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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (5/21/18)

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Money in the Bank draws closer, and Raw has already filled out their spots with Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens and Bobby Roode. However, Sami Zayn is more concerned with his grudge against Bobby Lashley. Will the Lashley sisters accept Sami’s invitation to the Times Union Center in Albany?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Roman Reigns VS Kevin Owens; no contest.
  • Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins VS Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal; Roman & Rollins win.
  • Ember Moon VS Alexa Bliss w/ Mickie James; Ember wins.
  • No Way Jose VS Baron Corbin; Corbin wins.
  • The B Team VS Breezango; The B Team wins.
  • Chad Gable VS Dolph Ziggler w/ Drew McIntyre; Ziggler wins.
  • Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Fatal 4 Way: Natalya VS Dana Brooke VS Liv Morgan VS Sarah Logan; Natalya wins and joins the Women’s MITB Ladder match.
  • Bobby Roode VS Elias; Elias wins.
  • Finn Balor VS Braun Strowman; Strowman wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, heads to the ring!

The Olympic Gold Medalist is in New York and the fans greet him with “You Suck!” Angle let us know via Twitter that he’d have some major announcements. He sets up the night by letting us know he’ll preside over the Raw Women’s Championship contract signing later tonight.

[Cable lost signal]

It’s Raw Commissioner, Stephanie McMahon!

Stephanie tells Kurt she’ll be presiding over the Raw Women’s Championship contract signing. But now Roman Reigns comes out!

Roman Reigns wants Stephanie to tell him the truth. The management doesn’t want him to be in a title match. Stephanie says the truth is that Roman lost. If he’s mad, take it up with Jinder Mahal. He did. But now Kevin Owens comes out!

Kevin feels indebted to Roman, because taking Mahal out means Kevin got in! Kevin is the final Raw participant at Money in the Bank now. And everyone knows Kevin winning is #BestForBusiness. After last week, Roman does need the truth about how everyone feels about him. Kevin is man enough to say it. He likes Roman! Fans love chanting stupid stuff, so maybe be smart for once and chant what Roman deserves: “Thank You, Roman!” Kevin chants it himself but not all the fans play along. He tried, but there is something Kevin disagrees with. Stephanie is right, she doesn’t play favorites. Kevin is proof of that! Kevin beat up both her brother and father, and yet Stephanie made him her cornerstone superstar, because she knows talent when she sees it. But Stephanie doesn’t appreciate Kevin leaning on her.

Stephanie confirms she doesn’t play favorite. If Roman wants to blow off steam, Stephanie will make a match between Roman and Kevin, for tonight! And up next!

 

Roman Reigns VS Kevin Owens!

The Prizefighter may have put his foot in his mouth after coming out to the ring, but now Roman looks to put his foot up Kevin’s ass. Can The Big Dog make up for missing out by bringing Kevin down before MITB?

Raw returns with this match in progress. Roman puts Kevin in a corner, then he honors the break. Kevin comes out and ties up with Roman again. Kevin gets the waistlock, but Roman the standing switch, only for Kevin to get away. Roman gives Kevin time to return, and they tie up again. Kevin gets a headlock, and brings Roman down to a knee. Roman powers up and out of the hold, and puts the headlock on Kevin. Kevin powers out, but Roman runs him over! Kevin bails out of the ring to recover, and Roman waits in the ring. Roman walks over as Kevin enters, and blocks the punch to give an uppercut. He keeps on Kevin corner to corner, throwing big hands.

Kevin chops but that vest is tough. Kevin throws a haymaker, but Roman throws one back. Roman climbs up and rains down punches, but only gets five before Kevin shoves him away. Kevin rushes out, but into another uppercut! He crawls to another corner, but Roman is on him with headbutts. Roman whips Kevin corner to corner, then runs in, but Kevin boots him away. Kevin climbs up but Roman uppercuts him out of the ring! Kevin hits the floor while Roman catches his breath. Roman sees Kevin against the apron, and goes outside the ring. He takes his time walking over, and Kevin chops, still no effect. Roman clobbers and puts Kevin in the ring, but Kevin gets right back out. Kevin catches his breath, but Roman pursues again. Roman builds speed this time, but Kevin dodges the Drive-By to SUPERKICK!

Cover, but we go to break!

Raw returns, and clearly this match continues as Kevin climbs up. Roman stops him with another uppercut! Roman clears his head and climbs up, but Kevin hits back. They brawl while Roman climbs, and Roman works on the superplex. Kevin fights him off, and knocks Roman away. Roman runs back but Kevin elbows him away, only for Kevin to run into a clothesline! Roman whips but Kevin reverses, but Roman knocks him down with a leaping lariat. Fans are mixed as Roman goes over to Kevin. Roman gives the close-range clotheslines, and gets all ten. Roman runs, but Kevin dodges the boot to then DDT Roman! Cover, TWO! Kevin keeps his focus while he stands back up. He drags Roman up, then whips, but Roman holds ropes. Roman boots Kevin back but Kevin forearms, then runs, only into the Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO!

Roman keeps his cool, and slowly stands up. Fans duel while Roman locks and loads. Roman runs, but Kevin counters with a roll up! TWO, SUPERKICK! Roman sits down, Kevin runs in with the– SUPERMAN PUNCH! Roman covers, TWO! Both men slowly sit up, and Roman fires himself up. He goes to a corner, and lets out the howl. But Kevin bails out! Roman pursues, and SPEARS Kevin on the outside! Roman drags Kevin up, but JINDER MAHAL attacks! The Modern Day Maharaja goes after Roman for revenge!

No Contest

Mahal puts Roman into the barriers, then boots him down. He isn’t done, as he drags Roman up and into the ring. Mahal stomps Roman, then rains right hands down. Kevin enters to help, but out comes SETH ROLLINS! The Architect rushes the ring and rallies on Mahal, Kevin and even Sunil Singh! He runs them all off, and we go to break.

 

Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins VS Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal!

Raw returns and a la Teddy Long, this is now a tag team match! Rollins slips out of Mahal’s scoop slam to then chop away. Rollins runs but Mahal runs him over. Mahal grins and runs, but Rollins is ready with a dropkick. Mahal bails out, so Rollins slingshots out onto him!

Rollins puts Mahal back in the ring, then chops Mahal more. Tag to Roman, and the Shield work together with a whipping forearm smash, feed to back elbow. Cover, ONE, but Roman keeps on Mahal and those bad ribs. Roman unloads hands, then whips Mahal to ropes. Mahal reverses and runs Roman with an elbow. Tag to Kevin, and Kevin stomps away on Roman. Kevin stomps and stomps, then gets mad at Rollins for showing up at all. Kevin tags Mahal and Mahal stomps on Roman again. Mahal drops springboard knees, and puts Roman in a chinlock.

Fans rally while Roman endures the hold. Roman endures, and Mahal drives in an elbow before shifting to a half-nelson. Mahal keeps on Roman while fans continue to rally. Roman works his way up and around, but Mahal gets him to the corner. Kevin tags in and he mugs Roman with Mahal. Kevin chops away on Roman, then puts on another chinlock. Roman endures again, reaching for ropes. Fans rally and Roman powers up. Roman fights out of the hold, then throws Kevin. Kevin kicks but Roman clobbers him with a clothesline! Both men go down, but crawl for their corners. Mahal just comes in, but Roman throws him right out! So Mahal trips up Rollins! He puts Rollins into a corner, then Kevin hits the cannonball. Cover, TWO, we go to break.

Raw returns again, and Roman hits Mahal. Mahal puts Roman in the corner and Kevin tags back in. Kevin unloads on Roman, then respectfully backs off. He comes back to go after Roman, while taunting Rollins. Kevin hits Roman with haymakers and forearms, but Roman hits back with another uppercut. And another, but Kevin drop toeholds and clobbers Roman with crossface punches. Kevin kicks Roman down, then covers, TWO. Kevin continues to taunt Rollins while he puts Roman back in a chinlock. Roman endures all over again, but fans keep dueling. Roman feeds off that energy, and lifts Kevin up! Kevin slips out, and throws Roman to ropes, but Roman boots Kevin down! Both men are down once again, and everyone is fired up. Roman and Kevin crawl, hot tags to Mahal and Rollins!

Rollins rallies on everyone, and runs to Slingblade Mahal. He clotheslines Mahal out, then builds speed, but Kevin swipes at him. Rollins dropkicks Kevin, dropkicks Mahal, then DIVES on Kevin!

Rollins also DIVES on Mahal! The Architect is all fired up as he puts Mahal back in. He boots Mahal away, then hops up to Blockbuster! Cover, TWO! But Rollins keeps his focus while the fans keep making noise. Rollins stomps for “Burn It Down!” Sunil distracts, Mahal fireman’s carry to gutbuster drop! Cover, TWO! Mahal is furious, but he stalks Rollins. Rollins resists and PELE! Kevin tags in, but Rollins sees him coming. Rollins hits the corner buckle shot, then springboards, but into Kevin’s gutbuster! Kevin hops up, Vader Bomb! Cover, Roman breaks it! Mahal returns, but Roman rocks him with an uppercut and Samoan Drop!

Roman gets up but Sunil distracts, Kevin SUPERKICKS Roman! Kevin blocks the knee, then opp-up, but Rollins slips out. Roll up, SUPERKICK from Rollins! Then, CURB STOMP– No, Kevin dodged it, only for Rollins to get the stomp on the second time! Cover, Rollins & Roman win!

Winners: Roman & Rollins, Rollins pinning

The Shield brothers worked together and were successful again. The Intercontinental Champion keeps his incredible roll going, while Roman gets some payback. But then Mahal returns with a chair and attacks them both on the ramp! The Maharaja decimates each of them, then focuses more on Roman. Mahal gets his own payback now with every SMACK of the chair. Referees back him off, but Mahal has done what he wanted. And he keeps going, jamming the chair into Roman! The Maharaja stands tall now, but will Roman come back for revenge all over again?

Roman won’t have to wait long, because Angle made it a match for Money in the Bank! Will The Big Dog kick the Maharaja out of His Yard?

 

Sami Zayn heads to the ring!

The Underdog promised to get the real story about the Lashley siblings, after that “special interview” between Renee Young and Bobby Lashley. And as promised, Sami will expose Lashley’s lies with the help of his three “very lovely, very honest” sisters. Make some noise, New York!

The Lashley “sisters” walk out to the ring, and Sami sees the resemblance. There’s quite the story to be told here. Lashley said that he loved his sisters, but that didn’t seem right. First, Cathy and her broom: When they were younger, Lashley was always so mean, so she needed the broom to defend herself to swat him away. Second, Francis and the army helmet: She carried their helmet, because Bobby would always hit her in the head. This wasn’t their father’s helmet, she bought it herself. Lastly, Jessica and her towel: This dirty towel was for wiping away her tears after Bobby would make her cry, and it’d get sopping wet.

Sami says that is the real Bobby Lashley. It was a lie when he said he loves his sister. Lashley only loves himself! The sisters grew up with fear, and their parents hated and were ashamed of Lashley. They shipped him off to reform school. They’re an army family, so how did the new neighbors react? “Bobby was a brat. He would steal candy!” It got so bad, that everyone would call the cops. See? Lashley is a liar, a thief, and a bully! Lashley is a menace to society! But Lashley is also here.

Lashley heads to the ring, and says hi to his “sisters”. Look at Cathy. How is she still single? Jessica, this outfit is great. And Francis, she has something all women want: “a big hairy mustache.” Sami did all this for Lashley? What a great friend! This is a great joke, thanks so much, he couldn’t have done it any better. Uhh… Yeah! Yeah you liked it? Or maybe Lashley would like it if Sami kicked him in the face and out of the ring. Lashley is garbage! Now Lashley gets upset. Sami tries to reason with him, but then runs away! And the “Sisters” jump him! It’s a 4v1 attack on Lashley, and Sami has them stand Lashley up. Sami gets easy shots in , but then Lashley breaks free and fights them all off!

