The Undisputed Era have angered the Bruiserweight, Pete Dunne, and bullied the brawling Lorcan & Burch. Now all three of their targets team up to take them on! Can the WWE UK Champion and his allies take it to the NXT North American and Tag Team Champions? Plus, for the first time ever, Ricochet VS Velveteen Dream!
All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Brandi Lauren VS Lacey Evans; Lacey wins.
- Ricochet VS Velveteen Dream; no contest.
- Kona Reeves VS Raul Mendoza; Reeves wins.
- Six Man Tag: Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch VS The Undisputed Era; Dunne, Lorcan & Burch win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Johnny Gargano’s music hits!
But that’s not Gargano walking out, it’s Tommaso Ciampa.
The Blackheart Psycho Killer waves but the fans boo, jeer and give thumbs down. “Everybody keeps saying that Johnny Gargano won. That he beat me!” Gargano won a battle, but Ciampa “will always win the war!” It’s why Ciampa’s here while Gargano is home, in a neck brace that Ciampa put him in. Fans chant “You Suck! You Suck!” but Ciampa says that he has broken Gargano. Ciampa broke Gargano’s heart, mind, spirit and now, his body. “Johnny Wrestling is gone. I win.” Fans remind Ciampa he tapped out, then Candice LeRae appears!
Mrs. Wrestling storms right to the ring and confronts Ciampa. “Who are you?” Candice used to think she knew Ciampa. But she doesn’t recognize what he’s become. Ciampa is obsessed but she can’t understand why. “The only thing that’s truly broken here is you,” Ciampa. He taunts her with fake tears, but Candice says she’s done with the man she and her husband stood with. “You are a monster that I will never forgive.” While Gargano’s future is uncertain, Ciampa will always know Gargano was better. Fans agree with that one. Ciampa picks up the mic while fans chant “Johnny’s Better!”
Ciampa says maybe Gargano was better. But Candice and Ciampa both know, “that that boy you call ‘husband’ isn’t half the man I am.” That’s why he sent his cute little wife out instead of being here himself. Ciampa lived with them, and he knows he’s more of a man than Gargano. The fans chant “Mess him up, Candice, mess him up!” and Ciampa dares her to. Speaking of their wedding, Ciampa was thinking something the entire time: “How on Earth could this woman possibly be marrying such a big–” SLAP!! Ciampa and Candice stare down, but the Psycho Killer backs off with a little wave. Candice takes her leave, having said what she wanted. Fans still say Ciampa sucks, but will there ever be an end to his grudge with Gargano?
Brandi Lauren VS Lacey Evans!
One of NXT’s newest women goes up against the Model Soldier and Lady of NXT to see if she is worthy of staying. Can Lacey continue her mission of straightening out the NXT Women’s Division one woman at a time?
The bell rings and Lacey ties up with Brandi to throw her down. Lacey puts Brandi in a corner and stomps away. She backs off at the referee’s count, but then hits a swinging bronco buster. Brandi crawls away, but Lacey stands on her at the ropes. Lacey lets up at 4, and poses on the apron before dropping the slingshot elbow. Lacey drags Brandi into position, then climbs up to salute the fans. She hits a model moonsault, but she doesn’t end it there. Lacey drags Brandi up, for that knockout right! AKA a Woman’s Right.
Cover, and Lacey wins!
Winner: Lacey, by pinfall
One woman down, the rest of the Division to go. Lacey shows off her right to end a match, will she use that right to take control of NXT?
But as Lacey takes her leave, Kairi Sane attacks!
The Pirate Princess is back for revenge! Kairi took a sucker punch so she gives one, and then some! They end up at the ring and fans go wild for Kairi. She puts Lacey in the ring, then climbs up high, but Lacey rolls out of harm’s way. Kairi hops down while Lacey retreats. Fans call her “Chicken! Chicken!” Kairi wants her revenge, when will she get it?
Aleister Black speaks.
The Embodiment of the End know Ricochet and Velveteen Dream want at his title. “I’ve learned a few things since becoming NXT Champion.” One is that there’s a bigger target on the champion’s back. If Aleister faces Velveteen, we know the history between them. If Aleister faces Ricochet, he looks forward to seeing if he’s truly the One and Only. But both men need to realize, stepping in the ring with Aleister, makes them the target. Who will Aleister make #FadeToBlack over the NXT Championship?
Dakota Kai talks to NXT Media.
Captain Kick is congratulated on her win last week against Vanessa Borne. But afterwards, Shayna Baszler and Nikki Cross both interrupted. Dakota has no idea what Nikki is up to, she’s just kinda crazy. Dakota obviously wants to be NXT WOmen’s Champion, but her focus right now is strength and– Oh no, here comes Nikki!
“I’ve got a question!” When is Dakota gonna fight Shayna? When? Huh? When? For the title? Fight? Dakota doesn’t know what to say. “With fear comes opportunity.” Nikki wants Dakota to face her fears and fight. She leaves Dakota to reflect on that “advice”. Will Dakota take Nikki’s advice and take the fight to Shayna?
Ricochet VS Velveteen Dream!
The eccentric Patrick Clark Experience called out the One and Only to say “anything you can do, I can do better.” Ricochet would respond with, “Prove it.” And now, to see who is more worthy of being #1 contender to the NXT Championship, they will go head to head for the first time anywhere!
Fans duel already between “Velveteen!” and “Ricochet!” The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up but break, then circle again. Velveteen slithers and corners Ricochet. He goes for the arm, then wrenches and brings Ricochet down while fans chant “Both These Guys!” Velveteen swivels the hips but Ricochet kips up to wrench and swivel back. Ricochet keeps Velveteen grounded with a keylock. Velveteen spins around and reverses from hammerlock to headlock to takedown. Ricochet tries the headscissors but Velveteen keeps it at bay. Ricochet powers through and keeps Velveteen trapped. Velveteen rolls and pops his way out, to then shove Ricochet down for a headlock. Ricochet rolls to a cover, ONE, and they stand up.
Ricochet gives body shots and brings Velveteen down to reverse back to an armlock. He drives elbows into Velveteen’s shoulders, but Velveteen stands up. Velveteen tries but fails to power out of the headlock, so he rolls Ricochet over to a cover. ONE, and they stand up again. Velveteen powers out, but Ricochet rolls off his back to then roll back. Velveteen copies the back roll, then the somersaults to then arm-drag Ricochet out! Ricochet staggers, and fans applaud as Velveteen keeps his word. Velveteen builds speed, but Ricochet slides in while Velveteen tumbles to the apron. Ricochet triangle jump to dropkick Velveteen down! Fans fire up again, and Ricochet builds speed, to handspring and superhero land as Velveteen slides in!
Fans are all fired up as Velveteen sees he’s bitten off more than he can chew. The fans chant “NXT!” while Velveteen shoves. Ricochet blocks the kick to rock Velveteen with a right. Ricochet whips but Velveteen reverses to rock him with a forearm in the corner. Velveteen throws hands and stomps, then whips, but Ricochet goes up and over. They collide head to head, and stagger about. Velveteen and Ricochet brawl in a corner, but then Lars Sullivan appears to sandwich them!
The match is thrown out as the Leviathan throws Ricochet! Then he tosses Velveteen for a powerslam! Lars flattens Ricochet in the corner while fans boo and jeer. He finishes it by picking Velveteen up for the FREAK ACCIDENT!
