Mitchell’s WWE Greatest Royal Rumble Report! (4/27/18)
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
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Andrew’s IMPACT Sacrifice Results & Match Ratings: 3.24.2023
Well damn, 24 hours changes everything! Josh is injured and has to vacate the World title! Mickie is also injured but she’s making her announcement during the show. How does IMPACT salvage their two main title pictures at Sacrifice?
Well hot damn, a lot of news popped up in less than 24 hours. So Josh Alexander tore his triceps; so he has to vacate the World Title and he’s being replaced by Steve Maclin in the 6 man match. Mickie James apparently also has an injury, but they are going to turn it into a segment on the show instead of a straight up vacating.
Now from a story perspective this sucks since I loved the Maclin/Alexander segment last night. That’s just me being selfish since I wanted to see that build and Maclin get the big win he deserves. Now he’ll be facing Kushida for the vacated title at Rebellion, and even if Maclin wins it will feel a little flat. Here’s to hoping that when Josh returns from injury they can find a way to bridge the time lost and keep the story going eventually.
.@MeanGiaMiller caught up with @FrankieKazarian and #RichSwann to talk about @Walking_Weapon's unfortunate injury and @SteveMaclin replacing him as their partner TONIGHT at #Sacrifice! #CountdownToSacrifice pic.twitter.com/jdnqk6BLN9
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 24, 2023
- Speedball Mike Bailey vs Jonathan Gresham: Bailey wins via Reverse Figure Four – *** 3/4
- Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) vs Brian Myers: Hendry retains via Standing Ovation – ***
- Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal & Savannah Evans vs Deonna Purrazzo: Deonna wins via Venus de Milo – *** 1/4
- Kenny King w/Eddie Edwards vs PCO: PCO wins via Straight Right Chair Punch – *** 1/4
- X Division Championship: Lince Dorado vs Trey Miguel (c): Trey retains via Cradle – *
- IMPACT Tag Team Titles: TMDK (Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito) vs Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (c): Bullet Club retains via ABC 1-2-Sweet – ****
- Busted Open Match: Bully Ray vs Tommy Dreamer: Bully wins – ** 1/2
- Time Machine (Kushida, Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs Rich Swann, Frankie Kazarian & Steve Maclin: Kushida wins via Hoverboard Lock – ****
Speedball Mike Bailey vs Jonathan Gresham
With the injuries in the main event, I could definitely see one, or both of these guys; fast tracked into the title scene after Rebellion. And I don’t think anyone would really be mad at that.
A quick tit for tat start, no one really gets any advantage. Just a few quick counters and takeover attempts. They both pause to take in chants from the crowd and then lock up again. Collar and Elbow tie up, they don’t release and both roll one another under the rope and out of the ring. There is an early moment where while he’s against the ropes he pokes Speedball in the eye and then apologizes. So things go back to a technical face vs face, but it could be a precursor.
Technical catch wrestling continues. Wrestling one another down, trying to get positions for small submission picks or limb attacks, but nothing is sticking yet. Gresham does manage to an Indian Deathlock, and then a Reverse Figure Four that Gresham conveniently can’t untangle so the referee has to do it and Bailey is pissed. Gresham tries to explain it, but Bailey lights him up, Gresham falls out of the ring, Golden Triangle Moonsault and now the aggression is starting to pick up. Hamstring Kicks and Chops from Bailey, but Gresham baits the attack and trips up Bailey before attacking the left knee with a grin on his face. Bailey is grounded for a while and Gresham keeps trying to twist off his leg. Eventually some Up Kicks break the submission attempt but Gresham wrestles him down again into a Bow and Arrow Trailer Hitch kind of move. Since Bailey has Tanahashi next week, Gresham must be trying to make Bailey’s knees equal. Good Guy Gresham.
Bailey starts stringing some offense together, but a few Low Dropkicks ruins Bailey’s base and causes him to face plant and the offense is going nowhere. Gresham even goes for the pinfall by trying to hyper extend the leg he’s been working on. Strikes continue to trade, Gresham tries to shoot the half but Bailey kicks off, Hamstring Kick again, Gresham Kips Up but clutches the leg a little, a chance for Speedball but Gresham cradles him to the ground and locks in a Figure Four. Speedball eventually rolls to the apron, Gresham tries to continue the stretching but Bailey kicks him into the post, sweeps the leg and Moonsault Double Knees right on Gresham’s head; Bailey went full Billy Kidman with his offense.
Bailey and Gresham continue to jockey for position on the outside, it looks like it might be a double count out. Gresham gets in at 9, Bailey gets in right at the 10 and the referee allows the match to continue. Some quick offense, Tornado Kicks to the corner, Ultima Weapon misses, Gresham goes for the Figure Four again but Speedball reverses it and Gresham taps pretty quick.
Backstage segment with Brian Myers, Moose joins and says he’ll help him beat Hendry – but then Santino shows up! He tells Moose he’s dumb and just stooged himself out, so he’s banning him from ringside. Who would’ve thunk it, the comedy character brings the logic.
Digital Media Championship: Joe Hendry (c) vs Brian Myers
Myers powders after a few early bumps and then Hendry follows him. Hendry is definitely not fighting with “champion’s advantage”, as is the way for babyfaces. Myers tries to fight back on the floor but a Scoop Slam leaves Myers on the receiving end. Hendry has to roll in to reset the 10 count and Myers catches him.
A few quick attacks, Roster Cut attempt but Hendry gets the goozle on. Standing Ovation attempt but Myers slips it, Chop Block, and continues to hammer down on Hendry. Myers with a Falcon Arrow and a bunch of slightly arrogant offense until he goes for the Crossbody, gets caught again, Sack of Shit, and Hendry is back on the offensive. Pop Up Power – no, slips and a Running Spear from Myers for a 2 count. Myers hits the top rope but Hendry cuts him off, Myers pushes him off, launches and Hendry hits the RKO mid move! Throws Myers into the ropes, Standing Ovation, and Hendry retains!
So Mickie addresses her injury, it seems she broke a rib during the tag match. They are allowing Mickie to hold on to the title until Rebellion. Either she defends it in a 3 way versus Jordynne and the winner of the 4 Way at the Multiverse United show or Jordynne will face the winner of the 4 Way for the vacated title.
Gisele Shaw w/Jai Vidal & Savannah Evans vs Deonna Purrazzo
Deonna starts off angry, Gisele is getting rocked early, they go through a few rope running counter cradles and slides but its just early counter wrestling. Gisele manages to surprise Deonna going for an Armbar, but Deonna counters it, tries the Venus de Milo but Shaw powders. Deonna hits the Baseball Slide, starts beating on Gisele but she slides back in to distract the referee while Savannah clocks Deonna.