Lashley takes out the impostor sisters while Sami runs away. Lashley clubs “Francis” while wearing the helmet, then throws “Cathy” up and over the ropes. Finally, he goes after “Jessica” with that dirty towel whipping him in the but, before suddenly choke slamming him down.

“Cathy” returns, but Lashley uses that broom stick to take him for a ride, back up and out of the ring. Lashley has the ring all to himself, and Sami talks trash from the stage. When will Sami face Lashley face to face and settle this?

 

Ember Moon VS Alexa Bliss w/ Mickie James!

The War Goddess and The Goddess are both in the Women’s Money in the Bank match, but now go 1v1 to see who is the one true #Shenom of Raw.

Quick backstage interview with Alexa Bliss.

Alexa has already been pinned by Ember in a tag team match, but that’s ancient history. If we want ancient history, Alexa brings up that the Roman Empire lost in a raid because the Visigoths had the element of surprise. Alexa couldn’t prepare for Ember their first time, but now it’s a fair fight. And like Rome, Alexa will win this time.

The bell rings, and the two tie up. Ember gets the arm wrench, but Alexa throws her down by her hair. Alexa stands on Ember at the ropes, then skateboard stomps until 4. She mocks Ember’s moves, but Ember kips up. Ember dodges Alexa, tot hen POUNCE. Cover, TWO, and Alexa bails out. She regroups with Mickie, but Ember just builds speed to slide out. Ember dodges Alexa to throw her with a headscissors. She glares at Mickie, but then Alexa throws her into the barriers with an arm wringer. Alexa trash talks Ember, then puts her back in the ring. Cover, ONE, but Alexa goes after the bad arm. Ember gets up and fights back with forearms, but Alexa rings her arm again. Cover, TWO, and the Five Foot Fury is in control while we go to break.

Raw returns and Alexa stomps away on Ember. Cover, TWO, and Alexa gets frustrated. She drops knees on Ember’s arm, then again. Alexa toys with Ember, then kicks her in the arm before wrenching it back. Ember endures, and fans rally. Ember stands up but Alexa yanks her back down. Alexa sits down on the arm and wrenches it more, but Ember bridges to keep things from becoming a cover. Alexa just focuses on the arm, but Ember endures. Fans rally again, and Ember rolls back to cover, TWO. Alexa goes after the arm but Ember hits back, and hits a side slam. Ember kicks back at Alexa, then runs to dropkick Alexa down. Alexa rolls to the ropes and holds onto the apron skirt. Ember yanks her back in, but Alexa kicks the bad arm. Mickie come sin, but the referee spots her. They argue, and Mickie is ejected!

Mickie throws a tantrum, so Ember smacks Mickie with a forearm. Alexa rolls Ember, TWO! Ember glares at Alexa, but Alexa puts her on the apron for a hotshot to the arm. Ember returns the favor and kicks Alexa back. She climbs up high, ECLIPSE! Cover, Ember wins!

Winner: Ember, by pinfall

The War Goddess trumps the Bliss Goddess, but there are still more women to join the MITB ladder match with them. Will Ember be able to Eclipse them, too, and become the second-ever Ms. MITB?

 

Stephanie McMahon is in her office.

She enjoys a gift basket before Finn Balor and Braun Strowman walk in. The Extraordinary Man and the Monster Among Men were looking for Angle. Well she took his office, so perhaps she can help them. They wanted a rematch with Ziggler & McIntyre. That’s nice, but they’re not a tag team. Right? And, Money in the Bank makes them opponents, every man for himself. Finn has a nice smile, but there might be some blame on Strowman for their loss. How about this? In the spirit of friendly competition, a preview of MITB with Finn Balor VS Braun Strowman. Strowman crushes the apple with one hand. He likes competition, but he didn’t say “friendly.” will Finn end up like the apple?

 

No Way Jose VS Baron Corbin!

The Fighting Fiesta returns and looks to settle things with The Lone Wolf tonight. Will Corbin have more fun ruining Jose’s fun in Albany?

The bell rings and the two circle. Jose blocks and gives back punches, then whips. Corbin reverses, but then slides out and in, but Jose was ready with the baseball slide. Jose then slingshots out and takes Corbin down! Jose keeps on Corbin, but Corbin shoves him away. Corbin LEAPS from the apron and clubs Jose down. Corbin stomps away on Jose, then taunts the fans. He puts Jose back in the ring, then drags Jose up. Corbin throws Jose into the post, then grinds Jose’s head into the post. He backs off but then covers, TWO. Corbin keeps on Jose with a half-nelson. Jose endures, then powers up, but Corbin wrangles him back down. Fans build to a rally, and Jose feeds off the energy. Jose fights back, but Corbin knees low. Corbin throws Jose but Jose throws Corbin into the post, hard!

Corbin drags himself out but runs into Jose’s boot. Jose back elbows, then throws hands. Corbin shoves Jose away but Jose boots Corbin. Jose runs Corbin over with a clothesline! Jose lifts Corbin, for a flapjack! Cover, TWO! Jose gets up and takes off the arm band, but Corbin grabs him. Corbin lifts for the choke slam, but Jose slips out and rolls Corbin up! TWO, DEEP SIX! Corbin isn’t done there, he brings Jose up and reels him in for END OF DAYS! Cover, Corbin wins!

Winner: Corbin, by pinfall

The Lone Wolf ends the party for tonight, but has no path to the top. Will Corbin keep ruining the fun and find his way to a title?

 

Angle tries to get signal, but can’t.

Chad Gable comes up and talks about Stephanie being in his office. Well, Angle let her have his office. Plus, he likes being in the hallway. It’s quiet. But no bars. Angle is glad Gable is here. Gable should’ve been the one in the match last week but management has plans. Gable vows to take opportunity when he finds it. But then Ziggler and McIntyre walk over. Ziggler loves what Angle’s done with the place. McIntyre points out the win over Balor & Strowman, but apparently a rematch is above Angle’s pay grade. Gable speaks up, and Ziggler asks his claim to fame. Amateur wrestler? Who here isn’t? But there’s a difference between them. Ziggler doesn’t awit for handouts. Who’s waiting? Angle keeps the peace, and says to settle it in the ring. Gable takes on the Show-Off later tonight.

 

The B Team VS Breezango!

The “undefeated” Bo Dallas & Curt Axel are back, with new “merchandise”. The Fashion Police want a rematch after pointing out the “Best Team” are actually the “Bleh Team”. They have new merch, too, and will prove there’s only room for one “B Team” on Raw.

The bell begins and Breeze starts against Axel. Axel gets a drop toehold then cover, ONE, and the two back off. Breeze and Axel tie up and now Breeze gets the toehold and cover, ONE. Axel regroups with Bo on the outside, then Axel returns to tag to Bo. Bo rushes Breeze but runs into the toehold. Cover, ONE, but Breeze brings Bo over to tag in Fandango. Fandango climbs up, swivels his hips, then drops an ax handle. Fandango throws jabs, then covers, ONE. He whips Bo but Bo sunset flips. Fandango keeps his balance, swivels again, but Axel tags in. They hit the neckbreaker, cover, B Team wins again!

Winners: B Team (Bo & Axel), Axel pinning

They did it again! They’re still “undefeated”, and are all fired up, they celebrate with the referee. Can Bo & Axel continue to prove B stands for Best, and then challenge the Raw Tag Team Champions?

 

Stephanie McMahon returns to the ring.

The Raw Commissioner now presides over this Raw Women’s Championship contract signing, since she replaced Kurt Angle. This is all over “the challenge heard ’round the world.” Nia Jax challenged Ronda Rousey to be her challenger at MITB. Stephanie makes the introduction, and The Irresistible Force comes out first.

Stephanie congratulates Nia Jax for winning the title. Her issues with Alexa Bliss were heart-wrenching, but Nia boldly called out her own opponent. Stephanie introduces the “Baddest Woman on the Planet”, “Rowdy” Ronda!

Ronda joins Stephanie and Nia in the ring, and asks how Stephanie’s arm feels. Stephanie’s arm is fine, thanks for asking. Stephanie moves things to business, and does ask Ronda how it feels to “leap frog the entire Raw Women’s Division” and all the worthier superstars? Ronda knows what Stephanie is up to. A lot of women deserve this shot, but Nia wanted Ronda. Yes, Nia wanted Ronda, but why? Is it because Nia is going to make a name for herself at Ronda’s expense? Ronda was impressive at Wrestlemania, but she’s never competed in a singles match, so Ronda is “rip for the picking.” And Nia knows that as an open weight division, the bigger, stronger Nia can dominate Ronda. Ronda doesn’t like to lose, but if Nia wins, Ronda will just quit forever, and Nia becomes the NEW Baddest Woman on the Planet.

But Ronda knows we know it took Nia 20 minutes to defeat the teeny tiny Alexa. Why? Was Nia relying too much on her power and size? Is it that Nia is lazy? If so, then it won’t take Ronda all that long to put Nia in an armbar. That’s if Ronda can do it, though. Can she when Nia is the biggest opponent she’s ever faced? Nia tells Stephanie, “No! The truth is, she can’t get the armbar on me.” Nia is sick of being called “lazy”. The truth is that Nia will make a name for herself when she wins at MITB. Nia signs the contract, then so does Ronda.

The match is now official, but Ronda also knows the tradition of these kinds of events. She moves the table aside, and says she’s happy the truth came out. Ronda is still civil, and wants to shake hands. Nia accepts, and Ronda says “I’m going to take your title.” And her arm! The two glare down while Stephanie smirks to herself. Will Irresistible Force or Baddest Woman be the Raw Women’s Champion after MITB?

 

Chad Gable VS Dolph Ziggler w/ Drew McIntyre!

The Olympic Medalist and former tag team champion defends his pride against The Show-Off in this match-up of legitimate amateur wrestlers. Raw returns to this match in progress as the two tie up. Gable gets the waistlock but Ziggler the switch. Gable switches back, then they stand up, and Gable gets the arm. He whips and arm-drags Ziggler, then gets the waistlock again. Gable is all over Ziggler, tying up the legs, then shifting to a facelock. Ziggler rolls but Gable holds on. Ziggler gets to ropes and Gable honors the break. The two circle and tie up again, then Ziggler goes after the leg, only for Gable to get he facelock. Cover, TWO, and Gable returns to the waistlock. Ziggler elbows his way out, then dropkicks Gable down! Cover, TWO, but Ziggler keeps his calm.

Ziggler walks around Gable, and grinds his laces into Gable’s face. He wraps Gable in a chinlock, then bends him back. Fans rally and Gable stands up, but Ziggler throws him down. Ziggler drops an elbow, covers, TWO. Ziggler wraps Gable in a sleeper hold and body scissors, extending one of the arms out to trap it. Gable endures while fans rally again, and rolls around. He stands up and fights out of the hold. Gable gets a takedown, rolls, TWO, another takedown to jackknife, TWO. Ziggler kicks low, then dare Gable to stand up. Ziggler gets the waistlock, back suplex but Gable slips out. Gable goes for the German Suplex but Ziggler resists, to then hit the neckbreaker.

Ziggler grins while he aims at Gable. He runs into Gable’s back elbow, then a kick. Gable dodges the superkick to then reverse wheelbarrow, TWO. Gable dodges the splash, CHAOS THEORY! TWO, and McIntyre is relieved. Gable goes at Ziggler, but Ziggler has the ropes. Ziggler headbutts then SUPERKICKS Gable. Cover, Ziggler wins!

Winner: Ziggler, by pinfall

The Show-Off used a “veteran” move to get the better of the young Gable. But now McIntyre walks into the ring and brings Gable up. McIntyre hits the Claymore!

The Stud and the Show-Off stand over Gable, reaffirmed in their mission to take everything by force. Will they storm their way to a Raw Tag Team Championship match?

 

Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Fatal 4 Way: Natalya VS Dana Brooke VS Liv Morgan VS Sarah Logan!

The Riott Squad has two more chances to enter someone into the second-ever Women’s MITB Ladder Match, but can they do enough to stop the Queen of Harts and Titus Worldwide’s Statistician?