And then one for Ricochet! The fans boo and jeer Lars destroying this match, but Lars makes it clear HE wants to be the next NXT Champion! Is the Leviathan the one man–or rather, monster–that Aleister can’t make #FadeToBlack?
Kona Reeves VS Raul Mendoza!
NXT’s Finest made a victorious return last week while the Cruiserweight in waiting lost to the Top One Percent. Will Mendoza make his moment? Or will Reeves roll on with his newfound self-worth?
Reeves makes sure his chains and jacket are well taken care off before the bell rings. Fans chant “Kona Sucks!” while he ties up with Mendoza. Reeves wrenches the arm, gives it a shoulder breaker, then yanks on it hard. He puts Mendoza in a hammerlock, but Mendoza hits back with an elbow. Reeves suckers Mendoza into a headlock, but Mendoza power out, only for Reeves to run him over. Mendoza staggers up, and speeds up again, to slide under and tilt-o-whirl. Reeves slips out of it to throw Mendoza into a corner and give the Finest mudhole stomps. The referee backs Reeves up, but Reeves goes right back to suplex Mendoza up and over. Reeves drops a Finest fist drop, then climbs up for the Finest falling elbow. He stalks Mendoza, toys with him, and drives elbows into Mendoza’s face.
Reeves rubs Mendoza’s face into the mat, but stops at 4. Reeves wraps Mendoza in a Finest Cobra Clutch, but fans rally for Mendoza. Mendoza endures, and feeds off the energy to give Reeves a jawbreaker. Reeves gets angry, but gets a kick from Mendoza, then chops. Mendoza fires off haymakers, but Reeves throws him to ropes, only for Mendoza to hit a rebound enziguri! Reeves staggers, Mendoza runs in for a forearm smash. Mendoza whips, Reeves reverses but Mendoza slips out to the apron. Mendoza rocks Reeves with a swing kick, then springboards, only for Reeves to boot him out of the sky! Reeves then drags Mendoza up and says, “That’s why I’m the Finest.” He lifts Mendoza up, for the Hawaiian Drop!
Cover, Reeves wins!
Winner: Reeves, by pinfall
The Finest is on the Finest Win Streak right now, but he still has a long way to go. Will Reeves keep racking up victories to be the Finest Contender, and even the Finest Champion in NXT?
Cathy Kelly finds Ricochet outside William Regal’s office.
Clearly the One and Only wants to discuss what happened during his match with the NXT General Manager. In reference to that, Velveteen shows up for very much the same reason. They both want a match with Lars, but keep their cool as they enter Regal’s office. How will the NXT GM solve this monster-sized problem?
Heavy Machinery walk backstage while making a video.
Otis and Tucker speak about pumping up, but come across TM61. Shane Thorne & Nick Miller are labelled as “cheaters” after what they did to Street Profits. It doesn’t matter how you win, so long as you win. TM61 tasted victory, the one thing Heavy Machinery hasn’t tasted in some time. Tucker lets them know that TM61 is gonna be sore after facing them. Otis says any place, any time, and it’s gonna be next week. The Might may not kneel, but will they be flattened by the power of #SteaksAndWeights?
Six Man Tag: Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch VS The Undisputed Era!
The Bruiserweight joins forces with two bruising brawlers in order to exact some revenge on the traitorous Roderick Strong and his new friends who like to #ShockTheSystem. Will Strong, Cole & O’Reilly be able to use their teamwork and treachery to get the better of Dunne, Lorcan & Burch?
The referee keeps the two teams apart, even as the Undisputed Era taunt Dunne, Lorcan & Burch. Dunne starts against Strong, the man he wants most, and the bell rings. Strong dances around, then tags out to O’Reilly. Dunne tags out to Burch, and now Burch and O’Reilly circle. They tie up, and O’Reilly gets the waistlock. Burch gets the standing switch, but O’Reilly switches back. O’Reilly goes for the kneebar, but Burch gets to the rope. O’Reilly releases Burch, then they tie up again. Both men are even, but Burch gets the headlock takeover. O’Reilly rolls Burch, ONE, headscissors. Burch pops out but O’Reilly is ready even on the mat. Both men dare the other to bring the fight. They circle, and O’Reilly kicks out the legs. O’Reilly brings Burch over and Cole tags in to deck Burch. Cole stomps away, then toys with Burch at the ropes.
Cole throws hands, then grins as he throws in a knee. He stomps away while taunting and trash talking, then tags O’Reilly. Team Future Shock mug Burch, then O’Reilly drives in muay thai knees. O’Reilly snapmares, kicks, and covers, TWO. O’Reilly brings Burch back and Strong tags in now. Strong gives Burch the backbreaker, covers, TWO. Strong keeps on Burch, and copies Dunne with the hammerlock stomp! He even mocks Dunne’s fist pose. Dunne wants to come in, but Burch fights back. Strong lifts Burch but Burch slips down and brings Strong over. Dunne tags in and he rocks Strong with rights! Dunne fires off in an open corner, then whips Strong for a big back elbow. He doesn’t let up, he brings Strong down with a hammerlock, and hammers away on the ribs.
Strong screams in pain as Dunne bends those fingers past their point. Dunne goes to snap the fingers, but O’Reilly & Cole rush to save him. However, Lorcan & Burch catch them! Dunne, Lorcan & Burch all grab the fingers, for a TRIPLE SNAP!
The Undisputed Era rolls out of the ring to regroup, all clutching their broken digits. Lorcan & Burch raise up the “one two” fingers, Dunne throws up a three. Strong returns, but cowers in a corner. Cole and O’Reilly distract Dunne, then Strong pounces! Strong stomps away, then drags Dunne up to tag in Cole. They mug Dunne, clubbing and stomping him to the mat. Cole tags O’Reilly, and O’Reilly fires off on Dunne in the corner. O’Reilly toys with Dunne, then tags Strong for more mugging. Strong wraps Dunne in a cobra clutch but the fans rally for the Bruiserweight. Dunne sits up, gets to his feet, but Strong yanks him back into a backbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Strong dropkicks Dunne in that back. Strong tags Cole, and they stomp away on Dunne again. Cole brings Dunne up, snapmare to drive in a knee into the back.
Dunne hits back, but Cole knocks him down with a bicycle kick. Cole drags Dunne over, O’Reilly tags in. O’Reilly brings Dunne up, for the shoulder breaker. O’Reilly drives in elbows and knees to all sides of Dunne, then runs for a sliding knee. Tag to Strong, and Strong stomps again. Strong puts Dunne in a seated abdominal stretch, but fans rally again. Dunne endures, stands up and fights back with body shots. Strong shoves but Dunne keeps fighting! Dunne runs out, but Strong whips him back in. Dunne goes up and over, hot tag to Lorcan! Lorcan rallies on Strong with haymakers, then gives chops all around to Strong and O’Reilly! He’s all fired up and starts on a European Uppercut train! Strong tries to stop him, but gets thrown by a Half ‘n’ Half Suplex! Cole runs in, but into the running blockbuster!
Lorcan is all fired up, and he tags in Burch, to then FLY onto Strong & O’Reilly!
