The Queen of Spades has bullied Captain Kick ever since coming to NXT, but now she must defend her NXT Women’s Championship against Dakota Kai. Will Dakota give Shayna Baszler the comeuppance she deserves? Plus, Aleister Black will appear to address his own championship contenders ahead of TakeOver: Chicago.
All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- War Raiders VS George Hickson & Cody Vincent; War Raiders win.
- EC3 VS Fabian Aichner; EC3 wins.
- Ricochet VS Chris Dijak; Ricochet wins.
- NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler VS Dakota Kai; Shayna wins and retains the NXT Women’s Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT reviews the announcement of Johnny Wrestling.
Despite the newest attack from Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano told the world that he’s not giving up! Even with everything adding up, both physically and emotionally, “Is it worth it?” Yes it is! Gargano called out Ciampa, but it didn’t go the way either man meant, as Ciampa would knock Gargano into Candice LeRae, and Candice into the steel ramp! Candice went down hard, and both Gargano and Ciampa were shocked. NXT GM William Regal has given both men the night off, but will give them a match in a Chicago Street Fight! Each man will sign the contracts individually, for everyone’s safety. TakeOver: Chicago will mark the one year anniversary of Team DIY breaking apart, who will be left broken this time around?
NXT Champion, Aleister Black, is here!
The Embodiment of the End didn’t get to face Johnny Gargano, and won’t get his own revenge on Tommaso Ciampa, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have someone to fight at TakeOver: Chicago. Aleister goes to the ring, and says, “Ever since winning the NXT title in New Orleans, it’s been a trip.” There is some dispute over who faces him next, but Aleister only needs one shot to win and make his opponent #FadetoBlack. But speaking of his contenders, here comes Lars Sullivan!
The Leviathan, who flattened Ricochet in last week’s handicap match, joins Aleister in the ring. Lars tells Aleister that “The dispute is over.” Per Regal’s decision, Lars is Aleister’s first challenger. Aleister says that it takes one shot to #FadeToBlack, and Lars admits, 16 years and Aleister has done that, and now he’s champion. But Aleister has never faced someone like Lars, “because there is nobody like me!” No one with hsi strength, size or dominance! Aleister can ignore his emotions, but he can’t ignore what will happen in Chicago. Lars will take everything Aleister has worked for and become the next NXT Champion! As for Aleister, he thinks he can do something about it, but he knows he can’t! Lars grabs Aleister but Aleister knocks him away. Aleister swings, but Lars BLOCKS the Black Mass!
And then Lars spins Aleister around, for the Freak Accident!
Lars looms over Aleister, gloating over the champion. He then spots the belt, picks it up, then holds it up over Aleister, as if it is already his. Will this be the sight we see in Chicago?
Candice LeRae speaks up against the Chicago Street Fight.
Mrs. Wrestling clearly has reservations about what Mr. Wrestling and the Psycho Killer are going to do to each other, but the match is still going to happen. Will she be there for Gargano after the match, win or lose?
War Raiders VS George Hickson & Cody Vincent!
Rowe & Hanson have carved a war path in the NXT Tag Team Division already in their short time here. They have dominated the rest of the tag team world, but now they have to climb up all over again. Rowe starts against Hickson at the bell, and Hickson runs right at Rowe, but the forearm does nothing. Rowe grins, then headbutts Hickson’s forearm before giving one of his own! Hickson drops to the mat, and Rowe brings him over. Tag to Hanson, and Rowe whips Hickson into Hanson’s seated senton! Hanson drags Hickson up, and tosses him! He wants Hickson to tag out, so Vincent tags in. Hanson cartwheels out of the way, then runs Vincent over with a clothesline! Fans fire up with Warbeard Hanson as he puts Vincent in the corner.
Tag to Rowe, and Rowe unleashes body shots and knees. Rowe tags back to Hanson, and throws Vincent overhead! Hanson runs corner to corner for the corner splash, then Rowe adds the shotgun knees, before Hanson finishes with the bronco buster. The War Raiders are fired up and so are the fans. Hanson tags to Rowe, and Rowe gives Hickson Ace Ten Mao! Rowe tags back to Hanson, and the German Suplex clothesline!
Hickson flops away while Hanson tags back to Rowe. Rowe goes to Vincent while Hanson climbs up. Rowe stalks Vincent, then hauls him up, for FALLOUT!
Cover, War Raiders win!
Winners: War Raiders, Rowe pinning
War has come to NXT, and no tag team is safe. Will Rowe & Hanson have a title match in the days after TakeOver: Chicago II?
Dakota Kai goes for a dream tonight.
The Captain of Team Kick has always wanted to be Women’s Champion, especially in NXT. But her dream runs into her nightmares, as she must face the brutal and bullying Shayna Baszler. Shayna loves breaking her opponents one way or another, and she’s done just about all kinds of breaking when it comes to Dakota. Shayna broke Dakota’s elbow with a stomp, then broke her courage with a glare. Dakota has returned to action, but every encounter with Shayna leaves her like a deer in the headlights. However, crazy Nikki Cross’ “encouragement” and Shayna’s sadistic smack talk have sparked something in Dakota. Can Dakota use that to ignite and become the new NXT Women’s Champion?
Backstage interview with Lacey Evans.
The Lady of NXT did well in defeating Kairi Sane, but that only evens up the series. The rubber match comes next week, what are her thoughts? Is Lacey ready? Lacey feels the results will be the same, because she does whatever she has to in order to win. Kairi may have won the Mae Young Classic, but Lacey has a right–her Woman’s Right–waiting for Kairi. Will Lacey win the series against the Pirate Princess? Or will Kairi set sail and leave her high and dry?
EC3 VS Fabian Aichner!
Mr. Top One Percent wants to transform NXT into #NX3, one match at a time. Will he continue his top one ascent with only his third match? Or will Aichner stop him and finally achieve the #NXTLVL?
The bell rings and fans chant “NX3! NX3!” as EC3 and Aichner tie up. EC3 knees low, then puts Aichner in a corner for a Top 1% forearm! Aichner shoves EC3 away and fires off with strikes of his own. Aichner chops EC3 then whips, but EC3 reverses. EC3 misses the clothesline but speeds up, only to run into Aichner’s leaping elbow! EC3 staggers into ropes, but Aichner gut wrench throws him. Cover, ONE, but Aichner runs in. EC3 puts him on the apron, but Aichner shoulders in. Aichner springboards but EC3 trips him up! Aichner tumbles down to the ground, and EC3 shrugs. EC3 goes out to fetch Aichner, but Johnny Gargano suddenly appears?
Johnny Wrestling has that contract for the Street Fight in his hand, and storms past EC3 to the announce desk. Gargano grabs a mic to let everyone know he has signed the contract for Gargano VS Ciampa II, TakeOver: Chicago II, Street Fight! He then storms his way back out, and EC3 continues his match with Aichner. Aichner runs and LEAPS onto EC3 with a crossbody!
Aichner takes out EC3, then puts him in the ring. Cover, TWO! Aichner swings on EC3 but EC3 reverses into the hammerlock STO! EC3 fires up and drags Aichner up, for a Top One Percenter TKO!
Cover, EC3 wins!
Winner: EC3, by pinfall
EC3 gets the 1-2-3 tonight, but he seems just as taken aback as everyone by Gargano’s sudden appearance and disappearance. Gargano aside, will EC3 find himself headed for a title after this win?
Who is Bianca Belair? Part 2
The EST has always been good at anything she’s done. She’s the fastest, strongest, and the descendant of history makers. Bianca has to maintain a certain level, no other option. She has done every sport you can think of, and was always first place without even trying. Her parents always supported and encouraged her excellence. Bianca worked hard and earned an athletic scholarship to Tennessee University, and was an elite athlete even there.
After college, her life was mediocre, so she moved into cross-fit. Bianca could be herself without shame, and that allowed her to excel all the way to NXT. Her first day in NXT, she knew she belonged. She may not have years of indie experience or matches in Japan, but she’s already getting farther than so many. Bianca doesn’t shy away from anyone, and now she doesn’t have to hold back. With The EST unleashing her full potential, will she shine as a future champion?
Ricochet VS Chris Dijak!
The One & Only may have found himself abandoned by his partner in the handicap match last week, but he won’t let that get him down. Ricochet still moves towards a title opportunity, but how will he do against this debuting prospect of honor?
The bell rings and Dijak runs right at Ricochet! Ricochet dodges the boot to throw haymakers. Ricochet gives body shots as well, and has Dijak in a corner. He backs off at the ref’s count, then whips, but Dijak reverses. Dijak runs but stops the boot, so Ricochet gives him an ax kick! Ricochet shoves Dijak then rolls, for a big dropkick! Dijak ends up outside the ring, so Ricochet builds speed and DIVES!
But Dijak catches him, for an apron choke slam! Dijak then springboards for an elbow drop! Cover, TWO, but Dijak keeps moving. Dijak jumps up, and moonsaults! But he flops when Ricochet avoids it. Fans rally up for Ricochet as he rocks Dijak with a roaring elbow. Ricochet kicks out a leg and ax kicks Dijak again! Ricochet snap suplexes and rolls through to deadlift suplex Dijak! Fans are all fired up, and Ricochet positions Dijak into the drop zone. Ricochet climbs up top, for the 630!
