDown Tag Team Champions
Bryan’s brain beats Tucker’s brawn! Bryan and Rowan get through this by the skin of their teeth, but is this the last time Heavy Machinery challenges for the titles?
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross!
There is a lot of history between the Huggable One and the Goddess that dates back to their days in NXT. Bayley was Raw Women’s Champion when these two first battled for a title, and Alexa won because things were too extreme for her. But now, a year later, Bayley has grown while Alexa has stayed the same. Yet Alexa’s “very special friend” doesn’t seem to see that. Will Nikki play into Alexa’s game? Or will Bayley hold on to this title to prove she isn’t just a placeholder?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin this rivalry revisited!
Bayley goes right to Alexa and shoves her. Alexa shoves back and now it’s a brawl! Alexa puts Bayley in a corner for stmops, but Bayley powers her out to another corner! Bayley throws furious haymakers, then runs in for a big knee! She rolls Alexa to a cover, TWO! Bayley drags Alexa up but Alexa powers her to a corner now. Alexa rams her shoulder in, then gets mad at the ref for counting. Bayley flapjacks Alexa on buckles! Then long darts her onto more! Cover, TWO! Bayley keeps her cool then runs in, but Alexa gets clear. Bayley changes direction to put Alexa in a corner. She bumps Alexa off buckles. Alexa turns it around to throw Bayley into buckles back! Alexa drags Bayley to a cover, TWO! The Goddess grows frustrated while fans duel.
Alexa puts Bayley on ropes to choke her! She lets up at 4 and Bayley shoves back. Alexa clubs Bayley down then wrangles her into a chinlock. Bayley endures while fans continue to duel. Bayley moves around and fights her way up. Alexa wrangles Bayley down with a chinbar! Alexa grins but Bayley fights up again. Bayley elbows free and scoops, but Alexa slips out to give Bayley a backbreaker! Alexa chokes Bayley on the ropes again, but lets up at 4. Alexa puts Bayley in a corner with buckle bumps, then bounces Bayley off the mat. The Goddess brings back a classic, the skateboard stomps! Cover, TWO! Alexa tries again, TWO! Alexa grows further frustrated, but Bayley throws body shots. Bayley runs and crossbodies! Cover, TWO!
Alexa clubs Bayley right back down, then drags her up by her ponytail. Alexa whips Bayley hard into a corner, then runs in, to SLAP her! Bayley checks her mouth while Alexa takes a bow. Alexa runs in to get run over by Bayley! Cover, TWO! Bayley stomps Alexa then somersaults for a rolling elbow! She keeps moving, but into that killer right! Nikki coaches Alexa on and Alexa goes at a dizzy Bayley, only to get a hotshot! Bayley knees Alexa back in, then climbs up top. Bayley leaps over Alexa but turns around into a facelock. She fights out to then run and knee Alexa down! Alexa bails out and regroups with Nikki. Bayley tells Nikki to back off, to then daredevil dropkick. Alexa dodges but not for long! Bayley has Alexa’s arm but Alexa uses that to yank Bayley into the post!
Alexa slams that arm on the ground a few times. Alexa clubs Bayley’s shoulder and puts her in the ring to cover, TWO! Frustration starts to boil up again as Alexa yanks and pulls on Bayley’s arm. Alexa wristlocks and drops a knee on the arm. Cover, TWO! Alexa grows further frustrated by Bayley’s toughness. Bayley gets to ropes but Alexa is on that arm again. Alexa laces the arm through to pull Bayley into ropes. She lets up at 4 but comes back for more. Alexa yanks on that arm but Bayley swings the other. Alexa catches her and rolls her to a bridging cover. Bayley gets up and powers out, but Alexa tilt-o-whirls, only for Bayley to saido suplex! Cover, TWO! Bayley keeps her cool as she gets to a corner.
Alexa stirs as fans duel again. Bayley aims, runs in, and sunset flip powerbombs Alexa into buckles! But Alexa slumps out of the ring! Nikki checks on her pal, but Bayley runs to DIVE! Nikki takes the hit! Alexa throws hands but Bayley counter punches. Bayley runs but Alexa sends her into steel steps! Alexa drags Bayley up, for a Sunset Flip Bomb! “This is MY title, Bayley!” Alexa drags Bayley up and in to stomp her more. Then Alexa climbs up top but Nikki gets in?! Nikki wants back at Bayley but this wasn’t the time! Bayley climbs up but Alexa sends her back down. Alexa moosnaults, but Twisted Bliss gets knees! And BAYLEY2BELLY! Bayley wins!!
Winner: Bayley, by pinfall; still SmackDown Women’s Champion
Nikki costs Alexa and Bayley keeps her title! But just what is the truth here? Karma keeping Alexa from getting what she wants? Or Alexa getting what she deserves?
The WWE 24/7 Championship has had quite the week.
First, R-Truth gets tricked by Drake Maverick in disguise as Carmella! Maverick high-tailed it out of SmackDown to make it to his wedding, only for a certain someone to crash it! Maverick was in shock that Truth would ruin his special day and take away the title! The newlywed husband would drown his sorrows at the reception, but worse yet, his new wife is asking for a divorce!! Can Maverick salvage his marriage before worrying about his wrestling career?
The NEW WWE United States Champion takes pictures with the title!
Ricochet poses for the camera, and the Good Brothers give him congrats. They pose with him for some Too Sweet pics. Ricochet doesn’t want them fooling around, but then AJ Styles joins in. Now it’s a Phenomenal photo shoot. Styles compliments the champ, and says he’ll see him tomorrow on Raw. Wait, what? Is the new champion already up against a top tier contender?
Roman Reigns VS Drew McIntyre w/ Shane McMahon!
The Big Dog is a special talent and Shane McMahon knows that. Roman has won multiple Royal Rumbles and is a WWE Grand Slam Champion, but the Best in the World still beat him at WWE Super Showdown. Of course, it wasn’t without a lot of help from the Scottish Terminator, which is why Roman turns his attention to him. Will it be Roman or McIntyre kicking ass and taking names to prove they’re the biggest dog in the WWE Yard?
The moment Roman appears, McIntyre goes at him! They brawl on the ramp, a nd McIntyre whips Roman into barriers. But Roman returns the favor! They finally get in the ring and the bell rings as the fists fly. Roman bumps McIntyre off buckles and gives punches. Shane protests but McIntyre powers out before 10, only to get clothseline’d out! Shane checks on McIntyre but the ref tells him to back off. Roman decides to FLY! Roman wipes out McIntyre as Shane gets clear! Shane backs off even more but Roman pursues. Roman chases Shane through the crowd! Deja vu to Raw as Roman LEAPS, but into McIntyre’s haymaker this time! McIntyre throws Roman into steel steps, too, blasting them apart! He puts Roman in then looms over him.