Lorcan feeds Strong to Burch, and Burch fires off a EuroUpper. Strong staggers back into Lorcan’s atomic drop, then Burch knocks Strong down with a clothesline! Cover, but Cole breaks it. Dunne returns and SMACKS Cole with a forearm. O’Reilly returns, throws Dunne in a German Suplex, but Dunne lands on his feet. Dunne kicks O’Reilly, but Strong throws him out. Strong throws Lorcan into Dunne, then hits Burch with a full-nelson backbreaker. Burch staggers into a corner, Strong hits him with a stiff corner shining wizard. Cole tags in, then Cole tags in O’Reilly. Cole hits Burch with an Ushigorishi! O’Reilly hits the Penalty Kick! Cover, TWO!? O’Reilly is furious with Burch’s toughness. Fans rally, and Burch rocks O’Reilly with a right. Cole runs in but is sent back out. Strong comes in, he’s sent out.
O’Reilly knees low and goes for the guillotine, but Burch counters into the crossface! Lorcan intercepts Strong for the Half Crab! Cole returns, but Dunne catches him into the Hoverboard wristlock! It’s three submissions, side-by-side-by-side!
The Undisputed Era all endure, but Strong slips out to shove Lorcan into Dunne and Cole, which sends them into Burch. All three holds are broken, and all six men are down. The fans duel between “Undisputed!” “Bruiserweight!” Cole goes after Dunne, but Dunne suplexes Cole out of the ring. Strong & O’Reilly stagger up to brawl with Lorcan & Burch! Fast hands fly from both, but it’s the brawlers who get the edge, only to run into forearms and elbows. O’Reilly gives Burch the Ax, but Burch evades to send the Smash into Strong! Burch headbutts O’Reilly, and Lorcan hits both O’Reilly & Strong with a blockbuster! Strong rolls out while Burch picks up O’Reilly. Lorcan wheelbarrows O’Reilly, for Burch to hit a DDT!
C0ver, Burch, Lorcan & Dunne win!
Winners: Dunne, Lorcan & Burch, Burch pinning
The one two three combination does the Undisputed Era in. Lorcan & Burch have pinned the NXT Tag Team Champions, will this give them a long-awaited title shot? And what of Dunne and Cole? Will there be a clash of United Kingdom and North American Champions on the horizon?
Another great night for NXT, with everything being rather straight forward. Ciampa continues to be a genius, using Gargano’s music now to swerve the fans. Then he implies there’s some kind of love triangle where he’s the “real man” Candice wants even though she’s with Gargano. I doubt WWE would consider co-ed wrestling an option, but Candice would be the one to use in a match against Ciampa. Kairi ups the rivalry with Lacey with that attack, their rematch looks to be building up for something really fun. Nikki Cross oddly wants Dakota to fight Shayna instead of wanting Shayna for herself, but Nikki is meant to be the crazy one. Maybe if Dakota snaps and beats up Shayna even a little, that’ll make it easier for Nikki to take the title.
I was truly surprised to see Lars Sullivan attack both Ricochet and Velveteen. I suppose their incredible 1v1 match would be too much for just NXT TV. Next week we get a handicap match, Lars VS Ricochet & Velveteen, but that probably won’t end definitively. My guess is Velveteen leaves Ricochet alone with Lars and Lars wins. I still don’t get where Reeves is going to go, except maybe into something with EC3 for a showdown of rich guy gimmicks. EC3 definitely wins that. The Six Man Tag was great, and I was happily surprised to see the Undisputed Era loses. I expected this to lead into British Strong Style in NXT, but maybe that’ll be later. Lorcan & Burch can be a good holdover for O’Reilly & Strong until another team presents itself, and as I implied, we might even get Dunne VS Cole just because.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/19)
The three challengers to the Cruiserweight Championship will challenge each other in a Triple Threat! Who proves they’re Buddy Murphy’s biggest threat?
- Humberto Carrillo VS Gran Metalik; Carrillo wins.
- Triple Threat: Kalisto VS Hideo Itami VS Akira Tozawa; Itami wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Drake Maverick hypes up the already exciting night for 205 Live!
It will be one of the most intriguing line-ups with some major implications towards the Cruiserweight Division’s future! First, Humberto Carrillo is officially part of 205 Live and has his second match on air against Lucha House Party’s King of the Ropes! Humberto showed heart against the Juggernaut, Buddy Murphy, can he show even more against Gran Metalik? Then the Triple Threat main event pits Akira Tozawa, Hideo Itami and Kalisto against each other in one last match before the Cruiserweight Championship match! Who seizes a big advantage going into the title match?
Aiden English joins commentary!
The SmackDown superstar and symphony singer shifts gears to be alongside Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph on the fastest hour of WWE!
Humberto Carrillo VS Gran Metalik!
The man formerly known as Ultimo Ninja has been making quite the waves in NXT and even in his 205 Live debut last week. Humberto didn’t win against the Juggernaut, but he did impress everyone enough to earn his Cruiserweight contract! Will he have a better time against the King of the Ropes? Or will he go a quick 0-2?
The bell rings and Humberto shakes hands with Metalik to show respect. Fans like that, and applaud as the two tie up. Metalik gets a waistlock, but Humberto works his way out to a wristlock. Humberto wrenches but Metalik rolls and reverses. Metalik wrenches but Humberto handsprings and reverses back to a headlock. Fans applaud while Metalik powers out. Things speed up and Humberto shows his agility! He dodges the handspring but Metalik headscissors, only for Humberto to handspring through! They both dropkick but those cancel out, and fans applaud the stalemate. Fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” as the two go again.
Metalik dodges Humberto to chop him and whip him. Humberto goes up and over and shows off more, then gets Metalik with an arm-drag. Humberto chops and goes acrobatic for an arm-drag! Metalik bails out but Humberto builds speed to FLY! Direct hit takes Metalik down and Humberto lands on his feet! Humberto drags Metalik up and into the ring, then covers, TWO! Humberto keeps on Metalik with a grounded wristlock, then brings Metalik up for a facelock. He suplexes Metalik down and floats to a cover, TWO! Humberto keeps his cool as he drags Metalik back up. He scoops and slams Metalik to a drop zone, then climbs up top. Fans fire up as Humberto moonsaults, but he gets boots! Metalik gets up and runs to Sling-Dog Humberto down! Cover, TWO! Metalik keeps his cool as he drags Humberto up.
Metalik puts Humberto in a corner, CHOPS him, then whips corner to corner. Humberto reverses but Metalik walks the ropes to missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Metalik is surprised but focused as he wraps on a chinlock. Humberto endures as fans slowly build to a rally. Humberto feeds off the energy and fights out, but Metalik throws him back down. Metalik puts the chinlock back on, but Humberto endures again. Metalik brings Humberto up in the fireman’s carry but Humberto fights out. Hands start flying, then both men duck kicks, but Humberto comes back with an enziguri! Humberto covers, TWO! Metalik rolls to ropes while Humberto grits his teeth. Humberto hurries after Metalik and both men end up on the apron. Humberto brings Metalik up but Metalik boots him back. Metalik brings Humberto in but Humberto boots him.
Fans rally up as Metalik tosses Humberto over the corner. Humberto hits Metalik back then climbs up top. Humberlto hits Metalik with a SUPER Bulldog to the apron! It was a bit double-edged as Humberto hits the floor, but he forces himself back up. Humberto goes up top again as Metalik slowly stands. Humberto leaps for a big crossbody! Cover, TWO! Metalik survives and Humberto grows frustrated. Humberto and Metalik go to oppsite corners, and Humberto runs in. Metalik dodges but Humberto tumbles to the apron. Humberto SLAPS Metalik away, but Metalik comes back with a SUPER HURICANRANA! Both men crash and burn to the floor but fans fire up! The referee checks on them both but they’re somehow okay.