The bell rings and it naturally becomes 2v2 as the Squad goes after Natty and Dana. They isolate one each in corners, and Liv throws Natty down while Sarah throws hands on Dana. Dana turns things around and stomps away on Sarah. Natty pops up but Liv still hits her with a flying bulldog. Cover, TWO, and Liv is already frustrated. Dana fights Sarah off, but Natty puts Liv in a corner. Natty goes after Sarah and snap suplexes her down. Cover, TWO, and Liv helps Sarah out. Liv whips Natty into a corner, but Natty dodges. Natty rebounds Liv off the ropes to then run all over and dropkick her down. Cover, TWO, and Sarah knees Natty right in the face. Cover, but Dana breaks it up. Dana handsprings into Liv, then runs Sarah over, but Liv enziguris Dana out.

The Squad regroups, and stare down. This is every woman for herself, but they laugh. They don’t care about that, so long as one of them gets in. The Squad goes after Natty, taunting her with what she’ll never have in the Women’s MITB briefcase. They mug Natty with all kinds of strikes, and continue to taunt her. Ruby cheers her team on while they bring Natty back up. The Squad double whips but Natty ducks and Dana trips up Liv. Dana and Liv take each other out with big double clotheslines, and then Natty rallies on Sarah!

Natty turns Sarah around for the Russian leg sweep, then goes for the Sharpshooter. Ruby comes in but Natty knocks her out, Sarah hits Shotgun Knees!! Cover, but Dana breaks it. Sarah hits Dana, then throws Dana into a post. Sarah roars, but Natty dicus clotheslines her down! Then, Sharpshooter! Sarah endures, but Sarah taps, Natty wins!

Winner: Natalya, by submission; qualifies for the Women’s MITB Match

The Queen of Harts is in! She is just one match away from having a title match anytime, anywhere. Can Natty climb over Alexa Bliss, Ember Moon, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch?

In-ring interview with Natalya.

Congratulations on her third MITB ladder match. Is her experience her greatest asset? yes, but she’s also got the Baddest Woman on the Planet as a training partner and best friend. After MITB, they’re gonna have new nicknames. Ronda will be Champion, and Natty will be Ms. Money in the Bank. A bold statement, but it could happen. Will Natty win to then have a title match with her good friend?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter is in Albany and claims he is the reason WWE’s stock has risen 150%. WWE is at an all time high, and it is no coincidence. The reason is that NBC Universal and the world knows that WWE really stands for “Walk With Elias!” A good response from Albany. Elias begins to play, “I love Elias”, “Yes I Do!” He loves the reaction. However, he does not love them. Elias was in France and London, so it is soul-crushing to come to this “dump called Albany.” But before he can continue, it’s time to be GLORIOUS!

Bobby Roode VS Elias!

This rivalry is renewed, and Roode perhaps wants to rub it in that he’s in the MITB Match and Elias isn’t. But Elias won’t stand for this interruption, and he attacks Roode from behind!

Elias stomps and stomps away on Roode, even after the referee backs him off. The referee asks Roode if he wants to still compete, and Roode says “Absolutely!” The bell rings and Roode throws the robe at Elias! Roode fires off hands and stomps of his own, then goes after Elias in a corner. They go to another corner and Roode chops and punches away. Roode puts Elias in yet another corner, but Elias chops back. They brawl, Roode whips but Elias reverses, only for Roode to clothesline him down, then clothesline him out! Roode is in control while we go to break.

Raw returns and Elias whips Roode to then run him over. Elias drops a knee, then covers, TWO. He drags Roode up and suplexes him down, then covers again, TWO. Elias digs his wrists into Roode’s eyes then wraps him in a seated cobra clutch. Roode endures and fights his way up, but Elias brings him back down. Fans rally while Roode endures the hold. Roode works his way up and arm-drags, but Elias holds on. Elias keeps Roode away from ropes, then trash talks Roode. Fans rally again, and Roode feeds off their energy. Roode stands up, then fights out with body shots. Roode throws haymakers, then ducks Elias to chop. Elias knees low, then runs, but Roode runs him over.

Roode rallies, whips, but Elias reverses, only for Roode to run him over. Roode hits a corner clothesline, but Elias denies the neckbraeker. They go again, GLORIOUS Spinebuster. Cover, TWO, but Roode keeps his cool. Roode fires himself up and the fans rally with him. He winds it up… GLORIOUS POSE! He kicks low, but Elias denies the DDT. Roode sunsets but Elias sits down, TWO. Elias knees low but runs into a boot. Roode hops up, GLORIOUS Blockbuster avoided, but Roode turns him into a neckbreaker. Fans fire up as Roode climbs again. Elias trips Roode up, and then drags Roode out for the Drift Away! Cover, Elias wins!

Winner: Elias, by pinfall

The Drifter wins again, going up by one in this rivalry. Roode still goes for Money in the Bank, but will he get even with Elias down the road?

BRAUN RUNS ELIAS OVER!

The Monster Among Men waits for no one. He wants his match, and he wants it now!

Finn Balor VS Braun Strowman!

The Extraordinary Man takes on one of his Men’s MITB opponents a few weeks early, and for the first time ever in singles competition. Can Finn hope to survive Strowman’s super strength here tonight?

The bell rings and Finn walks right up to Strowman. They smile, but then they start brawling. Finn throws hands, then dodges to kick. Strowman lunges but Finn dodges and kicks again. Finn goes for a leg but Strowman throws him off. Finn tires again, and Strowman clubs him down. Strowman looms over Finn, then headbutts Finn back down. Strowman drags Finn up just to club him, then circles him like a shark. He whips Finn hard into buckles, then roars victoriously. Strowman reminds Finn that Finn was the one pinned last week, then headbutts Finn to a corner. He whips Finn corner to corner but Finn dropkicks Strwoman’s legs. Finn keeps going, more dropkicks to the leg. Strowman stays standing, and he presses Finn tot he mat with one hand! It’s a cover, TWO, so Strowman backs off to make sure his leg is okay.

Strowman PUNTS Finn out of the ring, then lets him sit out there a moment. He goes out and looms over Finn before tossing him back in the ring. Finn clutches his neck from the rough landing, but Strowman is back in the ring. Strowman says that the briefcase is his, and then drives his fist into Finn’s stomach. Strowman dares Finn to stand up, and Finn does. Finn gets another punch to the stomach. Strowman mocks Finn’s smile before clubbing Finn in the face. Strowman wants Finn to get up again, and Finn drags himself up with the ropes. Finn’s put in a corner, but Finn boots Strowman away. Finn keeps booting Strowman away, then dodges to kick Strowman. He dodges again to chop, but it does nothing. Strowman grabs Finn and headbutts Finn right down.

Strowman stands over Finn, drags him up, and whips him to then boot him. He stands on Finn as a cover, TWO. Strowman wants to see the “Fighting Irish”, so Finn dumps Strowman out and hits him with a dropkick! Finn aims from the apron, but the kick is blocked! Strowman trips and slams Finn onto the apron, then goes back into the ring. Strowman drags Finn back up, to again club Finn down. He asks Finn if he’s had enough while fans chant “Get These Hands!” Strowman says he’s done playing, but Finn SLAPS Strowman! Strowman uppercuts Finn right down, and Finn falls out of the ring. The referee keeps Strowman back, but Strowman goes out to build up speed. Finn hits a Slingblade outta nowhere!

Finn fires up now, and he runs to blast Strowman over the barriers! Fans fire up as Finn is back in this fight. Finn fires up again, but Strowman rises up! Strowman grabs Finn, but Finn kicks him down. Finn breaks the ring count, to then go back on the apron, for a FLYING double stomp! Strowman is reeling, and Finn decides to use the barriers for a springboard, COUP DE GRACE!

Finn returns to the ring, and lets the count climb. Strowman clutches his chest, and can only crawl as the count reaches 5. The count climbs to 7, and Strowman stands up, to beat the count at 9. But Finn is ready, with another– Strowman runs Finn over! Strowman roars, and picks Finn up. Finn slips out of the way, Strowman runs into the post! Finn hits a dropkick to Strowman’s head! Strowman goes down, Finn climbs up! But Strowman grabs Finn, only for Finn to slip out. Finn runs, but into a powerslam! Strowman isn’t done, he brings the straps down to bring Finn up, for the MONSTER Slam! Cover, Strowman wins!

Winner: Strowman, by pinfall

The Monster is too much for the Man, even though Finn showed a superhuman amount of heart. And he doesn’t stop there, he stands Finn up in a corner! But, not to do any more damage, he just wants Finn standing when he roars in victory. Will Strowman use steel to crush everyone else in the Men’s MITB match?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This was a good episode of Raw, for having a slow start. Even though I lost signal part way through, the essential points were pretty easy to understand: Stephanie again uses her authority over Angle to demean him, while Roman is forced into the mold of conspiracy victim when it doesn’t fit him. The matches that sprang from this segment were still good, as Roman and Kevin put on a good partial match, and then the tag match was solid. Mahal also ups his Heel points, and gets a title match out of it. If Roman isn’t going after the Universal Championship any time soon, a move back to IC wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe they can use Mahal and Rollins as a way to turn Roman Heel.

That Sami-Lashley segment was almost as bad as Alexa Bliss’ “Bayley, This is Your Life”. But then Lashley came out and fought off Sami and the fake sisters, and fans seemed to like that. I still feel Sami-Lashley will circle back to include Kevin and Angle and that will count as everyone’s blow off. Ember-Alexa was a great match, and Ember going over means great things for her. Corbin wins what felt like a filler match, but both he and Jose need things to do while not competing in anything important. I still don’t get what’s going on with B Team. Gable and Ziggler also do great, but I actually hope this doesn’t turn Gable back towards tag team with Jason Jordan or anyone. Gable’s a great talent, so he can make it work as a singles competitor with opportunities like this.

I’m disappointed Nia and Ronda let Stephanie egg them on into taking this match personally. They came in as friendly competitors, and they could get intense later on, but not because Stephanie whispered in their ears and rile them up. In fact, Natalya winning to qualify for the MITB should’ve been the way they went with this. Natty already assumes she wins, and assumes Ronda wins, so the assumption Natty makes upsets Nia and that turns Nia VS Ronda into a more intense feud. Elias wins what felt like filler, but it is also smart to remind everyone that this feud can continue past MITB. Strowman VS Finn was great, with the great story of Finn coming within minutes of conquering Strowman. Strowman shows some respect and mercy to Finn, so that’s also something.

My Score: 8.3/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (2/3/23)

The Elite are on a Rampage!

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on

Is The Elite in for a tune-up or trap game tonight?

Though they plan to defend the AEW World Trios titles on Dynamite, Kenny Omega & the Young Bucks defend the titles against The Firm here on Rampage! Will they overlook Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy and get caught?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • AEW World Trios Championships: The Elite VS Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy; The Elite win and retain the titles.
  • Swerve Strickland w/ Mogul Affiliates VS Brian Pillman Jr; Swerve wins.
  • Saraya & Toni Storm VS The Renegade Sisters; Saraya & Storm win.
  • Rush w/ La Faccion Ingobernable VS Christopher Daniels; Rush wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

AEW World Trios Championships: The Elite VS Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy!

Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks accepted the challenge of the upstart Top Flight & AR Fox, but then they also accepted the challenge of The Firm’s All Ego! Will The Elite’s ego cost them in their very first defense? Or will they still keep their date with Fox, Dante & Darius for Dynamite?

The bell rings and the trios sort out. Dayton chants, “THE! ELITE! THE THE ELITE!” Nick Jackson starts against Isiah Kassidy, they circle, and they tie up. Nick wrenches to a wristlock, Kassidy rolls and handsprings to wrench and wristlock back. Nick uses ropes to flip through and wrench back to hit a headlock takeover. Kassidy headscissors, Nick kips free, but Kassidy hits a headlock takeover. Nick headscissors, Kassidy kips free, things speed up and Kassidy wheelbarrows to arm-drag! Kassidy kips up, but Nick blocks the chop to knuckle lock. Nick CHOPS, goes up and up, “LUCHA LIBRE~!” and arm-drags!