McIntyre drags Roman up, bumps him off buckles, and CHOPS! McIntyre punches and stomps Roman then whips to suplex him overhead! Cover, TWO! Shane coaches McIntyre on and McIntyre rains down rights. McIntyre chokes Roman, but distracts the ref so Shane can get cheap shots in! Cover, TWO! McIntyre keeps on Roman with an armlock and chinbar. Roman endures the holds while fans duel. Roman powers his way up, pries free of the chinbar, and throws haymakers! McIntyre shoves and elbows Roman down! Cover, ONE! McIntyre stomps Roman from head to toe then hooks the mouth. The ref counts and McIntyre lets go at 4.
McIntyre toys with Roman then rains down rights. McIntyre makes sure Roman sees the big one. Fans say “Shane is Awful!” while McIntyre looms over Roman. McIntyre facelocks then deadlifts but Roman resists to snap suplex McIntyre back! Both men are down but slowly stirring. McIntyre sits up first but Roman uppercuts first! Shane hotshots Roman! McIntyre hits a SPINEBUSTER and jackknife covers, TWO! Roman won’t go down to such a cheap screw job. McIntyre hauls Roman up again for that deadlift suplex! Cover, TWO! McIntyre grabs Roman for another armlock and chinbar, but Roman endures as fans duel again. Roman gets up and pries free again, to headbutt! Roman throws hands but McIntyre shoves, only for Roman to kick. But then McIntyre clotheslines Roman! Cover, TWO!
Shane says it’s fine, just stay on him. McIntyre drops an elbow on Roman’s knee, and then pulls him into a grounded surfboard! Roman endures being pulled back while Shane says the timekeeper should be ready. The ref says Shane should stay away from the bell. McIntyre lets Roman go and shifts to a modified crossface! Roman endures all over again, but Shane again checks about the bell. Roman refuses to quit, and powers his way up to fireman’s carry! But McIntyre slips out and shoves Roman, only to run into the Samoan Drop! Both men are down but Shane keeps his confidence in McIntyre. A standing count begins and reaches 5 before McIntyre gets up. Roman slowly follows and throws haymakers. McIntyre returns them, then CHOPS!
Roman haymakers but McIntyre forearms. Roman uppercuts but McIntyre back kicks! McIntyre whips Roman into a corner but Roman comes out with clotheslines! Roman whips but McIntyre reverses, only for Roman to leap and lariat him down! Roman wants Shane to see this as he gives McIntyre point-blank lariats! He gets all 10 and runs, to BOOT McIntyre down! Fans fire up while Shane grows worried. Roman takes aim from a corner, locks ‘n’ loads, but Shane distracts the ref! SUPERMAN PUNCH for Shane! Roman won’t leave Shane alone, he leaps for another SUPERMAN PUNCH! McIntyre slides out but into an uppercut! Roman goes for but misses the Drive-By Dropkick! McIntyre has Roman in the position, Inverted Alabama Slam off the announce desk!
McIntyre puts Roman in, drags him up, scrapbuster slam! Cover, TWO!! Roman lives and McIntyre can’t believe it! McIntyre tries again by putting Roman in the corner. He hoists Roman up top, and CHOPS him before climbing up to join him. Roman trips McIntyre up and punches him into a Tree of Woe! McIntyre sits right up! But Roman headbutts him back, then punches him more. McIntyre throat chops, stands up, and SUPERPLEXES Roman down! Cover, TWO!! Roman still lives but McIntyre is too tired to be frustrated. But McIntyre kips up!? McIntyre aims at Roman from the corner and watches Roman slowly stir. Roman stands, McIntyre runs in but misses! Backslide, TWO! Glasgow Kiss rocks both men!
McIntyre hops up top again, aims at Roman, and leaps INTO A SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO! Both men slowly sit up but it’s Roman who roars! Fans fire up with Roman as he lets out the battle cry! But McIntyre kicks the spear away! Roman uppercuts, McIntyre gives another Glasgow Kiss, but Roman comes back with a SPEAR! Cover, but Shane yanks the ref out! Shane refuses to let his guy lose! Shane drags Roman up and around to a corner for stomps! The Best in the World throws off his jacket and takes aim from across the way. COAST 2 COAST!! Shane drags Roman over and lets McIntyre cover. He puts the ref in, who counts, TWO!! Roman still survives! McIntyre takes aim again, Roman stand,s SUPERMAN PUNCH! Shane urns in but is thrown out! Roman dodges McIntyre to SPEAR!! Cover, Roman wins!!
Winner: Roman Reigns, by pinfall
The Big Dog survives the Best Screwjob in the World! Shane and McIntyre both fall to Roman here, but is this the end of their war?
WWE World Championship Steel Cage Match: Kofi Kingston VS Dolph Ziggler!
The 11 year journey was a dream come true at Wrestlemania this year, but it wasn’t quite as inspiring to the Show-Off. Ziggler returned to the WWE bitter and jealous, claiming all the moments Kofi had on the road to Wrestlemania should’ve been his. Ziggler failed to prove #ItShouldHaveBeenMe at Money in the Bank, but he cites Xavier Woods’ interference as why he lost. Now he and Kofi will be locked inside steel. Will #Kofimania still live on? Or will Ziggler prove he is worthy of being the WWE World, Heavy, Weight, Champion~?!
The cage is lowered, the introductions are made and the belt is raised. The door is locked and the bell rings to begin this MITB rematch!
Ziggler and Kofi circle but keep a distance. Ziggler shows superkick but Kofi gets clear. Kofi tries Trouble in Paradise but Ziggler gets clear, too. The two get in each other’s face, and Ziggler shoves Kofi. Kofi shoves back, but Ziggler climbs the cage! Kofi anchors Ziggler back down and then yanks him off. Ziggler swings but into an arm wrench. Ziggler slips out and dropkicks Kofi down! The Show-off wants the door but Kofi grabs his legs. Ziggler shakes Kofi off but Kofi rolls Ziggler up! TWO, and Kofi dropkicks, only for Ziggler to block! Ziggler catapults Kofi, but Kofi uses it to climb! Ziggler anchors Kofi and yanks him down now. Kofk blocks the superkick to dropkick Ziggler! Cover, TWO! Kofi keeps his cool while Ziggler crawls to a corner.