Triplicate European Uppercuts from Gisele keep her very comfortably in control. Another distraction to the ref and Savannah swings and connects with Deonna again. Deonna tries to fight from the corner, Gisele grabs Deonna’s feet drapes her across the ropes and drops both knees on Deonna. Gisele drives her knee into Deonna’s shoulder blades and goes for the Chin Lock. Deonna tries to power out, Gisele stifles it a little, but Deonna catches her with a Twisting Neckbreaker. Slow start to the strike exchange but it slowly picks up, Deonna with a beautiful spot of a no look Back Kick right to Gisele’s stomach, Running Knee Lift into the Russian Leg Sweep for 2. Deonna Pump Kick, Gisele Superkick, Deonna bounces off the ropes, Flatliner into Koji Clutch, but Gisele slides back a little to turn it into a pinfall to break the submission.
Both women have wrist control and just swing at each other. Deonna gets the best, one big swing but Gisele ducks it, catches Deonna in Shock and Awe (Backbreaker into Flatliner). Denouement attempt, Deonna grabs at the arm for the Fujiwara attempt but Gisele fights it off. Venus de Milo gets locked in and Deonna holds it a little longer to make a point.
Savannah attacks Deonna afterwards, but Tasha Steelz music hits. Tasha tries to play nice like she’s here to help Savannah, then cheap shots her, fights off Jai with a Tornado DDT kicking off of Savannah. Okurr on Jai and Tasha cleans house and babyfaces herself.
Kenny King w/Eddie Edwards vs PCO
Kenny comes out in an Honor No More shirt, which is a nice way to play into the story.
Eddie tries to get PCO’s attention and then Kenny attacks him right as the bell rings. PCO turns things around shortly, Eddie keeps trying to find angles to give Kenny ambush spots but PCO keeps fighting back. PCO stalks Eddie on the outside and Kenny hits a beautiful Tornillo, then a Scoop Slam as he mocks the whole Frankenstein gimmick. PCO rolls in and Kenny John Woo’s him into the corner and starts Bootwashing his face to talk smack. PCO fires, goozle and just throws Kenny out of the ring.
PCO kicks Kenny from getting back in the ring, looks to do his Senton but “short circuits”. So PCO does a Senton to the wrong side of the ring, crashing but popping right back up, and it apparently helped correct the issue. So Senton onto Kenny, throws him back in, Kenny tries the Eddy Gordo kick but PCO just barrels over him. PCO drapes Kenny in the corner, Codebreaker, into the back of the head Guillotine Leg Drop and now PCO pulls him to the apron.
Here we go, Deanimator attempt – but Eddie cuts him off, PCO kicks him back into the cameras, Kenny gets up and an Iconoclasm bouncing off the apron of the ring! Kenny throws him into the steps, rolls in, things he’s all but won…yet PCO beats the 10 count. “He’s Not Human” chant starts, Frog Splash from Kenny and PCO kicks out and fires at 2. Eddie throws a Kendo stick in the ring to distract the referee from Kenny using a chair. Kenny hits PCO once, PCO shakes it off and has a gameplan. So he actually helps keep the referee distracted to bait in Kenny for another chairshot attempt, but PCO just punches through the chair and knocks out Kenny.
Maclin, Kaz and Rich have a backstage segment. It perfectly shows the story beats of Maclin being annoyed that he put in all this prep and recon on Josh just for the opponent to be flipped. Typical tumultuous team members vibe, but Maclin gets his story beats across beautifully.
Can #RichSwann and @FrankieKazarian trust @SteveMaclin? #Sacrifice pic.twitter.com/TcEZ79IWkC
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 25, 2023
X Division Championship: Lince Dorado vs Trey Miguel (c)
Okay Lince comes out in a bathrobe with some cringe ass “Lucha Lit” gimmick. I…hate it. This is probably the first time ever that I want Trey to win. Cause Dorado is cringe as hell. In a game of them both sucking, I’ll pick the style of trash that I can tolerate more…which is Trey.
Lucha counter wrestling with flips over trips and that stupid ass Mirrored Dropkick Spot. I also don’t love the Lince doing the cat mannerisms, but Puma King and a few others have done that…so I guess its more tolerated in Lucha. This whole match has been a little paint by numbers boring Lucha where the moves are done just to pop the crowd but not to actually accomplish anything.
Diving whatever moves they accomplish nothing. Its really hard for me to care about flippy trash matches. Lince hits 2 of the 3 step Moonsaults, but Trey of course no sells and dodges the third, Tiger Wall Kick, but Trey stumbles a little for the Enzuigiri, Trey also hits a sloppy Outside In Tiger Feint…its just sloppy spots for spots sake. I would probably be more entertained if I had Runescape fired up on a different tab. This is just a waste of space, much like both “wrestlers”.
Lince hits a Avalanche Frankensteiner, into a Shooting Star Press but Trey powders. Lince tries that bounce off the corner with his legs spot, but its sloppy. Another sloppy Tiger Feint from Trey, Slingshot Sunset Bomb for 2. These are just stupid moves for stupid sake. Lince tries to cut off Trey from a rope run with a Big Boot but mostly misses, makes the whole cut off exchange look stupid. Trey with a flash cradle during the cut offs for pinfall. Eww…this was garbage.
IMPACT Tag Team Titles: TMDK (Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito) vs Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (c)
It is nice to see a variation of TMDK back together. I also enjoyed Tito called Ace and Bey the “Mini Bullet Club” since they’re the juniors heavyweights.
Tito and Bey start off, Bey is trying to show off his speed, Tito gets across the power though. Tito kinda looks like a young Scott Steiner, and he literally tosses Bey back into his corner. Ace tags in, tries to do something but Tito is just too strong. Haste gets tagged in for some flashy yet effective offense. Ace finds something with the Triangle Victory Roll, Bey blind tag, cheap shot on Tito, Russian Leg Sweep + Low Sweep combination into some Click Click Boom. So Bullet Club is showing very nice Junior style synergy. Haste is very loud and animated, so he’s a great one to have eating the offense. Especially when they do their Back Rake goof spot.
Haste finally maneuvers things to tag Tito in, and Haste hands off Ace to Tito and Tito hits a Standing Blue Thunder Bomb. Tree of Woe, Bey tries to come in to break up the spot but the referee is distract, Tito steps up and stands on the groin, nice homage to Petey Williams. We are in Canada. Announce team almost sets up too much meme fodder, and then Rehwoldt steers into it. Rehwoldt said Bey was trying to rush into to get Tito off…paused for a second, which you know Hannifan gave him a look. So then they just pivot to everyone in TMDK being like Australian Sex Pistols. Very clever misdirection.