Metalik sits up first and fires up with more “Lucha! Lucha!” Fans echo it as he puts Humberto in the ring. Metalik climbs and springboards, Swanton! Cover, TWO!! Humberto survives and now Metalik is shocked. Metalik refocuses and waits for Humberto to stand. He drags Humberto up and onto the top rope, then CHOPS him for good measure. Metalik positions Humberto and climbs up to throw forearms. He even SLAPS Humberto to see what the young star has. Metalik prepares but Humberto resists. Humberto fights back and shoves Metalik. Metalik lands on his feet but runs into a boot. Humberto adjusts, leaps, and hits a missile dropkick! Humberto doesn’t cover, he headstands and rebounds for an Aztec Press! Cover, Humberto wins!!
Winner: Humberto Carrillo, by pinfall
A huge victory over a 205 Live staple! And Metalik gives him the show of respect he earned. Humberto breaks even at 1-1, but will this first victory be the first of many?
Drake Maverick meets with Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher.
Clearly the ground game lobbyists of the Submission Commission are upset that a high-flyer was the first new Cruiserweight signed. But look at how impressive Humberto Carrillo is! Gulak and Gallagher have no words. They storm off but Tony Nese enters and wants a word with the GM. Nese wants a rematch with Noam Dar tonight. Well yes they are tied, and the fans would love seeing that tiebreaker. Maverick will consider it. Consider it? Well yes, he can’t just jump into it. The Rumble is Sunday, the title could change hands– Nese doesn’t care about any of that. Just consider what will happen if Nese doesn’t get his match. Dar has been running his mouth and Nese is tired of it. If Nese doesn’t get the match, then he’ll make his own opportunity. The Premier Athlete has sent his ultimatum, will Maverick take it seriously?
Akira Tozawa and THE Brian Kendrick speak.
Tozawa says that he’s “had some good times and bad times on 205 Live.” But the past doesn’t matter, this opportunity is huge. Tozawa didn’t travel around the world to be a joke, he came to the WWE to make a name for himself. He will become the two-time Cruiserweight Champion. But can he be the top contender after tonight’s Triple Threat?
The Lucha House Party speak.
Lince Dorado knows that 2019 will be a big year for the trio. They’re on both Raw and 205 Live, and they spared the joy of lucha libre to the WWE Universe. But the one thing that they’re missing and will take them to the next level is that Cruiserweight Championship! If one of them wins, they all win! And Kalisto is going to show all the others in that Fatal 4 Way that he IS a threat. Kalisto vows to be that two-time Cruiserweight Champion, with the power of “Lucha! Lucha!” But can speed kill when there are multiple opponents?
Triple Threat: Kalisto VS Hideo Itami VS Akira Tozawa!
The Lucha Dragon may have his amigos, the Innovator of the GTS may have his hype man, and the Stamina Monster may have the Man with a Plan, but who will have the momentum going into the title match this Sunday?
Before Hideo Itami makes his entrance, he and Ariya Daivari have an interview backstage. What would it mean to finally become Cruiserweight Champion? Daivari speaks for Itami, saying that as the only man who has not held that title, it makes Itami the hungriest and most dangerous superstar. The only thing missing from his already legendary career is WWE gold, so Itami will make an example out of his opponents tonight. Itami speaks in Japanese to say that he is coming for the Cruiserweight Championship by any means necessary. Itami makes his entrance, and we begin this match!
But wait, Buddy Murphy makes his presence known! The champion reminds his contenders what they’re fighting for while also keeping an eye on all three of them. And as a bonus, he joins commentary! The bell rings and Itami goes right at Kalisto and Tozawa! Murphy already knows commentary will talk about how a Fatal 4 Way means he could lose the title without being pinned, but that won’t matter because he’s not losing. In the ring, Itami keeps on Tozawa and throws him out. Itami then goes after Kalisto with haymakers and a whip. Kalisto kicks Itami back then runs to tilt-o-whirl haedscissors! He adds a dropkick, then chops Itami before going acrobatic for the arm-drag! Itami bails out but Tozawa returns, and Tozawa hits Kalisto with a missile dropkick! Kalisto bails out but Tozawa builds speed to DIVE! The Tozawa Torpedo blasts Kalisto into the announce desk!
Tozawa and Murphy stare down, but Itami knocks Tozawa into the desk now! Itami and Murphy stare down for a moment before Itami drags Tozawa up and throws him into barriers. Itami stomps Kalisto thenn puts him into the steel steps! Murphy is confident this won’t happen to him in the match. Itami kicks away on Tozawa then puts him in the ring. Cover, TWO! Itami keeps on Tozawa with a whip, then a kitchen sink knee! Cover, TWO! Tozawa shows his toughness but Itami kicks him in the back. Itami boots Kalisto out and then soaks up the heat. Itami goes to Tozawa but Tozawa hits him back. But Itami still puts Tozawa in a chinlock to grind him down. Tozawa endures and moves around to a ropebreak.
Itami lets him go but drops elbows right on the back. He stomps Tozawa then goes after Kalisto. Kalisto hits back but Itami rocks him with a European Uppercut and a swift boot! Fans respect that with applause, as does Murphy. Itami goes back to Tozawa and covers, TWO. Itami keeps on Tozawa with a chinlock but Tozawa again endures. Fans rally up and Tozawa feeds off the energy. Tozawa fights out but Itami knees low. Itami runs but into a huricanrana! Tozawa gets Itami with a saido suplex! Kalisto leaps in but into a dropkick! Tozawa quickly covers Kalisto, TWO! Now he covers Itami, TWO! Tozawa keeps his cool but both Kalisto and Itami go to the apron. Fans echo “AH! AH!” for Tozawa as he goes after Kalisto with a forearm. Tozawa builds speed again, but runs into Itami’s lariat! Cover, but Kalisto breaks it in time!
All three men are down and Murphy is amused. Fans build to a rally as all three men slowly stir. Kalisto hits Tozawa, Tozawa chops Itami, and Itami hits Kalisto. Kalisto hits Tozawa again, Tozawa hits Itami again, and Itami hits Kalisto again. The rotation continues like this as the three men stand up. Kalisto hits Tozawa, Tozawa chops Itami, Itami kicks Kalisto. Kalisto CHOPS Tozawa, Tozawa CHOPS Itami, Itami kicks Kalisto! The rotation continues as Kalisto kicks Tozawa, but Tozawa fakes Itami out to hit Itami and Kalisto with jabs! Tozawa is the only one standing, and even Murphy applauds that. Fans chant “AH! AH!” for Tozawa as he runs at Itami. Itami boots him away then climbs up to tornado hotshot Tozawa down. Itami climbs up and makes sure Murphy is watching, but Kalisto kicks Itami!
Kalisto climbs with fans chanting “Lucha! Lucha!” Kalisto clubs away on Itami as they both stand. He wants the superplex but Itami resists. Tozawa adds on and helps Kalisto, but then Murphy joins in! This is a Triple Threat, so no disqualifications as Murphy helps make this a Tower of Doom!! The Juggernaut says this is just a preview of the Fatal 4 Way, but the referee still insists he leave. Murphy doesn’t listen as he throws Itami into a corner to stomp a mudhole into him. He then goes after Kalisto with a heavy forearm, and then throws Tozawa into a corner for another mudhole. Fans duel but Murphy soaks it all up. Murphy goes after Kalisto again but Kalisto kicks him away. Murphy staggers into Tozawa’s boot, then into double SUPERKICKS! Kalisto gives Murphy a Salida del Sol! And Tozawa adds his Tozawa Torpedo!