Kassidy staggers up into another arm-drag, and Nick has the armlock! Fans cheer but Ethan is furious. Nick wrenches Kassidy, tags Matt, and the Bucks double whip to bait Kassidy into a GUTBUSTER, to the NECKBREAKER BACKBREAKER COMBO! Fans fire up with the Bucks, and Matt points to Kenny. Fans fire up, and Matt tags in Omega! Hardy tags in and he circles with Omega. They tie up, break, and then go again. They break, go again, then Hardy headlocks. Omega powers out but Hardy runs him over. Things speed up but Hardy fakes out the hurdle! Hardy kicks low, reels Omega in, TWIST- NO, Omega powers out!

Omega runs in at the corner but Hardy dodges, and the V-Trigger hits buckles! Hardy reels Omega in, but Omega fights the Side Effect! Hardy staggers, Omega runs in but Hardy sends him out! Omega hurries back up but Hardy BLASTS him off the apron! Omega hits railing, Stokely laughs at him, and then Hardy goes up the corner! Omega stands up, but Ethan leaps to CLOBBER Omega! Ethan gives Hardy a thumbs up, he did that so Hardy wouldn’t have to risk himself. Ethan puts Omega in the ring, Ethan apparently snuck a tag that not even Hardy noticed. Ethan drags Omega up to scoop and SLAM him!

Fans boo but Ethan tells the Bucks to kiss this. Ethan drags Omega up, throws haymakers, and then has Omega in the corner. Ethan has Hardy and Kassidy hold Omega in place, then Ethan runs to BLAST the Bucks off the apron! Fans boo more but Ethan runs in, into Omega’s BOOT! Omega is free, he goes up and over Ethan to hot tag Nick! Ethan runs in, Omega dodges and the Bucks DOUBLE GAMANGIRI Ethan back! Nick then tags Matt while Omega RANAS Ethan! The Bucks double kick, Nick runs and Matt gives him the boost to RANA Ethan! Ethan hurries to tag Hardy, he runs in but into DOUBLE DROPKICKS!

Ethan shouts for Kassidy to do something, so Kassidy springboards, but the Bucks get clear to double elbow! They wheelbarrow and lift Kassidy, Omega runs in, WHEELBARROW KOTARO KRUSHER! Kassidy flounders out of the ring while the fans fire up with the Elite. Hardy returns but Omega sets up Ethan and Kassidy. Matt runs in to WRECK Ethan and Kassidy with a dropkick! Matt then holds the ropes for Nick to FLY and take them out! But Matt Hardy kicks Matt Jackson low and reels him in! TWIST- NO, NORTHERN LIGHTS! Matt Jackson starts up the Polar Express, but Ethan saves Hardy!

Ethan swings, but into a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Fans fire up with Jackson as he has Hardy for haymakers! And stomps! Jackson runs, Ethan trips him up but Jackson BOOTS Ethan! Hardy catches Jackson for a SIDE EFFECT! Cover, TWO! Hardy drags Jackson over and tags in Ethan. Ethan stomps Matt Jackson, going after the legs. Ethan talks trash on Dayton then brings Matt around for a BACKBREAKER! Fans boo but Ethan soaks up the heat as Rampage goes picture in picture.

Ethan drags Matt up, bumps him off Kassidy’s boot, then tags Kassidy in. Ethan and Kassidy mug Matt, Kassidy stomps away, then lets off as the ref counts. Kassidy drags Matt back up, tags Hardy, and they mug Matt Jackson now. Hardy brings Jackson around to fire forearms and elbows! Then Hardy has Jackson under the bottom rope, for a ROPE GUILLOTINE! Kassidy gives thumbs up as Hardy covers, TWO! Hardy drags Jackson up, bumps him off Ethan’s boot, and then tags Ethan in. Ethan and Hardy mug Jackson, abut Jackson fights back with haymakers! Rampage returns to single picture as Jackson backs Ethan down!

Matt Jackson runs but into a BOOT! Ethan BLASTS Omega and taunts Nick. Fans boo but Ethan drags Matt Jackson over to tag Hardy back in. Hardy drags Jackson up, bumps him off buckles and shouts “DELETE! DELETE!” Fans chant along, and Hardy goes through all three levels! Hardy grabs Jackson’s legs, and YANKS him into a POWERBOMB! Cover, but Nick breaks it! The ref reprimands but Nick backs off. Hardy drags Matt Jackson to the drop zone, goes up the corner, but then Ethan tags in! Fans boo as Ethan ruins Hardy’s good time. Ethan then copies Hardy’s stuff, but leaps into a SUPERKICK!

Fans rally as Ethan and Matt are down! Hot tag to Omega! Fans fire up as Omega goes up top to CROSSBODY Ethan! Kassidy runs in, to get a POLISH HAMMER! POLISH HAMMER for Ethan! Omega spins but Ethan dodges to kick low! Ethan whips, Omega reverses and fireman’s carries! “YOU! CAN’T! ESCAPE!” ROLLING SENTON, and the MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Omega drags Ethan up into a half nelson. Ethan fights the full nelson, RAMS Omega into the corner, and Kassidy tags in. Kassidy and Hardy run to BLAST the Bucks while Ethan fires off back elbows on Omega!

Ethan whips Omega corner to corner, runs in and clotheslines! Kassidy adds a SPLASH, Hardy adds a clothesline! Hardy sets up, Ethan whips Kassidy, FIRM IN MOTION INTO DOUBLE SUPERKICKS!! Ethan is shocked to see what happened, but he runs into a SNAP DRAGON! Hardy runs in, kicks low, but Omega turns Twist into full nelson! Hardy elbows free, runs, and DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down! Nick goes up, but so does Kassidy! STEREO SWANTON BOMBS!! Nick takes out Hardy while Kassidy takes out Omega! Then Kassidy runs in, dodges Nick and goes up to FLYING COMPLETE SHOT!

Matt Jackson shouts “YOU’RE DEAD!” and he SUPERKICKS Kassidy! Ethan runs in, blocks a kick and spins Jackson to ROUNDHOUSE! and then deadlift POWERSLAM! But V-TRIGGER outta nowhere!! All six men are down and the fans are thunderous! A standing count begins, “This is Awesome!” and Omega crawls to hot tag Nick! Nick storms in to CLUB Kassidy. Kassidy throws a forearm, but Nick hits back! They go back and forth with heavy shots, but Kassidy gets the edge! Nick staggers, but he ROUNDHOUSES back! Nick whips, Kassidy reverses and SPIN KICKS! Nick goes to a corner, Kassidy runs in, but Nick dodges!

SHINING WIZARD! GAMANGIRI! FOREARM! BULLDOG! The Elite regroup and they aim at Kassidy, only for Hardy and Ethan to drag Omega and Matt Jackson out! They’re sent into railing hard, and Kassidy runs to hit a DESTROYER!! Nick flounders to a corner, Hardy sets up again! PARTY IN MOTION! Ethan & Kassidy put Nick up top, DOUBLE ICONOCLASM! And then a feed to the TWIST OF FATE!! Kassidy covers, Matt Jackson breaks it!! Ethan storms in, he gets Matt Jackson up, but he slips off the Ego’s Edge and Omega V-TRIGGERS Ethan down! Hardy throws Omega out!

Hardy runs in, Jackson moves, Hardy BLASTS Ethan! Hardy is shocked and he hurries to check on Ethan. Kassidy TOSSES Matt Jackson out, but Nick springboards in! CUTTER?!? Kassidy covers, TWO!!! Kassidy almost wins this on his own because Hardy and Ethan distracted with Ethan’s jaw. Nick tags Omega while Kassidy calls to his team. Hardy hurries over but Omega V-TRIGGERS Kassidy down!! Omega drags Kassidy away, tags Matt in and then Matt tags Nick. Jackson BLASTS Hardy, Omega Electric Chair Lifts Kassidy! ONE WINGED ANGEL!! Into B T E TRIGGER!!! Cover, The Elite wins!

Winners: The Elite, by pinfall (still AEW World Trios Champions)

This was no trap game, but this was far more than a tune-up! The Elite are red hot now, will they melt the Coldest Tag Team in the Game this Wednesday?

 

Backstage interview with Ricky Starks.

Lexi Nair is with The Absolute, and she brings up the Jericho Appreciation Society throw down the Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet challenge. Starks sorta got what he asked for, so what’s the plan? Starks says, “I can tell you it wasn’t a plan for us to match here,” in reference to his shirt and her whole ensemble both being a light khaki. But Starks admits he puts his foot in his mouth, something he’s known to do around here. But that’s okay, because if that is how Starks gets at Chris Jericho, then that is what he’s going to do. If that is the way to beat Jericho, to get out of the “Web of Jericho” that he has entangled himself in, that is what Starks will do.

“I am no stranger to having the deck stacked against me, because I always find a way. Parker, Daddy Magic, Sammy, Danny, it doesn’t matter. Because in El Paso, Texas, I am gonna to prove exactly why I am Absolute. And when I do get my way, Chris, I am going to embarrass you. And I am going to beat you, again.” Starks is ready for everything the JAS is going to throw at him, but will that still get him the win?

 

Team Triple J speaks.

Jay Lethal tells the others, “Right now, we are riding high. But the Screen Actors Guild and AEW, they’re trying to rain on our parade by distorting on the camera Sonjay’s Golden Globe. I tell you what, just like last week, when we embarrassed the Best Friends and Danhausen, we proved that in the ring, we can’t be matched! And I bet right now, Paul Walter Hauser is sitting at home without a Golden Globe, wishing that he had better friends.” Jeff Jarrett says, “I bet Mr. Walter Hauser wishes he never ever stepped foot in the Kia Forum! Because what happened the last time? I bet he’s wishing he never went on The Late Late Show with James Corden!”

But Best Friends respond!

Danhausen is upset that he got smashed in the head with a Grammy! No, it was a Golden Globe. But keep going, this is good energy. Yes! Danhausen was “decimating” their giant, Satnam Singh, and then he was caught off guard by a GOLDEN GLOBE! That was bad. So YOU will be cursed if it happens again! It shouldn’t happen again, right? It shouldn’t. Danhausen says it WON’T happen again! But when and where will we see the sequel to this showdown of friends and enemies?

 

Swerve Strickland w/ Mogul Affiliates VS Brian Pillman Jr!

For whatever reason, second generation wrestlers get on Swerve’s nerves. He can’t get after The Natural just yet, but he’s settling for #FlyinBrian41 here tonight! Will BPJ use his homefield advantage to stop the Mogul? Or will Dayton be “Whose House?” “SWERVE’S HOUSE!”

The bell rings and Swerve circles with BPJ. They tie up, go around, and BPJ powers Swerve to a corner. Swerve pushes back and wrenches to a wristlock. BPJ rolls, cartwheels, handsprings and headstands, but Swerve pushes him down to turn BPJ over to a ghost pin! TWO, BPJ gets up but Swerve is after him. BPJ whips Swerve to a corner, Swerve goes up and over and O’Conner Rolls, then Eddy Gordo RANAS, but BPJ rolls through to stand back up. Fans cheer the technical exchange. BPJ and Swerve tie up again, Swerve pulls BPJ’s hair and puts him in the corner. BPJ turns things around, and he swings, only for Swerve to duck.

Swerve whips BPJ but BPJ rolls, handsprings and kangaroo kicks! Swerve checks his nose while fans rally up. Swerve runs in, BPJ dodges, things speed up and BPJ hurdles to drop. Swerve handsprings over, things keep moving, but BPJ steps on Swerve! Fans fire up as BPJ asks, “Whose House?” “BRIAN’S HOUSE!” But Swerve takes off his necklace to wrap around his fist as he ROCKS BPJ with a sucker punch! Fans boo, Swerve whips, but BPJ reverses and DROPKICKS! Swerve bails out, BPJ builds speed, and fans fire up as BPJ WRECKS Swerve with a dropkick! BPJ hurries away from Trench & Boudreaux while Rampage goes picture in picture.