Cover, Ricochet wins!
Winner: Ricochet, by pinfall
The One & Only wins against the debuting tower in Chris Dijak. However, Ricochet takes a mic because he has something to say. “So the Velveteen Dream likes the spotlight, huh?” That’s fine, because Ricochet understands. Dream does deserve it, because he has been one of NXT’s most entertaining stars. Dream can do it all, and fans chant “Velveteen!” in agreement. But the spotlight exposes both Dream’s highlights and flaws. Dream’s attack wasn’t about how good he was, it showed “how much of a punk you really are!” However, Dream appears to respond.
Velveteen Dream says, “Punk? Okay that’s fair, because tonight is your spotlight.” Ricochet has the spotlight now, but last week as their spotlight. Dream showed that anything Ricochet can do, Dream can do better. Really? Is that what Dream thinks? Because all Ricochet sees is Dream being a coward. If Dream knows so much and loves the spotlight, “come take it, home boy.” Ricochet waits as Dream heads to the ring, but then Dream reconsiders. Dream knows that as epic as this would be, he only can think of one spotlight good enough for the both of them. See you in Chicago. And when the spotlight hits, Ricochet will truly know that anything he can do, Dream can do better. So Ricochet shows off as he front flips out of the ring and to the floor!
And then tells Dream, “Then show me.” Dream is speechless, perhaps thinking he’s bitten off more than he can chew. Will Dream be able to back up his words when the spotlight is on TakeOver: Chicago?
NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler VS Dakota Kai!
It’s the moment of truth for the dreamer from New Zealand. After weeks of being tormented, can Dakota overcome her fear to dethrone the Queen of Spades? Or will Shayna break Dakota all over again with her #TapNapOrSnap mentality?
Introductions are made and the belt is raised, the bell rings and we begin. Fans are on Dakota’s side as she stares down with Shayna. But Shayna is still in Dakota’s head, as she easily corners her, then kicks out a leg. Dakota springs up and scrambles away, and the two circle. Shayna backs Dakota down again, and gives her mocking knuckles to the face. Shayna sweeps the leg again, and then grins as she backs off. Dakota stands up but Shayna is all over her again. The ref counts, and Shayna lets up at 4. Shayna argues with the ref, and Dakota turns her around, but Dakota isn’t fast enough to strike before Shayna gives her a body shot. Shayna grabs the leg, and folds it to stomp away on it! Dakota clutches the ankle, deja vu to the arm-stomp months ago.
Dakota rolls to a corner but Shayna doesn’t let up. Shayna dares Dakota to kick her with that leg, then puts it in the ropes to wrench it. Dakota hobbles to a corner, but Shayna won’t let up. Shayna kicks and kicks, then drags Dakota out to wrench the bad leg from ankle to knee. Shayna twists the foot all around, but Dakota doesn’t give up. Dakota kicks with the free leg, but Shayna just sets the foot up, to STOMP it!
Another flashback to the incident with the arm. Dakota clutches the foot, but she isn’t stopping the match. Shayna toys with Dakota more, wanting the team captain to do something. Dakota fires up and SLAPS Shayna! Shayna just gets mad and kicks Dakota down. Shayna then grounds and pounds, before putting on an ankle lock! She wrenches and twists Dakota’s food while daring Dakota to kick her. Dakota endures, reaching for the ropes. Shayan drags her away, to sit down with the lock! Dakota crawls again, and gets the ropebreak. But Shayna just drags her off the ropes, to go back to the lock. Dakota screams in pain but refuses to quit. Fans rally for Dakota, and she feeds off the energy to enziguri Shayna!
Shayna staggers, and Dakota fires off haymakers and forearms! Dakota scorpion kicks then boots Shayna down! Shayna goes down but Dakota can’t cover from the pain. They both stand, and somehow Dakota manages to run Around the World!
Then she runs again for the boot wash! Shayna is down but Dakota still can’t cover yet. Dakota runs, but Shayna tosses her off the sunset flip backstabber, into the Kirafuda!!
Dakota is trapped, taps, Shayna wins!
Winner: Shayna, by submission; still NXT Women’s Champion
Bully Baszler wins out, still too much of a fighter for Dakota. But winning isn’t enough, as she puts Dakota BACK into the Kirafuda. Shayna chokes Dakota out, but out comes Nikki Cross for the rescue!
Nikki drags Shayna off Dakota, then dares Shayna to fight her now! Shayna has no words for Crazy Cross, so she just takes her title and leaves. The second Shayna turns her back on Nikki, Nikki swipes the belt!
Crazy Cross pisses the Queen of Spades off, but then dares her to come take it back. Shayna approaches the ring, and Nikki stays back. Shayna slowly enters, but the looney lass rushes over and snatches up the belt before Shayna can. Nikki tells Shayna, “You! Me! This! Today!!” In other words, Nikki wants her match. And she tells Dakota, “You’re the referee!” What? A match? Now? But fans say “YES! YES!” Dakota raises the belt, but Shayna goes to grab it back. Nikki grabs Shayna, and hits The Purge, the swinging fisherman!
Nikki covers Dakota counts, Nikki wins? Dakota is as confused as anyone as she raises Nikki’s hand in victory.
Though, there was no bell, so no, Nikki didn’t win. Nikki didn’t even have a match. But Nikki still runs around to celebrate “becoming” NXT Women’s Champion, even going into the stands to celebrate with fans. Will anyone tell her she’s wrong? Will Shayna demand a “rematch” with Nikki at TakeOver: Chicago?
NXT continues to be on a roll with a great amount of story and action every week. The recap for Gargano & Ciampa was concise, and helps explain Gargano’s random appearance later. It was creative for them to put it during EC3’s match, makes Gargano come off even more singularly focused on his grudge with Ciampa. EC3 still wins, but I wouldn’t be surprised if EC3 takes some offense and makes himself Gargano’s next rival, whether or not he wins or loses to Ciampa. Another detail of note is that Candice wants no part of this grudge rematch, but I expect her to show up during the match when things start to “go too far” and she becomes the deciding factor.
War Raiders win, no surprise there. With Lorcan & Burch challenging the Undisputed Era first, Rowe & Hanson will just have to wait until after Chicago for their turn. Maybe they can have a match with the Street Profits and/or TM61 in the meantime. I was surprised to see Ricochet having a match, and even more surprised that it was to give Donovan (now Chris) Dijak his debut. The match was good, and of course Ricochet wins, but it was all to officially establish Ricochet VS Dream at Chicago. Ricochet’s amazing jump not only left Dream speechless, it left everyone speechless, that was legitimately amazing, as will their true 1v1 match. Great to hear Kairi VS Lacey 3 is happening next week, that’ll surely be the best of their matches, and could lead one of them being seen as the new #1 contender to the NXT Women’s Championship.
Tonight’s championship match of Shayna VS Dakota was good, very strong in the story. It was given that Shayna would still win, Dakota hasn’t had enough exposure just yet to become champion. However, it was great for Nikki to come out and make the save. Nikki Cross is spectacular, and this mock championship match was a great moment in multiple ways. One, Nikki shows up Shayna in her own crazy way. Two, Nikki gets to celebrate like she’s won the title, because unfortunately, I don’t think she’ll get to be champion. The rest of SAnitY has already “moved” to SmackDown, and it’d be too much of a delay if she stayed to have a full reign. Shayna retains, and everyone moves on to something new.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE Stomping Grounds Results & Report! (6/23/19)
It’s time to kick ass and take names!
It’s the first-ever WWE Stomping Grounds event!
WWE debuts a brand-new PPV with a lot on the line! Who will Baron Corbin’s guest referee be? Who escapes a steel cage THE WWE World, Heavyweight, Champion?
- Kickoff – WWE Cruiserweight Championship Triple Threat: Tony Nese VS Drew Gulak VS Ariya Daivari; Gulak wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch VS Lacey Evans; Lynch wins and retains the Raw Women’s Championship.
- The New Day VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn; Owens & Zayn win.
- WWE United States Championship: Samoa Joe VS Ricochet; Ricochet wins and becomes the new WWE United States Champion.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Planet’s Tag Team Champions VS Heavy Machinery; The Planet’s Tag Team Champions win and retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross; Bayley wins and retains the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
- Roman Reigns VS Drew McIntyre w/ Shane McMahon; Reigns wins.
- WWE World Championship Steel Cage Match: Kofi Kingston VS Dolph Ziggler; Kingston wins and retains the WWE World Championship.
- WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins VS Baron Corbin w/ Special Guest Referee ???; Rollins wins and retains the WWE Universal Championship
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s the WWE Stomping Grounds Kickoff Show!
Join Jonathan Coachman, Charly Caruso, David Otunga and Booker T as they recap and prepare for all the action tonight in Tacoma!
Big E and Xavier Woods join the panel!
The New Day speak to the preparation of WWE Champion, Kofi Kingston, for tonight’s intense steel cage match with Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler might be watching, though, so they can’t give away any secrets about the W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, Champion. Big E guzzles down and drenches himself in water, because he’s thirsty for victory. As for Woods kicking Ziggler, Ziggler kicked him first, so things were even. Ziggler is a grown man, he got what he got. Then what does Kofi have to do to remain champion without them? “Coach, he don’t need us!” 11 years, Kofi doesn’t need The New Day. New Day will have Kofi’s back from the back.