The match is fun, Bey gets the hot tag, clocks everyone, Haste tries a Lariat, Bey ducks that, flies onto Tito on the outside, comes back in, Tornado Fameasser for 2. Bullet Club goes for a Torture Rack/Triangle Kick combo, but Haste gets out of it. Tito gets tagged in and he start to look like Steve Williams with the Doctor Bomb for 2. Tito hits a big battering ram Dive on Bey to clear him out. Haste Falcon Arrow, Tito Froggy Splash, but Bey breaks it up.
Tito starts getting ping ponged between the two Juniors, Torture Rack/Triangle Kick combination, for 1-2-3? – no Haste comes in the referee says it was in time to stop the 3 count. Tito charges and a beautifully times Superkick + Spinning Back Heel Kick on Tito. He’s dazed, ABC 1-2-Sweet! Bullet Club retain!
Busted Open Match: Bully Ray vs Tommy Dreamer
This is a First Blood Match for anyone who doesn’t know, and Dreamer comes out with an ECW Championship Belt.
Chair duel to start things, ECW replica belt to the face of Bully Ray. Dreamer grabs a soda from a fan, Muta mist on Bully, tries to shove the can into his skull for early blood but no. Bully crotches Dreamer on the guardrail and then picks a fight with Darren McCarty who’s in the crowd. Darren McCarty was the enforcer for the Detroit Red Wings, so its very old school letting the ex sports guy play. Bully also has a great spot where he pulls out a step ladder, then asks the referee to hold it, does the Jimmy Snuka pose and goes for a Splash and misses. Bully gets to rile up AEW and WWF fans all in one spot. Good old school heat. Corny, but good.
Dreamer gets a bag of tacks, Bully fights off the Piledriver, gets the cheese grater but Dreamer hits the Bionic Elbow as a counter. Cheese grater with Dreamer, Dreamer charges, Bully pulls the referee in the corner, so ref bump. Dreamer eventually makes contact with the cheese grater, but there’s no referee and Bully has his back to the camera, so it slow rolls the result nicely. Good Hands hit the ring, on with a towel to see if he can blot the bleeding before the ref comes to.
Bully hits Tommy with pocket tacks instead of pocket sand. Tries to drive Dreamer’s face into the tacks and then Elbow it further down but Dreamer moves. Dreamer grabs the grater again, Bully tries to beg off, screams he’s sorry and now tries to guilt Tommy with his family is going to see this. Dreamer actually stops and then Bully hits him in the balls. Bully busts open Tommy with the tacks, the Good Hands slide in Tommy as the referee comes to, so the referee only sees Dreamer bleeding. Its a solid old school Hardcore match but it was definitely a little too plodding and corny.
Yuya Uemura tries to make the save, then Darren McCarty jumps the railing. This really has turned into ECW, Bully gets a mic, asks him if he really wants to fight and tells security to let him go. LOL – a literal Hockey Fight. McCarty gets the best of things, Good Hands mug him from behind. Triple Powerbomb McCarty through the table.
Scott D’Amore’s music hits! Scott starts stripping like he’s Ric Flair. Bully calls down Scott, but Scott has backup. He calls Rino, Heath, Gresham, Baily and Joe Hendry. Good Hands try to attack Scott…Scott stops him…and HITS A CANADIAN DESTROYER! Can this lead to a Lethal Lockdown match? Team D’Amore versus Team Bully? Give me that…give me some Lethal Lockdown now!
Time Machine (Kushida, Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs Rich Swann, Frankie Kazarian & Steve Maclin
Shelley and Swann start off, and its just a bit of chain wrestling. They both have Hammerlocks, Headlocks, and just twist around to try and find an angle. Shelley speeds things up a little, Shoulder Tackle, rope run, Swann goes down and Shelley puts on the brakes to sink in a quick STF but Rich grabs the rope. Kaz and Sabin tag in and we get some Battle of the Futures nostalgia.
Back and forth, Up and Over, Sabin with the Arm Drag into the Top Wristlock. Kaz fights through, a little more quick counters and fun stalemate spots as they are all having fun with each other. Kushida tags in and points to Maclin. Kaz slaps Maclin’s chest and we all know Maclin isn’t a fun loving babyface like Kaz and Swann, so the tone should start to change. Kushida starts by starting Grounded ala Inoki vs Ali, then manages to trip up Maclin and keep the mat wrestling going, but Maclin finally gets back to hit feet and can finally use his size and power to his advantage. Shelley blind tag, Time Splitters PK to the Arm combo.
Shelley keeps on the arm that got kicks with the Arm Wringer and then a few quick shots to the damaged arm. Kaz makes the blind tag after Maclin uses the middle rope into Shelley’s throat. Kaz and Rich with a little Hip Toss tandem stuff for a near fall on Shelley. But the tone of Rich and Kaz is definitely much different. Shelley fights his way out of the enemy corner, Time Machine triple team, Single Leg Crab, Camel Clutch, Sliding Dropkick from Sabin onto Rich. Kaz is trying to police too much of Maclin’s motion, typical team that doesn’t get along stuff. Rich driven into Kaz in the corner, triple Dropkicks from all of Time Machine.
Kushida tags in, stares down Maclin and then Maclin picks up and throws Rich to Time Machine because you can tell he’s frustrated getting policed with all of his moves. MCMG hold Rich, Kushida hits the Baseball Slide on the restrained wrestler and Kushida does the little Liger spin around pose/taunt and stares down Maclin. Shelley starts with the joint manipulation, and Swann is just getting torn apart. Swann in the Tree of Woe, Sliding Dropkick to Swann’s face, and then the Triple Baseball Slide. Sabin tags in with the Octopus Hold on Rich which he rolls into a pinfall, but Rich kicks out. You hear Maclin say “All you have to do is tag me bitch” – which proves that Maclin is trying to be a team player in his own way.
Rich fights out of the triple team, and chooses to tag in Kaz. Kaz hot tag, exchanges with Sabin which turns into the Guillotine Leg Drop through the ropes, Kaz is taking out everyone right now. Two Springboard Leg Drops…and now a third as all of the Time Machine offense is stopped. Sabin blind tag though gives Time Machine some momentum. Rich tries to come in, gets rocked, Maclin charges, Sabin grabs him and Tornado DDT sends Maclin to powder. Missile Dropkick/Flatliner on Kaz for 2.
Cradle Shock counter, rolling tag to Rich. Avalanche Headscissors, Rich goes to the top rope, Maclin tags himself in, but Time Machine gets rolling. Dragon Screw from Kushida with the Mutoh pose afterwards. Maclin and Shelley are legal, and going back and forth. Double Arm Breaker from Shelley after Kaz tries to get involved. Maclin gets some offense back in, Caught in the Crosshairs form Maclin, Maclin tags in Kaz, Kaz tags Rich, tandem attacks, Cutter form Rich into a 450…1-2-Kushida Kicks out! Swann goes for Phoenix Splash but misses. Flying Armbar from Kushida, triple Submission spot, but Maclin gets out of his and breaks Kushida’s submission. Maclin stares down Time Machine, hits the ropes and gets eaten alive by tandem attacks.