BPJ grins while Swerve is furious. Boudreaux & Trench help Swerve stand up. BPJ talks some smack but Swerve has his guys stand down. Swerve goes up the steps and into the ring, and he ties up with BPJ. Swerve kicks BPJ, ROCKS him with a right, then swings, but misses in the corner! BPJ CHOPS, ROCKS, and wrenches before he whips corner to corner. BPJ runs in to clothesline, CHOP, and NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! BPJ rallies the fans while Swerve grits his teeth. BPJ storms up but Swerve gets around to JAM the leg! BPJ falls over and clutches the knee while Swerve taunts Dayton.

Swerve stands on BPJ’s leg, throws down fists, then kicks him around. Swerve stands BPJ up, BPJ throws hands, but Swerve KICKS the leg out! Swerve goes to the corner, goes up, and he taunts the fans before the FALLING UPPERCUT! Swerve swaggers and smirks at all the fans before he goes back to BPJ. Swerve kicks the leg, grinds an arm, and Rampage goes to break.

Rampage returns as BJP and Swerve fire forearm after forearm at each other! BPJ CHOPS, CHOPS, then SLAPS! Swerve staggers, BPJ grabs at him, but Swerve brushes that away to ROCK BPJ with a haymaker! BPJ staggers to a corner, Swerve storms over, but he blocks a boot! Swerve brings BPJ out, slips around that leg and hits a BACKBREAKER! BPJ staggers, Swerve SLAPS him, but BPJ SUPERKICKS! And LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Swerve survives but BPJ fires up! Fans rally as BPJ fireman’s carries. Swerve fights free, and he SLAPS away on BPJ’s back. BPJ snapmares, Swerve blocks the superkick and he mule kicks the bad leg!

Swerve aims from the corner as BPJ clutches his knee. BPJ stands but the bad leg gives out! And then the HOUSE CALL!! Cover, TWO!?! BPJ survives and Swerve is fuming! Dayton fires up but Swerve drags BPJ up. Swerve bumps BPJ off buckles, hoists him up top, then climbs up after him. BPJ throws body shots in return, then climbs up to HOTSHOT Swerve away! Trench distracts BPJ, BPJ runs him off, and the ref is busy with Trench, allowing Boudreaux to trip BPJ up! Fans boo, but Swerve hurries to go out after BPJ and drag him up! Fireman’s carry, APRON DEATH VALLEY DRIVER!!

Swerve hurries up a corner and BPJ sits up, for the KILL STOMPS!! Cover, Swerve wins!

Winner: Swerve Strickland, by pinfall

Mogul Affiliates comes through for their leader, Swerve takes out a second generation star! #HoodiesUp, and the big men stand Swerve up. Trench feeds BPJ to Boudreaux’s LARIAT! Then Swerve brings out the necklace, but here comes DUSTIN RHODES! The Natural has a TURNBUCKLE CROSSBAR! Dustin uses that to run off Mogul Affiliates, but this war has only just begun. Will Dustin prove to Swerve that being second generation doesn’t make him better, but that being better makes him better?

 

The House of Black speaks.

Malakai says, “There was a saying that reads, ‘Assumptions are a poison that create unrealistic expectations.’ And what is the poison that you people created? The assumption that Eddie Kingston was going to join the House. No, the House does not want Eddie, and Eddie does not want The House. The House did what it always does, and what its mission has been since the beginning: prove that every human being on this planet, no matter how true of heart, is corruptible. And it takes the smallest push into the right direction to peel off the layers of virtue and let that venom of hate grow.

“There is no forgiveness for people like you and me, Eddie. And like Cain did to Abel, you do what you can’t help but do, because it is your nature. It is the balance of who you are in this world. Because no man is ever truly…” The Mad King has begun his descent, will there be no going back now that he has begun to #FadeToBlack?

 

Saraya & Toni Storm VS The Renegade Sisters!

Speaking of a descent, the Revolution and the Lightning have stooped to shocking lows as of late, all in the name of showing the AEW homegrown talent that they, the outsiders, know what is best for business. But will they continue to do whatever they want to the AEW Women’s Division? Or will Charlette & Robyn be just the renegades to fight The Revolution?

The teams sort out and after a rock-paper-scissors game that goes nowhere, Robyn steps up to Storm. Storm doesn’t seem to take Robyn seriously but Robyn eggs her on. Robyn and Storm tie up, go around, and end up against ropes, in a corner, and then to more ropes. Storm lets off to pie face Robyn. Robyn ROCKS Storm! And again, and again, and then she CHOPS! Robyn whips, Storm reverses but Robyn ducks, only to run into Storm’s THESZ PRESS! Storm rains down fists, then she drags Robyn up. Storm puts Robyn in the ropes, CHOKES Robyn, then argues with the ref so Saraya can CHOKE Robyn, too!

The fans boo as Saraya fires off knees on Robyn! Storm sucker punches Charlette! Storm runs to HIP ATTACK Robyn off the apron! Fans are torn while Robyn lands on the floor. Storm and Saraya bring Robyn up to RAM her into steel steps! And then into the railing! The ref has to keep Charlette back, and Saraya says Charlette is crazy! Storm drags Robyn up and puts her in the ring to then drag her over. Tag to Saraya, they mug Robyn, and Saraya short arm LARIATS! And again! And again! Fans boo but Saraya smiles and soaks it all up. Saraya drags Robyn up, tells fans to shut up, but Robyn waistlocks.

Saraya elbows free, whips Robyn to a corner, SHINING WIZARD! Fans boo but Saraya just revels in it. Saraya snapmares and SHINING WIZARDS again! Cover, TWO!! Robyn survives but Saraya drags Robyn up. Robyn RAMS Saraya into a corner, but it’s the enemy corner! Storm tags in, she and Saraya mug Robyn, and then Storm snap suplexes Robyn down! Cover, TWO! Robyn is hanging tough but Storm clamps on a full nelson. Fans rally as Robyn endures and fights up. Storm thrashes Robyn around, but Robyn fights up and breaks the nelson! Only for Storm to throw her down by her hair! Fans boo and the ref reprimands, but Storm just scowls.

Storm kicks Robyn around, toying with her, but Robyn gets mad. Robyn ROCKS Storm! Robyn eggs Storm on so Storm hits back! Robyn ROCKS, CHOPS and repeat! Storm swing, Robyn dodges and ENZIGURIS! Fans fire up as both women are down! Storm a nd Robyn crawl, hot tag to Charlette! Charlette rallies on Storm and Saraya! SPLASH in the corner! Charlette rallies the fans with “GET! YOU! SOME!” Charlette runs in, but Storm SHOTGUNS her down! Charlette flounders to a corner, Storm runs in, SWEET HIP MUSIC! Storm brings Charlette up for Saraya to YAKUZA KICK! STORM ZERO!! Cover, Storm & Saraya win!

Winners: Saraya & Toni Storm, by pinfall

The outsiders win, but they’re not done! Saraya brings out cans of spray paint! Toni CLOBBERS Robyn, Saraya chases the ref out of the ring, and they start spraying the Renegades! They put big green L’s on the Renegades, will they continue to hand out those L’s to the AEW Women’s Division?

 

Adam Cole speaks.

“There is nothing that I love more than professional wrestling. And I have worked harder every single day than I ever have in my entire life. Because for me, I thought my dream was dead. And when your dreams die, your hope dies. I never, ever lost hope, because I refused to let anybody or anything stand in my way of getting back inside that squared circle. And I have no idea who my first opponent will be when I return, but I can promise you this: You are going to get the best damn pro-wrestler on the planet. And his name…” ADAM COLE, BAYBAY! AEW Revolution is the target, will Adam Cole make it all about the boom?

 

Mark Henry welcomes us back to Rampage.

The World’s Strongest Man says, “Before former ROH Champion, Rush, faces Bryan Danielson this Wednesday, he will face former ROH Champion, Christopher Daniels tonight on Rampage.” The Fallen Angel tells El Toro Blanco, “Your reputation precedes you, but I am not intimidated by reputation. And I’m not a stepping stone for anyone, Rush.” But Rush tells Daniels, “You have never faced anybody like Rush.” Rush continues on in Spanish, then says in English, “Just remember: if you mess with the bull, you get the horns.” Mark Henry then says, “It’s TIME! For the main event!” Will Rush be rolling into El Paso and his battle with the American Dragon? Or will this be the rise of the Fallen Angel?

Rush w/ La Faccion Ingobernable VS Christopher Daniels!

The bell rings and fans rally for the Fallen Angel. Daniels and Rush circle, tie up, and Daniels waistlocks. Rush switches, Daniels switches back but Rush sits. Daniels holds on for a moment but Rush switches back. They stand, Daniels shifts to hit a headlock takeover. Rush headscissors, Daniels pries free to trip Rush to a cover, ONE! The two stand off and fans cheer. Rush and Daniels reset to circle again. They tie up, Rush wrenches and YANKS the arm, then wrenches to CLUB the arm. Rush YANKS the arm but Daniels uses ropes to flip through and arm-drag Rush away! Rush stands up, sidesteps, but Daniels blocks the hip toss!

Daniels tries but now Rush blocks the hip toss. Rush swings but Daniels blocks the haymaker to hit a NECKBREAKER! Daniels then CLOBBERS Rush! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Daniels drags Rush up and CLUBS him. Daniels whips Rush to ropes to calf kick him out! Daniels then builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit at the ramp and fans fire up as Rampage goes picture in picture.

Daniels drags Rush up and into the ring, hurries up the corner, but Jose distracts! Daniels AX HANDLES Jose down! But Rush DECKS Daniels with a sucker punch! Daniels flops out of the ring and Rush distracts the ref so “Perro Peligroso” can attack! Preston Vance holds up the Ingobernables fist, then he POSTS Daniels! Vance even CHOKES Daniels with the stolen masks of luchadors Vance has beaten outside of AEW! Vance gets away with all this as Rush goes out after Daniels. But then Vance distracts the ref so that Rush can beat down Daniels! Rush drags Daniels around the way to throw him into railing!

Rush throws knee after knee into Daniels against the railing while Jose hurries to get the bright green cable! Rush throws down fists, Jose throws the cable over, and Rush holds it up. Rush then gathers some slack, to LASH Daniels! And then CHOKE him with it! Daniels can only cough and sputter because Vance is still in the ref’s face! Rush lets Daniels go, then drags him up to put him in the ring. Jose gives Rush some water to refresh himself, then Jose shows off just one of the many fat stacks MJF gave LFI on Dynamite. Rush uses the fat stack to fan himself off, then gives it to Vance. Rush then gets in the ring to CHOP Daniels!

Rush whips Daniels corner to corner, runs in and clotheslines! Then he sits Daniels down to rain down forearms! The ref reprimands and counts, Rush lets off at 4. Jose beats the apron like a drum and Rush runs corner to corner, to fake Daniels out on the Bull’s Horns! Daniels lets his guard down, and Rush KICKS him in the face! Daniels clutches his jaw while Rush rolls back to tranquilo. Rush then drags Daniels up to throw him out, and of course Vance is right on Daniels! Vance CHOPS Daniels while Rush distracts the ref. Vance puts Daniels back in, Rush stands on Daniels with a cocky cover, ONE!

Rush is annoyed but he stomps away on Daniels. Rampage returns to single picture as Rush pretends to take Daniels’ head and kicks it into the crowd. But then he KICKS Daniels in the side! Daniels goes to the apron, fans boo, but Rush kicks him to the floor. Rush again distracts the ref, and Vance uses the fat stack of cash to SLAP Daniels! Vance then makes it rain on Daniels, and stands him up to CHOP him down! Fans boo as Jose also makes it rain on Daniels. Vance puts Daniels in the ring, Rush drags Daniels up and throws body shots. Rush tosses Daniels back out, and then “apologizes” to the ref as a way to distract him!

Jose and Vance stand Daniels up, Jose chicken wings Daniels’ arms, and Vance runs in. Daniels moves, the BOOT takes out Jose! Fans fire up, Vance is shocked, and Daniels POSTS Vance! Daniels throws Jose into the ring then goes around the way. Rush is distracted by his assistant being where he shouldn’t be, and Daniels slips in to roll Rush up! TWO!! Rush escapes, but Daniels baits him into the corner. Daniels dodges, ENZIGURIS, and fans fire up! Rush staggers, Daniels runs in and LARIATS Rush! And CHOPS! And wrenches to a BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Rush survives but Daniels fires back up!