Woods knows Coach knows players gotta get it done on their own. The New Day will do that to Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn when they “stomp their grounds.” Do better, Coach! But will all three men of the New Day be victorious tonight?
Backstage interview with Baron Corbin.
Has the Lone Wolf found his special guest referee for tonight’s WWE Universal Championship? He’s had people knocking on his door all morning. But yes, he has picked his referee. And the guest ref is… a secret! Corbin will keep Seth Rollins on his toes until he’s pinned him on his back. What Rollins did this past week was sadistic and cowardly. At Super Showdown, the ref screwed up. At Stomping Grounds, Corbin vows to slay the Beastslayer and become the new WWE Universal Champion. Will Corbin’s ace in the hole go the way he hopes?
Ricochet joins the panel!
The One and Only challenges for the WWE United States Championship against Samoa Joe after winning a big Fatal 5 Way Elimination. Booker T gives Ricochet props for making it here, and Ricochet notes his whole journey has been amazing. How does he feel taking on one of the most dangerous men in the WWE today? Ricochet worked so hard and sacrificed so much to perfect his style, and he will not waste this opportunity. But Joe’s mean streak only proves he’s a bully. Ricochet will be in the fight for his life, and will force Joe to respect him.
But then Joe communicates via video chat! Don’t think for a second he isn’t listening! Respect? Ricochet’s been here for a cup of coffee and not a good one. Ricochet knows nothing about surviving and competing int he WWE. Joe will show Ricochet what he’s really won in that Fatal 5 Way. “Being amazing has never saved anyone from the beating I put on them.” Ricochet will sleep tight, but tonight is not his night. Ricochet says he’ll respond with actions, but will it be enough to get the gold?
The Planet’s Tag Team Champions address the WWE Universe.
At least, they would if the stage hands would get out of the way! Once the referees get clear, Daniel Bryan rants about the treatment of the tag team divisions! “That’s the kind of disrespect people have for the entire Tag Team Division.” It’s because of The New Day and Usos, who have amazing matches, treating the division like a joke! Swivel hips, throw pancakes, play practical jokes. But the Planet’s Tag Team Champions vow to SAVE this division from teams like Heavy Machinery. Tucker Knight, an All-American, Otis Dozovic, a Pan-American medalist, but they just talk about “having a great time.”
Can you imagine the poor example those two would set. It’s Idiocracy come to life! Tucker and Otis would make this all a giant joke! “We’re trying to save the tag team division from being a joke!” The entire world should be thanking them! But it’s not for them. It’s for an ideal. It is for the greater good of tag team wrestling, and the planet. “Blue Collar Solid is no match for champions fighting for the greater good.” Now keep refs out of his shot!
Shane McMahon smells something good.
It’s the smell of victory for Drew McIntyre against Roman Reigns. McIntyre tells Roman that he’s too emotional. The mere mention of his family and Roman freaks out. All McIntyre has ever done is tell the truth. The truth is, Roman’s family won’t recognize him and his children will scream in terror. If that upsets Roman, that’s on Roman. The truth hurts, but not as much as what McIntyre will do to him. Shane loves the intensity! But will he love the result of tonight’s grudge match?
Kickoff – WWE Cruiserweight Championship Triple Threat: Tony Nese VS Drew Gulak VS Ariya Daivari!
The Premier Athlete didn’t expect two challengers, but he welcomes the challenge! But will he be able to survive both the Philly Stretcher and the Stamina Monster? Or will one of them come away with the title, without even pinning or submitting the champ?
The introductinos are made, Nese repping the 205 Live brand all the way with his new gear. The belt is raised and we kick off the action!
Gulak dropkicks Nese right down! Tozawa goes at Gulak but Gulak throws him to a corner. Gulak runs into forearms from Nese. Nese gets Gulak in a corner and throws haymakers until Tozawa hurries back in. Tozawa throws haymakers on Nese but Nese elbows him back. Nese springs up but Tozaa gets under. Nese still lands on his feet! He also goes Matrix as Tozawa swings at him, to kip-up and kick back! Nese knee lifts and sweeps the legs, cover, TWO! Nese suplexes but Tozawa slips out. They standing switch and Nese rolls Tozawa, but Gulak runs in, only to get turned around into a German Suplex! Nese has two covers, TWO! Both men get free but Nese stomps Tozawa down. Gulak bails out but Nese slingshots out. Nese cartwheels over Gulak’s clothesline to SUPERKICK him away!
But Tozawa DIVES to hit Nese! The Tozawa Torpedo takes out Nese, then he CANNONBALLS onto Gulak! All three men are down but the fans are fired up! Tozawa crawls away from Gulak to fire up and go after Nese. Tozawa drags Nese up and in and climbs to the top rope. He leaps at Nese, missile dropkick hits! Cover, but Gulak breaks it just in time! Gulak grimaces as he goes to Tozawa. Tozawa throws Gulak out and drags Nese to a drop zone. Tozawa climbs again, but Nese SHORYUKENS! Nese leaves Tozawa stranded, for a top shelf kick! And then a gut buster! Cover, but Gulak breaks in again! Gulak drags Nese up for a suplex, but Nese slips out.
Gulak standing switches and inverted suplexes Nese to the apron. Nese hits back but Gulak puts him through ropes. Gulak elbows Tozawa then suplexes him into Nese! All three men are down again while we go picture in picture.
Gulak drags Tozawa up and headlock takeovers. Gulak traps an arm but Tozawa endures the combination of holds. Tozawa fights out and lifts Gulak, but Gulak is just a bit too much. Gulak fights out of the fireman’s carry to drag Tozawa up for headbutts. Gulak whips but Tozawa ducks and tilt-o-whirls to the Iron Octopus! Now Gulak must endure a submission! Gulak endures, but starts to fade. We return to single picture as Nese picks Tozawa off Gulak, to throw at him! Nese then whips and ROCKS Tozawa with a left hand! But Gulak LARIATS Nese! Gulak roars and dragon sleepers to the GuLOCK! Nese endures the full hold, sleeper and body scissors! But he works his way out and around, reaching for ropes. Gulak pulls the arms away to sink it in deep! But Tozawa DROPS IN!! The super senton outta nowhere!!
All three men are down again and Tozawa grins that he saved the match. Tozawa covers Nese, TWO! He covers Gulak, TWO! Tozawa backs off to catch his breath. Gulak fireman’s carries, but Tozawa slips out to shove and huricanrana! Tozawa tries again, and manages the fireman carry slam! And then a shotgun dropkick! Cover, TWO! Gulak lives but Tozawa keeps his focus. Tozawa lines up a shot and runs in, but gets tossed out! Nese elbows Gulak then runs, but Gulak tosses him out. Nese lands and kicks back! Gulak is down, Nese Triangle MOONSAULTS! Cover, but now Tozawa breaks it in time! Tozawa and Nese glare at each other. Nese CHOPS but Tozawa CHOPS back. Nese CHOPS again, but so does Tozawa. Tozawa CHOPS, then fakes Nese out to the JAB! Nese is in the corner but right back up to put Tozawa up top. SHORYUKEN again!
Nese climbs up to join Tozawa, but Tozawa resists. Tozawa and fans shout “AH! AH!” as he clubs away on Nese! Tozawa forearms NEse into the Tree of Woe! But Gulak jumps over Nese to SUPERPLEX Tozawa! But Nese sits right up to adjust and aim, 450 FLOP!! Gulak avoids the splash and drags Nese up, only for Nese to bring Gulak up in the Dude Buster! Cover, SHINING WIZARD! Tozawa covers Nese, TWO!! All three men are down but fans are loving it! Nese crawls to a corner while Tozawa sits up. Tozawa goes at Gulak with the kick, the swing, the slide and the rolling roundhouse! Nese comes back and shoves Tozawa right out hard! PREMIER KNEE! But Tozawa rolls Nese!! TWO, and Nese rolls Tozawa! TWO, to a deadlift, BUCKLE BOMB! Cover, TWO!!
Tozawa bails out to leave Nese and Gulak alone in the ring. These old rivals glare as they stand up. They grab each other by the bear, but Gulak throws elbow after elbow. Nese forearms Gulak then German Suplexes him into buckles! NEse brings down the pad, runs, but into an elbow! Gulak torture racks Nese, but Nese slips out. Tozawa runs in and shotguns Nese down! Gulak ducks the kick, torture rack, neckbreaker! Cover, GULAK WINS!!
Winner: Drew Gulak, by pinfall; NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion
The Submission Specialist didn’t need a submission, and he beat the other challenger to take the title from the champ! Will Drew Gulak change the way 205 Live operates once and for all?
In the WWE, boots are made for more than just walking.
A Lady wants a belt. A Beastslayer won’t let his go so easily. The Big Dog wants to take a bite out of a Terminator, and a Show-Off wants to prove #ItShouldHaveBeenMe! Who walks on from here walking tall?
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch VS Lacey Evans!