Time Machine goes for a Double Shiranui Tower, but it gets broken up. Outatime lands on Kaz. Sliced Bread lands on Swann. Tanaka Punch blocked, Maclin eats Shell Shock, Sabin gives Kushida a rolling start to throw him onto Maclin like a Spider Monkey and sink in the Hoverboard Lock. Maclin taps relatively quick, which is strategic to not risk injury.
Overall Score: 7/10
Talk about a show that no one knew what the hell to expect! Josh vacating the belt means that things had to change with fairly short notice. Mickie’s implications of either a Triple threat or she’ll hand over the belt to the winner if she’s not cleared is something you don’t see too often. But when it comes down to the card, the show was relatively good. Trey & Lince was hot garbage, and Busted Open was what we all kind of expected. Was it a bit more entertaining with some of the ECW nods? Sure. But it was just a spectacle and honestly Scott D’Amore hitting the Canadian Destroyer made that all worth it.
OH CANADA! @ScottDAmore CANADIAN DESTROYERS @TheJasonHotch and Windsor EXPLODES! #Sacrifice pic.twitter.com/iqqpiH0tMZ
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 25, 2023
The tag and six man matches were the best stuff on the card, and sets the stage decently well for storylines into Rebellion. I’m not joking though, if we don’t get Team D’Amore vs Team Bully in a Lethal Lockdown…the salt will pour. Don’t let the Canadian Destroyer spot be for naught! Oh – and put the damn belt on Maclin!
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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (3/24/23)
It’s a family feud!
Wrestling really does have more than one royal family.
While Cody Rhodes is back on SmackDown to take on Ludwig Kaiser, Dominik Mysterio plans on confronting in his entire family in Las Vegas! Will Rey finally snap on his son?
- Cody Rhodes VS Ludwig Kaiser w/ Giovanni Vinci; Cody wins.
- Rey Mysterio VS LA Knight; Knight wins.
- WrestleMania Women’s Tag Team Showcase Qualifier: Lacey Evans & Xia Li VS Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya; Shotzi & Natalya win and advance to WrestleMania.
- “Butch” Pete Dunne w/ The Brawling Brutes VS GUNTER; Gunther wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Cody Rhodes VS Ludwig Kaiser w/ Giovanni Vinci!
The American Nightmare is back on SmackDown, looking to stay razor sharp for his match with the Tribal Chief. But will he get more than just a tune-up from the Impeccable German? Or will Kaiser keep the mat sacred?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans rally up for “CODY! CODY!” Ludwig eggs Cody on, they tie up, and they’re in a deadlock. Cody powers Ludwig to a corner but Ludwig turns it around. Ludwig lets off, but throws a body shot! Ludwig whips, Cody reverses and reels Ludwig in to suplex! Fans fire up as Cody keeps Ludwig in the air, before the GOURD BUSTER! But wait, here comes Paul Heyman. Cody is distracted by the Wise Man, Ludwig waistlocks, but Cody trips Ludwig to then SHINING WIZARD! Ludwig bails out while Cody glances back at Heyman. Fans continue to rally for Cody while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Cody staggers over to Ludwig. Ludwig UPPERCUTS then COMPLETE SHOTS! Cover, TWO! Ludwig scowls, and he rains down fists in a headlock! Fans boo but Ludwig lets off. Ludwig clamps onto Cody with a chinlock, then CLUBS him down. Fans boo as Ludwig goes outside to drag Cody to the corner, but Cody YANKS Ludwig into the post! Cody goes out to CHOP Ludwig, ROCKS him, and then CHOPS him against the announce desk! Cody rains down fists and fans fire up! Cody puts Ludwig back in the ring, runs and springboards, but Ludwig trips him up and YANKS him down!
Heyman is stoic as Ludwig sits Cody up to PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! Cody scowls but Ludwig looms over him. Ludwig pie faces Cody, drags him up but Cody ROCKS Ludwig and JABS and throws a body shot. Ludwig throat chops in return! Ludwig CHOKES Cody on the ropes, the ref counts and Ludwig lets off. Fans boo, but Vinci gets a cheap shot! Cover, TWO! Ludwig clamps back on with a chinlock. Cody endures, fans rally up, and Cody fights up to his feet. Ludwig throws Cody down by his hair! Fans boo more as Ludwig paces around and taunts Cody. Ludwig rains down more fists, then scrapes Cody’s face!
Ludwig runs to BASEMENT UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Heyman is still stoic as Cody drags himself to ropes. Ludwig kicks the ropes to jam Cody’s arm! Ludwig drags Cody up to UPPERCUT! Cody ROCKS Ludwig with forearm after forearm! Ludwig JAWBREAKERS! Ludwig throws body shots and stomps in the corner, whips corner to corner, then runs in, but Cody puts him on the apron! Cody ROCKS Ludwig, and BEAUTIFUL DISASTER KICKS Ludwig down! Fans fire up and Heyman is upset now. Ludwig staggers up into a kick, and Cody reels Ludwig in! Cody hooks the arms, but now SOLO SIKOA appears!
Fans boo as the Bloodline approaches, but Ludwig CHOP BLOCKS Cody’s leg! Solo and Heyman stay at the ramp as Ludwig goes out. Cody throws hands, whips, but Ludwig reverses and sends Cody crashing into steel steps! Fans boo but Cody drags himself up, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Cody throws hands on Ludwig. Ludwig headlocks, Cody powers out and things speed up, but DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down! Solo & Heyman are now ringside as fans rally up. Vinci coaches Ludwig but Cody sits up first. They stand, Cody throws a body shot but Ludwig throws a haymaker. Cody throws a forearm, Ludwig gives it back, they go shot for shot, back and forth, faster and faster, and fans fire up! Ludwig kicks low, whips, but Cody reverses to then follow and CLOBBER Ludwig! Cody kicks, RHODES UPPERCUT! Cody then baits Ludwig, goes up and over in a corner, and POWERSLAMS! Cover, TWO!
Solo is stoic, Heyman smiles, but then Vinci throws in his track jacket. The ref gets that out of the way, but misses the HIGH LOW COMBO from Imperium! Cover, TWO!! Cody survives and Ludwig is surprised. Ludwig shouts “NEIN!” and runs in to UPPERCUT, GAMANGIRI and HALF HATCH SUPLEX! Ludwig goes up top, leaps, but into a dragon sleeper! But Ludwig drops to victory roll! TWO, and Cody dodges Ludwig to springboard, CODY CUTTER! Fans fire up as Cody stares down Heyman & Solo! Cody waits on Ludwig, reels him back in, CROSS RHODES!! Cover, Cody wins!