Daniels drags Rush up, CLUBS him again and again, then runs, but Rush follows! CHOP! CHOP! But Daniels swings! Rush dodge to SUPERKICK! Rush roars, swings, but into a fireman’s carry! DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! But into a KOJI KLUTCH!! Rush endures, Vance drags Rush’s leg to the ROPEBREAK! Fans boo but Daniels lets Rush go all the same. Daniels knows it was that damn dog, but Rush rolls Daniels up! WITH TIGHTS! TWO, and Rush swings again, but into the URENAGE! Daniels points to the corner and fans fire up! Daniels goes up, for the BEST MOONSAULT EVER onto knees!!

Rush OVERHEAD Belly2Belly suplexes Daniels into the corner! Rush makes sure Daniels sits up, and then he stomps away with both feet! Fans boo, Rush stomps around then runs corner to corner, BULL’S HORNS!! Cover, Rush wins!

Winner: Rush, by pinfall

Though it was a valiant effort, Christopher Daniels fought a 3v1 the entire time, he had no chance of winning out. Will Bryan Danielson also have no chance against those odds? Or will the American Dragon find a way to slay El Toro Blanco?


My Thoughts:

A really good Rampage here. The trios titles opening was quite the surprise, but it was a great match. The Firm looked good, but of course they also had the story of Ethan stealing the spotlight from his own teammates every chance he could. As such, The Elite win, and now we’re going to get a stacked episode of Dynamite. The trios titles, the tag titles, and eliminator matches for the women’s world title and men’s world title. Of those, I’m fairly confident The Elite retain their titles, that would only be their second defense and they have got to be heading to AEW Revolution with these belts. No idea who they’d face then, though.

Plenty of good promos again. Starks responding to the JAS gauntlet didn’t necessarily add anything, he’s of course going to find his way through. Malakai’s promo was equally good but it effectively established what’s going on with the story of House of Black and Eddie Kingston. Triple J and Best Friends are definitely going to have another match, and as I said before, I hope Paul Walter Hauser gets involved to avenge Triple J stealing his Golden Globe. And great new promo from Cole, though it doesn’t necessarily add anything more. Cole is surely going to be part of the Revolution card, and whoever he faces is going to put Cole over but in a very good match.

Really good match out of Swerve VS BPJ, but of course that as a Heel leading a faction, Swerve wins because his guys help out. But it also made sense for Dustin to show up and run the Mogul Affiliates off. As I sensed on Dynamite, Dustin is surely going to team up with BPJ and Brock Anderson against Mogul Affiliates in a Six Man Tag. And as AEW seems to struggle establishing new team names, I’m assuming Brian Pillman Jr. and Brock Anderson are gonna be “Lineage” (stylized LineAGE) as a sort of AEW version of Legacy. I say that cuz LineAGE was on BPJ’s tights. Dustin can also join LineAGE if he wants, and maybe LineAGE can get going in the Trios Division.

The Renegade Sisters got a good showing against Storm & Saraya, but of course they also lost to Storm & Saraya. And I suddenly had inspiration seeing Saraya & Storm spray paint big green L’s on the Renegades. Will Saraya & Storm be like The Outsiders, Nash & Hall, and they get an NWO moment at Revolution? The “third woman” will be someone who is currently Face and seems like they’re on AEW’s side. It probably won’t be Shida, she doesn’t seem to like how Saraya & Storm are going. But with Saraya & Storm wearing green and using green paint, and Ruby Soho having green hair, I wonder if Ruby is pushed to the point where she ends up seeing things Saraya’s way.

Still disappointing that Mark Henry’s segment is being trimmed down more and more, but I’m thinking it’s to give more time to the main event match. But this main event was a great main event, even though I just knew Daniels would lose. Rush VS Bryan will be great stuff, and I am sure Bryan will look close to losing because of Jose and Vance getting involved, but surely Bryan will find a way to win.

My Score: 8.6/10


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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (2/3/23)

What is the State of the Bloodline?

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Roman Reigns responds to what happened at the Royal Rumble.

Though he is still Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, the Tribal Chief is without Jey Uso and without the Honorary Uce. What will Roman Reigns do about the Bloodline’s situation?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • SmackDown Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Tournament Finals: Braun Strowman & Ricochet VS Imperium; Braun & Ricochet win and will challenge The Usos for the titles next week.
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Sonya Deville; Charlotte wins and retains the title.
  • The Brawling Brutes VS The Viking Raiders w/ Valhalla; The Viking Raiders win.
  • Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Shotzi Blackheart VS Shayna Baszler VS Zelina Vega VS Natalya; Natty wins and advances to the Raw Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber match.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Bloodline arrives.

Kayla Braxton is already on the scene as Jimmy Usos, Solo Sikoa, Paul Heyman and the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns, exit the vehicle. Kayla wants a word on Jey Usos’ status after what we saw on Saturday, but Roman doesn’t give an answer. Heyman, however, says, “What a cold-blooded question from such a warm-hearted lady.” But at this time, the Bloodline will neither confirm nor deny Jey’s status within the group. But thanks for wearing black and red for them. The Wise Man heads out with the Head of the Table, what will Roman himself have to say later on tonight?

 

SmackDown Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Tournament Finals: Braun Strowman & Ricochet VS Imperium w/ GUNTHER!

The Monster of All Monsters and the King of Flight were last minute substitutes, but they made the most of their opportunity! Will they take over that SmackDown Tag Division right as the Usos’ partnership is in question? Or will it be Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci secure victory and make Der Ring General proud?

The teams sort out and Braun starts against the Pride of Italy. They circle, tie up, and Braun shoves Vinci away! Braun flexes and roars but Vinci talks strategy with Ludwig. They tag, Ludwig talks some trash but Vinci rushes in! Braun stays up from the chop block, he shoves Ludwig away, kicks Vinci out of the ring, and then DECKS Ludwig on the return! Imperium regroups outside and Braun dares them to bring it. Gunther talks strategy with his soldiers, a ring count starts, and fans rally up for Braun. Braun tags to Ricochet as Ludwig gets back in and they circle. They tie up, Ricochet waistlocks and headlocks.

Ludwig powers up and out, but Ricochet rolls off his back to dropkick him down! Ricochet throws forearms but Ludwig DECKS Ricochet! Ludwig drags Ricochet back up but Ricochet hits a JAWBREAKER! Ricochet brings Ludwig up but Vinci takes a swipe! Ricochet gets distracted and Ludwig CLOBBERS him with a EuroUpper! Braun is upset, he runs in around the way to CLOBBER Vinci! Braun stares Gunther down and Gunther backs away. Braun dares Gunther to try something now, but Ludwig DIVES! Only for Braun to catch him! Ludwig tries to fight free, but Vinci goes up and up and CROSSBODIES to wipe Braun out!

Fans rally for Braun while Gunther has Imperium regroup. The Monster and the high-flyer are in trouble as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Braun CLUBS Vinci. Braun scoops Vinci, Vinci slips free and POSTS Braun! Ludwig tags in, they have Braun stuck in the corner, and they DOUBLE DROPKICK! They push Braun in to cover, TWO! Gunther is frustrated but Ludwig rains down fists. Tag to Vinci, Imperium mugs Braun, and Vinci CLUBS away on Braun’s back. Vinci facelocks and grinds the hold but Braun fights up! Fans rally as Braun powers his way over a step at a time, and he TOSSES Vinci away! Hot tag to Ricochet, he springboards to CROSSBODY Ludwig! Ricochet runs to RANA Vinci, then he runs to RAM him in the corner!

Ricochet bumps Vinci off buckles, kicks him away, and springboards for a FLYING LARIAT! Ricochet keeps moving, STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO! Gunther is still worried as Ricochet has the fans rallying behind him. Ricochet brings Vinci up, fireman’s carries, but Vinci slips off to CLUB Ricochet and POST him! Ludwig tags in, they set Ricochet up like Braun, but Ricochet dodges! The dropkicks take Vinci out! Ludwig rushes in, Ricochet dodges to handspring and back elbow! Ludwig flounders to the corner, Braun runs in to BLAST Vinci away! Braun has Ricochet build speed, and gives him a boost to FLY! Direct hit and down goes Imperium!

Fans are thunderous, Ricochet is roaring, and Gunther is furious! Ricochet tells Gunther to back off, this is Imperium’s fight. Gunther shoves Ricochet, and the ref saw it! The ref EJECTS Gunther! Fans love it as now this is a fair fight! Gunther is fuming but Braun dares him to try something more. Ricochet gets in the ring but Vinci grabs at him! Ricochet kicks Vinci away but Ludwig is after him in the ropes! Ricochet shoves Ludwig away, but Ludwig and Vinci HIGH-LOW on the rebound! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives and Braun is shocked, too, as SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Ludwig brawls with Ricochet! Ricochet gets the edge, runs, but Ludwig UPPERCUTS! Ludwig whips, Ricochet reverses to V-TRIGGER! Ludwig wobbles, Ricochet fires off fists, and the ref counts. Ricochet roars as he lets off at 4, but Ludwig turns things around! Vinci tags in and springboards to CROSSBODY! PENALTY KICK from Ludwig! DOUBLE DROPKICKS to Braun! Vinci covers Ricochet, TWO! Ricochet is hanging tough and Imperium grows frustrated. Vinci drags Ricochet up, Ludwig tags in then climbs the corner, but Ricochet back drops Vinci! Ricochet drags Ludwig down to GAMANGIRI!

Ricochet brings Ludwig back up and reels him in to suplex but Ludwig slips out. Ludwig whips Ricochet to the corner, runs in, but blocks the kick! Tag to Vinci but Ricochet elbows Vinci away! Ricochet ROCKS Ludwig, ENZIGURIS, and goes up! But Ludwig GAMANGIRIS! ROCKET LAUNCH into the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Braun YANKS Vinci outta the ring! Fans are thunderous and Braun fires up! Ricochet stirs as the fans rally up and Braun reaches out. Vinci crawls in, both men go for their corners, hot tags to Ludwig and Ricochet! Braun rallies on Ludwig with big shoulder tackles! And a TOSS across the way!

Vinci runs in, springboards, but bounces off Braun’s body! Braun rips off his shirt but Ludwig UPPERCUTS! Braun LARIATS on return! “THAT’S IT!” Braun drags Ludwig up, reels him in, and fans fire up for the MONSTER BOMB!! Tag to Ricochet and he goes up onto Braun’s shoulders! MONSTROUS SWANTON!! Cover, Braun & Ricochet win!

Winners: Braun Strowman & Ricochet, by pinfall (NEW #1 contenders to the SmackDown Tag Team Championships)

Imperium belittled them as “sideshow circus freaks,” but these freaks are going to challenge the Usos next week! Will this be the perfect time to strike down the historic reign of Jimmy & Jey?

 

Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.

Kayla is with The Queen, saying the world is buzzing with the Women’s Royal Rumble match winner, Rhea Ripley, choosing her as her WrestleMania opponent. But how does Charlotte feel? Charlotte says Mania will be epic. But tonight, she’s focused on Sonya Deville. “You cannot overlook someone who is as persistent as Sonya.” Sure, she complained to get here, but we’re in Carolina! And- Oh, here comes Sonya now. Sonya says Charlotte must mean they’re in Flair Country! “WOO~!” Yeah? Or more like, Hicksville, No Man’s Land, the middle of nowhere where no one wants to be, including Sonya herself.

But Sonya won’t let that stop her. She’s here for one reason and one reason only: The SmackDown Women’s Championship. And then it’ll be Sonya VS Rhea at Mania. Because Hollywood needs a star, and Sonya is a star! Charlotte chuckles and Sonya asks what’s so funny. Charlotte won’t be laughing when Sonya beats her in the ring. Charlotte says to leave this trash talk for the ring. Sonya says fine, she’ll see her in the ring. Will the Queen still have her crown after taking on the Jersey Deville?