But then things return to the match as Kalisto knee-board sentons onto Tozawa! Kalisto drags himself back into the ring, and Itami boots him down! Itami drags Tozawa into the ring, stands him up, Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO! Itami is furious but he won’t let off Tozawa. He drags Tozawa up for a strike fest, but Tozawa dodges to give his own. The swinging roundhouse hits! But Kalisto springboards for a crossbody! Cover, TWO!! Everyone is down, but Tozawa crawls to a corner. Kalisto runs in at him for a kick to the stomach! Kalisto hauls Tozawa up top and rocks him with another kick. He climbs up to join Tozawa, prepares a superplex, but Itami attacks. Kalisto headbutts Itami then dumps him out hard. He kicks Tozawa again, climbs up again, and SUPER STEINERS! But Tozawa held on and Kalisto hits the floor!
Tozawa stands, leaps, SUPER SENTON! But Kalisto avoids it! Itami blasts Kalisto witht he dropkick, then hits Tozawa with the GTS Mk. II, aka the Sakura Knee! Cover, Itami wins!
Winner: Hideo Itami, by pinfall
If Murphy made this a preview of the Fatal 4 Way, then we just saw Itami survive them all and win! Will Murphy change things when it really is a Fatal 4 Way? Will Itami repeat this performance? Or will one of the former champions become champion again?
A solid go-home for 205 Live here, and Aiden English did great on commentary. Percy Watson was okay, but he does better on NXT because it’s not live. And for whatever reason, there seemed to be more fans and more invested fans than last week. And that was fortunate, as Humberto Carrillo has another great match with Gran Metalik. Humberto wins now that he’s officially part of the Cruiserweight Division, and also because it wouldn’t be good for him to lose twice already. Metalik is safe in losing, it helps build Humberto up. I’m pretty sure Humberto is going up against Gulak & Gallagher soon enough, so that’ll also be great for him. He’s a great talent, so he’ll get to the title soon enough, he just needs to build himself up in the eyes of live audiences.
Nese VS Dar 3 is coming, but with Nese making that threat, it’ll probably be after he attacks Dar backstage. The tiebreaker blow-off should feed into a contenders scenario. If anything, including Nese and Dar in a bigger contenders match would be nice, too. Like a Triple Threat that throws in Cedric Alexander, who has history with both men, or a Fatal 4 Way to include Lio Rush because he needs his chance. Tonight’s Triple Threat turning into an unofficial Fatal 4 Way was smart, too, as it keeps the three contenders relatively equal. Itami wins and could defy the math, but I wonder if this opens the door to a two-time champion in Kalisto or Tozawa. Kalisto implying Lucha House Party is like the New Day with Freebird-ing a singles title would be an interesting story to go with, but maybe that’s why it won’t be him.
My Score: 8.2/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Results & Report! (1/22/19)
SmackDown prepares for the Royal Rumble in the biggest ways! Rey Mysterio VS Andrade Almas, 2 out of 3 Falls! Who gains momentum while breaking the tie?
- Naomi VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville; Rose wins.
- The Miz w/ Shane McMahon VS Cesaro w/ Sheamus; Cesaro wins.
- Mustafa Ali VS Samoa Joe; Joe wins.
- Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Rey Mysterio VS Andrade Almas; Mysterio wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Man starts off SmackDown!
Becky Lynch prepares for her shot at the Empress of Tomorrow at the Royal Rumble PPV, but she’s here in Wichita to say that there’s nothing more than she likes than being in the ring fighting. But The Man has something to say first. It wasn’t too long ago that no one paid attention to Becky. But now everyone has an opinion on who and what she should be. Becky will say this: the only thing The Man should be doing is main-eventing Wrestlemania! Fans agree with that! And she’ll slap the heads off anyone and everyone who gets in her way. That journey starts on Sunday, against Asuka. Becky’s watched Asuka clean out NXT, steamroll the main roster, and is undoubtedly one of the best. “But I’m better.”
Becky reminds us that Asuka never beat Becky for the title. And the fact that isn’t eating her up tells Becky something. The others have warmed themselves on the fire Becky lit, but things change at the Rumble. Becky has dethroned a Queen, and will break the Empress! Becky will walk through fire and brimstone- But speaking of the Empress, here comes Asuka! Asuka stands across the ring from Becky and holds up the belt. She tells Becky in Japanese that she’s not intimidated by the talk. Fans duel as these two argue, but here comes Charlotte! The Queen is going to be in the Women’s Rumble, but she has a mic to tell both Becky and Asuka tonight that “As much as I’m enjoying this, and excited for your match this Sunday”, nothing will be better than her throwing out 29 other women to win the Rumble.
And then the choices she’s got on her plate. Ronda VS Sasha, but Sasha’s someone Charlotte’s beaten so many times, and has beaten the Hell out of Ronda via “Ken” the kendo stick. Then Asuka VS Becky, Charlotte broke the Empress’ Streak, and “The Man” may have gotten her the last few months, but Charlotte has owned the division for four years. And Charlotte IS the Main Event! Charlotte lets out a “WOO~” but Asuka fires off on Becky! A brawl goes down in the ring and Charlotte watches in amusement. Fans cheer but referees come out to break this fight up! Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” and they do fight, but security comes out to try their hand. It’s no good, Becky gets after Asuka now! Asuka throws Becky into barriers then stomps away! The brawl continues, and Becky throws Asuka over the announce desk!
Referees and security reprimand Becky but she uses her own jacket to whiplash Asuka over and over! The Lass Kicker stands tall, to then clobber Asuka back down! Fans are thunderous as Becky finally backs off. Asuka gets up and is furious, but she’ll have to wait for Sunday to settle things. With this level of fire inside both of them, which woman will blaze a trail down the Road to Wrestlemania?
The brawl continues backstage!
Asuka caught up to Becky and the fight again has to be pulled apart! Will these two even make it to Phoenix?!
Naomi VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville!
The Glow found out about the Golden Goddess trying to seduce and humiliate her husband, but she threw down in the hotel room. This fight finishes in the ring, will Naomi make Mandy #FeeltheGlow in the strongest way? Or will Mandy dim the lights instead?
Naomi doesn’t wait for the bell! She charges through Sonya and gets right at Mandy on the ramp! She throws Mandy into the apron then into the ring. Naomi wants to keep going, but Mandy SLAPS her! The bell rings and now things are official as Naomi fires off slaps of her own! She tops it off with a backhand and Mandy rolls out. Mandy regroups with Sonya while we go picture in picture. Sonya helps Mandy catch her breath and Mandy returns. Naomi is right on Mandy but Mandy puts Naomi in the corner. Mandy stomps a mudhole then backs off at the count of 4. Naomi gets up and SLAPS Mandy! Naomi snapmares and runs for the sliding lariat! Leg drop cover, TWO! Naomi keeps on Mandy with an armlock while Mandy checks her nose.