Winner: Cody Rhodes, by pinfall
The Impeccable German was less than perfect, and he loses to the American Nightmare! But Cody watches Solo get up on the apron and Heyman has the mic. Heyman has Solo stand down, and then tells Cody, “You’re owed an apology. And since I’m the Wise Man of the Bloodline, may I? I am going to be the one to deliver that apology to you.” The ring announcer did a lousy job. She must be from Vegas. Fans boo and Heyman acts surprised. But Heyman will do the honors. “Ladies and gentlemen! Your winner… and still challenger for the reigning! Defending! Undisputed! WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman Reigns… Cody! RRRRHODES!”
Fans are torn but Heyman says this is the very same Cody Rhodes that sees his Road to WrestleMania with a giant pothole in front of him that happens this Monday Night Raw, when Cody goes one versus one against… SOLO! And if, and isn’t that a big “if,” IF Cody survives Solo, then it’s not the Road to WrestleMania. All roads lead to Roman Reigns, who will be here live on SmackDown next Friday to see Cody one final time face to face. Heyman tosses the mic to Cody and he catches it. “Is that what we’re doing, Mr. Heyman? Are you moving the goal posts for me? Another thing you did, you interrupted them while they were singing the song.
“And now, you wanna move the goal posts and move ’em right here, huh? Am I expected to say ‘No?’ Oh, it’s six days out from the biggest match in the history of my family, I should probably say no, right? WELL, I probably shouldn’t have wrestled with half my body hanging off, and I still beat Seth Rollins! So when it comes to you,” he says as he points at Solo, “undefeated and as good as you are, like I said last week. You’re. Not. Ready!” Fans chant that, then Cody continues.
“And as for the champion, Roman Reigns. After Solo finds out that he’s not ready, at WrestleMania on April 2nd, your boy, Roman Reigns, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, will find out the same thing. He is not ready, either!” Cody throws the mic back and Heyman misses it! Will everything about this homestretch to Hollywood be a nightmare for The Bloodline?
BREAKING NEWS for WrestleMania!
The very first match of night one on Saturday, April 1st will be… AUSTIN THEORY VS JOHN CENA! The United States Championship will set the pace for the weekend, will The Now find that he’s not ready, either?
Charlotte Flair is here!
Vegas fires up as The Queen heads to the ring. The SmackDown Women’s Champion has her pyro then gets the mic to tell Las Vegas, “We are just eight days away from WrestleMania! Fourteen times. Fourteen time world champion. And I can tell you, that was not built on fear, insecurities or nepotism. The same three things have been used against me by everyone, and I mean everyone, since I started in this business.
“Fear. What is fear? Fear is a lack of understanding. It’s ignorance. This business wasn’t built on fear. This business was built on respect! Rhea Ripley, I don’t fear you. I respect you! The only thing that I fear is my own potential. I respected Nikki and Brie. I respect Sasha, Bayley, Becky, Trish, Ronda, Asuka, Natty! I respected all of them! Insecurities. Damn right I have insecurities! Are you really ‘whatting’ me? This is important to me so listen. Insecurities, damn right I have them. And I have built this house on every brick that all of you have thrown at me! For the last seven YEARS! Lastly, nepotism.” Fans “WOO~!”
“That’s right, Vegas. I love my dad. And I will never apologize for continuing the greatest legacy in sports entertainment! And whether you like it or don’t like it, you better learn to love it, because diamonds are forever, and so is Charlotte Flair. WOO~!” The Queen is fired up, but will she be able to hold her throne at WrestleMania?
Rey Mysterio VS LA Knight!
The King of Lucha Libre, the headliner of this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class, has been pushed and pushed and pushed by his punk of a son, and the Mega Star was one big mouth too far! Will Rey be able to shut up the obnoxious jerk that isn’t Dominik? Or will things only get worse for Rey on the Road to WrestleMania Weekend?
SmackDown returns and Knight makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. Knight chases Rey but Rey dodges and fires off hands! Knight shoves Rey away, but Rey slides under and dropkicks Knight to a corner. Rey runs in but Knight fights off the monkey flip. But Rey avoids the elbow drop! Rey runs in, and now he MONKEY FLIPS! Knight staggers up,. Rey KICKS Knight to a corner, and then rains down fists! Fans count all the way to TEN, then Rey gives us some Latino Heat. Rey runs, but Knight FLAPJACKS him down! Knight stomps Rey, stomps him to ropes, but the ref counts.
Knight lets off, “YEAH!” Then he bumps Rey off a buckle. Knight throws hands, JABS Rey, then digs his boots in. The ref counts, Knight lets off at 4, and Knight brings Rey up. Knight shoves Rey into the corner, Rey bounces off buckles, and into the NECKBREAKER! Knight spells it out, “L! A! KNIGHT! YEAH!” Cover, ONE!! Knight is annoyed and he throws fists down. Knight keeps on Rey, throws hands, then he bumps Rey off buckles. Fans rally and duel, but Knight whips Rey to ropes. Rey ducks ‘n’ dodges then tilt-o-whirls to RANA! Knight flounders out of the ring and fans fire up!
Rey runs, WRECKS Knight with a dropkick, then he builds speed. Rey SLIDES to SPLASH! Fans fire up for that one, and Rey stalks Knight to CLUB him! Rey puts Knight in the ring, climbs up and shoulders in! Then he GAMANGIRIS Knight away, climbs the corner, but here comes Dom! Dom said he’d ruin the fun, and Knight trips Rey up! Rey tumbles to the mat, but Dom doesn’t care. Fans boo as Dom walks down the ramp while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Knight stomps away on Rey again. Knight drags Rey up but Rey throws hands! Rey fires off but Knight knees low! Knight scoops, Rey slips off and rolls Knight up, to then dropkick! Fans fire up while Knight scrambles around. Knight goes after Rey, Rey slips under and runs, but into a BOOT! Cover, TWO! Dom paces at ringside, and Knight sits Rey up to KNEE him in the back! Knight drags Rey up, back suplexes high and hard, then dusts off his hands. “YEAH!” Knight grins as he stands over Rey, then he pulls on the mask. The ref reprimands, Knight whips Rey to ropes, but Rey ducks ‘n’ dodges!