 

SmackDown shares footage of WWE superstars at the LA Coliseum.

Just last night, in partnership with Fox Sports and NASCAR, The New Day and Rey Mysterio were with Michael Waltrip, Clint Bowyer and the official Clash at the Coliseum branded stock cars. However, The Judgment Day’s Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor & Damian Priest had to crash the fun. Dom says this isn’t about celebrating Rey again, “hanging out with this old guy in pajamas.” Waltrip got upset but the New Day stepped in. Show some respect to the two-time Daytona winner. Finn says that’s the past! They’re with Ross Chastain, the current NASCAR champion! Waltrip tells Dom to be more respectful, but Dom knows what this is about.

Dom says Rey must want to race like they did back in the day when Dom was beating Rey at go-carts! Rey says if Dom wants to get spanked like when he was a kid, sure! Clint said they had two cars right here, so why not race for real? Get on the track and settle this! Everybody got real hyped for that, so Rey and Dom suited up. Waltrip hyped Rey up, and Chastain hyped Dom up. Rey and Dom got in the driver’s seats, put on the steering wheels and helmets, and Waltrip said, “Gentlemen! And the Judgment Day, I guess. Start! Your! Engines!” BOOGITY BOOGITY BOOGITY, and they’re off! Dom took an early lead but Rey was hot on his tail!

Dom was even talking trash, asking if anyone had a booster seat for Rey! And where’s the NOS? But Rey says Dom’s driving is as fake as his teardrop tattoo! Dom still had the lead, and said he learned this from his cellmate who was a getaway driver. Rey said the only “getaway driving” Dom’s ever done is in video games! Lap after lap, Dom holds onto the lead, until Rey makes a move! “If you ain’t first, you’re last!” They’re neck and neck, but Rey takes it at the checkered flag! And in the end, that’s what matters! The New Day celebrated with Rey, but Dom says Rey had to have cheated! Things got tense, the pit crews had to break this up! Will nothing but a fight settle this family dysfunction?

 

SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Sonya Deville!

The Queen reigns again, but the Pride Fighter says that’s an injustice. Will Sonya bring about her own form of justice and equality to SmackDown? Or will this home game in Flair Country be a big win on the Road to WrestleMania for Charlotte?

SmackDown returns and Charlotte makes her entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who Rhea faces in Hollywood!

The bell rings and fans rally behind Charlotte already with “WOO~!” after “WOO~!” Sonya and Charlotte circle, feel things out, then tie up. Charlotte arm-drags Sonya, runs her over, then stands over her. Charlotte eggs Sonya on, “Where’s the trash talking now?” Sonya stands up, she and Charlotte tie up, and Charlotte waistlocks to SLAM Sonya down. Charlotte pushes Sonya to a press, ONE! Sonya stands but Charlotte wrenches an arm. Sonya pulls hair but the ref reprimands. Sonya wrenches, wristlocks, but Charlotte cartwheels to wrench back. Charlotte whips, Sonya reverses, but Charlotte goes up and out!

Charlotte BOOTS Sonya from the ropes, goes up top, and fans fire up as Charlotte leaps! CROSSBODY! Cover, ONE!! Sonya is out but Charlotte says that was still close. Charlotte runs in but only gets buckles! Sonya runs in but is put on the apron. Charlotte ROCKS Sonya, stands her up, and wrenches, but Sonya throws Charlotte by her hair! Sonya mocks the “WOO~!” but fans boo, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns as Charlotte sits up, into a KICK from Sonya! And another! Sonya mocks the “WOO~” again, fans boo some more, but Sonya runs in, only for Charlotte to roll her up! TWO, and Sonya ROUNDHOUSES Charlotte back down! Cover, TWO! Charlotte survives but Sonya clamps on a chinlock. Sonya thrashes Charlotte around, says she can do this all day, but fans rally as Charlotte endures. Charlotte fights up, snapmares free, and then blocks forearms to give forearms! Sonya ROCKS Charlotte, but Charlotte blocks buckle bump to give buckle bump! Sonya staggers away, Charlotte stomps up, but Sonya kicks out a leg!

Sonya runs, Charlotte ducks the lariat and CLOBBERS Sonya! And again! Charlotte CHOPS and CHOPS and CHPOS! Fans “WOO~!” but Sonya swings, into a back suplex! Charlotte kips up and fans fire up! Charlotte runs in at the corner, but blocks boots! Charlotte ROCKS Sonya, climbs up and drops a knee on the knee! Sonya flounders, Charlotte runs to BOOT her down! Cover, TWO!! Sonya survives but Charlotte is actually amused. Sonya goes to ropes, Charlotte storms up and reels her in. Sonya holds ropes, elbows free, then whips, but Charlotte reverses! Sonya tumbles out to the apron, avoids the boot and HOTSHOTS the leg!

Sonya slides in, runs in and BOOTS Charlotte down! Cover, TWO!! Sonya can’t believe it! Sonya fumes while Charlotte crawls to a corner. Charlotte drags herself up, Sonya run sin but into a BACKBREAKER! But Sonya avoids the boot! Sonya KCIKS Charlotte, goes up the corner, and FLYING KNEES Charlotte down! Cover, TWO!!! Sonya is furious, but she drags Charlotte to center. Sonya stomps the leg, grins, and goes ‘WOO~!” Sonya steps through, Charlotte turns figure four into cradle! TWO!?!? Sonya escapes by nanoseconds! Fans boo but Charlotte storms up, only for Sonya to send her into buckles!

Sonya runs, into a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Charlotte drags Sonya to a drop zone, goes up top, and fans fire up for the MOONSAULT! Sonya BOOTS her back! And rolls her up! FEET ON THE ROPES! TWO!!! The ref reprimands but Charlotte still escapes! Sonya steps through, Charlotte kicks free of the figure four! Sonya comes back, sunset flips, but charlotte rolls through! Charlotte has the legs, “WOO~!” Figure Four, to FIGURE EIGHT!! Sonya taps, Charlotte wins!!

Winner: Charlotte Flair, by submission (still SmackDown Women’s Champion)

Sonya was so close and yet so far! But that is how good Charlotte Flair is now that she’s back on top! What will it take for even The Eradicator to take this title off Charlotte at WrestleMania?

 

The Bloodline sits in their private room.

Roman asks Jimmy, “Where’s your brother?” Jimmy doesn’t know. Jimmy didn’t talk to Jey? Haven’t heard from him. Roman isn’t sure if it’s just him, but don’t you find that disrespectful? Jey not only walks out, but he doesn’t care enough to communicate. It’s one thing to walk away, but to not hear from him for a whole week… Plus, don’t the Usos have a title match next week? “We don’t walk out on our obligations.” Roman can’t understand this. So he asks again: Has Jimmy talked to Jey? And Jimmy will say it again, he hasn’t heard from Jey. But Jey will be there, Jimmy has faith in him. But they all know Jey. He just needs time to cool off.

Roman repeats, “He’ll be there. he’ll be there for you. What about all of us? He gonna be there for the entire Bloodline? Huh? Solo, have you talked to your brother?” Jimmy says if he hasn’t heard from Jey, Jey isn’t talking to nobody, Uce. Nobody has heard from Jey. Roman says they don’t understand the urgency that is needed right now. Roman calls upon the Wise Man. “Yes, My Tribal Chief.” “Is it not WrestleMania season?” “It is WrestleMania Season, My Tribal Chief.” Then you ain’t gonna find Jey on the couch. Go find him now! Jimmy and Solo get up and head out. Will Main Event Jey be found at all tonight?

 

The Brawling Brutes VS The Viking Raiders w/ Valhalla!

“Butch” and Ridge the Fridge are going to avenge Sheamus against Erik & Ivar! Will the Bruiserweight and Yorkshire Grit be the ones to bring Ragnarök to the Vikings? Or will they end up just like the Celtic Connection?

SmackDown returns and the Vikings make their entrance. The teams sort out and Dunne starts with Ivar. They tie up, Ivar puts Dunne in a corner, but he lets off quickly. Dunne fires forearms but Ivar throws body shots and fast hands! The ref counts, Ivar lets off again, but then Ivar whips Dunne out to send him back into the corner hard! Dunne falls, Ivar drags him to the corner and tags in Erik. Erik whips Dunne into the corner, runs in, but into boots! Dunne brings Erik around, ties him up, and has an abdominal stretch, but he bends the fingers! Dunne powers Erik to the corner, fires forearms, and tags in Ridge.

Ridge runs side to side to forearm smash! Ridge keeps going, and he runs Erik over with a shoulder! Ridge drags Erik up but Erik wrenches out to ROCK him with a forearm! Erik suplexes but Ridge is too big for that! Ridge suplexes Erik up and over! Tag to Dunne, then Ridge clobbers Erik! Dunne BOOTS Ivar, and then the Brutes have Erik for DOUBLE BEATS OF THE BODHRAIN! They go to 7 before Dunne just fires off furiously! Erik flops down, Dunne stomps him off the apron, then he PLANCHAS! Erik gets clear, but Dunne stares “Valhalla” Sarah Logan down. Erik RAMS Dunne into barriers, then CLOBBERS him! Fans boo but SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Dunne pries his way out of a sleeper at the ropes! He SNAPS Erik’s fingers! Valhalla is shocked, Erik runs in, but Dunne goes up and over! Tag to Ridge, and he EXPLODERS Erik! Erik is back up, but he swings into another EXPLODER! Ridge blocks haymakers to throw HEADBUTTS, and then an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Ridge roars, “FIGHT NIGHT!” but runs into a KNEE! Tag to Ivar, Ridge CLOBBERS Erik but Ivar kicks low! Ivar reels Ridge in, lifts him up, but Ridge powers up and Alabama Lifts Ivar! ALABAMA SLAM!! Cover, TWO!! Valhalla is relieved as the War Beard survives!

Ridge snarls, he waistlocks Ivar but Ivar backs him into a corner. Ivar fires elbow after elbow, but Dunne tags in to ENZIGURI! Dunne runs in to BOOT Ivar! Erik tags in, he runs but into an ENZIGURI! Dunne runs, but into a LARIAT! ACE TEN MAO! Cover, ONE?!?! Tag to Ivar, and Ivar climbs. Erik hands Dunne off to Ivar, but Ridge drags Erik out! Erik RAMS Ridge into barriers! Dunne fights the slam, rains down elbows, and then SUPER STEINERS Ivar away! Cover, TWO!! Ivar survives and Valhalla breathes easy again. Dunne goes up top to MOONSAULT! But Ivar catches Dunne!! Ivar deadlifts Dunne, but Dunne slips into a SLEEPER!

Ivar RAMS Dunne into buckles, Erik tags in and Erik CLOBBERS Dunne! Ivar goes out, Ridge runs in, but into a HEEL KICK! Ivar tags back in, the Vikings have Dunne, and Valhalla nods. RAGNARÖK!! Cover, the Vikings win!

Winners: The Viking Raiders, by pinfall

The Brutes could not stop the brutality of Erik & Ivar, the raid continues on! Will the Viking Raiders be waiting on the other side of next week’s tag title showdown?

WAIT! Here comes Drew McIntyre and Sheamus! The Celtic Connection are back on their feet, and they brawl with the Vikings on the stage! Sheamus tackles Erik, McIntyre throws Ivar into railing! The forearms fly, and Sheamus RAMS Erik into a girder! McIntyre runs and RAMS Ivar into the LED screen! Ivar staggers, McIntyre BOOTS him down! Fans fire up as Sheamus & McIntyre stand tall! Will they turn the tides in this battle on the Road to WrestleMania?

 

Bray Wyatt sits in his rocking chair.

Like us, he was surely watching back the highlights of the Pitch Black Match from the Royal Rumble. But then Uncle Howdy walks over! He and Bray look at the camera together, does this mean they’re on the same side after all?

 

Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Shotzi Blackheart VS Shayna Baszler VS Zelina Vega VS Natalya!