Kofi runs in for a corner splash, then throws European Uppercuts. He whips Ziggler corner to corner but misses the splash this time! Ziggler tosses Kofi into the steel more and Kofi scrapes against it. Ziggler drags Kofi up to rake his face into the steel more. Fans rally up for New Day but Ziggler brings Kofi across the way. Kofi blocks the bump but so does Ziggler, and Ziggler drops Kofi to a neckbreaker! Ziggler drags Kofi back up and throws him right into steel! Kofi bounces off and falls down but Ziggler circles him like a shark. Ziggler drags Kofi up again, digging fingers into Kofi’s face. There are no disqualifications so Ziggler can do that as he puts on the chinlock. Fans rally for Kofi but Ziggler shakes his head no.
Kofi powers up and fights free, but Ziggler throws him down by his hair. Ziggler throws Kofi into steel again! Cover, TWO! Ziggler keeps on Kofi with a crossface! Kofi works against the hold and fans rally up again. Ziggler drags Kofi back down but Kofi backs up to his feet. Kofi jawbreakers free! Ziggler staggers but comes back to put Kofi in a corner. Ziggler fires off fast body shots while fans boo and jeer. The Show-Off backs off, and runs back in, but into an elbow! Kofi boots Ziggler away, then runs to whip. Ziggler reverses but Kofi goes up to dropkick back! Both men are down but fans rally up. Kofi drags himself up with the ropes while Ziggler stands. Kofi rallies with clotheslines and chops! Then a dropkick! Kofi leaps for the lariat but Ziggler sends him into steel! Cover, TWO!
Ziggler keeps his cool as he drags Kofi back up. Ziggler puts Kofi in a corner and slaps him! He slaps Kofi over and over, and shouts “Look what you made me do!” Ziggler throws Kofi but Kofi sends Ziggler into steel! Kofi does it again! Ziggler flounders around but Kofi keeps on him, a third time off the steel! Kofi slaps Ziggler now, but Ziggler shoves him away. Ziggler kicks out a leg, but his famouser is sent into a steel beam! Kofi rolls Ziggler, TWO! Fans rally and Kofi leaves Ziggler behind to climb! Ziggler hurries after to anchor a foot! Kofi fights Ziggler off and continues, but Ziggler climbs up after him. Kofi and Ziggler brawl on the top rope, and Ziggler bounces Kofi off the steel. Ziggler tries again but Kofi bumps Ziggler back!
Kofi knocks Ziggler off the top! Kofi’s climb continues! But he sees Ziggler get back up, so he springboard crossbodies instead! Cover, TWO! Kofi keeps his cool and climbs again. Kofi reaches the top but Ziggler scrambles after! Ziggler gets Kofi’s feet and drags him back down! Ziggler bumps Kofi off steel and Kofi falls back. Now Ziggler climbs, but Kofi hurries up! They’re both at the very top! Kofi headbutts Ziggler, but Ziggler tries to climb down the outside! Kofi anchors Ziggler on the top, but Ziggler kicks and flails! But Kofi clubs and drags Ziggler back, to the top rope, for another headbutt! Both men fall to the mat! Kofi and Ziggler crawl towards each other, and start brawling! Ziggler haymakers but Kofi gives it back. Now Ziggler headbutts, but Kofi hits SOS!! Cover, TWO!! Ziggler survives and Kofi is too tired to be frustrated.
Kofi crawls to a corner as fans rally and even duel. Ziggler stands and Kofi aims, Trouble in- Ziggler catches Kofi but Kofi slips out of the back suplex. Kofi boots but Ziggler catches it to a takedown and leg DDT! Kofi clutches the bad leg but Ziggler keeps on it. Ziggler rolls Kofi to have the leglock! Kofi endures and drags himself to ropes. Kofi gets the rope but there are no ropebreaks in the cage! Ziggler still twists and pulls, but Kofi uses the ropes to stand. Kofi climbs more, even with Ziggler on his leg! Ziggler yanks Kofi off, then SUPERKICKS! But Kofi hits the door! The door opens and Kofi starts slumping! Ziggler grabs Kofi to keep him inside! Ziggler drags Kofi up but Kofi grabs the steps to stay outside. Kofi and Ziggler have a tug-o-war, but Ziggler gets Kofi back in.
Kofi endures the heel hook more, and Ziggler sits up to get leverage. But Kofi stands and rolls to send Ziggler into a corner! Ziggler comes back but swings into Trouble- No, the ankle lock is back! Ziggler twists Kofi’s foot all over the place! And puts his full weight on the leg to anchor Kofi down. He even uses the ropes for leverage! Kofi endures, hops to his feet, and pulls Ziggler into an ankle lock of his own! Ziggler flails and kicks Kofi away. ZIGZAG!! Cover, TWO!? Kofi survives but Ziggler is too tired to be shocked! Ziggler dares Kofi to stand, but his superkick is countered with a hook kick! Kofi and Ziggler fight for control, and Kofi gets a facelock. Ziggler backs away towards the door! Ziggler feels his way through the doorway but Kofi anchors him. Kofi drags Ziggler while Ziggler kicks and flails.
Kofi powers Ziggler into the ring, then suplexes. Ziggler slips out but his legs give out. That doesn’t matter, he crawls for the dooor again! Ziggler reaches but those are his hands, not his feet, touching the ground! Ziggler does what Kofi did and grab that steel staircase! Kofi drags Ziggler by tights and boots, but Ziggler thumbs the eyes! Ziggler is free, and crawling out the door! But Kofi scrambles up to DIVE! Kofi gets out first!!
Winner: Kofi Kingston, by escape; still WWE World Champion
What an innovative yet risky way to win! Kofi dives to victory, and it is NOT Ziggler who has the title! Is this Ziggler’s last shot at the WWE Championship? Will he back for more? The New Day returns to celebrate with Kofi, but how long can Kofimania keep going?
On-stage interview with The New Day!
Charly congratulates Kofi on retaining the WWE Championship, but asks what is next for him? Kofi said it before and says it again: he respects Ziggler as a competitor. But Kofi also vowed to walk out of Stmping Ground our W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, Champion! And he did, BABYYYYY~! The New Day keeps the celebration going, but will it last through the summer?
Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre are furious backstage.
But Kayla comes by to ask some questions. After all the hype, Roman got the last laugh. McIntyre doesn’t care if Roman is laughing! McIntyre wants a rematch! Shane tells he’ll get it, on Raw! Roman will have to prove how bad he really is, when he takes on them both! And then Roman will finally learn the WWE is Shane’s Yard!
WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins VS Baron Corbin w/ Special Guest Referee ???
