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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (4/23/18)

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The Beast returns to Raw! And just days before his Universal Championship Steel Cage Match at the Greatest Royal Rumble, will he and his Advocate have something to say about The Big Dog getting one more shot at the title? Plus, all the aftermath of the Superstar Shake-Up, such as Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn having jobs!!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Elias VS Bobby Roode; Elias wins.
  • The Ascension VS WOKEN Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt; Hardy & Wyatt.
  • Titus Worldwide VS Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre; Ziggler & McIntyre win.
  • Chad Gable VS Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh; Gable wins.
  • Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn VS Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman; Lashley & Strowman win.
  • Baron Corbin VS No Way Jose; no contest.
  • The Miztourage VS Finn Balor & Seth Rollins; Balor & Rollins win.
  • 10 Woman Tag: The Riott Squad, Alexa Bliss & Mickie James VS Bayley, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, Ember Moon & Natalya; Ruby, Liv, Sarah, Alexa & Mickie win.

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE and Raw dedicate the episode to Bruno Sammartino.

To honor the life of the Hall of Fame “Living Legend”, a moment of silence with ten tolls of the bell. Bruno was truly one of the greats, if not THE greatest. He will be missed.

 

The Beast comes to St. Louis!

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are both back on Raw for episode 1300! The Advocate waits for the boos to die down before he speaks for the “still reigning, defending, undisputed” Universal Champion. Heyman supposes people are raining down their anger because they assume Heyman will gloat. They must think he’s here to say “We Told You So!” Or that they’re here to talk like they did when Lesnar conquered The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania Streak, or when Lesnar took Cena to #SuplexSuplexSuplexCity, or when Lesnar takes out every “wannabe tough guy who doesn’t understand” that “this is real” or that no one in the locker room stands any more of a chance than members of the WWE Universe. Heyman doesn’t give predictions, he gives spoilers, and “Lesnar does not gloat, Brock Lesnar conquers!”

But Heyman gloats! Heyman gloats that Lesnar used non-PG elbows to bust Roman open and then took Roman Reigns to Suplex City, used multiple F5’s, and left Roman a heap of trash at the biggest Wrestlemania of all time! “And none of this means anything to Brock Lesnar.” Lesnar does not dwell on the past, even when we’re only talking a couple weeks. Lesnar looks to the future, especially when that future is this Friday, in Saudi Arabia, at the Greatest Royal Rumble, craving to be in a UFC fight, goes to be “locked inside of a cage with Roman Reigns.” Heyman notices the fans genuinely cheering for Roman.

But being in a cage wasn’t Roman’s idea, so Heyman tells the world: “Brock Lesnar pinned Roman Reigns, WWE had no choice”, so now Lesnar signed a “big fat contract” that he earned, but WWE wants the title at #GRR. What does Lesnar say to that? “Well, Roman Reigns is breathing, give me Roman Reigns.” Lesnar wanted a fight for the title, in a cage! The odds are stacked against Roman even more now than at Wrestlemania! So here’s the spoiler: Roman steps into the greatest cage fighter ever, so this Friday, Lesnar will “shred Roman Reigns, piece by piece, limb from limb”! Roman will only return to America in boxes as a former WWE superstar and just another victim! But speaking of, here comes Roman!

The Big Dog stares right down at Lesnar. Lesnar simply chuckles back at him, shaking his head. Lesnar thinks Roman doesn’t want any of him, but Roman marches down the ramp to prove him wrong. The WWE Universe is itching to see these two fight, and Lesnar seems pleasantly surprised to see Roman getting into the ring. Roman has a mic, but he takes a moment to stare at the title. Lesnar notices him staring at it, and taunts him with it. Roman says Heyman is right, he isn’t sure how he’s getting back. But he knows this: “I’m coming home with that title. And you can believe that.” He drops the mic, and takes his leave. This fight will happen Friday in Arabia and a cage. Can the Big Dog finally best The Beast?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter is in St. Louis, but he’s immediately interrupted!

Elias VS Bobby Roode!

The GLORIOUS One interrupts, wanting the spotlight on him over The Drifter. Will Roode make good on his first 1v1 match on Raw? Or will Elias make him pay and #DriftAway for the interruption?

The bell rings, the two tie up, and Elias puts on a headlock. Roode powers out but Elias runs him over. Elias speeds things up but Roode runs him over with an elbow. Roode chops Elias in a corner, then stomps and chops again. Roode chops Elias, Elias forearms back then chops, too. Elias puts Roode in a corner but Roode turns that around for another chop. Roode whips corner to corner but Elias reverses, only to run into Roode’s elbow. Roode goes up but has to jump over Elias, legs buckling a bit. He still gets Elias with the atomic drop and dropkick, cover, TWO.