Naomi wrenches and Mandy endures. But Naomi rubs Mandy’s face into the mat, then pulls her hair before stomping her back down. Mandy checks her nose again as Naomi scoops and slams her. Naomi runs and drops the splits! Cover, TWO! But Naomi doesn’t let up, she’s right back on Mandy with a facelock. They stand up and Naomi whips. Mandy reverses but Naomi slides and shoulders back in. Sonya runs in but gets a kick, Mandy blasts Naomi with a knee! Mandy drags Naomi up and in and covers, TWO! Mandy keeps on Naomi with a rain of right hands! She drags Naomi up for a thrashing chinlock, but now Naomi endures. Naomi fights her way up but Mandy reels her in. Naomi dodges and rolls Mandy up, TWO! Jawbreaker as we return to single picture!
Naomi roundhouses Mandy, then runs for lariats and elbows! Mandy clotheslines Naomi back down then covers, TWO! Mandy glares at Naomi as she stomps her back down. She kicks Naomi to the ropes then chokes her against them. Mandy lets up at 4 while fans boo and jeer. Mandy drags Naomi up for forearms in a corner, but backs off at 4 again. Naomi boots back, and hits the enziguri! She kicks Mandy while she’s down, then stands her up for forearms of her own! Mandy shoves Naomi away, but Naomi come back to hit a huricanrana! Mandy staggers about and Naomi runs, but is put on the apron. Naomi hits Mandy away, but Sonya anchors feet. Mandy takes advantage by shoving Naomi into the post! Cover, Mandy wins!
Winner: Mandy Rose, by pinfall
The duo formerly known as Absolution works together for victory! However, the Royal Rumble is always every superstar for themselves. Will Sonya be willing to help Mandy then? Will Mandy go into business for herself? Or will Naomi get back at both of them with an elimination?
Rey Mysterio speaks.
“2006, I was in the Royal Rumble match for over an hour.” He used every trick he had to survive. His speed got the better of bigger competitors. His training gave him the stamina to never slow down. And his will to keep fighting shocked the world. This Sunday, Rey looks to repeat history. But tonight is about respect as he faces Andrade Almas again. Almas took a shortcut to win, but now he won’t have La Muneca ringside. The playing field is even, and Almas will learn that in order to gain respect, he has to earn it. Who will earn massive momentum towards this year’s Royal Rumble match?
The Miz meets with Shane McMahon.
Is he ready? He’s ready. The Most Must-See Superstar takes on the Swiss Cyborg up next!
The Miz w/ Shane McMahon VS Cesaro w/ Sheamus!
The #BestTagTeamintheWorld challenges The Bar for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships on Sunday, and the Hollywood A-Lister looks for a singles sweep leading into it! He got the better of the Celtic Gladiator on Shane O’Mac’s birthday, and Shane even got to give Sheamus a Coast2Cake dropkick. Can Miz gain his team more momentum tonight? Or will Cesaro save the champs from going 0-2 against 1/3rd Best in the World?
The bell rings and Sheamus distracts right away so Cesaro can blast Miz with big European Uppercuts! Cesaro does not let up on the EuroUppers until the ref counts 4! Cesaro then deadlift gut wrenches and tosses Miz! The Swiss Cyborg taunts Shane then drags Miz up for a headlock. Miz powers out and things speed up, but Miz gets caught into a backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Cesaro keeps on Miz with a whip but Miz reverses. Miz runs, blocks the boot and kicks the leg against the ropes! Miz backs off, but runs back into another EuroUpper. Cesasro dumps Miz but Miz sunset flips to the Figure Four! Miz has Cesaro in the legendary leg lock but he heads for the ropes. Sheamus helps Cesaro get the ropebreak, then helps him escape the ring.
Miz goes for the wrecking ball dropkick, but gets another EuroUpper for it! The Bar is fired up but Shane keeps Sheamus in check while we go to break.
SmackDown returns and Miz fights out of a headlock. Cesaro throws hands but Miz counter punches! Miz backs Cesaro down with rights and lefts, then kicks! Miz goes corner to corner for a dropkick! He keeps going and hits another dropkick! Miz wants a hat trick, and hits the A-List lariat! Fans fire up and Shane applauds while Sheamus panics. Miz climbs up but leaps into another EuroUpper! Cesaro has feet on the ropes but Shane stops that! Sheamus come around and runs Shane over! Miz rolls Cesaro, TWO! Cesaro swings but into a full nelson. He elbows out of the Finale and puts Miz on the ropes. Cesaro chokes, Sheamus gets a cheap shot! Gotch Neutralizer!! Cover, Cesaro wins!
Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall
But Shane comes back with a vengeance on Sheamus! Cesaro goes after Shane but gets those same fast hands! Shane shoves Cesaro into a post, then clocks him again! Fans are riled up for Shane as he clears off the announce desk! Shane puts Cesaro on top then climbs up high. Fans are anticipating Shane’s trademark madness, but Sheamus shoves Shane down at the barriers! Sheamus drags Miz up to throw him into a post, then The Bar mugs Shane! Cesaro feeds Shane to a BROGUE!! Fans boo and jeer as The Bar stomp away on Shane, but Miz shields Shane with his body. Miz gets clubbing hands and then dragged over to the table.
Cesaro scares off the referee while Sheamus drags Shane up. The Bar work together, to body slam Shane through Miz and the table!! Fans lose their minds over this, but does this mean Shane & Miz will lose out on those titles?
Mustafa Ali speaks.
The Beacon of Light was meant to face the Destroyer in a match last week, but the Destroyer decided to destroy Ali before the bell ever rang! Joe left Ali for dead, but Ali being a former Chicago police officer, he doesn’t back down so easily. Ali learned that eyes tell the whole story. Joe gave Ali a beating and kept asking “Do you understand?!”
Ali understands, but it wasn’t the punching and post tosses that told him. It was Joe’s eyes. And those eyes said Ali wasn’t worthy. Those eyes said Ali was just an example being made. Those eyes said Ali was nothing in Joe’s eyes. But now Joe will have to look into Ali’s eyes and see a man with no fear. It will be a light so bright the darkness has nowhere to hide. Ali’s eyes say he can win. But will his body back up what his eyes are saying?
Vince McMahon sees what happened to his son.
He watches backstage as referees and medics help Shane and Miz get up. Somehow Shane and Miz are okay after what The Bar did, but Vince can’t worry about them right now. He has to keep the peace between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles in their face-to-face encounter, next!
Vince McMahon heads to the ring!
Wichita greets The Chairman with an ovation as he enters. He’ll hold his thoughts to himself about what just happened to Shane, but he’s sure that tag title match will be incredible. And that brings him to the two most passionate and athletic superstars on SmackDown having their own title match on Sunday. First, the challenger and former champion, The Phenomenal AJ Styles! Styles makes his entrance, and fans give him an ovation. Then, the champion himself, “The New” Daniel Bryan! Fans boo this time for the man who killed the Yes Movement.
But Bryan doesn’t stand in the ring, despite this being a “face-to-face.” Bryan claims this is a trap, and refuses to step into a ring with the “sociopath”, the same man who slammed Bryan into a bunch of “animal carcasses” last week. Bryan’s too embarrassed to stand in the same ring as a man who pandered to the people. He had a vision of the future of AJ Styles once again being WWE Champion. It is an ignorant future, an impotent future and an illiterate future! AJ Styles cannot be allowed to have the title, because he uses it for fame and fortune. Bryan uses it for the “greater good”! Greater good? Is that “Greater good” Bryan acting like a jackass?