Rey CROSSBODIES, but Knight catches him for a POWERSLAM! Dom smirks while Knight spells it out again. “L! A! KNIGHT! YEAH!” But Rey avoids the elbow drop! Rey and Knight slowly stand up, Rey goes to ropes and Knight storms over, but into an elbow! Rey springboards, wheelbarrows and BULLDOGS! Dom is annoyed but Rey goes to the apron. Rey climbs up, SEATED SENTONS! And Rey keeps moving, SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Knight is still in this but Rey brings him up to whip him to ropes. Knight reverses, kicks low and back suplexes, but Rey lands on his feet! Tilt-o-whirl, but Knight blocks to a BACKPACK SLAM! Cover, TWO!
Knight grows frustrated but he drags Rey back up. Fans rally for “619! 619!” as Knight scoops, but Rey turns slam into DDT! Rey then dropkicks Knight onto the ropes! Fans fire up, Rey dials it up, 619 BLOCKED by Knight! Knight grins, lifts Rey up, but Rey RANAS free! Rey redials, but Dom trips him up!! Fans boo and Rey is furious! He can’t believe Dom is doing this now, but Knight rolls Rey up! KNIGHT WINS!!
Winner: LA Knight, by pinfall
Dom smiles because he just screwed his dad over. Dom gets the mic and tells, “Jefe… You gonna give me what I want? Huh? C’mon. C’mon Or are you gonna run away? Or are you gonna finally be a man and face me at WrestleMania?” Dom pushes Rey, and Rey brings down the straps. To wag his finger, “No.” Dom says, “That’s right. Walk away like you always do. Hey, mom. How does it feel to be married to such a pathetic loser? A coward who can’t even stand up to his own son?” Fans boo but then Dom points out the rest of the family. He asks if mom knew she married a deadbeat.
She did, because here’s why. She sat there every night while Rey abandoned Dom, sot hat makes her no better! His sister steps up now, and Dom asks Aalyah what she’s gonna do about it. She’s too stupid to understand this. Mom Angie snatches the mic from Dom but Dom snatches it back to tell her to shut up! Rey storms back over and fans fire up! Dom dares Rey to do something, and Rey DECKS Dom!! Dom is shocked but Vegas is thunderous! Rey tells Dom that Dom pushed him to do this. Rey doesn’t wanna do this but Dom gave him no choice! You do not disrespect your mother like that! That is Rey’s wife!
Dom wanted a fight at Mania? Then he’s on!! Fans are thunderous again as Rey says, “I’ll see you at WrestleMania, son.” Dom scurries away, having gotten what he wanted like the brat he is. But will Dom come to regret everything he’s done these past few months?
WrestleMania Women’s Tag Team Showcase Qualifier: Lacey Evans & Xia Li VS Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya!
The Model Soldier teams with The Predator to take on the Wild Child and the Queen of Harts! Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez are watching ringside, who will they see join them in this Fatal 4 Way tag team showcase?
The teams sort out, Shotzi and Lacey start. Fans rally as Shotzi and Lacey circle, then Shotzi gets around to a waistlock. Shotzi ripcords, wrenches and wristlocks but Lacey throws Shotzi by her hair! Cover, TWO! Lacey drags Shotzi up and fans rally as Lacey whips her to the corner. Lacey RAMS into Shotzi, tags Xia, and then mocks the fans. Xia stomps Shotzi, brings her up to CHOP, then taunts Natty. Xia runs in to KNEE and ELBOW Shotzi, then reels her in for an EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Natty rallies the fans behind Shotzi but Lacey tells them to shut up. Xia bumps Shotzi off buckles and tags in Lacey.
Lacey mocks the fans, then runs to headstand and BRONCO BUSTER! Lacey drags Shotzi up, snapmares and then dribbles Shotzi’s face off the mat! Cover, TWO! Fans rally but Lacey drags Shotzi up. Shotzi throws hands, kicks but Lacey blocks to trip her up! Lacey then sucker punches Natty! Fans boo but Shotzi rolls Lacey up! TWO and Shotzi ENZIGURIS Lacey down! But Natty is still off the corner so Shotzi has to BOOT Lacey away! Shotzi runs but Lacey CLOBBERS her! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up but Lacey tags Xia. Lacey & Xia drag Shotzi up, double whip but Shotzi KICKS Xia and JAWBREAKERS Lacey!
Xia waistlocks Shotzi, Lacey storms up, but Shotzi slips free and the WOMAN’S RIGHT takes out Xia!! Lacey is furious, but Shotzi whips her out of the ring! Shotzi swings on Lacey, Lacey counter punches, but Natty is back! Natty BOOTS Lacey, then Shotzi DIVES to take Lacey down! Fans fire up as Shotzi hurries back in and tags Natty! HART ATTACK! And then the SHARPSHOOTER! Xia taps, Natty & Shotzi win!
Winners: Shotzi Blackheart & Natalya, by pinfall (advance to WrestleMania)
Two hearts and a lot of fire, these two make it through! But wait, here come Ronda & Shayna! Shayna says, “Look at all the history in the ring right now! I mean, each single one of those women has a reason to want to get revenge on us, right? Let’s look. Broken hand, broken nose, broken arm, broken spirit. What do you say we uh… Give them the opportunity tonight?” Fans fire up as the Baddest Women on the Planet step up, but then Ronda says, “Wait, Shay-Bayz. I’ve got a question for you. How many times have we sold out this exact arena?” A couple times. And what about this entire town? A couple more times.
And how much did they appreciate it? ZERO TIMES! These two have given Vegas more than it deserves, so never again! And certainly not tonight. Shayna agrees with that. But lucky for the others, or maybe unlucky, these two are here to let them know, they’re in the tag team showcase! WrestleMania may be taking place in Hollywood, but the stakes just got raised like here in Vegas! Who wins when the odds are not in their favor?
Drew McIntyre heads to the ring.
Vegas fires up as the Scottish Warrior, Celtic Warrior and Der Ring General are about to converge for a contract signing! The Triple Threat for the Intercontinental Championship isn’t until WrestleMania, but will things break down on SmackDown?
SmackDown returns and Adam Pearce is in the ring to welcome us to this contract signing. But before he can introduce McIntyre, Sheamus and the Brawling Brutes make their way out! “Las Vegas, what’s the crack?” Sheamus says everyone’s been asking why he’s so mad at McIntyre. Imagine this: imagine working 15 YEARS of your life to achieve a particular goal; now imagine telling your best friend about that goal, only for him to go behind your back to try and steal it away from you. Imagine that friend being someone you let sleep and live on your couch, that you brought to his first training session in this business!
McIntyre rolls his eyes as Sheamus has said a lot of this before. Sheamus says, “Now imagine getting the opportunity to smash that person’s face in on the Grandest Stage of Them All, because they’re nothing but a backstabbing-” McIntyre says, “Imagine shutting up for a second. Every week, you run your mouth, you try to give me this guilt trip, trying to make me feel bad. And if it’s not on SmackDown, it’s on social medial with your little gifs and memes you create, blow up my Twitter like a teenage girl. It’s embarrassing, mate!”