Roode keeps on Elias with the armlock, bringing him to the mat. Elias works his way up, Roode wrenches the arm. Roode wrenches the arm again but Elias rocks him with a right! The Drifter chops Roode against ropes then whips, but Roode goes for the DDT. Elias gets away so Roode clotheslines him out. GLORIOUS Pose as we go to break.

Raw returns, and Elias puts Roode in a corner. Roode ducks the forearm to chop Elias again. Elias is reeling from that shot, so Roode gives him another. Roode whips but Elias kicks him back to then club him in the back. Elias throws Roode into a post! The referee checks on Roode while Elias catches his breath. Elias sits Roode up for a nerve hold, we go picture in picture to plug the Greatest Royal Rumble’s Casket Match of Rusev VS The UNDERTAKER. Roode endures the hold and works his way up to his feet. He hits Elias but Elias hits back so it’s a brawl now. Elias gets Roode in a corner and stomps a mudhole into him! He tops it off with a running stomp, then rams Roode’s chest into the apron edges. He adds a running knee to the head, covers, TWO.

Elias grows frustrated but he keeps on Roode. He mocks GLORIOUS while wrapping Roode into a chinlock. Fans rally for Roode and Roode powers up. Elias wrangles him down but Roode stands again. Elias brings Roode down again, but fans chant for Roode. Roode gets a second wind and back suplexes Elias down! Both men are down, but stirring. Roode gets to a corner while Elias walks over. Elias swings but Roode counters, then chops and whips. Elias reverses but Roode runs him over. Roode rallies with forearms and a corner clothesline into a neckbreaker. Roode’s firing up with the fans while he climbs up top. He takes aim and flying clothesline takes down Elias!

Roode winds it up for GLORIOUS Pose! He kicks but Elias back drops, sunset flip, TWO! Elias knees low and puts Roode in a corner, but Roode knees him away. He hops up, GLORIOUS Blockbuster! Elias rolls out to prevent the cover, which fans boo and jeer. Roode doesn’t care, he goes out to fetch Elias. He puts Elias in the ring but Elias hotshots ROode off the top and rolls him up, Elias wins!

Winner: Elias, by pinfall

The Drifter was crafty with that performance, and he ruins Roode’s first 1v1 match. Will Elias truly put on a spectacular performance in the 50-Man Royal Rumble match? Or will Roode turn things around and make this Friday the most GLORIOUS Royal Rumble ever?

 

WOKEN Matt Hardy speaks.

“I have spoken to the Oracle”, and the future is clear. They will PROCURE the Raw Tag Team Championships! But first, they must visit the Wasteland. Bray Wyatt says that without darkness, there is no light. And together, this WOKEN Yin-Yang will cast a shadow that covers the world. “RUN!”

 

The Ascension VS WOKEN Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt!

Konnor & Viktor are back on Raw thanks to the Superstar Shake-Up, but now they must face the #DeleterOfWorlds just days before the Expedition of Gold takes on The Bar for the Raw Tag Team Championships. Will they be rendered OBSOLETE already?

The bell rings and Hardy starts against Viktor. They tie up, Viktor gets the headlock but Hardy powers out. Hardy sees Viktor’s cartwheel, and says that was WONDERFUL~!

The fans and Wyatt agree, but then Viktor swings on Hardy. Bray scares Viktor, Hardy hits the Russian leg sweep. Hardy then tags in Brya, and together they hit Viktor with the leg drop and back senton. Bray goes for the yurinagi but viktor slips out. Viktor tags in Konnor, who clubs Brya, but then runs into the turn-around lariat! Bray tags in Hardy and feeds Konnor to the boots. Hardy says “DELETE! DELETE!” but Konnor denies the twist. Viktor tags in and the Ascension mug Hardy in their corner.

Viktor tags Konnor back in and they mug Hardy with combination strikes. Konnor drops a big elbow and covers, TWO. Tag to Viktor for a first drop and cover, TWO. Viktor keeps Hardy down while fans rally, and Hardy uses a jawbreaker to break out. Tag to Bray, and Bray rallies on Viktor with palm strikes and uppercuts. Bray wipes Konnor out then runs Viktor over with the body check! Bray prepares his Spider-Walk! Tag to Hardy and a feed to the Side Effect, TWO. “DELETE! DELETE!” Hardy brings Viktor up but Konnor saves him. Bray gets Konnor with Sister Abigail! Hardy tags him in, and brings Viktor up, they combine for a draping Twist of Fate! Cover, #DeleterOfWorlds win!