As we learned on Raw, there will be a Women’s Elimination Chamber to name Bianca Belair’s WrestleMania opponent! Raquel Rodriguez, Liv Morgan, Nikki Cross and Asuka are automatically in given their performance in the Women’s Rumble match. Raw will hold its own Fatal 4 on Monday, but who qualifies for the fifth spot here on Friday Night SmackDown?

SmackDown returns and the Queen of Harts makes her entrance, with the Wild Child, Queen of Spades and La Muneca already waiting. The bell rings and Natty rushes Shayna. Natty dodges Shayna’s haymaker, Shotzi ROCKS Shayna with a right, and then Natty fires off on Shayna. Vega rushes Shotzi but gets a kick. Natty bumps Shayna off buckles and stomps a mudhole! Shotzi throws Vega out, then goes after Shayna, even pushing Natty outta the way! Shotzi has her own bone to pick with Shayna, but then Natty throws Shotzi away. Natty stomps Shayna out of the ring, Shotzi rolls Natty up! TWO, Shotzi headlocks but Natty powers out.

Shotzi runs Natty over, fans fire up and Shotzi runs, but Vega trips her up! Vega drags Shotzi out, THROWS her to the barriers, then laughs as she goes into the ring. Vega and Natty tie up, Vega gets around to roll Natty up, TWO! Vega KICKS from below, covers, TWO! We see Liv and Raquel are here watching backstage, already representing SmackDown in the Elimination Chamber. Vega drags Natty up but Natty ROCKS Vega! Natty scoops Vega but Vega slips off and pushes her away. Vega then tilt-o-whirls, and hits a CODE RED! Cover, Shayna kicks it apart! Shayna gut wrenches Vega to a SLAM!

Shotzi returns, Shayna gets around and hooks Shotzi up, BACKBREAKER! Shayna grabs Shotzi’s arm and stands on her head. Shotzi flails, fans boo, but Natty CLUBS Shayna down! Natty drags Shayna up, throws her to the apron, and runs in. Shayna avoids the shoulder to KICK Natty! Vega trips Shayna but Shayna CLOBBERS her for it! Shayna gets back in, and KNEES Natty down! Shayna grins as she covers, TWO!! Natty survives that nasty knee that once broke her nose, and Shayna soaks up the heat from the fans while SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Shayna pulls on Shotzi’s arm in a top wristlock. Shotzi fights up and fires body shots but Shayna DECKS her! Shayna stands on Shotzi’s arm, but she avoids the stomp! Roll up, ONE, but Shotzi BOOTS, KNEES and ROLLING ELBOWS Shayna, to then QUESTION MARK KICK! Shayna ends up on ropes, Shotzi runs to SENTON! Shayna bails out, Shotzi DIVES to take her out at the ramp! Fans fire up but Vega goes up top! Vega SUPER MOONSAULTS onto Shotzi and Shayna! All three are down, Natty hurries out to DECK Vega! Natty puts Shotzi in, runs and trips Shotzi, to the SHARPSHOOTER!

Fans fire up as Shotzi endures, but Vega hits a BULLDOG on Natty! Shotzi chicken wings Vega to TIGER SUPLEX! But Shayna reels Shotzi in for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Shayna then drags Vega up into the KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!! Vega flails, but she’s fading! Natty runs in, Shayna drops Vega to duck the discus! KIRAFUDA for Natty!! But Natty throws Shayna out of the ring! Natty hurries to get Vega for the SHARPSHOOTER!! Vega taps, Natty wins!!

Winner: Natalya, by submission (advances to Elimination Chamber)

The Queen of Harts is going to be the hometown hero in Montreal! But will that help her take the golden ticket to Hollywood?

 

Roman Reigns still waits in his private room.

Heyman apologizes to the Tribal Chief. Jey’s phone goes straight to voicemail. Heyman wants to say more, but he holds his tongue. Jimmy and Solo return, and they also say they got nothing. A big fat zero. Roman sighs. “I just don’t understand. Of all the times of year for this to happen. We were doing so good. No problems, no hiccups.” Roman says they know how much he has on his plate. That they understand “the stress and the burden of this position.” He feels like he’s being pulled in two different directions, and spread too thin. He loves them, and is sorry for speaking tot hem the way he did.

Jimmy says not to worry about it. Roman says he needs them. He needs them to be as strong as they ever were. Because if they’re not, there is no more #WeTheOnes. Wise Man had catering sent to the bus, it’s a whole bunch of sushi, steaks, etc. It’s good stuff. They can go to the bus and eat up while Roman goes to the ring to handle business. He needs them with him. They understand? Yeet. Then enjoy. He’ll catch up with them later. Jimmy says okay, and has Solo tag along. What will Roman say about Sami, Jey and the Bloodline as a whole? We find out, after the break.

 

BREAKING NEWS for next week!

On top of the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, we will see a Fatal 4 Way match to name a #1 contender to the Intercontinental Championship! Rey Mysterio VS Madcap Moss VS Karrion Kross VS Santos Escobar! Who will win to go after Der Ring General?

 

Roman Reigns heads to the ring.

Paul Heyman is the only one to accompany the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion as his reign now reaches 887 DAYS! Roman lifts the belts for the pyro, then continues to the ring. As it stands, Roman Reigns will headline WrestleMania against the American Nightmare, the Men’s Rumble Winner, Cody Rhodes, but even that seems to be secondary to what is going on within The Bloodline. Roman and Heyman stand in the ring, and Roman lifts the belts again for the second round of pyro. Heyman then hands Roman a mic while fans chant, “SAMI! SAMI!” Roman lets that settle down before he says, “Greenville, South Carolina… ACKNOWLEDGE ME!”

Fans are still rather torn between cheers, jeers, and the chant of “SAMI! SAMI!” Roman was going to ask them who they want him to talk about, but it’s obvious. Roman says he’d rather sit here and talk about Cody Rhodes. “Y’know, the guy that won the Royal Rumble, the #1 contender. Someone who actually deserves my attention. But you simple folks have reduced me to talking about the past.” Fans boo, then start up the “SAMI! SAMI!” again. Roman says fine, if they want to hear about Sami, he’ll talk about Sami. “But remember, there’s two sides to every story, so you’re gonna hear mine.” Fans boo, they already don’t like that.

Roman says that in order to hear his side of the story, “we’ve gotta go all the way back to WarGames.” Heyman remembers when Roman looked Sami in his eyes that Roman saw everything he needed to see. “Would you like to know what I saw that night? I saw greed. I saw the same thing that I see in everybody that I ever interact with in my life nowadays. If a restaurant was lucky enough to have me, when I walk in, the hostess, the people in the kitchen, the waitress, the waiter, they all say the same thing. ‘I want this.’ It’s not, ‘Tribal Chief, it’s great to see you.’ No, it’s ‘What can I do for you, like I haven’t already done enough?'”

So Roman does the same thing for Sami, he gives Sami the opportunity of a lifetime, and Sami just uses him, the Bloodline and the Island of Relevancy! “No different than each and every one of you, because you all want, want, want. You can never give back, huh?” BUT THEN SAMI ATTACKS!! Sami came outta the crowd in a hoodie but it’s clear as day that’s him! Sami rains down furious fists and fans are loving it! Sami tears off the hoodie to reveal his new Sami Zayn shirt! Roman staggers up, Sami fires off, but Roman throws knees in return! Roman stomps Sami down, fans boo, but Roman shakes out the stars.

Roman tells Heyman to get a chair, so Heyman gets a chair. Heyman hands the chair to Roman, but Sami is back up! Sami SPEARS Roman?!?! Fans are thunderous as Sami hits Roman with his own move! And then Sami looks down at the chair. Fans are chanting for “SAMI! SAMI!” and Sami swings! Roman avoids the chair shot and retreats up the ramp! Sami shouts in the mic, “ROMAAAN!! You’re wrong about me. I never wanted anything from you. I never wanted anything from you!! Until now. I want something from you now, and I’m gonna take it. Because I am coming after you and the WWE UNDISPUTED UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!”

Fans are going nuts, and Roman is flabbergasted! But then Jimmy SUPERKICKS Sami down! Solo and Jimmy mug Sami! Fans boo but Roman grins as Solo rains down HEADBUTTS! Solo stands Sami up, SAMOAN SPIKE!! Sami sputters but the Bloodline isn’t done with him! They sit Sami in the corner, rain down fists, and then they put the chair around Sami’s head! They’re gonna Riddle him! Solo runs in, but Roman stops him!? Roman looks down on Sami and says, “You want something, huh? You want something from me?” Roman takes the chair away, and fans are chanting “WE WANT JEY! WE WANT JEY!”

Roman tells Sami to listen to that. The fans want Jey, but Roman doesn’t have Jey because Sami broke up the Bloodline. The Right Hand Man isn’t here because of Sami! Sami was given the keys to the kingdom, the invitation to the Promised Land, and Sami repays them by breaking up the family! Sami will get what he wants, but Roman will get what he wants. Sami and Roman will be in Montreal at the Elimination Chamber! Sami broke up Roman’s family, so Roman will break Sami in front of his family! Sami’s parents, wife, kids, friends, relatives, everyone he’s connected to! They will see what happens when you mess with Roman’s family! “I’ll see you soon!”

Sami is still down, fans still chant for him, but then they boo as Roman takes the belts back. If this is what Sami wants, then this is simple to Roman! This isn’t a dream, this is reality! Sami should’ve just stayed in the Bloodline. Roman lifts the titles over Sami, will this be what we see in Montreal in just two weeks?


My Thoughts:

This was a great SmackDown to follow the Royal Rumble! For one, it flew by, though that could be because of the recap packages and only the four matches. I did like the bit we got out of Bray and Uncle Howdy, though it was rather short. The NASCAR racing segment was cheesy like a lot of pro-wrestling corporate synergy stuff is, but it continues to further the plot point that Dom will just get in Rey’s face anywhere and everywhere. With Rhea wanting after Charlotte, it is obvious that the rest of Judgment Day will move over to SmackDown with her, they will have a new feud with Rey, and New Day might even back Rey up for some really good Six Man Tags.

Speaking of Charlotte, she and Sonya had a decent promo before their match, which logically wasn’t the main event because it was a given Charlotte would win. Even so, Sonya looked strong in that match, just not strong enough. And great move having the Women’s Fatal 4 be the “main event” as far as matches. Shotzi, Shayna, Vega and Natty are all great talents, and it makes sense to give Montreal their hometown hero of Natty in the Women’s Elimination Chamber match. Personally, I would’ve given the nod to Shayna, she would be just as good in the match, and if she were to move over to Raw, she could still have great matches against Bianca Belair and others past Mania.

The Brutes VS Viking Raiders was a really good tag match, but of course the Vikings were gonna win that. And given that, of course Drew & Sheamus were gonna get after them. I don’t know if it’s gonna be in a Donnybrook or a Viking Rules match, but we need one of those at Elimination Chamber for the blow-off of McIntyre & Sheamus VS Erik & Ivar. They need to go wild and just beat each other down. I also like the news of the Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4. Rey, Moss, Kross and Escobar is a great field, but I can’t be sure who faces Gunther. Well, outside of Moss. I don’t see him pulling out a win there, but at the same time, Rey and Kross might cancel out. Escobar VS Gunther so that we could get Legado Del Fantasma VS Imperium would be really cool.

Speaking of Imperium, great opening tag to finish the SmackDown Tag Title tournament. Braun and Ricochet getting after Gunther to get him ejected was good stuff, and of course Braun & Ricochet as the Faces win. Their story ties into the Bloodline dysfunction, and the promos from The Bloodline was good stuff. Jey is MIA and radio silent, which is still a big part of things. Roman again had to walk back his anger in order to keep Solo and Jimmy on his side, and then Roman had a great promo to close the night, along with Sami’s blindside attack. Sami wanting the titles is a natural move, but I have a feeling Sami loses in Montreal to really put heat on Roman. As much as we all love Sami, as great as Sami truly is, Roman VS Cody got a really good Mania Hollywood graphic, WWE’s not changing that.

My Score: 8.8/10


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