McIntyre says last week, they were in this ring, proving why they are the most physical superstars in the WWE! They beat the hell out of each other! And afterwards, they should’ve been in the bar, laughing about it. That’s what they did in the old times. But now, Sheamus is so sensitive, he has this temper, that Sheamus can’t separate personal and business. Sheamus says McIntyre made this personal! McIntyre has a lot he’d love to say but he’ll stick to facts. And the facts are: McIntyre has beaten Sheamus, and he KNOWS he can beat Gunther. And history has shown that Sheamus can’t. Fans fire up as the two stare down.
Pearce has both men stand down because in order to get to WrestleMania, he needs three signatures on the contract. So how about we get the first two taken care of now? McIntyre takes the pen, signs his part, and then hands things over to Sheamus. Sheamus takes another pen, he signs his part, and then McIntyre throws his pen to the crowd as a free souvenir. And here comes GUNTHER! Gunther storms right into the ring, he gets right in Pearce’s face, and he tells Pearce to justify this decision. Justify why Gunther is in a match where the other two can pin or submit the other and Gunther still loses his title. Justify it! JUSTIFY IT!!
Pearce has Gunther calm down now, and Gunther signs his part. Is Pearce happy now? Whatever he has to do to defend HIS title at WrestleMania will be justified. Gunther will beat McIntyre. He will beat Sheamus. And if he has to, he’ll beat up Ridge and- What is Dunne looking at him like that for? DUNNE JUMPS THE TABLE TO GET AT GUNTHER!! Fans go wild as Butch goes wild! Ridge drags Dunne away, Gunther TOSSES the table! Gunther gets in Pearce’s face and Gunther wants a match! Pearce says okay, just calm down! Is Der Ring General about to break the Bruiserweight?
“Butch” Pete Dunne w/ The Brawling Brutes VS GUNTER!
SmackDown returns, and Gunther has Dunne on the ropes. Dunne pulls on Gunther’s ears! Then CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Dunne runs, but into a BOOT! Gunther drags Dunne up, scoops and SLAMS him, then sits him up to PENALTY KICK! Dunne kicks back from below! Dunne forearms, CHOPS, SLAPS and then jumps on for a a DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! Gunther throws body shots and then shifts Dunne around into a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Fans fire up while Gunther paces around Dunne. Gunther kicks Dunne in the side, he taunts Sheamus, then he stomps Dunne down.
Gunther brings Dunne up but Dunne throws body shots! Dunne forearms, but Gunther CHOPS Dunne off his feet! Even McIntyre is feeling that one. Gunther drags Dunne up, and CHOPS him right back down! But Gunther holds onto the wrist and he brings Dunne up again. Gunther CHOPS Dunne inside-out! Gunther still holds the wrist and he gives toying kicks to Dunne while taunting Sheamus. Gunther ripcords, but Dunne uses that for a TRIANGLE HOLD! Gunther CHOPS Dunne down, into a BOSTON CRAB! Dunne endures, Sheamus and Ridge coach Dunne, and Dunne fights, only for Gunther to shift to an STF!
Dunne still endures, even as Gunther bends him back. Dunne pries free, wrenches the arm and bends the fingers! Gunther pulls hair, then CHOPS Dunne down! Gunther drags Dunne back up but Dunne ENZIGURIS! And ENZIGURIS again! Gunther wobbles, blocks the third enziguri and deadlift GERMAN SUPLEXES! Dunne goes to a corner, Gunther hauls him up onto the top rope to CHOP! Gunther climbs up and he STANDS on Dunne! Dunne endures and the ref counts, Gunther lets off and Dunne tumbles to the floor! Sheamus checks on Dunne, Gunther stands tall, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Gunther has Dunne on the ropes. Gunther taunts Sheamus, but Dunne catches his Beats of the Bodhrain! Fans fire up as Dunne bends the fingers, and SNAPS them!! Gunther staggers away, Dunne runs in to fire forearms! GAMANGIRI! Gunther staggers, Dunne goes up and fans chant for the “BRUISERWEIGHT! BRUISERWEIGHT!” as Dunne DOUBLE STOMPS the arm! Dunne waistlocks, but Gunther switches and puts on a SLEEPER! Dunne drops down, but powers up and he pries at the hold! Gunther holds on tight, Dunne reaches for ropes, and fans rally up, ROPEBREAK!
Gunther SLAPS the arms down, GERMAN SUPLEXEs, but Dunne lands on his feet! BUZZSAW! Gunther bails out and McIntyre smirks. Dunne goes to the apron but Gunther avoids the moonsault! Gunther CHOPS Dunne, and Dunne tumbles onto the desk! Gunther turns around to see Sheamus and McIntyre, but Dunne runs in! Gunther sends him into McIntyre! Gunther BOOTS Dunne into the ring! But Dunne STOMPS the hands and BUZZSAWS Gunther! Fans fire up, but McIntyre is on the apron! Sheamus drags McIntyre down! GLASGOW KISS from McIntyre! Ridge goes after McIntyre but McIntyre POSTS him!
Sheamus KNEES McIntyre down! Dunne runs in at Gunther, into a LARIAT!! Gunther drags Dunne up, scoops for the LAST SYMPHONY!! Cover, Gunther wins!!
Winner: Gunther, by pinfall
Der Ring General used his enemies against each other, but The Fella stands back up. They both look at the WrestleMania sign, but Sheamus gets out of the way! CLAYMORE hits Gunther!! Fans fire up as Sheamus and McIntyre stare down now, will either of these men come away the NEW Intercontinental Champion in Hollywood? Or will Gunther use them against each other then like he did tonight?
The Street Profits are fired up backstage.
Montez Ford says that Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat is bound to be a banger. But he says there’s one thing bigger than that. Angelo Dawkins asks what, and Ford says THEIR tag team showcase. Alpha Academy, Viking Raiders, Braun Strowman & Ricochet, but wait. What do they have in common? Ford motions to the top of the head. Oh, right. They’re “smooth operators~.” But then Braun & Ricochet walk in. Real funny, guys. Y’all got jokes, huh? They got a problem with bald men? They don’t have a lot of room to talk, Dawkins is thinning up top. Whoa, fam, c’mon. Just jokes! Just playing. Well no one’s laughing.
Dawkins is just saying, Braun & Ricochet aren’t much of a tag team. Oh, well, we’ll see who’s playing when Ricochet & Braun show up and the other three teams fool around and find out. They want ALL that smoke. Well, okay, okay. Everyone is fired up for WrestleMania, but who wins the tag team showcase at the Showcase of the Immortals?
It’s the SmackDown return of the Kevin Owens Show!