Winners: WOKEN Hardy & Bray Wyatt, Wyatt pinning

The Yin-Yang of WOKEN & Wyatt comes for the titles, as do The Bar, though The Bar is no longer on Raw. Will Cesaro & Sheamus be DELETED in Arabia? Or will they be responsible for robbing the Red Roster of their tag titles?

 

It’s the premiere of The Sami & Kevin Show!

The Underdog and Prizefighter sit at their brand new desk to introduce the WWE Universe to their talk show. The new hottest maybe-weekly show in WWE, because “a huge void” was created when The Miz was moved to SmackDown. But who better to step up than these two? And who better in history than one of them to win the Greatest Royal Rumble? Why is it called that? The seven titles on the line. Nope. Lana gave Rusev permission to take on the Undertaker. Nope. That they’re going to win the Rumble. Yep! So make sure you have the day off to watch Sami & Kevin prove themselves the most dominant of all the WWE superstars. Watch them prove why Stephanie McMahon chose them to be the “crown jewels” of Raw.

Those comments probably rub their guest the wrong way. But tonight is about new beginnings, so they have a song for their guest. “You Suck! You Suck!” Yes, that’s for the Olympic Gold Medalist and Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle!

At least when the fans sing it, they mean it nicely. Angle joins Kevin & Sami in the ring, but they realize they don’t have a chair for him. Kevin produces a lawn chair from under the desk. “Nothing but the finest, boss.” But to get to business, how was their song? Don’t quit your day jobs, boys. Kevin understands Angle is a bit bitter, things got off on the wrong foot. And Kevin would be uncomfortable if his boss had his manhood in a jar. But they’re just poking fun. Sami & Kevin note the “outright conspiracy” they just finished with on SmackDown, which is why they took matters into their own hands. Or in Kevin’s case, own head, when he headbutted THE Vince McMahon down.

But then, either Stephanie either really appreciates their talent, or really dislikes Angle. Angle doesn’t blame Stephanie for being bitter, because he’s the reason Ronda Rousey injured Stephanie’s arm. Kevin and Sami caution Angle not to speak out of turn, he has his kids to worry about. All five of them. No, all six. It isn’t five? Sami checks his notes. Oh right, he forgot Jason Jordan. Though, so did Angle. But enough about the past, on to the future. Tonight, Angle will give Sami & Kevin the opportunities to maximize their potential. What’s that gonna look like? Angle “appreciates” the treatment and will repay them with something at the Greatest Royal Rumble. Because Angle and Daniel Bryan will both be in the 50-Man Royal Rumble, and Chris Jericho! And just about everyone else these two “endeared” themselves towards.

But for tonight, Kevin & Sami take on Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman! The Alpha Male and the Monster Among Men are going to take on the #YEPMovement! Will the first episode of the Sami & Kevin Show be the last?

 

Seth Rollins encounters The Miztourage backstage.

Bo Dallas & Curt Axel know they said good-bye to Miz and hello to their futures. They’re going to #BURNITDOWN with Rollins! He’s going to be their new leader in a NEW Shield! So long as they have the Architect.

Rollins admits they’re on the right track, but it’s gonna be a hard “no”. Will Bo & Axel find what they need to keep riding high?

 

Titus Worldwide VS Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre!

After not only rejecting their proposal but also steamrolling them in a blindside attack, The Show-Off and the Scottish Stud take on The Real Deal and his top client in a tag match for revenge. Can Titus & Apollo #MakeItAWin against the returning duo after how well Ziggler & McIntyre worked together last week?

The bell rings and Ziggler starts with Titus. Titus puts Ziggler right into a corner, and he chops and stomps away. Tag to Apollo and Titus feeds Ziggler to Apollo’s clothesline. Apollo hits the standing moonsault, TWO, but he keeps on Ziggler. He shoves Ziggler but Ziggler holds ropes. McIntyre tags in and Ziggler runs Apollo over. The Celtic Colossus brings Apollo up for chops in the corner, then furious right hands. McIntyre tosses Apollo across the way, then counters the boot with a back elbow. Ziggler tags in while McIntyre carries Apollo in the inverted Alabama Slam. Ziggler SUPERKICKS Apollo before the whiplash slam! McIntyre blasts Titus down just because, then Ziggler tags him back in. They bring Apollo up, CLAYMORE ZIG ZAG!! Cover, Dolph & Drew win!

Winners: Ziggler & McIntyre, McIntyre pinning

The Show-Off and Stud win their first match together, and with an aggressive dominance rarely seen.

In-ring interview with the winners.