Apparently the Lone Wolf still has a lot of pull with WWE management from his (failed) time as a Raw General Manager. But he cites that the ref was “incompetent” during the Super Showdown Universal Championship match, so now he gets his own handpicked referee to call this match. Is this what it will take for Corbin to finally be champion? Or will Rollins continue to #BurnItDown?
At the same time, with Paul Heyman spotted in the arena, will The Beast in the Bank still appear to cash-in? And if he does, will whoever wins this match stand a chance of staying WWE Universal Champion?
The introductions are made, and of course we need to see who Corbin even got to be special guest referee. Rollins makes sure to keep that promise of attacking whoever sides with Corbin by showing off that steel chair. The former Raw GM, former Golden Gloves boxing champion, former WWE United States Champion, former Mr. MITB, the man who retired Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania, and “Tacoma’s Favorite Son” grabs a mic but Rollins won’t let him speak. Rollins grabs the mic to say he doesn’t know who took the job, but warns them that they will get the same treatment as all the others. Rollins dares Corbin’s choice to come out so they can just get this over with.
Corbin picks the mic back up to continue where he left off. “After much deliberation,” Corbin chose… The Sassy Southern Belle, Lacey Evans! And yes, she walks out in a fashionable referee uniform! Rollins can’t hit Lacey, can he? She tells him to drop the chair, but Corbin lurking distracts Rollins. Lacey grabs the chair, then Corbin attacks from behind! Corbin stomps away on Rollins, then jams him with the chair! Referee Lacey doesn’t seem to care about any of this. Lacey is sticking it to Becky since Rollins is The Man’s man. Lacey asks for the chair and Corbin lets her have it. Corbin fetches Rollins while Lacey disposes of teh chair. The bell rings, and this match finally starts!
Corbin lifts and throws Rollins down! Cover, TWO! The count might have been fast, but you won’t see Corbin complain. Corbin follows Rollins outside to ram him into barriers! Then throws him into more barriers! Corbin drags Rollins up to bring him all the way over to the far side barriers! Lacey “reprimands” Corbin while fans say “This is Stupid!” Corbin rams Rollins into the post then puts him in the ring. By the way, Lacey wasn’t counting for them being outside. Corbin drags Rollins up but Rollins CHOPS and punches back! Rollins whips but Corbin reverses. Rollins dodges Corbin but Corbin slides out. Corbin slides back in to clothesline Rollins down! Rollins rolls to the ropes but Corbin stalks him to the corner.
Corbin drags Rollins up for haymakers, then grinds as he rams his knee into Rollins. Corbin runs to punch Rollins back down! Fans boo but Rollins gets back up. Rollins grimaces but Corbin rams his knee in again. Corbin runs again, but Rollins dodges to CHOP and punch back! Rollins whips but Corbin hits a DDT! Corbin watches Rollins crawl to a corner. Corbin looms over Rollins and whips him corner to corner hard! Rollins hits buckles then mat! Lacey mockingly checks on Rollins, but Corbin is on him again with another hard whip! Rollins tumbles up then down the buckles! Corbin drags Rollins around to throw body shots and haymakers in a corner. Fans tell Corbin he’s “Boring~! Boring~!” but Corbin puts Rollins up top.
Corbin throws hands then climbs up. Rollins fights back while resisting the superplex! Lacey reprimands Rollins as he headbutts Corbin away. Rollins leaps over Corbin, then runs, but into an uppercut! Corbin hops up and leaps for ax handles! Lacey “checks” on Rollins while Corbin mocks the fans. Corbin drags Rollins up for more haymakers, but Rollins gives them back! Rollins gets an edge but Corbin shoves him back. Corbin slides out then in again, but Rollins dodges to PELE! Both men are down and Lacey tells Corbin to get up. Rollins and Corbin both stand, and they brawl more! Corbin forearms, Rollins haymakers, then Rollins counter punches and chops! Lacey reprimands ROllins but he whips. Corbin reverses but Rollins reverses back for a rolling elbow!
Rollins dodges Corbin to hit a Slingblade! Rollins boots Corbin from a corner then hops up, blockbuster! Corbin is up but Rollins clotheslines him out! Rollins aims and runs, to DIVE! Direct hit! Rollins puts Corbin in fast then springboards, flying knee! SUPERKICK! Rollins covers but Lacey takes her sweet time counting, so Corbin gets out at “TWO”! Fans boo while Lacey tells Corbin to get up. Fans chant for Becky but Rollins runs at Corbin. Corbin puts Rollins on the apron but Rollins shoulder back in. Rollins slingshots but into a haymaker! Corbin joins Rollins on the apron and drags him up. Corbin choke lifts but Rollins hotshots him! Then slides out to powerbomb him through the announce desk!! Fans love that one!
Rollins gets in the ring and tells Lacey to count! Lacey reluctantly does, but she again takes her sweet time doing it. She eventually gets to 5, but even that long 5 is before Corbin moves. The count goes to 7 but Lacey pretends something is wrong with her boots. She gets to 8 but then says the match is going to be a No Count Outs?! The announcer announces it, to which Rollins still can’t believe.
WWE Universal Championship No Count Outs: Seth Rollins VS Baron Corbin w/ Special Guest Referee Lacey Evans!
Rollins drags Corbin from the wreckage and into the ring. Rollins shouts at Lacey and says, “You asked for it!” Burn It Down! Mule kick, run, but Corbin bails out. So Rollins DIVES, into a haymaker! But he hits Corbin back out, to DIVE! Into an apron choke slam! Corbin gives Rollins another choke slam! Cover, TWO!! Lacey tried being fast but it wasn’t fast enough. Corbin keeps his cool, and from the look on his face, has an idea. Corbin drags Rollins around by his legs, but Rollins knows what this is! Ropebreak, not that Lacey would say it. Corbin yanks Rollins but Rollins lands on his feet! Rollins elbows Corbin, dodges him, then runs in. But into a boot! Corbin leaps but gets ropes! SUPERKICK!
Rollins climbs up again, FROG SPLASH! Cover, but Lacey reluctantly counts, and then pretends to get a shoulder cramp. Rollins and the fans are tired of this farce. Rollins glares at Lacey, then goes at Corbin. Corbin jabs and SMACKS him with a chair! Obviously these chair shots don’t count to Lacey. Corbin puts Rollins back in the ring and SMACKS Rollins more! Lacey again plays dumb to this. She “reprimands” Corbin about the chair, and he “apologizes.” Now Lacey has to make another adjustment: No Disqualifications…
WWE Universal Championship No Hold Barred: Seth Rollins VS Baron Corbin w/ Special Guest Referee Lacey Evans!