And as such, Kevin Owens himself is headed to the ring. His guest will be Sami Zayn, but what will the Prizefighter and Great Liberator have to say about their coming Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship match? We’ll see, after the break.
SmackDown returns one more time and Kevin has his set and his mic. He thanks the ring announcer for the introduction, and then welcomes us back to the KO Show. Now please welcome his guest, tag team partner, friend and brother, the one and only Sami Zayn! Sami makes his entrance and the fans fire up again. Sami gets a mic and Kevin says, “Yeah, so I did it right? The way you wanted. It worked out?” Sami asks what Kevin means. Well, he brought Sami out with the big introduction like he wanted. It was good, right? Sami says he didn’t want a big introduction, this is Kevin’s show, and Sami’s the guest.
Yeah, but earlier, Kevin suggested they come out as co-hosts but Sami said they should make separate entrances so the fans can hear both of their songs and cheer for both of them. Which really means Sami wanted his own pop. Sami says he did not, but Kevin says it’s fine, the fans love him! Kevin gets it. Fans do cheer for “SAMI! SAMI!” Kevin sits, Sami asks if they need to spill more backstage secrets, or can they just get to business? Yeah, of course. Sami says more than anyone, he’s been going non-stop about taking down Roman, the Usos, the Bloodline. And even Sami has lost sight of the fact that, does Kevin realize what they’re on the verge of doing?
“After all these years, from where we started, from nothing, staring together in Montreal all those years ago, we are on the verge of winning the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championships! We are on the verge of doing that together, at WrestleMania! And not just any WrestleMania. This year, I don’t know what it is, but WrestleMania feels different this year.” Kevin says that’s right. And it isn’t lost on him. He knows what they can accomplish. But Sami is right, WrestleMania does feel different this year. Which is why Kevin brought Sami out here. Kevin has something for Sami.
Now, remember a few months ago, after Roman gave Sami that Honorary Uce shirt, that Kevin said Sami needed a new one. Kevin has one, it’s a KO-Mania Goes Hollywood shirt. That’s great! Well yes, but this is the back of it. Kevin does KO-Mania every year. But this year is different. This year isn’t about KO-Mania. “This year, there is only one person who took WWE by storm, who caught fire like no one else. There’s only one person that people can look at and say, ‘That guy has been the MVP of the WWE for the last 12 months,’ and that person is you,” Sami. Fans chant “MVP! MVP!” and Sami is rather touched.
Kevin says this year, it isn’t KO-Mania. It’s about the other side of the shirt. Kevin hands it over, Sami turns it around, and he sees… WrestleZAYNIA!! Sami’s all fired up now! Kevin shows that he’s been wearing one the whole time! Sami loves it! He throws off his shirt to put on the new shirt! Sami wants a hug but Kevin says no, one hug a year. Aw what the heck? THEY HUG! But then THE USOS attack!! They blindside KO & Sami from the crowd side, and then Jimmy rains down fists on Kevin while Jey rains down fists on Sami! Fans boo while the Usos clear the ring of the chairs. DOUBLE SUPERKICKS for Kevin!
Jey drags Sami up, whips him to ropes, and the Usos hit ONE AND DONE!! The fans boo more but Kevin gets up with a steel chair! The Usos run for it, telling KO & Sami that they’re going down! Kevin beats an armchair with the steel chair, but Sami tells the Usos that they’re not getting away with this one. Will Jimmy & Jey ruin the first ever WrestleZaynia? Or will KO & Sami be the ones to finally stop the ones?
A great episode for SmackDown here, especially with the story developments. For one, great closing moment we just saw with a great KO Show. I love that we got a positive swerve where Kevin gave Sami a shirt that had a WrestleZaynia logo on it. But I should’ve figured the Bloodline would do something, and the Usos technically stand tall here. That math would suggest the Usos are losing at WrestleMania, and we finally get so much in that moment, from vindication for Sami to the WWE Grand Slam for Kevin. We also got a really good match out of Cody VS Ludwig that Cody of course wins, and a really good promo segment right after for Cody and Heyman. The Bloodline is definitely desperate to hold onto everything, but that could be what brings them down.
Fairly big news with Theory VS Cena opening WrestleMania Night One. I’ve said before that it just feels like Theory is gonna win, since Cena doesn’t need the US title, and isn’t gonna be sticking around long enough to do anything with the US title. So if Theory wins the first match of the weekend, I could see him boasting, bragging and partying the entire weekend until he is just insufferable and annoys someone into challenging him for that title on the Raw After Mania. And then a pretty good promo from Charlotte, and I did like her calling out the “WHAT” chants here. Stone Cold Steve Austin is timeless, but lemming fans throwing out “WHAT” just to throw out ‘WHAT” are what? Stupid, that’s what. A) Show respect and pay attention. B) Come up with something of your own.
Really good match from Rey VS Knight, but of course Dom distracts to cost Rey. But biggest of all from that segment, the moment fans have wanted for the last few weeks now: REY DECKS DOM! And now we’ll get Rey VS Dom, and Dom sold all the emotion after that perfectly. He was upset, but there was also the fear and realization that comes with seeing something he thought would never happen actually happening. His dad is gonna whoop him, because Dom will only have Priest by his side while Finn prepares for Edge and Rhea prepares for Charlotte. And Legado can make a heroic move by countering Priest so that Rey VS Dom has a fair finish.
Good promo from Profits, Braun & Ricochet to put some tension between those teams going into the men’s Fatal 4. Good tag match qualifier for the women’s Fatal 4, and it was good weaving of stories that Shotzi & Natty win. Shayna & Ronda get that “first round bye” right into the match, but it does work because all four Faces want payback on them. It might not even matter who the fourth team is (though I’m sure it’ll be a team from Raw), Ronda & Shayna are probably gonna tear into them all to win and essentially be #1 contenders to the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
And there was just so much great stuff in the Intercontinental Championship contract signing. Sheamus brought back the same stuff he said when he and McIntyre had their 1v1 feud last year but that makes sense, it is how people can be when they argue with friends and family. I feel like McIntyre was tempted to Steiner Math because this is a Triple Threat, and he knows he can beat Sheamus. Gunther was also great, and I love that “Butch” Dunne went right after Gunther over their NXT UK past. Gunther VS Dunne was great stuff to have just for the hell of it, but of course there was the usual misunderstanding shenanigans that helped Gunther win.
If Gunther somehow retains at Mania, can we have HHH get Trent Seven back in WWE so we can have British Strong Style VS Imperium for the Summer? There were fans in Vegas who remembered Dunne for being Dunne and not for being a sidekick, and all fans deserve to see that Dunne alongside Tyler Bate and Trent Seven.
My Score: 8.8/10
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