Both men showed up last week, and Ziggler said things would be different. Why did he bring McIntyre with him? Everyone can tell why! Day one, no one watched Ziggler’s back, but McIntyre has his back now. McIntyre is dangerous, and he speaks for himself by saying that they’re both dangerous to a “soft” locker room with no fire or ambition. It makes him sick! These two are what superstars look like, speak, and back up their words. Trust McIntyre when he says times are changing, and though he’s not what WWE wants, he’s the reality check it needs! “We don’t give a damn about stealing the show, because this right here IS the show!” Ziggler & McIntyre look to turn the heat up on everyone in the WWE, who will be next to get that reality check?

 

Kurt Angle likes what he sees from Ziggler & McIntyre.

But he’s visited by Chad Gable, another Shake-Up addition. He won’t disappoint Angle, and Angle knows that. How’s Jason? Getting better, but this trade was for Gable as a singles competitor. Gable agrees, he will scratch and claw– Mahal interrupts to protest last week’s last-minute title match. And then Jeff Hardy goes to SmackDown!? But Mahal vows to get that title back, so he insists he goes back to SmackDown when it happens. That latter part isn’t happening. Mahal threatens calling Stephanie, but Gable says Mahal should learn respect. Mahal recognizes Gable, he’s the little boy who won with Strowman at Wrestlemania. Gable shoves, but Angle keeps the peace and says they settle this in the ring! Gable is ready, and so is the Modern Day Maharaja.

 

Chad Gable VS Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh!

Just days before the “former and future” United States Champion takes on Jeff Hardy, he looks to tune up with the Olympic medalist newly added to Raw. Will he show his strength before taking on the Charismatic Enigma in Arabia? But before even the bell, Sunil distracts so that Mahal can blindside Gable off the steps!

The Maharaja grins as he drags Gable up and throws him into the barriers! Mahal does not respect Gable as he puts him in the ring, then stomps a Maharaja mudhole into him. The referee backs him off to check on Gable, then reprimands Mahal for his actions. Gable won’t let this stop him, he wants the match to happen. The bell rings, and Gable dodges Mahal to fire back. Mahal shoves him but Gable comes right back for a big takedown. Gable gets the waistlock but Mahal pushes him off to then kick him right in the face!

Mahal looms over Gable as he drags him up. He toys with Gable while fans cheer. Mahal lifts but Gable crossbodies to counter! Cover, TWO, but Mahal gets dumped out of the ring. Gable goes to the outside but Mahal runs him over. Mahal is in control while we go to break.

Raw returns, and Mahal still controls Gable with a half clutch. Fans rally and Gable works his way out. Mahal brings him back down to a knee, but Gable keeps scratching and clawing his way up. Gable fights back but Mahal knees low to then suplex Gable over. Cover, TWO, but Mahal keeps on him with clubbing ax handles and stomps. Fans cheer Gable and Gable fires back with forearms. Gable runs but into a big lariat from Mahal! Mahal drags Gable back up to whip him hard into a corner! He gives Gable crossface punches and elbows, then puts him in a chinlock. Gable endures and fights his way up again as fans cheer. Gable throws body shots but runs into a big elbow.

Mahal drags Gable over and chokes him on the ropes. Mahal backs off at the ref’s count, then drops springboard knees on Gable’s chest. But Gable boots Mahal away! Gable rallies and hits the rolling kick! Gable goes after the leg with knee wrench after knee wrench, then a dragon screw. He yanks and stretches Mahal’s leg, and Sunil panics. Gable kicks that leg but Mahal knees back. Mahal lifts Gable but Gable fights out. Mahal bucks Gable off and hotshots him on the rope, to then hit a running knee! Fans boo while Mahal grins and stalks Gable. He wants his finish but Gable blocks and uses corners to roll back into a cover! GABLE WINS!

Winner: Gable, by pinfall

The Maharaja is furious but he is now the loser in Gable’s biggest victory! If Gable can #ScratchAndClaw like this, will he one day be wrestling for a singles championship?

 

Backstage interview with The Riott Squad.

Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott made an impact by interrupting Bayley VS Sasha Banks. Are they sending a message to those two? It wasn’t just for the “frenemies” but all of Raw’s Women’s Division. The Squad aren’t here to be role models, but to disrupt. Sarah knows scared animals are easy prey, and right now, the Raw Women’s Division is full of scared animals. And if anyone gets in their way, they get the same treatment. They’re “equal opportunity agitators”, and like a can of tear gas, the Squad will make everyone drop to their knees, crying and begging for help. “Just the way we like it.”

 

Samoa Joe speaks.

Though no longer part of Raw, he and Roman Reigns will still have a match at Backlash. The Samoan Destroyer heard Roman Reigns vow to return to America as Universal Champion. He has his own prediction: he might not even have an opponent at Backlash. Joe knows that as history shows, Lesnar will conquer The Big Dog and bury him in the desert. If Roman does become the champion, will Samoa Joe simply take that belt from him shortly after?