And we thought Shane was trying to pull one over on Roman. Fans still want to see where Becky went, but Corbin drags Rollins up. But Rollins spins out to throw hands! Corbin shoves and pops Rollins up, but Rollins gives him a Falcon Arrow on the chair! Cover, but Lacey doesn’t even start this time! Michael Cole counts to 7 but it doesn’t matter! Rollins is starting to reach a breaking ponit, but between Lacey being an official and a lady, he isn’t allowed to. Lacey even SLAPS him! Rollins laughs it off, and the two argue. She SLAPS him again! Then kicks him low! Corbin comes back but Rollins punches him away! Lacey low blows Rollins! END OF DAYS!!
But here’s Becky!! She finally gives Lacey what she deserves! And it’s No DQ, after all! Becky forearms Lacey down! Then throws her into barriers! Then Becksploder into the barriers! Before raining down more rights! Real referees come out to pull Becky off Lacey and Corbin shouts for someone to get in. John Cohn is back from Super Showdown! Corbin reels Rollins in but Rollins slips out, SUPERKICK! CURB STOMP!! Cover, Rollins wins!!
Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall; still WWE Universal Champion
The Lone Wolf’s ludicrous conspiracy fell apart! Becky checks on her man, and he’s clearly thankful she helped out. #ManSquared stand tall as WWE Universal and Raw Women’s Champion, are they going to #BurnItDown with Straight Fire?
For the concerns and disappointments in the build, I have to say, WWE managed to salvage everything with the actual Stomping Grounds event. There were still some glaring flaws, but pretty much everything made up for everything up to this point. I still wish the WWE would treat Cruiserweights better, because to be honest, their title match did not deserve to just be a kickoff show match be default. Nothing personal to New Day, Kevin Owens or Sami, but they should’ve been the kickoff show. There was nothing on the line, and they made the first part into Kevin-Sami Spam Their Best But Woods Survives. It would’ve been more shocking and perhaps better served to the story if Kevin & Sami won faster or maybe dirtier than they did.
What we got was still a really good match, because of the four men in the match, but it wasn’t even for being #1 contenders to tag titles. Meanwhile, the Triple Threat was an actual Cruiserweight Championship match. And it was a great one! I knew all there guys were going to give it their all, and Gulak won as predicted. It would’ve been too much too soon for Nese to retain against two top opponents, and Tozawa was clearly in to take the pin from Gulak. This all works so that at WWE Extreme Rules, Nese finds his way to a rematch so that he and Gulak can go to the extreme to not only fight for the belt, but settle their feud that’s been long-standing since the dreadful Enzo Amore days of 205 Live. That could go either way, and would definitely raise the winner’s stock considerably.
I was really surprised in the moment that the Raw Women’s Championship was first up, but we know why now. Lynch VS Lacey was a good but I feel like the MITB one was better. Perhaps because of the story they had planned, that’s why. Obviously Lynch retains but sadly it seems like WWE is trying to make her VS Lacey a real rivalry. And good to see the SmackDown Women’s Championship match turned out about how I figured. Nikki costs Alexa, but for now, Alexa doesn’t seem that upset at her. Maybe that changes if something goes wrong again. Hopefully this means Bayley moves on to actual SmackDown superstars like Carmella, once she and Ember Moon deal with Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville. Again, if only Vince hadn’t ruined the Women’s Tag Division…
What a great surprise for Ricochet to win the United States Championship! And then he gets congrats from HHH! That must be a sign that WWE sees Ricochet’s value and is going to use it to the fullest. This match was great, too, so apparently Joe was for it, too. I really hope Ricochet brings back the United States Championship Open Challenge, we need to see him take on any assortment of superstars even without it being a PPV. Though, AJ Styles talking to Ricochet, that must mean that’s the plan for Extreme Rules. Bryan and Rowan were great in their kickoff promo, and their match with Heavy Machinery was also great. No idea who there is unless Kevin & Sami suddenly go Face to face Bryan & Rowan. Or that huge WWE Undisputed Tag Title idea I had given what Raw did.
Shane really tried his hardest to screw Roman over. I almost thought he was going to recreate the Montreal Screwjob having the bell ring to say Roman “submit” to McIntyre’s modified crossface. But luckily they didn’t go that way, even though it did lead to Roman winning to regain that ol’ Super Roman level of power. A handicap to count as the joint Shane-McIntyre VS Roman rematch on Raw is just gonna be the same and sadly it does no one any favors. The cage match was about how all cage matches go, but what really made it good was Kofi’s dive to escape. No one ever did that before, and I don’t know why, but it was great for Kofi to be the one.
I really thought there was going to be a cash-in while The New Day was on stage. On one hand, Lesnar needs to remind Kofi he’s a target, too, but then again, maybe he’s letting Kofi think he’s not a concern at all until a much bigger PPV, such as Summerslam. I guess Heyman teasing is enough for the WWE. Then the WWE Universal Championship, that was dragged out for way too long. Becky should’ve been on Lacey much sooner. I get they wanted things to escalate to that No DQ “restart,” but even that could’ve been done faster because I’m sure plenty of wrestling fans have seen the “biased referee” bit before. Lacey payed it perfectly, though, but this should’ve all been a half step faster. But hey, at least WWE can now market the real-life relationship of Rollins and Becky.
My Score: 8.2/10
The WWE TV YouTube Experiment (RAW: June 17, 2019)
The WWE TV YouTube Experiment
Week 1, Episode 1
Monday Night RAW/ June 17, 2019
Los Angeles, California
As you can read in my introduction column, I’m doing an experiment to see if WWE’s YouTube content is any good. If it’s worth watching, if it’s enough to make me want to get back into watching WWE (I’m 11 months clean and sober), or if it’s just not worth my time. Every week I will only watch the video clips WWE posts to their official YouTube channel, and I’ll write a review, so to speak, of the show based on that alone. It’s an experiment. Seriously. I have a hypothesis and everything! Go check out the big introduction if you haven’t already, and then come back and read along with me!
I welcome and greatly encourage feedback, especially because my only exposure to WWE (for the most part) will be the YouTube clips. I won’t be reading recaps or reviews. So please, by all means, if you have any opinions, positive or negative, about what I’m about to write, let me know. I thrive on criticism (constructive or otherwise — tell me I’m a batshit crazy moron if you want). That all aside, I don’t want to be insanely long-winded, so I’m going to get right into it.