They say ladies first, but The Man is the one who wants to get this over with! Will Lynch finally shut the Sassy Southern Belle up with this rematch from Money in the Bank? Or will a Woman’s Right be all it takes to take that last belt from the former Champ-Champ?
The introductions are made with Becky going out first. Lacey follows, in gear that already looks like she’s celebrating. The belt is raised and we begin Stomping Grounds with some Straight Fire!
The bell rings and Becky circles with Lacey. They tie up and Lacey powers Becky to a corner. Becky turns it around and talks trash. Lacey slaps Becky’s hand away then shoves her. Becky shoves back and the fans are already thunderous. Lacey waistlocks but Becky drop toeholds to a trailer hitch! Lacey grabs the ropebreak and Becky lets go at 3. Becky taunts Lacey as they circle and tie up again. Becky waistlocks and slams Lacey, but Lacey scrambles tot he ropes again. The ref counts but Becky yanks and slams Lacey! Lacey bails out but Becky pursues to club her down! Becky puts Lacye in and dodges the shoulder to knee and kick Lacey back.
Fans fire up as Becky gets in, and Becky catches the kick! Lacey asks Becky simply put it down, but Becky runs around to spin and throw Lacey! Becky bumps Lacey on buckles and then another corner, and then a third. Fans still cheer as Becky gets all four corners! Becky whips Lacey but Lacey reverses. Becky stops herself and elbows Lacey, but then springboards to kick Lacey back. Lacey gets out again which only annoys Becky. Fans chant “Lacey Sucks!” Becky wrecks Lacey with a baseball slide! Becky drags Lacey up and in, but Lacey kicks her back! Lacey crawls but Becky returns to backslide, TWO! Becky blocks another kick to dragon screw Lacey! Lacey punches Becky’s ribs! Lacey grabs Becky in a facelock, for a fallout DDT! Then Lacey gator rolls Becky to the apron and a post.
Lacey Bow ‘n’ Arrows Becky against the post by a leg and the ponytail! Fans boo as Lacey kicks Becky back in. Cover, TWO! Lacey stalks Becky to ropes and stomps away. She wrenches and wrings Becky out to then pull on the arm. Lacey kicks Becky in the ribs while fans jeer. Becky endures as Lacey pulls but she pops out to a cover! ONE, and Lacey bumps Becky off buckles now. Lacey stomps a mudhole into those ribs, then kicks Becky while she’s down. Lacey throws Becky down by her hair, and clamps on to an armlock. She hammers the ribs but Becky endures. Becky fights back as fans rally up, but Lacey hammers her to a cover, TWO! Lacey has the arm again and just hammers away! Becky still endures, but Lacey covers, TWO!
Lacey keeps on that arm while digging her knuckles and elbow into Becky’s ribs. Becky refuses to quit and fans rally up again. Becky kicks free then rolls Lacey, TWO! Lacey and Becky slowly stand but Becky throws hands. Becky whips but Lacey reverses to run her over! Lacey covers but Becky slips out! Becky mule kicks Lacey, then dodges in the corner for the jump kick! Becky grabs Lacey but Lacey elbows out. Lacey rams her shoulder into Becky’s ribs! Lacey hoists Becky up top but Becky fights back! Super armbar takedown!! Lacey flails and rolls to stack Becky, ONE! The armbar is back on! Lacey uses her legs for a ropebreak! Becky lets go at 3 and hobbles away. She runs in but gets sent into the buckles! Lacey hits her swinging bronco buster! Cover, TWO!
Lacey adjusts her outfit while catching her breath. She returns to Becky with the handkerchief to wipe herself off and throw it on Becky. Lacey adjusts her hair while fans boo. She toys with Becky but Becky shoves the tissue back in Lacey’s mouth! Becky throws off haymakers and uppercuts! Then she rallies with lariats! Becky gives back kicks and knees, then runs, but into a body shot! Becky boots Lacey back, then runs for big forearms! Lacey is down and Becky fires up with the fans. Becky stalks Lacey, takes aim, Straight Firearm! And more stomps! Becksploder! Cover, TWO!! Lacey still lives and Becky is beside herself. Becky drags Lacey to a drop zone and stomps her down to then climb up. Straight Fire Leg Drop FLOPS!! Lacey climbs while Becky writhes. Lacey slingshots but into knees! Becky rolls Lacey, TWO!
Becky grabs at the arm, but Lacey gets up and whips. Lacey follows but into a scoop. She escapes, and elbows Becky away. Springboard stunner! BOOT! Cover, TWO!! Becky survives and Lacey loses her cool. Lacey drags Becky into the drop zone and climbs up. Becky springs up to yank Lacey off! And into the Disarm-Her! Lacey taps, Becky wins!!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission; still Raw Women’s Champion
The Man denies the Lady again! Will this finally keep the Sassy Southern Belle out of her business? Who else will move up to challenge Becky for her belt?
Mustafa Ali will be the light of the WWE.
No matter who, no matter where, and no matter what the situation, he vows to protect, serve and inspire the WWE Universe.
Backstage interview with Paul Heyman.
The Advocate just came out of Baron Corbni’s office! Is he the referee despite what he said on Raw? And will Brock Lesnar follow? Those aren’t the questions to ask. Heyman wants to know if the WWE World and WWE Universal Champions are here tonight. And they are. So with both of them here, doesn’t that present multiple opportunities for The Beast in the Bank? Yes, it does. Heyman walks off, but did he really confirm or deny anything?
But then Corbin walks out, and he’s starting to think Kayla is after more than an interview. She wants an answer: has he chosen a referee? Yes, someone who won’t do any favors, who will call this down the middle. Corbin doesn’t need help to beat Rollins, he just needs someone who can do their job. Then when Corbin becomes champion, he’ll worry about Lesnar if he shows up. Will the Lone Wolf have to worry that far ahead? Or will he lose to Rollins even with a “competent” ref?
The New Day VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn!
Awwwww~ Tacoma~! While Kofi Kingston defends his W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, Championship, Big E and Xavier Woods will show these best frenemies what they get for sticking their noses in their business. Plus, this is finally a chance to get back at “Big O” for tricking them! But will Sami & Kevin ruin the New Day’s fun before the fairy tale is over?
The teams sort out and Woods begins with Kevin. They approach and Kevin SUPERKICKS Big E! Then SUPERKICKS Woods! Then another SUPERKICK! A fourth SUPERKICK! Kevin hurries up top for a SWANTON! Cover, TWO!? Tag to Sami and Saim drags Woods up for another SUPERKICK! Then a Blue Thunder Bomb!! Cover, TWO?! How is Woods doing this?! Tag to Kevin and Kevin climbs again, for a Frog Splash! Cover, TWO?!? Kevin and Sami are furious! How can Woods take all this damage?! Kevin rains down rights and then argues with the ref on the counts. Tag to Sami and Sami rains down rights of his own. Big E gets back on the corner and fans rally for the New Day. Kevin tells them to shut up but they only chant harder.
Sami drags Woods up for kicks to his face. Big E coaches Woods on but Sami punches Woods back down. Sami puts Woods in the corner then taunts Big E. Tag to Kevin and Kevin drags Woods around for stomps. Kevin backs off to taunt Big E while Sami gets cheap shots in. Then Kevin runs back in for a CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO! Woods somehow still has something left. Kevin taunts Big E more then drags Woods around for a back senton! Kevin mocks Woods to go tag Big E, before dropping another senton! Cover, TWO! Kevin mocks the New Day clap but fans genuinely clap. Kevin drags Woods up and puts him in the corner. Tag to Sami and Sami throws hands!
Sami stomps Woods, then distracts the ref for Kevin to get a cheap shot in. Sami slaps Woods, so Woods SLAPS Sami! Woods also CHOPS Sami, but Sami wrangles Woods to a crossface! Woods endures the hold as Sami cranks back. Fans rally up again and Woods rolls Sami, TWO! Sami anchors Woods down and drags him away. Sami tags Kevin and Kevin stomps Woods down. Kevin mocks Woods’ pain before bringing him up. Woods dodges the clothesline to enziguri Kevin! Kevin tags Sami and Sami hits Big E down! Sami stalks Woods and drags him up for a back suplex. Woods slips out to give Sami the back suplex! Both men are down but crawling.
Sami tags Kevin and Kevin runs, but Woods dodges the senton! Woods jumps for the corner but Kevin catches him. Woods turns around, wheelbarrow facebuster! Big E rises and returns to his corner! Hot tags to Sami and Big E! Big E throws Sami overhead! And again! And then belly2belly! Big E swivels them hips! But he has to hit Kevin down first. Sami gets up but gets a big elbow, then the Big Splash! Cover, TWO! Now Sami survives, but Big E keeps on him. Big E waistlocks but Sami fights out with elbows. Sami boots Big E then hops up to bring Big E in. Sami rains down rights and lefts, and grins as he facelocks, but Big E powers out of the tornado. Big E urenages Sami down! Cover, TWO!