 

The Miztourage talk to someone.

They know what you’re thinking: Miz is on SmackDown, but so were the Good Brothers. Therefore, the NEW Balor Club can be with them! Finn wasn’t thinking this. But, this would be #TooSweet!

Right? Right? Thanks, but no thanks. And don’t do the hand thing. Strike two for Bo & Axel, but is the third time the charm?

 

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn VS Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman!

As usual for the #YEPMovement, they’ve put their foots in their mouths, and now they must make their Raw 2v2 debut against two massive stars! Can Sami & Kevin survive a match with the Dominator and Abominable Strowman?

Fans chant “Get These Hands!” as all four men enter the ring. Kevin & Sami talk it out, and they both escape the clutches of Lashley and Strowman. They talk it out again, but end up flanked on both sides, so they escape into the ring. Sami & Kevin are extremely wary, and time it so that they slip out as Strowman and Lashley enter, only to fall for Strowman’s & Lashley’s trick. Strowman grabs them both, throws Sami into a barrier then feeds Kevin to Lashley! Lashley spins Kevin around into a neckbreaker, then hits a corner clothesline. He keeps moving, giving Kevin a big spinebuster! Fans are all fired up for the duo of dangerous individuals. Lashley rocks Kevin with a right hand then a shoudler tackle in the corner. He drives elbows into Kevin, then grinds a boot into him. Sami protests but Kevin can’t get away.

Lashley keeps on Kevin, whips him to ropes, but Kevin kicks him away. Kevin drags Lashley to his corner and Sami tags in. Sami throws hands on Lashley, mocking him before giving a chop. Lashley hits back, then snap suplexes Sami down. Cover, ONE, but Lashley keeps on Sami in a corner with back elbows. Lashley runs corner to corner but into a boot! Sami brings Lashley back over and Kevin tags in, and now Kevin throws hands. Kevin mugs Lashley in the corner, then tags Sami back in.

They both whip Lashley but Lashley kicks Sami and throws Kevin out. Lashley lifts Sami up onto his shoulder, snake eyes on a buckle. Lashley runs and crossbodies, TWO. Sami scurries to a corner but gets a shoulder tackle from Lashley. Lashley runs but Kevin holds the ropes down to dump Lashley out! Kevin adds a back senton, he and Sami are in control while we go to break.

Raw returns to Sami bumping Lashley off buckles and giving him a sharp chop. Sami chops again, taunting Bruan as he walks across the way. Sami runs back at Lashley, but into Lashley’s belly2belly suplex! Both men are down but crawling for their corners, hot tag to Kevin and he stomps Lashley before he tags Strowman! Kevin throws hands and stomps, and goes for the back senton, but Lashley’s knees meet him. Kevin tags in Sami, and now Sami stops Lashley from tagging Strowman. Sami puts Lashley in a chinlock, but Lashley carries Sami on his back. Sami brings Lashley to his knees, but Lashley powers out with a sidewalk slam!

Both men are down again, fans are at a fever pitch, but Kevin trips up Strowman! Lashley can’t tag out, but that only pissed Strowman off. Strowman stomps his way back to the apron, Lashley fights out of the enemy corner, and hot tag to Strowman! The Monster hops down and runs around the corners to bulldoze Kevin!

Then he gets in the ring to do the same to Sami! And then he hits Kevin again! And Sami, again! Strowman won’t stop, he goes after Kevin with a dropkick! The fans are thunderous for the Monster Among Men, but Sami bails and runs away, except Lashley catches up to him. Lashley brings Sami back and feeds him to Strowman for a big clubbing forearm. Strowman clotheslines Sami in the corner, and fans chant “Get These Hands!”

Sami finds himself trapped, Strowman tags Lashley in before tossing Sami. Lashley brings Sami up, for the delayed suplex slam!

Tag back to Strowman, and Strowman gives a thumbs down. He drags Sami up onto his shoulder, for the MONSTER SLAM! Cover, Strowman & Lashley win!

Winners: Lashley & Strowman win, Strowman pinning

Dominant and destructive, Lashley and Strowman dismantle Kevin & Sami. For the sake of ever having a chance at winning, everyone else in the Raw Tag Team Division better hope these two don’t stay a team.

 

Baron Corbin VS No Way Jose!

The Lone Wolf makes his Raw debut after the Superstar Shake-Up, will it bring the #EndofDays to the Fighting Fiesta already?