Total Number of Clips: 18
Total Time: 45 minutes, 43 seconds
Seth Rollins blasts Elias with a steel chair (2 minutes, 22 seconds)
Good start! Based on what I know, Seth Rollins and Baron Corbin have been feuding over the Universal Title. Seth is defending the belt on Sunday at Stomping Grounds, and Corbin promised that the match would have a special guest referee. In this clip, Elias is in the ring making fun of Los Angeles and reveals that Corbin chose him to be the ref on Sunday. Out of nowhere, Seth Rollins appears out of the darkness and lays Corbin out with a chair (very cool visual) and declares that anybody who decides to take Corbin up on the offer to referee the match on Sunday is going to take a steel chair up the ass. Something like that.
This was a very simple and effective start to the show. Rollins showed a ton of fire, and coming out of the darkness with the chair shot, as I mentioned, made for a really cool visual. I am interested in watching the next video clip! (1 for 1)
Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match (2 minutes, 42 seconds)
Another great clip. A quick peek at the results shows that the match was about 14 minutes long, and they crammed it into 2 and a half. Not a bad thing, as the idea of the YouTube clip is to get across the story being told. The story here is that Ricochet beat Cesaro, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman and The Miz in order to earn a shot at Samoa Joe’s United States Championship this Sunday. Strowman was dominant. He caught Cesaro springing off the ropes and nailed him with the powerslam and followed up by scooping Lashley up, thwarting an attempt at a spear and hitting another powerslam, except instead of driving him into the mat, he threw him onto Cesaro. Moments later (according to the clip) he hits Lashley with a second powerslam and pins him. Cut ahead in time, and Cesaro is hitting the Gotch Neutralizer on Braun, which allows Ricochet to kill Braun with a massive 630.
I don’t know if there’s a deeper backstory or if Lashley and Cesaro were just mad that they were eliminated fair and square. Not only did they attack Braun after being eliminated, but after the 630, they piled on and helped Ricochet secure the pin! Is Cesaro a heel? Is Braun? Lashley? I know Ricochet is a babyface and unless things have changed very recently, The Miz is a babyface as well. Either way, that gave Ricochet the chance to win the match, as moments later (the magic of editing!) he hits a second 630, this time on The Miz, and pins him to win the match. He doesn’t have long to celebrate, however, as Joe hits the ring and blindsides him. Ricochet saves himself by ducking a clothesline and sending Joe to the floor and wiping him out with a dive.
When you only show 2 and a half minutes of a 14-minute match, you’re due to get all action. It was fun. Since I’m essentially coming into this as almost a newcomer, this clip told me that Braun is a dominant beast, Cesaro is strong as hell, Ricochet is good at flipping, and the Miz… maybe sat ringside until the very end. I don’t know. He was only in the clip for about 5 seconds. Oh, and Joe is an asshole. An enjoyable clip that gave me a little bit of an idea about 4 of the 6 men involved. (2 for 2)
Becky Lynch catches Lacey Evans by surprise (4 minutes, 21 seconds)
I don’t really know much of the backstory here. Lacey has been a thorn in Becky’s side. I know that she interfered in the title match with Charlotte to cost Becky the SD Women’s Title and according to the promo here, Lacey has been attacking Becky from behind. Becky cuts to the chase and calls Lacey out, and Lacey obliges. She talks about how she’s a classy lady (I gather that’s her usual promo) and before she can get into the ring, Becky attacks and hits her with the Bexploder and leaves.
Some of the segment was definitely cut for time, but it got the message across. Becky is tired of Lacey’s schtick, but Lacey is keeping it up because she knows it pisses Becky off. Becky caught Lacey by surprise and got the upper hand before their match on Sunday. I’m hoping that what I saw here isn’t indicative of what Becky has become because her promo was super generic and she didn’t seem like she wanted to be there. The fire that I remember seeing in clips since she became “The Man” was not there. It seems like Lacey would be a perfect foil for her, so maybe the edit hurt the segment or maybe missing the entire feud up to this point has cost me some context. In any event, it wasn’t bad by any means. It was average. I love Becky and I’m interested in seeing what Lacey can do, so I’m in. (3 for 3)
Seth Rollins takes out Baron Corbin with a steel chair (1 minute, 5 seconds)
This was a quick one. Baron Corbin cuts an awkward promo about Elias no longer wanting to be the referee. I assume it’s because he’s afraid Seth will hurt him, even though he could, I dunno — leave the arena and avoid Seth until Sunday? In any event, Corbin stumbles over his lines and tries to be smarmy and cocky (I think) but just comes across like a goof who is struggling to remember his lines. He had about 35 seconds to fill with 6 sentences, and he sounded like a 5th grader practicing for his first ever role in a school play. Slow down! Enunciate! Take a breath and pause between your sentences, dude. I understand the character traits he was trying to get across, but he did that poorly.
It’s tough to judge this one. It was barely a minute long, and while it featured a brutal 35-second mushmouth performance from Baron Corbin, it ended with him getting hit with a chair. I can’t be mad. (4 for 4)
The Viking Raiders vs. Russ & Randy Taylor (52 seconds)
Hey! A full match! Erik hits a sweet running knee on one of the dudes and pulls the other into the ring to hit him with an exploder. Ivar tags in. Erik hoists the guy up for a German and Ivar springboards into a clothesline to assist and add extra impact. A springboard Doomsday German, perhaps. Erik presses the legal man into the air and Ivar catches him with a powerslam (the move is now called the “Viking Experience” — good to know) and that’s that, in 32-seconds.
The Raiders looked awesome and the other guys got in zero offense, which is exactly how it should be. If I’m a fan who has never seen these two guys before, I get two things from this clip. One, I want to see these guys again, because they look awesome. Two, their names are stupid as shit. Still, this was good. (5 for 5)
R-Truth and Carmella try out some new disguises (1 minute, 9 seconds)
While the Taylor Brothers — why not call one of them Brad or Mark, by the way? Missed opportunity — lay in the ring, still recovering from being destroyed by the War Raiders, the cameras pan the audience. Carmella and Truth are in disguise, but everyone quickly realizes who they are and a cavalcade of people come running down the ramp. Truth tries to hide under the ring only to find a confused Titus O’Neil, and the distraction lets he and Carmella run through the crowd to get away.
I haven’t been following the 24/7 Championship saga very closely, but what I have seen has been entertaining. Nothing really happened here, but it was a minute long and happened in the same televised segment as a good squash match, so there’s zero to complain about. (6 for 6)
Drew McIntyre brutalizes old friend Heath Slater (2 minutes, 17 seconds)
Heath Slater walks into a room with a little buffet. Shane McMahon is there with The Revival and Drew McIntyre. Drew looks like he would rather be anywhere else in the world. Slater asks for a raise, and because he’s an asshole, Shane gives him a sliver of hope and then denies the raise and tells him to get to steppin’. As Slater leaves, he makes the sign to Drew to follow. Quick cut to the hallway, as Drew feigns trying to help Heath and offers him some money, but beats the crap out of him instead.