Tag to Woods and the New Day coordinate. Woods tries but can’t lift Big E the first time. He gets it the second time for the human weapon, Big E splash! Sami writhes and Woods runs, banzai leg drop! Cover, but Kevin breaks it! Big E throws Kevin out then scoops Sami. Woods climbs up but Sami wiggles free. Woods jumps over Big E into Sami’s boot! Big E hits post, too, and the New Day is down! Sami tags Kevin and gives Woods a HELLUVA KICK! Then feeds to the POP-UP POWERBOMB! Cover, but Big E breaks in! Fans say “This is Awesome!’ as Sami runs into Big E’s lariat! SUPERKICK from Kevin! Woods denies the stunner for a rolling elbow! All four men are down but Tacoma is giving a standing ovation!
Kevin goes to a corner but so does Woods. Sami joins Woods on the apron, but Woods mule kicks. Big E runs and SPEARS Sami down to the ground! Woods kicks Kevin down into the drop zone! Woods climbs but Kevin trips him up! STUNNER! Cover, Kevin and Sami win!
Winners: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, Owens pinning
After dealing out so much damage, the best frenemies finally down the New Day! Is this the start of Kevin and Sami turning things around?
Nikki Cross checks in with Alexa Bliss backstage.
The Loony Lass is excited for her friend and tonight’s SmackDown Women’s Championship match. The Goddess appreciates having Nikki in her corner. It won’t be Alexa against the world anymore. They wanted to be tag team champions together, but Bayley cost them that. Alexa also feels responsible, but Nikki says Alexa doesn’t need to feel bad. Bayley showed her true colors, so hopefully fans see her for who she really is. But that title is too special to belong to someone like Bayley. Which is why Nikki will love watching Alexa win. It’s them against the world, but will Nikki ever see she’s on the wrong side?
WWE United States Championship: Samoa Joe VS Ricochet!
The Destroyer lost the belt because of controversy, but Rey Mysterio was noble enough to give it back. Joe was less so when he still attacked an injured King of Lucha for even having the belt at all. Now the King of Flight steps up, can he succeed where even the living legend failed?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin!
Joe and Ricochet circle as fans chant, “Joe’s gonna kill~ you~!” They tie up and Joe wrenches Ricochet to then slap and kick away! Ricochet gets right up but Joe has his guard up. Joe grins as Ricochet stays back and they circle again. They tie up and Joe JABS Ricochet down. Ricochet keeps his cool while Joe dares him to come back for more. They tie up again and Ricochet ducks the jab this time to CHOP Joe! Joe just shrugs but he runs into Ricochet’s forearms. Ricochet runs and rolls off Joe’s back to then huricanrana Joe down! And dropkick him out! Ricochet builds speed and slides out but Joe dodges. Ricochet throws more haymakers but Joe rams him into the apron! Joe looms over Ricochet and throws him into steel steps!
Joe refreshes the count to then stalk Ricochet more. He drags Ricochet into the ring at the count of 5, then runs in at Ricochet in the corner. Ricochet goes up and over but runs into the urenage! Cover, TWO! Joe keeps his cool as he looms over Ricochet again. Fans duel as Joe stalks a crawling Ricochet. Joe drags Ricochet up for a CHOP and Ricochet falls back down. Ricochet gets to a corner but Joe is on him again. Ricochet CHOPS and forearms back, but runs into a back elbow! Joe covers, TWO! Ricochet is dazed and the referee checks on him. Joe comes back as Ricochet slowly gets up. Joe bumps Ricochet off buckles to CHOP him back! Ricochet throws forearms and whips, but Joe reverses. Joe back elbows and PELES! Cover, TWO! Ricochet lives and Joe grows annoyed.
Joe pulls Ricochet’s arms and wraps on a chinlock. Ricochet endures and fans rally up. Ricochet feeds off the energy and works his way up. He fights back with elbows and body shots but Joe clamps on tighter. Ricochet stands to jawbreaker out! Joe checks his chin while fans rally again. Ricochet stands and throws forearms on Joe. Joe hits Ricochet back with one big swat! Joe has Ricochet at the ropes and grabs the legs to yank Ricochet up into a powerbomb! Cover, TWO! Ricochet flounders away but Joe keeps his focus. Joe drags Joe up again for a snapmare and neck wrench. Ricochet endures but fans rally up again.
Ricochet reaches but can’t get ropes, so he works his way back up. He fights out with body shots again, but Joe CHOPS him back! Joe runs but into Ricochet’s dropkick-flip and enziguri! Ricochet ducks the lariat to PELE Joe back! Both men are down and fans fire up! Ricochet gets back to his feet but Joe follows. Joe swings but Ricochet counter punches. Ricochet then runs to forearm, but Joe stays up. Ricochet tries again, for another huricanrana! Joe is in a corner and Ricochet runs in to ram his shoulder in. Ricochet springboards and clotheslines Joe down! Joe bails out but Ricochet runs to FLY! Direct hit takes Joe down! Ricochet hurries to get Joe up and in! Ricochet springboards again, missile dropkick! But he’s not done, LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO!
Ricochet keeps his cool as he heads for another corner. He climbs up and aims, but Joe gets up. Ricochet jumps over but Joe scoops him for a powerslam! Cover, TWO! Joe grows frustrated, but keeps his eyes on Ricochet as Ricochet stirs. Joe drags Ricochet up but Ricochet throws forearms and CHOPS! But Joe CHOPS back again! Ricochet stands so Joe whips, Ricochet handsprings, but into a full nelson! Ricochet breaks free but still gets a German Suplex! Joe runs as Ricochet rises to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives and Joe is shocked. Joe glares at Ricochet as he clamps hands on the shoulders. Joe drags Ricochet up for another urenage, but Ricochet fights out! Ricochet boots but Joe blocks it, to FLIP Ricochet!
Joe puts on the Coquina Clutch! But Ricochet climbs the ropes! Ricochet hotshots Joe down! Joe is in the drop zone, and Ricochet climbs up again! Ricochet 630 but he has to roll through! Joe LARIATS Ricochet, but Ricochet springs back up! CODE BREAKER! Ricochet keeps going and gets back up top! Ricochet tries again, 630 SENTON! Cover, Ricochet wins!!
Winner: Ricochet, by pinfall; NEW WWE United States Champion
Incredible! Ricochet’s first try, and he’s already a champion! The One and Only surprises himself more than anyone, but now he IS United States Champion! Will Ricochet ascend to even greater heights now that he’s got gold?
Ricochet is welcomed and congratulated by other WWE superstars.
Former and current champions alike welcome Ricochet, but even Triple H! The King of Flight clearly has the respect of The Game, but will Samoa Joe be coming back for revenge?
SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Planet’s Tag Team Champions VS Heavy Machinery!
Big Red Rowan and “The New” Daniel Bryan vow to save tag team wrestling in the WWE by ending the fun and the jokes. But perhaps the new YOLO County Tag Team Champions, Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic, will show them you can have fun and win at the same time!
The introductions are made, and the Washington crowd is strongly behind Aberdeen’s Daniel Bryan. The belts are raised and the teams sort out, we begin this champions vs “champions” match with Dozer and Rowan.
Dozer shimmies those legs but Bryan calls Rowan over. Fans hope he tags in, and he does! Bryan circles with a stomping and jiving Dozer, then they approach. Bryan kicks Dozer in the leg but Dozer shrugs it off. They circle and Bryan kicks again. Fans cheer but Dozer still isn’t bothered. Bryan and Dozer circle again and Bryan gets in another kick. Bryan kicks Dozer more, but Dozer keeps moving. More kicks land but Dozer blocks one to shove Bryan down! Dozer flexes but Tacoma boos. Bryan gets up and circles with Dozer again. They tie up and Dozer shoves Bryan again! Dozer shows off the pythons, brother! Fans still cheer Bryan as he stares down the shimmying Dozer.
Bryan and Dozer approach and Bryan gives more kicks! Fans chant “YES! YES!” and Bryan runs, but into a trophy lift! Dozer dumps Bryan down then suplexes Bryan up. Dozer holds him as Tucker tags in. Tucker takes a hand-off, and he keeps Bryan up for another five before dropping him! Cover, TWO! Tukcer keeps on Bryan with a headlock and he grinds Bryan to his knees. Fans rally for Bryan and Bryan powers out. Tucker runs Bryan over then things speed up. Tucker shows that agility to then LARIAT Bryan down! Cover, TWO! Tucker keeps his cool as he back suplexes. Bryan lands on his feet and Rowan tags in. Bryan kicks Tucker and Rowan crossbodies Tucker down! Rowan roars and drags Tucker to a corner for buckle bumps.
Rowan clubs away then runs corner to corner, for a big corner splash! He pushes Tucker to then dropkick him down! Cover, TWO! Rowan keeps on Tucker with a chinbar while fans cheer, “Please Recycle!” Tucker endures the neck wrench and fights his way up. Rowan throws Tucker back down and soaks up the cheers. Tag to Bryan and fans cheer louder as the Planet’s Tag Champions mug Tucker. Rowan whips Bryan in for the dropkick, then adds his own clothesline! Bryan drags Tucker to a post to swing the leg into it! And again! Bryan stalks Tucker as he crawls, then grabs the legs for a surfboard! Bryan stomps the knees! Tucker writhes while Rowan tags in. Rowan drags Tucker up for headbutts then drops elbows on the legs. Rowan runs to splash down! Cover, TWO!