Corbin speaks. “C’mon, man. You didn’t think I would see through your little plan?” The conga line is just an excuse to have back-up to jump him. He knows Jose just wants to have fun, but Corbin’s idea of fun is ruining other people’s fun. He is on Raw to be a champion, so Jose isn’t even on his level. This match won’t happen so long as Jose has that “group of freaks” with him.

No Contest

Corbin leaves, but Jose responds. “Just because Baron Corbin doesn’t want us to have fun doesn’t mean the party has to stop!” Hit the music! The conga line starts up again, but as it reaches the ramp, Corbin returns to ambush Jose!

The Lone Wolf ignores the boos and jeers as he kicks Jose while he’s down. Corbin even puts Jose into the LED wall face first. He boots Jose down again, then embraces the heat as he hits Jose with a choke slam backbreaker! Corbin ruins the fun like he promised, but will it earn him opportunities like he wants?

 

Alexa Bliss brings us a Public Service Announcement.

The Goddess of Raw says “Bullies thrive on silence.” If you see someone bullying someone else, speak up. It’s not worth staying silent. Alexa remembers hanging out with Nia Jax back when they were friends, and this “sweet old homeless lady” approached them. The woman was starving, so Alexa gave her food. But Nia took the food away and ate it all down. Alexa will never forget the look of horror on that woman’s face, or the sounds of Nia laughing and chewing, while Alexa stood there and did nothing. She’ll have to live with that for the rest of her life. Alexa wants Nia Jax’s teammates to stand up in tonight’s main event, and Alexa can finish it at Backlash when she gets the title back. “And this has been, your Moment of Bliss.” Will anyone really fall for Alexa’s blatant lies?

 

The Miztourage VS Finn Balor & Seth Rollins!

The Extraordinary Man and the Architect both rejected the ideas of teaming with Bo Dallas & Curt Axel, so now they’ll have to team up together to beat them in the ring. However, Finn and Rollins will be opponents Friday in the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match, joined by The Miz and Samoa Joe of SmackDown. Can Finn & Rollins keep on the same page to then work to keep the IC Title on Raw?

Finn and Bo start and circle. They tie up, Bo gets the headlock, but Finn powers out, only for Bo to run him over. Bo gloats while Finn stands up. Bo tags Axel with a “Shield fist bump”, and Axel circles with Finn. They tie up, headlock but Finn powers out again, only for Axel to run him over, too. Axel puts up Too Sweets now, then ties up with Finn again. Finn gets a waistlock but Axel elbows out. Axel whips Finn but Finn reverses, Axel sunset flips but Finn rolls through to dropkick Axel. Cover, TWO, and Finn wrenches Axel’s arm. Bo distracts Finn and Axel forearms him down. Axel clubs Finn at the ropes and chokes him, then tags Bo for Bo to drop a knee. Cover, TWO, so Bo drops more knees. Cover, TWO, so Bo puts Finn in the chinlock.

Fans rally for Finn, as does Rollins, and Finn stands up. Bo wrangles him back down to the mat, but Finn endures the squeeze. Finn stands up and reaches for Rollins, but has to jawbreaker Bo first. Bo shoves Finn and rocks him with a forearm on the rebound, but Finn gets Bo with the Pele! Both men go down, fans rally, and hot tags to Rollins and Axel. Rollins springboards to clothesline Axel, then keeps going, slingblade! Rollins throws Axel into Bo, then clotheslines Axel out. The Miztourage regroups but Rollins builds speed to DIVE!

Rollins takes out Axel and gets him back into the ring. He kicks Axel from a corner then hops up for the blockbuster. Rollins keeps going as the fans fire up, stomping the mat to “Burn It Down!” Bo runs in, but into Rollins’ SUPERKICK! Axel kicks low but Rollins rejects the Perfect Plex to mule kick and CURB STOMP! Tag to Finn, Finn climbs up while Rollins slingshots onto Bo! Finn takes aim at Axel, COUP DE GRACE! Cover, Balor & Rollins win!

Winners: Balor & Rollins, Balor pinning

With the Miztourage taken care of, these two can now focus on THE Miz and Samoa Joe in Saudi Arabia. Four stars compete for one title in a Ladder Match, who will climb up to bring that title back to the states?

 

Natalya gives a pep talk to “her” team.

 

The Queen of Harts is ready to teach the Riott Squad, as well as Alexa Bliss and Mickie James, a lesson for being bullies. Ember adds that they’ll leave those five looking over their shoulders. Nia says mocking her is bad for your health. But the not-so best friends are a bit tense around each other still. Will there be dysfunction or victory for this team of five?

 

10 Woman Tag: The Riott Squad, Alexa Bliss & Mickie James VS Bayley, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, Ember Moon & Natalya!