Now I’m not familiar with the storyline — so correct me if I’m wrong. I know Shane McMahon has been winning matches left and right over top talent, and I’m assuming that Drew has been helping him cheat to win. Whether I knew that or not, here’s what I gathered from this: Shane McMahon is the asshole boss, The Revival, who go unnamed, are a couple of silly lackeys, and McIntyre is just Shane’s bodyguard/hired gun. If that’s actually the case, that fucking sucks.
The Revival running in and scooping up all of the cash was funny. I enjoyed that. Again, I don’t know the story, so maybe Drew is getting sick of Shane’s power trip. That would explain his body language. If that’s not the case, as I said, that sucks. So Shane is getting a bunch of big wins, the tag team champions are bumbling lackeys, and Drew is a possibly unhappy bodyguard? Gross. Now, if Drew wins on Sunday against Roman, that’s a big deal. Shane doesn’t have a match, so maybe he’s proven his point and is going to step aside and be Drew’s manager and the authority-like leader of the group of Drew and The Revival. I would be all for that. Again, I don’t know much about what’s going on, so I’ll catch up as time goes by. As a standalone segment, this was fine, but because I don’t like Drew as a “heavy” and I know enough about this story as it currently stands, I just didn’t like it. (6 for 7)
The New Day crash “The Kevin Owens Show” (5 minutes, 0 seconds)
Baron Corbin is the guest. Sami and Kevin don’t want to get hit by chairs, so they both opt out of being the guest referee for Baron Corbin’s Universal Title match on Sunday. Corbin figured that would be the case, so he has EC3 waiting in the wings. EC3 comes out, and as expected, he gets lit up by Seth Rollins with a chair shot from behind and gets another shot while he’s on the ground, just for good measure. I’m enjoying this running gag. It’s funny, but at the same time shows that Seth isn’t going to let Corbin try to make believe he’s still the “Constable” and yield power that he doesn’t actually have.
The New Day make their way out for no discernible reason (which I’m cool with, of course) and challenge Corbin, Owens, and Zayn to a match. EC3 agrees to sanction the match just like Stephanie McMahon sanctioned her marriage to Triple H, and that’s that. Renee Young made the obvious “Weekend At Bernie’s” joke (and now the Tweet makes sense!) but it was too obvious, and she didn’t try to make it topical. If you have to go that direction, why not say “Weekend At Dixie’s”? It’s a 3-second line that most people aren’t going to pick up on anyway… how many people watching RAW do you think actually saw that movie?
This was fun and felt way less than the 5-minute runtime of the clip. It’s the 8th clip so far and the longest of the night. The Nick Marsico from a year ago would probably complain about the lack of compliance to the “wildcard rule”, but I think it’s actually a funny gag to have more than the allotted 3 (I think that’s how many it’s supposed to be) pop up on the opposite show every week. It’s humorous to me whether it’s their intended purpose or not, so I’m all for it. Plus, The New Day is a welcome addition to any show, any time. Fun, silly, and furthered the night’s running storyline, as well as the build for the title match on Sunday. Plus, Baron Corbin said less than the other segment he was in, and didn’t stumble over his lines! Everybody wins! (7 for 8)
The New Day vs. Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (2 minutes, 52 seconds)
Woods rolls up Sami for the first fall (why not tell us it’s 2 out of 3 falls in the description?). Cut to the second fall and Owens hits a superkick on Big E, but doesn’t get the pin. Cut again, still in the second fall I assume, to Kofi almost pinning Corbin, but Corbin comes back with a SWEET looking Deep Six. Clip again, and Corbin accidentally clotheslines Sami. Owens doesn’t like this and superkicks Corbin, allowing Kofi to get the pin with Trouble in Paradise.
Can’t really get any gauge as to whether this was a good match or not, but it got the story across. It’s an ineffective and lazy story, though. I get that the gimmick for the night is that Baron Corbin is having a really shitty night leading up to his title match at the PPV, but did he need to look like a chump AND get pinned? I love the New Day, but they didn’t have three other guys who could have benefitted from being in this spot? Why not Ryder, Hawkins, and Cedric Alexander? Great segment to lead into the match, but the match was worthless. (7 for 9)
Paul Heyman has a reminder for Seth Rollins (3 minutes, 22 seconds)
Hey, it’s Paul Heyman! He puts over both Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan, which is cool, and teases that Brock is going to show up. We know he isn’t around. I like that he completely disregards that Baron Corbin has any kind of chance at winning the title, as he addresses everything directly at Rollins.
This was definitely clipped big time — there’s no way Paul Heyman spoke for less than 3 and a half minutes. It got across the point, though, and proves that 3 and a half minutes is all that he needs to cut an effective promo. Brock is watching and Brock is waiting. Be scared, because he’s always got the advantage in any situation, but having that briefcase gives him even more power, so the Universal Champ should be scared.
I love heady-handed Michael Cole ending the segment by pointing out that Brock Lesnar’s steel chair attack on Seth is what drove Rollins to go on a chair-swinging rampage. I don’t think Heyman meant that when Brock returned, he was coming with a chair. He was specifically reminding us, without actually saying the words, that Brock recently kicked the shit out of Seth with a chair. He implied that Seth is on a rampage because of what Brock did and Cole (at Vince’s command, I’m sure) heavy-handedly drove that point home by literally saying it. Stupid line from Cole aside, this was good. (8 for 10)
Seth Rollins dissuades Eric Young (1 minute, 22 seconds)
Corbin asks Eric Young to be the guest referee, and Eric says he’ll think about it. Clearly Seth Rollins overheard because he approaches Young. EY backs off, trying to say he only agreed to think about it because he was tired of talking to Corbin (which is a 100% plausible story), but Rollins beats the piss out of him with a chair anyway.
Nothing wrong with this. Chair-swinging lunatic Rollins is fun. I’m glad Sanity they disbanded Sanity for this. Totally worth it. (9 for 11)
The Usos vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (2 minutes, 51 seconds)
Oh my god, Gallows and Anderson have been around for 3 years? Holy shit. Cole mentions that they were “part of a club” with AJ Styles and namedrops the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles. Well that was odd. Gallows and Anderson completely dominate but pause to “Too Sweet” each other. Gallows gets caught with a double superkick, and that’s the end.