Tucker crawls to a corner while Rowan argues with the ref. Rowan claws at Tucker’s face! Rowan clubs Tucker then whips him corner to corner hard. But Tucker boots back and dodges, to send Rowan into the post! Tucker crawls while Rowan falls to the mat. Hot tags to Bryan and Dozer! Dozer rallies on Bryan with big arms and shoulders! Fans boo as Bryan gets scooped for a spinning, spinning, spinning slam! Dozer runs at Bryan but gets sent into buckles! Bryan runs corner to corner to hit a dropkick! Then another! But Dozer pops Bryan up to a powerbomb! Cover, TWO!! Heavy Machinery was so close! But Dozer has Bryan in a drop zone and climbs up. Dozer banzais, but misses the Vader Bomb! Bryan grits his teeth as he fires up.
Dozer sits up and Bryan unleashes Yes Kicks! Bryan kicks Dozer over and over, then prepares the buzzsaw, but Dozer is the one powering up! Dozer takes more kicks as he pumps his hips! Bryan kicks and kicks but Dozer leans into them! Then he scoops and SUPLEXES Bryan! Dozer runs corner to corner for a splash! Bryan flops down, and Dozer has his target. Dozer pumps up and hits the CATERPILLAR ELBOW! Tag to Tucker, and Dozer catapults Bryan into the belly2belly suplex! Cover, but Rowan breaks it! Rowan clotheslines Dozer down then kicks him out. The ref reprimands Rowan and the Big Red backs off. Tucker gets to his feet but Bryan gives his leg kicks! Tucker haymakers back but Bryan still kicks. Bryan kicks but misses, into a back suplex!
Tucker gets to a corner, climbs up, and MOONSAULTS! But flops!! He clips Bryan but it was far from what he wanted! Both men are down, and they crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Rowan and Dozer! Dozer and Rowan stare down and start brawling with haymakers! Rowan runs to bump shoulders but Dozer comes back to give it. Rowan clotheslines but DOzer stays up> dozer clotheslines but Rowan stays up. They both go and collide, butn either aflls! Rowan runs, Bryan tags in, Dozer dodges to scoop! Powerslam on Rowan, tag to Tucker! They grab Rowan, but he’s not legal! Bryan dumps Tucker out! Bryan climbs and leaps at Dozer, flying knee! Then he runs at Tucker, but gets a haymaker! Tucker climbs, to LEAP onto Rowan!! Tucker goes back to Bryan, but gets caught in a cradle! Bryan & Rowan win!!
Winners: The Planet’s Tag Team Champions, Bryan pinning; still SmackDown Tag Team Champions
Bryan’s brain beats Tucker’s brawn! Bryan and Rowan get through this by the skin of their teeth, but is this the last time Heavy Machinery challenges for the titles?
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross!
There is a lot of history between the Huggable One and the Goddess that dates back to their days in NXT. Bayley was Raw Women’s Champion when these two first battled for a title, and Alexa won because things were too extreme for her. But now, a year later, Bayley has grown while Alexa has stayed the same. Yet Alexa’s “very special friend” doesn’t seem to see that. Will Nikki play into Alexa’s game? Or will Bayley hold on to this title to prove she isn’t just a placeholder?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin this rivalry revisited!
Bayley goes right to Alexa and shoves her. Alexa shoves back and now it’s a brawl! Alexa puts Bayley in a corner for stmops, but Bayley powers her out to another corner! Bayley throws furious haymakers, then runs in for a big knee! She rolls Alexa to a cover, TWO! Bayley drags Alexa up but Alexa powers her to a corner now. Alexa rams her shoulder in, then gets mad at the ref for counting. Bayley flapjacks Alexa on buckles! Then long darts her onto more! Cover, TWO! Bayley keeps her cool then runs in, but Alexa gets clear. Bayley changes direction to put Alexa in a corner. She bumps Alexa off buckles. Alexa turns it around to throw Bayley into buckles back! Alexa drags Bayley to a cover, TWO! The Goddess grows frustrated while fans duel.
Alexa puts Bayley on ropes to choke her! She lets up at 4 and Bayley shoves back. Alexa clubs Bayley down then wrangles her into a chinlock. Bayley endures while fans continue to duel. Bayley moves around and fights her way up. Alexa wrangles Bayley down with a chinbar! Alexa grins but Bayley fights up again. Bayley elbows free and scoops, but Alexa slips out to give Bayley a backbreaker! Alexa chokes Bayley on the ropes again, but lets up at 4. Alexa puts Bayley in a corner with buckle bumps, then bounces Bayley off the mat. The Goddess brings back a classic, the skateboard stomps! Cover, TWO! Alexa tries again, TWO! Alexa grows further frustrated, but Bayley throws body shots. Bayley runs and crossbodies! Cover, TWO!
Alexa clubs Bayley right back down, then drags her up by her ponytail. Alexa whips Bayley hard into a corner, then runs in, to SLAP her! Bayley checks her mouth while Alexa takes a bow. Alexa runs in to get run over by Bayley! Cover, TWO! Bayley stomps Alexa then somersaults for a rolling elbow! She keeps moving, but into that killer right! Nikki coaches Alexa on and Alexa goes at a dizzy Bayley, only to get a hotshot! Bayley knees Alexa back in, then climbs up top. Bayley leaps over Alexa but turns around into a facelock. She fights out to then run and knee Alexa down! Alexa bails out and regroups with Nikki. Bayley tells Nikki to back off, to then daredevil dropkick. Alexa dodges but not for long! Bayley has Alexa’s arm but Alexa uses that to yank Bayley into the post!
Alexa slams that arm on the ground a few times. Alexa clubs Bayley’s shoulder and puts her in the ring to cover, TWO! Frustration starts to boil up again as Alexa yanks and pulls on Bayley’s arm. Alexa wristlocks and drops a knee on the arm. Cover, TWO! Alexa grows further frustrated by Bayley’s toughness. Bayley gets to ropes but Alexa is on that arm again. Alexa laces the arm through to pull Bayley into ropes. She lets up at 4 but comes back for more. Alexa yanks on that arm but Bayley swings the other. Alexa catches her and rolls her to a bridging cover. Bayley gets up and powers out, but Alexa tilt-o-whirls, only for Bayley to saido suplex! Cover, TWO! Bayley keeps her cool as she gets to a corner.
Alexa stirs as fans duel again. Bayley aims, runs in, and sunset flip powerbombs Alexa into buckles! But Alexa slumps out of the ring! Nikki checks on her pal, but Bayley runs to DIVE! Nikki takes the hit! Alexa throws hands but Bayley counter punches. Bayley runs but Alexa sends her into steel steps! Alexa drags Bayley up, for a Sunset Flip Bomb! “This is MY title, Bayley!” Alexa drags Bayley up and in to stomp her more. Then Alexa climbs up top but Nikki gets in?! Nikki wants back at Bayley but this wasn’t the time! Bayley climbs up but Alexa sends her back down. Alexa moosnaults, but Twisted Bliss gets knees! And BAYLEY2BELLY! Bayley wins!!
Winner: Bayley, by pinfall; still SmackDown Women’s Champion
Nikki costs Alexa and Bayley keeps her title! But just what is the truth here? Karma keeping Alexa from getting what she wants? Or Alexa getting what she deserves?
The WWE 24/7 Championship has had quite the week.
First, R-Truth gets tricked by Drake Maverick in disguise as Carmella! Maverick high-tailed it out of SmackDown to make it to his wedding, only for a certain someone to crash it! Maverick was in shock that Truth would ruin his special day and take away the title! The newlywed husband would drown his sorrows at the reception, but worse yet, his new wife is asking for a divorce!! Can Maverick salvage his marriage before worrying about his wrestling career?
The NEW WWE United States Champion takes pictures with the title!
Ricochet poses for the camera, and the Good Brothers give him congrats. They pose with him for some Too Sweet pics. Ricochet doesn’t want them fooling around, but then AJ Styles joins in. Now it’s a Phenomenal photo shoot. Styles compliments the champ, and says he’ll see him tomorrow on Raw. Wait, what? Is the new champion already up against a top tier contender?
Roman Reigns VS Drew McIntyre w/ Shane McMahon!
The Big Dog is a special talent and Shane McMahon knows that. Roman has won multiple Royal Rumbles and is a WWE Grand Slam Champion, but the Best in the World still beat him at WWE Super Showdown. Of course, it wasn’t without a lot of help from the Scottish Terminator, which is why Roman turns his attention to him. Will it be Roman or McIntyre kicking ass and taking names to prove they’re the biggest dog in the WWE Yard?
The moment Roman appears, McIntyre goes at him! They brawl on the ramp, a nd McIntyre whips Roman into barriers. But Roman returns the favor! They finally get in the ring and the bell rings as the fists fly. Roman bumps McIntyre off buckles and gives punches. Shane protests but McIntyre powers out before 10, only to get clothseline’d out! Shane checks on McIntyre but the ref tells him to back off. Roman decides to FLY! Roman wipes out McIntyre as Shane gets clear! Shane backs off even more but Roman pursues. Roman chases Shane through the crowd! Deja vu to Raw as Roman LEAPS, but into McIntyre’s haymaker this time! McIntyre throws Roman into steel steps, too, blasting them apart! He puts Roman in then looms over him.