Just as there was a star-studded 10-Man tag last week, this week brings us the best of the Raw Women’s Division. Will the Goddess and her new best friend work well with Ruby, Liv & Sarah to defeat the Huggable One, Legit Boss, Irresistible Force, Prophecy of Flame and Queen of Harts?

The teams sort out and Liv starts against Sasha. Liv mocks Sasha before dodging her and tagging in Sarah. Liv and Sarah club away on Sasha, then #CountryStrong grinds her forearms into Sasha’s face. Fans boo and jeer while the Squad applauds. Sarah knees Sasha but Sasha kicks back. Sasha runs in but is put on the apron, but she still knees Sarah down to then swing in with wrecking ball meteora! Cover, ONE, but Sasha keeps on Sarah with an armlock. Sarah stands up and fights out, then tags Liv back in. Sarah stomps on Sasha, then Liv whips her to an open corner. Sasha boots Liv away but Liv Matrix leans under, only for Sasha to get her on the return. She sits Liv down and slaps her down, covers, ONE.

Sasha wrenches Liv’s arm and brings her over to tag in Ember. Ember takes Liv and wrenches her onto the mat. Cover, ONE, but Ember whips Liv into a corner. Ember handsprings for a heavy forearm, then springboards for the crossbody. Cover, TWO, and Liv rolls out of the ring. The Squad goes over but Ember beats them to Liv with a DIVE!

Sarah & Ruby try to save Liv, but the War Goddess and her team have control while we go to break.

Raw returns and now Sarah is in control of Sasha. Fans rally but Sarah trips up Sasha to keep on top of her with that cobra clutch. Sasha endures the thrashing while the fans rally, and she wills herself up. She fights out but Sarah catches her just short of the tag. Sarah hammers on Sasha but it’s Mickie who tags in. Mickie stomps and grinds a boot into Sasha, then drags her out for another chinlock. Fans keep the rally going, we go picture in picture for another Greatest Royal Rumble commercial advertising the rematch of Lesnar VS Reigns. Sasha feeds off fan energy and jawbreakers out again, only to run into Mickie’s knee. Mickie puts Sasha back in the chinlock, but fans won’t stop rallying for Sasha.

Sasha fights out again, but Mickie knees low. Mickie whips Sasha corner to corner, but Sasha goes up and over. She tumbles to her corner but Mickie stops her short. Sasha rocks Mickie with a right, and tags in Natty! Natty rallies with a discus clothesline, the more clotheslines. Snap suplex to Mickie, then another! Natty keeps going, snapmare and runs on Mickie to dropkick her down. She even gets the takedown into the Sharpshooter! Mickie endures the legendary hold, reaching for ropes, but Sarah chop blocks Natty down!

Natty lets go of the hold and the referee checks on her, but Mickie gets away to her corner for safety. Natty wills herself up even on a bad leg, and she tags out to Bayley, but Mickie still kicks Natty down! Bayley and the others show concern, and the referee calls for medics.

The action continues and Mickie tags out to Ruby, but Bayley is ready for her! Bayley rallies with a back suplex, then whips. Ruby holds ropes and breaks free, to hit Bayley with an STO! Cover, TWO, but Ruby puts Bayley into a chinlock. Medics check on Natty’s knee while fans rally for Bayley. Mickie talks trash about Natty staying on SmackDown, but Bayley fights her way up and out. Ruby hops on to be a backpack, but Bayley just backs her into the corner. Nia tags in, Bayley throws Rub off and Nia throws Ruby all around. She squashes Ruby in a corner, then lifts her up to throw her down!

Nia drops the leg, all the others break the cover! Chaos ensues and no one is left in the ring. Nia gets an idea, MAJOR apron splash!! All the women of Raw are down!!

Micke recovers first, and helps fan off Alexa. Natty manages to stand on the other end, but Mickie pounces with another dropkick! Mickie has some strange vendetta with Natty as she stomps and stomps, so here comes RONDA!! Rowdy Rousey scares Mickie off, but then Mickie attacks HER from behind! That’s a mistake, seeing how Ronda glares at her.

Mickie tries to smile it off, but Ronda is upon her! Ronda puts Mickie in the armbar, Mickie taps, but this match ends because of interference.