This behavior is why the fans want Styles to be their champion. He makes them laugh and cheer and jump around, but he doesn’t make them think or feel guilty when they should feel guilty every day of their lives! Bryan doesn’t care about their feelings, because he’s not the “People’s Champion”, he’s the Planet’s Champion! The planet doesn’t need Styles, it needs Bryan to use this platform to be its voice. If the planet had a voice, it’d be shouting for Bryan to shut up. Styles doesn’t remember Bryan pedaling a bike here. He probably got on a plane to get here. There’s a word for that: fickle. Fans echo “Fickle!” at Bryan. And Bryan talks of being embarrassed? That’s not the feeling. It’s fear.
Styles stood across from many men and has seen that look in their eyes, too. Bryan is afraid of what will happen at the Royal Rumble. Bryan should be afraid. He’s corrupted himself just to have the title. But what happens when he no longer has that title? What will Bryan have left? “Nothing.” Bryan quotes Carl Sagan, but Vince insists he get in the ring. Fans say “YES! YES!” but Bryan knows Vince obviously doesn’t want to listen. The Baby Boomers are the greatest parasites of this world! These fans bow down to Vince, but they don’t realize that Vince’s entire generation just takes and takes but never gives back! They BOW to Vince for it! It’s like Vince just pulled this incredible illusion to conceal the economic debt, but fans are satisfied with social media garbage.
Meanwhile, Vince hordes the wealth and power! Vince has created such an environment where someone like Styles can be a hero! Damn it, Bryan, get in the ring! Styles knows Vince advertised a face-to-face, but that doesn’t mean it has to be in a ring. Styles chases Bryan on the outside! And catches him! Styles throws haymakers then throws Bryan into barriers! Bryan scampers away but Styles keeps on him, throwing him into steel steps! Styles puts Bryan in the ring, takes aim, and springboards, but Bryan uses Vince as a shield! Styles aborts but gets the Knee Plus for it! Fans boo as Bryan takes the belt and retreats. The New Daniel Bryan won’t have anywhere to run at the Rumble, will the real AJ Styles get that belt back?
R-Truth and Carmella talk about their respective Royal Rumble matches.
Truth is excited to be Mr. 30 and book his trip to face the Phenomenal AJ Styles or the New Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania. So not the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar? Brock Lesnar’s champion? No, Truth does not want to go to Sioux Falls City. No it’s Suplex City. Same thing. But Truth wouldn’t mind trying the Cruiserweight Champion, Bobby Murphy. No it’s Buddy Murphy. And there’s a weight limit to that Division, Truth. Oh so he’s fat? No he’s just not 205! As for Carmella, she encounters Charlotte. Charlotte thinks she’s just going to waltz her way into the Rumble and Mania? She wasn’t even in last year’s. This isn’t’ just any match, it’s a tornado. You gotta keep a head on the swivel and hold onto the ropes. Plus, Carmella’s Ms. 30, the #GatekeeperinGucci. No one gets through her.
Charlotte tells Carmella it’s fine to be confident. Being 30th is an advantage, but Charlotte is Charlotte. And with a trip to Mania on the line, the match isn’t a tornado, Charlotte is. Who will survive their respective Rumble matches to headline the Greatest Show in Sports Entertainment?
Mustafa Ali VS Samoa Joe!
The Beacon of Light said his peace, but The Destroyer’s expression says it all for him on his way out. This match will finally happen, who will send the biggest message this close to the Royal Rumble?
SmackDown returns as Ali makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. Ali and Joe approach and Joe throws those swift jabs! Joe stomps Ali in the corner, then grinds his boot in. He scrapes Ali out of the ring, then pursues while trash talking. Joe stand Ali for a CHOP, and Ali staggers to the ramp. Joe drags Ali up and says Ali still doesn’t understand. He throws Ali at the post but Ali hops up to fly back for a crossbody! Ali keeps on Joe with fast hands, and both men get in the ring. Ali dropkicks Joe down, then throws haymakers! The ref counts and backs Ali off, but Joe CHOPS Ali off his feet! Joe drags Ali up and headbutts him back down.
Joe drags Ali up by his hair to then throw into buckles. He runs but misses, Ali forearms him away! Ali slingshots but into throat chops! Ali crashes and burns, we go picture in picture. Joe leaves Ali down and out while a ring count climbs. But Joe then goes out to fetch Ali with a grin, and drags him up for roundhouses. Joe paces around Ali like a shark with blood in the water before putting Ali back in. He rains down rights and stomps on Ali, still smirking. He sits Ali up into an arm surfboard and digs a knee into Ali’s back. Ali endures and powers up to fight out! He runs, but into Joe’s elbow! Joe glares down at the dazed Ali before covering, TWO! Ali lives but Joe is just annoyed. Joe drives his elbow into Ali’s head, then looms over him menacingly.
Joe puts Ali in a corner and gives more jabs and elbows. He stops at 4, but Ali crawls after Joe. Joe says Ali asked for this, and throws hands, but Ali counter punches! Ali backs Joe down then whips, but Joe reverses. Joe runs in for the back elbow and Pele! Ali goes down, Joe covers, TWO! Joe grows further annoyed, but he just smirks as he looks down at Ali. He drags Ali up for a neck wrench, but Ali endures again. Fans rally up and Ali powers up. Ali fights back but Joe knees low and backs Ali down. Joe whips corner to corner but Ali slips out to hit back. Ali slingshots for the facebuster! But he’s too tired to cover! Fans rally up as the ref counts. Both men stir and stand.
Ali ducks the punch to dropkick Joe back! And another dropkick sends Joe out. Ali builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit! Joe staggers but Ali pursues, but Joe puts him in the timekeeper’s area. Ali returns with a leaping crossbody! He tackles Joe down and rains down rights! Ali drags Joe up but Joe shoves him into the ring. Joe returns but Ali kicks and SUPERKICKS, and SUPERKICKS again! Joe staggers, Ali leaps, tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! Ali can’t believe Joe lives, but he doesn’t’ give up. He drags Joe over to a drop zone and climbs up. Joe trips Ali up, then drags him into the Coquina Clutch! Ali flails but Joe drops down with the body scissors! Ali taps, Joe wins!
Winner: Samoa Joe, by submission
But Joe won’t let go until Ali falls asleep! Joe sends his message to Ali and the other 28 superstars entering the Men’s Rumble. Will Joe destroy the entire field? Or will there be a shining light in his way?
The New Day do Royal Rumble research.
They watch the many saves of Kofi Kingston’s career. Kayla Braxton comes in to ask them about The New Day going every man for himself. Everyone asks this question! Tom Phillips, Renee Young, Mike Rome, now Kayla? Is Tony Chimel gonna ask next? He does! Chimel, be gone! Be gone, Chimel! “Every man for himself”, but that doesn’t matter to The New Day. When one of them wins, they all win! Now, they’ll dog walk erryone, but Kofi wonders if this is the year he can’t save himself. Woods and Big E keep Kofi’s chin up, and Kofi gets an idea. He has a new idea! But he’s not telling you, Kayla. Kayla, no no no. What will Kofi do to keep himself in the Rumble this time? Will this finally be the year he actually wins?
Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Rey Mysterio VS Andrade Almas!
The King of Lucha Libre and El Idolo have gone back and forth, and now they’ll settle things in the main event before the Royal Rumble! Without Zelina Vega, can Almas stay tranquilo? Or will Mysterio show Cien how it’s done?