Based on what I read going through the results so I could put these videos in order, I saw that AJ gave the Good Brothers a pep talk backstage and told them to get their crap together. They didn’t, and acted cocky, and it cost them the victory. That works for me. Maybe this time they’ll actually follow through on this storyline. This is like the 3rd or 4th time they’ve done the “You’re supposed to be the most dominant team in modern Japanese wrestling history! What the fuck are you guys doing?” storyline. I hope they don’t just drop it after 2 weeks like they have in the past. The match was heatless, but was literally shorter than the length of this clip, so I can’t complain. They didn’t do a boring 10-minute match to tell a 3-minute story. That was smart. There’s promise here. (10 for 12)
Roman Reigns storms into Shane McMahon’s VIP room (5 minutes, 1 second)
Shane and Drew talk smack, but Drew mentions Roman’s family, so THE BIG DOG makes his way to their (really sweet, actually) VIP room. Roman threw one of the dudes from the Revival at least 50 feet down a hallway and into a loading door on the way. Good god. Roman kicks the crap out of Drew and puts him through a catering table then chases Shane to the ring, where the Best in the World eats a Superman punch and spear. And the crowd was cheering for Roman the whole time! That’s gotta be a positive thing.
This was fine. It looks like they clipped out whatever Roman said to start the segment, since this video started with him in the ring, but it probably wasn’t important. Drew sort of looked like an idiot when he kept talking even after Roman was halfway to the backstage area. Shane already saw that Roman was coming — Drew mentioned something about a movie Roman is going to be in, so I guess they just had to shoehorn that in there. Now I don’t know anything about this rivalry, but it seems like Drew talking about how he’s going to disfigure Roman’s body to the point that his family wouldn’t recognize him was big time overkill. That was graphic for no good reason, and he could have made the same point 30 other ways. But hey, they cheered for Roman and it looks like Drew might not just be a lackey after all, so I’m cautiously optimistic. (11 for 13)
Rumors spread about Bayley (38 seconds)
Watch the video. Whatever. Was this really something that needed to be documented? (11 for 14)
The IIconics vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross – WWE Women’s Tag Team Title Match (2 minutes, 36 seconds)
Not much to say about the match. Bayley was at ringside, probably because of the mean social media post that Charley Caruso showed her in the previous clip. Nikki Cross did most of the work for her team and controlled the match for the majority of what was shown. Alexa Bliss pushed Bayley down, and the IIconics take advantage of the 2-on-1 situation, with Billie rolling up Nikki to retain the titles. Bayley stopped Alexa from getting back into the ring to break up the pin.
The match looked fine. It’s not really possible to judge based on under 2 and a half minutes of wrestling, but the IIconics looked okay in the ring. Nikki Cross is great and if she gets the chance, she will be a fantastic babyface when she plays the same role Nia Jax played back when she was Alexa’s lackey who thought they were besties. I thought the rule was that you were supposed to wait 7 years before running the same storyline? None of this was bad at all. (12 for 15)
Nikki Cross learns the “truth” about Bayley (38 seconds)
Nikki is upset that Bayley stopped Alexa from saving her, which cost them the tag titles. She’s going to be in Alexa’s corner at Stomping Grounds.
Bookending the tag title match with 38-second backstage interactions. Works for me, and advances the storyline very quickly and very simply. (13 for 16)
Fear is power in the “Firefly Fun House” (3 minutes, 9 seconds)
The latest iteration of the Fun House randomly has Bray saying that the Earth is flat and that dinosaurs aren’t extinct. Okie dokie! Or, Yowie Wowie, I guess. Bray, all his friends, and Cultaholic, I guess, want you to “Join Us” and it appears that along with “Let Me In”, Bray’s new catchphrase may be “Follow the Leader” instead of “Follow the Buzzards”.
This continues to be different from everything else on the show, and in a very good way. It looks like they’re putting a lot of legitimate effort into this. I hope it translates well once he gets out of the Fun House and into the arena. (14 for 17)
Seth Rollins vs. Daniel Bryan (3 minutes, 26 seconds)
Rollins hits Bryan with a suicide dive, but upon his second try (he and Bryan both do the multiple dive spot, don’t they?) he’s caught by Erick Rowan, who nails him with a sweet-looking Iron Claw modified choke slam (guess you can’t really call it a chokeslam, but whatever). The match is thrown out after a brawl ensues involving a bunch of mostly random people. The New Day come out to help Seth, which… good guys helping good guys, I guess… Sami and KO followed, which makes sense since they have Woods & Big E at the PPV. The Revival aren’t doing anything on Sunday (except for interfering in the Roman/Drew match I would assume) but they ran down as well. And The Usos, who also aren’t on the card for the PPV, also ran down, since… they’re pals with The New Day. What a random bunch of nonsense. The Usos take out all of the bad guys with a stereo dive over the top and the match is restarted. Seth beats Bryan with the Stomp but gets taken out by Corbin with a steel chair on the ramp to end the show.
I don’t get the point of the big run-in party. To make things seem chaotic, since the 3rd hour of RAW is down and dirty and gritty now? Are they still pushing that or was that literally a one time only deal? Maybe They’ll do Usos vs. Revival on the pre-show. Maybe The Revival will be co-special guest referees. In any event, I’m sure the match was good, but they only showed about a minute of it. Closing the night with Corbin standing tall after blindsiding Rollins with a chair is the type of good, simple booking I like to see. Strong way to close the show. (15 for 18)
Week 1, Episode 1
For the most part, I liked what I saw. Out of the 18 segments, only three of them got the thumbs down from me. One of them was only 38 seconds long! It took 7 videos for me to find something I didn’t like. That definitely makes this a good show in my eyes. Granted this was a curated, truncated version of Monday Night RAW, but nothing got left out. There was some stuff that wasn’t necessary and could have been cut entirely and not be missed. An important note: just because I liked a segment didn’t mean it was a great segment. Unless something is actively bad, I’m going to give it a pass. I’m an easy grader. RAW was easy to watch and made plenty of sense as a series of clips clocking in at 5 minutes or less.
If nothing else, this proves that RAW could very easily be a 2-hour show and not have to cut anything. It also proves that as a 3-hour show, they could fit so much more and feature more wrestlers. Well, one episode doesn’t prove it, but if this becomes a recurring theme over the course of the next 2 months, I think that would prove it. The roster isn’t too big for the amount of time they have.
I’ll have to see if this becomes a trend — interestingly enough, the runtime of the 18 clips, which featured everything that happened on the show, was 45 minutes. That’s the length of an hour-long television show if you exclude commercials. RAW without commercials is roughly 2 hours and 25 minutes, and SmackDown is roughly 1 hour and 25 minutes. If my theory holds up, the runtime of the YouTube clips for SmackDown should be in the range of 35 minutes.
Nick Marsico/ Writer (Kinda)
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