McIntyre drags Roman up, bumps him off buckles, and CHOPS! McIntyre punches and stomps Roman then whips to suplex him overhead! Cover, TWO! Shane coaches McIntyre on and McIntyre rains down rights. McIntyre chokes Roman, but distracts the ref so Shane can get cheap shots in! Cover, TWO! McIntyre keeps on Roman with an armlock and chinbar. Roman endures the holds while fans duel. Roman powers his way up, pries free of the chinbar, and throws haymakers! McIntyre shoves and elbows Roman down! Cover, ONE! McIntyre stomps Roman from head to toe then hooks the mouth. The ref counts and McIntyre lets go at 4.
McIntyre toys with Roman then rains down rights. McIntyre makes sure Roman sees the big one. Fans say “Shane is Awful!” while McIntyre looms over Roman. McIntyre facelocks then deadlifts but Roman resists to snap suplex McIntyre back! Both men are down but slowly stirring. McIntyre sits up first but Roman uppercuts first! Shane hotshots Roman! McIntyre hits a SPINEBUSTER and jackknife covers, TWO! Roman won’t go down to such a cheap screw job. McIntyre hauls Roman up again for that deadlift suplex! Cover, TWO! McIntyre grabs Roman for another armlock and chinbar, but Roman endures as fans duel again. Roman gets up and pries free again, to headbutt! Roman throws hands but McIntyre shoves, only for Roman to kick. But then McIntyre clotheslines Roman! Cover, TWO!
Shane says it’s fine, just stay on him. McIntyre drops an elbow on Roman’s knee, and then pulls him into a grounded surfboard! Roman endures being pulled back while Shane says the timekeeper should be ready. The ref says Shane should stay away from the bell. McIntyre lets Roman go and shifts to a modified crossface! Roman endures all over again, but Shane again checks about the bell. Roman refuses to quit, and powers his way up to fireman’s carry! But McIntyre slips out and shoves Roman, only to run into the Samoan Drop! Both men are down but Shane keeps his confidence in McIntyre. A standing count begins and reaches 5 before McIntyre gets up. Roman slowly follows and throws haymakers. McIntyre returns them, then CHOPS!
Roman haymakers but McIntyre forearms. Roman uppercuts but McIntyre back kicks! McIntyre whips Roman into a corner but Roman comes out with clotheslines! Roman whips but McIntyre reverses, only for Roman to leap and lariat him down! Roman wants Shane to see this as he gives McIntyre point-blank lariats! He gets all 10 and runs, to BOOT McIntyre down! Fans fire up while Shane grows worried. Roman takes aim from a corner, locks ‘n’ loads, but Shane distracts the ref! SUPERMAN PUNCH for Shane! Roman won’t leave Shane alone, he leaps for another SUPERMAN PUNCH! McIntyre slides out but into an uppercut! Roman goes for but misses the Drive-By Dropkick! McIntyre has Roman in the position, Inverted Alabama Slam off the announce desk!
McIntyre puts Roman in, drags him up, scrapbuster slam! Cover, TWO!! Roman lives and McIntyre can’t believe it! McIntyre tries again by putting Roman in the corner. He hoists Roman up top, and CHOPS him before climbing up to join him. Roman trips McIntyre up and punches him into a Tree of Woe! McIntyre sits right up! But Roman headbutts him back, then punches him more. McIntyre throat chops, stands up, and SUPERPLEXES Roman down! Cover, TWO!! Roman still lives but McIntyre is too tired to be frustrated. But McIntyre kips up!? McIntyre aims at Roman from the corner and watches Roman slowly stir. Roman stands, McIntyre runs in but misses! Backslide, TWO! Glasgow Kiss rocks both men!
McIntyre hops up top again, aims at Roman, and leaps INTO A SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO! Both men slowly sit up but it’s Roman who roars! Fans fire up with Roman as he lets out the battle cry! But McIntyre kicks the spear away! Roman uppercuts, McIntyre gives another Glasgow Kiss, but Roman comes back with a SPEAR! Cover, but Shane yanks the ref out! Shane refuses to let his guy lose! Shane drags Roman up and around to a corner for stomps! The Best in the World throws off his jacket and takes aim from across the way. COAST 2 COAST!! Shane drags Roman over and lets McIntyre cover. He puts the ref in, who counts, TWO!! Roman still survives! McIntyre takes aim again, Roman stand,s SUPERMAN PUNCH! Shane urns in but is thrown out! Roman dodges McIntyre to SPEAR!! Cover, Roman wins!!
Winner: Roman Reigns, by pinfall
The Big Dog survives the Best Screwjob in the World! Shane and McIntyre both fall to Roman here, but is this the end of their war?
WWE World Championship Steel Cage Match: Kofi Kingston VS Dolph Ziggler!
The 11 year journey was a dream come true at Wrestlemania this year, but it wasn’t quite as inspiring to the Show-Off. Ziggler returned to the WWE bitter and jealous, claiming all the moments Kofi had on the road to Wrestlemania should’ve been his. Ziggler failed to prove #ItShouldHaveBeenMe at Money in the Bank, but he cites Xavier Woods’ interference as why he lost. Now he and Kofi will be locked inside steel. Will #Kofimania still live on? Or will Ziggler prove he is worthy of being the WWE World, Heavy, Weight, Champion~?!
The cage is lowered, the introductions are made and the belt is raised. The door is locked and the bell rings to begin this MITB rematch!
Ziggler and Kofi circle but keep a distance. Ziggler shows superkick but Kofi gets clear. Kofi tries Trouble in Paradise but Ziggler gets clear, too. The two get in each other’s face, and Ziggler shoves Kofi. Kofi shoves back, but Ziggler climbs the cage! Kofi anchors Ziggler back down and then yanks him off. Ziggler swings but into an arm wrench. Ziggler slips out and dropkicks Kofi down! The Show-off wants the door but Kofi grabs his legs. Ziggler shakes Kofi off but Kofi rolls Ziggler up! TWO, and Kofi dropkicks, only for Ziggler to block! Ziggler catapults Kofi, but Kofi uses it to climb! Ziggler anchors Kofi and yanks him down now. Kofk blocks the superkick to dropkick Ziggler! Cover, TWO! Kofi keeps his cool while Ziggler crawls to a corner.
Kofi runs in for a corner splash, then throws European Uppercuts. He whips Ziggler corner to corner but misses the splash this time! Ziggler tosses Kofi into the steel more and Kofi scrapes against it. Ziggler drags Kofi up to rake his face into the steel more. Fans rally up for New Day but Ziggler brings Kofi across the way. Kofi blocks the bump but so does Ziggler, and Ziggler drops Kofi to a neckbreaker! Ziggler drags Kofi back up and throws him right into steel! Kofi bounces off and falls down but Ziggler circles him like a shark. Ziggler drags Kofi up again, digging fingers into Kofi’s face. There are no disqualifications so Ziggler can do that as he puts on the chinlock. Fans rally for Kofi but Ziggler shakes his head no.
Kofi powers up and fights free, but Ziggler throws him down by his hair. Ziggler throws Kofi into steel again! Cover, TWO! Ziggler keeps on Kofi with a crossface! Kofi works against the hold and fans rally up again. Ziggler drags Kofi back down but Kofi backs up to his feet. Kofi jawbreakers free! Ziggler staggers but comes back to put Kofi in a corner. Ziggler fires off fast body shots while fans boo and jeer. The Show-Off backs off, and runs back in, but into an elbow! Kofi boots Ziggler away, then runs to whip. Ziggler reverses but Kofi goes up to dropkick back! Both men are down but fans rally up. Kofi drags himself up with the ropes while Ziggler stands. Kofi rallies with clotheslines and chops! Then a dropkick! Kofi leaps for the lariat but Ziggler sends him into steel! Cover, TWO!
Ziggler keeps his cool as he drags Kofi back up. Ziggler puts Kofi in a corner and slaps him! He slaps Kofi over and over, and shouts “Look what you made me do!” Ziggler throws Kofi but Kofi sends Ziggler into steel! Kofi does it again! Ziggler flounders around but Kofi keeps on him, a third time off the steel! Kofi slaps Ziggler now, but Ziggler shoves him away. Ziggler kicks out a leg, but his famouser is sent into a steel beam! Kofi rolls Ziggler, TWO! Fans rally and Kofi leaves Ziggler behind to climb! Ziggler hurries after to anchor a foot! Kofi fights Ziggler off and continues, but Ziggler climbs up after him. Kofi and Ziggler brawl on the top rope, and Ziggler bounces Kofi off the steel. Ziggler tries again but Kofi bumps Ziggler back!
Kofi knocks Ziggler off the top! Kofi’s climb continues! But he sees Ziggler get back up, so he springboard crossbodies instead! Cover, TWO! Kofi keeps his cool and climbs again. Kofi reaches the top but Ziggler scrambles after! Ziggler gets Kofi’s feet and drags him back down! Ziggler bumps Kofi off steel and Kofi falls back. Now Ziggler climbs, but Kofi hurries up! They’re both at the very top! Kofi headbutts Ziggler, but Ziggler tries to climb down the outside! Kofi anchors Ziggler on the top, but Ziggler kicks and flails! But Kofi clubs and drags Ziggler back, to the top rope, for another headbutt! Both men fall to the mat! Kofi and Ziggler crawl towards each other, and start brawling! Ziggler haymakers but Kofi gives it back. Now Ziggler headbutts, but Kofi hits SOS!! Cover, TWO!! Ziggler survives and Kofi is too tired to be frustrated.