The bell rings and we begin the first fall. Almas and Mysterio approach and Almas fires of kicks and punches. He whips and elbows Mysterio down, then drags Mysterio up for a shove. Mysterio kicks back then runs again, but into a torture rack. Almas swings but Mysterio makes it an arm-drag! Mysterio aims at Almas on the outside for a flying huricanrana! Almas is down and we go to break!
SmackDown returns again, and Almas looms over Mysterio. Almas whips but Mysterio reverses, only to be put on the apron. Mysterio shoulders in then swing kicks Almas away. Almas is dazed while Mysterio catches his breath. Mystiero springboards for the seated senton! He keeps moving to springboard again but into a dropkick! Cover, TWO! Almas keeps his cool as he drags Mysterio back up. Almas hammerlocks but Mysterio slips out to sunset flip DESTROYER! Cover, TWO! Mysterio keeps calm and heads to a corner. He hops up as Almas crawls over, flying wheelbarrow to victory roll, but Almas counters! TWO, and Almas puts Mysterio on the top rope. Mysterio adjusts but Almas trips him up! Almas climbs now, but Mysterio trips him up!
Mysterio goes to the outside, CHOPS Almas, then climbs up to join him. Almas fights Mysterio then gets a fireman’s carry. Mysterio stops Almas, then adjusts to SUPER- No, the Steiner is blocked to a SUPER SIT-OUT POWERBOMB!! Cover, Almas gets the first fall!
Almas – 1; Mysterio – 0
But this is just the first! The second fall begins, but both men have already given so much. Fans know “This is Awesome!” as both men catch their breath. Almas stands while Mysterio leans on the ropes. The ref gives the signal, and Almas kicks Mysterio. Powerbomb lift, rebound, another sit-out! Cover, TWO!! Mysterio survives this bomb, but Almas just fires himself up. Almas drags Mysterio up for another bomb, but Mysterio pops through for another DESTROYER!! Cover, Mysterio gets the second fall!
Almas – 1; Mysterio – 1
Things are tied up faster than a hiccup, and now it all comes down to this third and final fall! Both men are down and catching their breath, so we go to one last break.
SmackDown returns once more, and Mysterio dodges Almas in the corner! Almas crashes and burns from corner to floor! Mysterio recovers in the ring while Almas is down and out. Mysterio takes aim, builds up speed, and slides, but into the facelock! Almas drags Mysterio out but Mysterio shoves him into barriers. Mysterio adds an enziguri, but the 10 count climbs. Mysterio returns to the ring at 6, but he’s not gonna leave Almas alone. Sliding sunset bomb into the barriers! Mysterio drags himself away from Almas and gets himself some water. Fans are loving this as Mysterio returns to Almas. He puts Almas in the ring then takes aim from the apron. Fans fire up as he springboards, West Coast Pop! Cover, TWO!! Almas lives but both he and Mysterio are exhausted.
Fans rally up with chants of “619!”, and Mysterio goes to Almas at the apron. Almas drags Mysterio into the draping armbar! Almas lets go at 4, and fans boo as Almas fires himself up. He goes after Mysterio, and throws him into buckles hard. Almas soaks up the heat, and even shimmies like Latino Heat, as he drags Mysterio up. He throws Mysterio at the corner again but Mysteiro stops himself. Mysterio puts Almas on the apron but Almas forearms him back. Almas shoulders in but into Mysterio’s knee. Mysteiro slingshots for another sunset flip powerbomb, but Almas back flips through! Mysterio rolls up but into a bomb to the post! ALmas puts Mysterio in fast, drags him up, hammerlock DDT! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Mysterio survives and Almas cannot believe it! Almas grits his teeth while fans rally for Mysterio again.
Almas goes after Mysterio’s arm with a Fujiwara! Mysterio endures and rolls around, but Almas holds on. Almas brings Mysterio back down but Mysterio refuses to quit. Mysterio drags himself over but Almas drags him away! Almas adds leverage with his legs but fans cheer Mysterio on. Mysterio keeps moving, rolls through, but Almas pushes for a cover. ONE, and Mysterio springs up to the ropes. But Almas trips him up, only for Mysterio to make it a roll up! TWO, and Almas quickly puts Mysterio up on his shoulders. Mysterio hits a reverse-rana! He crawls to a cover, TWO! Both men are exhausted, but Mysterio forces himself back tot he apron. Springboard huricanrana puts Almas on the ropes! Mysterio dials it up, 619 connects! But wait, Samoa Joe!? He apron bombs Mysterio!!
Winners: Rey Mysterio, by disqualification
Mysterio gets the second fall but not the way anyone wanted! But Joe isn’t just after him, he goes right after Almas, too! He throws Almas right into the post, then goes back to Mysterio on the outside. Joe puts Mysterio in the ring, and drags him into the Coquina! Mysterio can’t tap, he’s got nothing left! Joe lets Mysterio go and demands a microphone. “I told you people I came here to make a statement!” And what he just did is exactly what he’ll do to 24 other Rumble entrants. “Because my name is Samoa Joe”– RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!! The Viper returns after being gone for weeks! Randy Orton is another of the Rumble participants, is he going to be the one in Joe’s way?
What a great SmackDown go-home! We have another opening talk segment, but it was to great effect with Charlotte coming out to stake her claim, and then we get that awesome brawl. It was great to have the return from commercial have even more brawling, it really boosts the heat between Becky and Asuka. I’ve been talking about a Triple Threat at Mania, but it really is a shame if it’ll be at the expense of Asuka. The title match will be great, but a part of me wouldn’t mind if Asuka retained and Becky found a different way to go after Ronda. And with hyping Charlotte and Carmella for the Women’s Rumble, I bet Charlotte wins after all to complete the Triple Threat.
Naomi VS Mandy was a surprisingly good match, but that recap package, I feel like this entire story has been about paralleling USA Network’s original reality show, Temptation Island. Ugh. Things like this are why it’ll be better for SmackDown to get on Fox. But as for this story, it’s probably not over since Mandy and Sonya had to cheat. Naomi might find herself a tag team partner to go against them both, and even be part of the Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber match, and that will serve as the blow-off.
Vince McMahon’s presence was better used here than on Raw. He helped the show transition from the great Miz VS Cesaro and subsequent beat down into the champion-challenger face-to-face. With the beating The Bar gave Miz and Shane, I’m really hoping Miz and Shane win the belts. It’s not burying The Bar but pushing the Miz-Shane story further. I almost don’t want them to fight each other now, Miz and Shane are doing pretty good together, but it might still happen. And then things can truly be freshened up in the SmackDown Tag Division so a team like SAnitY or Heavy Machinery can come into prominence. Then the Styles-Bryan face-to-face was good, with Bryan’s newest Eco-Heel promo and Vince just not having any of it. Bryan gets away while standing tall, I wonder if that means Styles wins.
Ali VS Joe was good, but naturally Joe won. Ali is talented, and he had a great video promo a la his 205 Live promos, but he’s just not at the level to defeat Joe yet. Mysterio VS Almas was incredible, but Joe attacking at the end was both awful and perfect. Mysterio VS Almas can’t settle just yet, not on a go-home, and Joe makes himself a real threat for the Rumble. But wow, what a great way for Orton to return! RKO Outta Nowhere is classic and effective. I don’t really want Orton to win the Rumble, but there were rumors of Orton VS Styles at Mania. Even if Rollins wins to give us Finn VS Rollins 2, Orton can still find a way through Elimination Chamber or Fastlane. It’s not really the match I want, but it might be coming after all.
My Score: 8.5/10