Disqualification; Riott Squad, Alexa & Mickie win

Though Natty’s team loses, Ronda is the winner in the end as she makes Mickie pay for what she did to Natty. Ronda helps Natty to the back, will the Queen of Harts be able to recover from what Mickie did to her?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This first Raw after the Shake-Up was pretty good, even with it also being a go-home to Greatest Royal Rumble. The opening tribute to Bruno was perfect, and it’s great they already have a Network special to go right after Raw. Heyman gives another good promo while Roman keeps it very short and sweet, though perhaps a bit shoe-horned in. Roode not giving Elias even time to introduce himself was brilliant, but then it was somewhat logical Elias would win the match. It’s a good move to have a program between these two to tide themselves over while the IC and US titles work themselves out. We obviously know The Ascension are never being a winning tag team again.

For that matter, there was a lot more tag team stuff tonight than usual, I almost feel like Raw could become the Tag Team show while both singles titles go to SmackDown. SmackDown gave them Breezango and The Ascension, and then with Ziggler & McIntyre winning, as well as Kevin & Sami, the Raw Tag Team Division is bigger than usual But I don’t think WWE would really do that, so each show is gonna have one of the mid-card belts. I just can’t be sure if Raw keeps the IC and SmackDown the US, or they trade. Speaking of Kevin & Sami, their match with Lashley & Strowman was great, even when Sami & Kevin lose. Lashley’s a beast, Strowman’s truly a monster, and one way or another, both of them should be holding gold by the time we get to SummerSlam.

Gable also proves he’s capable of a singles title run with his match against Mahal. If IC and US titles swap, Gable could be first in line to take that US title from Mahal, unless titles trade back with Backlash. Corbin is still Corbin, even on Raw. Like Roode and Elias, a Corbin-Jose program can help to tide them over until we’re past Backlash. The Miztourage searching for a new leader is interesting, and can have all kinds of possibilities with the end result. Personally, I want Bo to join Bray down the line.

And the Women’s 5v5 tag was really good, and it seems if it isn’t Absolution VS Natty & Ronda, it’ll be Mickie and Alexa(?) in their place. I’m sure Nia will retain at Backlash to move on to Sasha, Bayley or even Ember. Though, even with the addition of Ronda, this tag match shows Raw’s half of the Women’s Division is still shallow, hopefully they get more women in the next round of call-ups.

My Score: 8.5/10


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

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

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

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

Drake Maverick reviews last week’s Cruiserweight Championship match.

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

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

 

TJP VS Noam Dar!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: TJP, by submission

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

 

205 Live takes a closer look at Alexander VS Itami.

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

 

Mustafa Ali speaks.

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

 

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

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

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

Winner: Drew Gulak, by submission

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Tony Nese & Buddy Murphy.

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

 

Akira Tozawa VS Lio Rush!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Lio Rush, by pinfall

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

 

Drake Maverick meets with Cedric Alexander.

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

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

My Score: 8/10


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

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Will Hardy reclaim his title on SmackDown tonight?

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

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

Jeff Hardy heads to the ring!

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

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

Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: AJ Styles, by submission

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

 

Aiden English meets with someone backstage.

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

 

Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville!

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

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

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

Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission

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

 

SmackDown GM Paige likes what she sees.

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

 

R-Truth checks in with Tye Dillinger.

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

 

Samoa Joe VS Tye Dillinger!

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

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

Winner: Samoa Joe, by submission

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

 

The Miz holds a memorial service for Team Hell No.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The New Day is fired up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Eric Young, by pinfall

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

 

WWE United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jeff Hardy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

My Score: 8.5/10


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

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Will Brock Lesnar appear on Raw tonight?

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

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE and Raw pays respect to Masa Saito.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Angle encounters Baron Corbin backstage.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Bayley meets with Kurt Angle backstage.

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

 

Dolph Ziggler heads to the ring!

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

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

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

Dolph Ziggler VS Bobby Roode!

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Dolph Ziggler, by pinfall

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

 

Bobby Lashley speaks.

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

 

Mojo Rawley “applauds” Bobby Roode.

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

 

Tyler Breeze VS Mojo Rawley!

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

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

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

Winner: Mojo Rawley, by pinfall

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

 

Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Alicia Fox & Dana Brooke!

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

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

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

Winners: Dana & Alicia, by disqualification

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

 

Bayley confronts Sasha backstage.

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

 

Backstage interview with Braun Strowman.

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

 

The B-Team VS The Ascension!

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

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

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

Winners: The B-Team, Axel pinning

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

 

Alexa Bliss & Mickie James head to the ring!

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

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

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.

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

 

The Authors of Pain VS Titus Worldwide!

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

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

Winners: The Authors of Pain, Akam pinning

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

 

The Riott Squad encounters the conga line.

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

Ember Moon VS Sarah Logan w/ Liv Morgan!

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

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

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

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

Winner: Sarah Logan, by pinfall

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

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

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

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

Triple Threat: Elias VS Seth Rollins VS Bobby Lashley!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

My Score: 7.5/10


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