Kofi crawls to a corner as fans rally and even duel. Ziggler stands and Kofi aims, Trouble in- Ziggler catches Kofi but Kofi slips out of the back suplex. Kofi boots but Ziggler catches it to a takedown and leg DDT! Kofi clutches the bad leg but Ziggler keeps on it. Ziggler rolls Kofi to have the leglock! Kofi endures and drags himself to ropes. Kofi gets the rope but there are no ropebreaks in the cage! Ziggler still twists and pulls, but Kofi uses the ropes to stand. Kofi climbs more, even with Ziggler on his leg! Ziggler yanks Kofi off, then SUPERKICKS! But Kofi hits the door! The door opens and Kofi starts slumping! Ziggler grabs Kofi to keep him inside! Ziggler drags Kofi up but Kofi grabs the steps to stay outside. Kofi and Ziggler have a tug-o-war, but Ziggler gets Kofi back in.
Kofi endures the heel hook more, and Ziggler sits up to get leverage. But Kofi stands and rolls to send Ziggler into a corner! Ziggler comes back but swings into Trouble- No, the ankle lock is back! Ziggler twists Kofi’s foot all over the place! And puts his full weight on the leg to anchor Kofi down. He even uses the ropes for leverage! Kofi endures, hops to his feet, and pulls Ziggler into an ankle lock of his own! Ziggler flails and kicks Kofi away. ZIGZAG!! Cover, TWO!? Kofi survives but Ziggler is too tired to be shocked! Ziggler dares Kofi to stand, but his superkick is countered with a hook kick! Kofi and Ziggler fight for control, and Kofi gets a facelock. Ziggler backs away towards the door! Ziggler feels his way through the doorway but Kofi anchors him. Kofi drags Ziggler while Ziggler kicks and flails.
Kofi powers Ziggler into the ring, then suplexes. Ziggler slips out but his legs give out. That doesn’t matter, he crawls for the dooor again! Ziggler reaches but those are his hands, not his feet, touching the ground! Ziggler does what Kofi did and grab that steel staircase! Kofi drags Ziggler by tights and boots, but Ziggler thumbs the eyes! Ziggler is free, and crawling out the door! But Kofi scrambles up to DIVE! Kofi gets out first!!
Winner: Kofi Kingston, by escape; still WWE World Champion
What an innovative yet risky way to win! Kofi dives to victory, and it is NOT Ziggler who has the title! Is this Ziggler’s last shot at the WWE Championship? Will he back for more? The New Day returns to celebrate with Kofi, but how long can Kofimania keep going?
On-stage interview with The New Day!
Charly congratulates Kofi on retaining the WWE Championship, but asks what is next for him? Kofi said it before and says it again: he respects Ziggler as a competitor. But Kofi also vowed to walk out of Stmping Ground our W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, Champion! And he did, BABYYYYY~! The New Day keeps the celebration going, but will it last through the summer?
Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre are furious backstage.
But Kayla comes by to ask some questions. After all the hype, Roman got the last laugh. McIntyre doesn’t care if Roman is laughing! McIntyre wants a rematch! Shane tells he’ll get it, on Raw! Roman will have to prove how bad he really is, when he takes on them both! And then Roman will finally learn the WWE is Shane’s Yard!
WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins VS Baron Corbin w/ Special Guest Referee ???
Apparently the Lone Wolf still has a lot of pull with WWE management from his (failed) time as a Raw General Manager. But he cites that the ref was “incompetent” during the Super Showdown Universal Championship match, so now he gets his own handpicked referee to call this match. Is this what it will take for Corbin to finally be champion? Or will Rollins continue to #BurnItDown?
At the same time, with Paul Heyman spotted in the arena, will The Beast in the Bank still appear to cash-in? And if he does, will whoever wins this match stand a chance of staying WWE Universal Champion?
The introductions are made, and of course we need to see who Corbin even got to be special guest referee. Rollins makes sure to keep that promise of attacking whoever sides with Corbin by showing off that steel chair. The former Raw GM, former Golden Gloves boxing champion, former WWE United States Champion, former Mr. MITB, the man who retired Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania, and “Tacoma’s Favorite Son” grabs a mic but Rollins won’t let him speak. Rollins grabs the mic to say he doesn’t know who took the job, but warns them that they will get the same treatment as all the others. Rollins dares Corbin’s choice to come out so they can just get this over with.
Corbin picks the mic back up to continue where he left off. “After much deliberation,” Corbin chose… The Sassy Southern Belle, Lacey Evans! And yes, she walks out in a fashionable referee uniform! Rollins can’t hit Lacey, can he? She tells him to drop the chair, but Corbin lurking distracts Rollins. Lacey grabs the chair, then Corbin attacks from behind! Corbin stomps away on Rollins, then jams him with the chair! Referee Lacey doesn’t seem to care about any of this. Lacey is sticking it to Becky since Rollins is The Man’s man. Lacey asks for the chair and Corbin lets her have it. Corbin fetches Rollins while Lacey disposes of teh chair. The bell rings, and this match finally starts!
Corbin lifts and throws Rollins down! Cover, TWO! The count might have been fast, but you won’t see Corbin complain. Corbin follows Rollins outside to ram him into barriers! Then throws him into more barriers! Corbin drags Rollins up to bring him all the way over to the far side barriers! Lacey “reprimands” Corbin while fans say “This is Stupid!” Corbin rams Rollins into the post then puts him in the ring. By the way, Lacey wasn’t counting for them being outside. Corbin drags Rollins up but Rollins CHOPS and punches back! Rollins whips but Corbin reverses. Rollins dodges Corbin but Corbin slides out. Corbin slides back in to clothesline Rollins down! Rollins rolls to the ropes but Corbin stalks him to the corner.
Corbin drags Rollins up for haymakers, then grinds as he rams his knee into Rollins. Corbin runs to punch Rollins back down! Fans boo but Rollins gets back up. Rollins grimaces but Corbin rams his knee in again. Corbin runs again, but Rollins dodges to CHOP and punch back! Rollins whips but Corbin hits a DDT! Corbin watches Rollins crawl to a corner. Corbin looms over Rollins and whips him corner to corner hard! Rollins hits buckles then mat! Lacey mockingly checks on Rollins, but Corbin is on him again with another hard whip! Rollins tumbles up then down the buckles! Corbin drags Rollins around to throw body shots and haymakers in a corner. Fans tell Corbin he’s “Boring~! Boring~!” but Corbin puts Rollins up top.
Corbin throws hands then climbs up. Rollins fights back while resisting the superplex! Lacey reprimands Rollins as he headbutts Corbin away. Rollins leaps over Corbin, then runs, but into an uppercut! Corbin hops up and leaps for ax handles! Lacey “checks” on Rollins while Corbin mocks the fans. Corbin drags Rollins up for more haymakers, but Rollins gives them back! Rollins gets an edge but Corbin shoves him back. Corbin slides out then in again, but Rollins dodges to PELE! Both men are down and Lacey tells Corbin to get up. Rollins and Corbin both stand, and they brawl more! Corbin forearms, Rollins haymakers, then Rollins counter punches and chops! Lacey reprimands ROllins but he whips. Corbin reverses but Rollins reverses back for a rolling elbow!
Rollins dodges Corbin to hit a Slingblade! Rollins boots Corbin from a corner then hops up, blockbuster! Corbin is up but Rollins clotheslines him out! Rollins aims and runs, to DIVE! Direct hit! Rollins puts Corbin in fast then springboards, flying knee! SUPERKICK! Rollins covers but Lacey takes her sweet time counting, so Corbin gets out at “TWO”! Fans boo while Lacey tells Corbin to get up. Fans chant for Becky but Rollins runs at Corbin. Corbin puts Rollins on the apron but Rollins shoulder back in. Rollins slingshots but into a haymaker! Corbin joins Rollins on the apron and drags him up. Corbin choke lifts but Rollins hotshots him! Then slides out to powerbomb him through the announce desk!! Fans love that one!
Rollins gets in the ring and tells Lacey to count! Lacey reluctantly does, but she again takes her sweet time doing it. She eventually gets to 5, but even that long 5 is before Corbin moves. The count goes to 7 but Lacey pretends something is wrong with her boots. She gets to 8 but then says the match is going to be a No Count Outs?! The announcer announces it, to which Rollins still can’t believe.
WWE Universal Championship No Count Outs: Seth Rollins VS Baron Corbin w/ Special Guest Referee Lacey Evans!
Rollins drags Corbin from the wreckage and into the ring. Rollins shouts at Lacey and says, “You asked for it!” Burn It Down! Mule kick, run, but Corbin bails out. So Rollins DIVES, into a haymaker! But he hits Corbin back out, to DIVE! Into an apron choke slam! Corbin gives Rollins another choke slam! Cover, TWO!! Lacey tried being fast but it wasn’t fast enough. Corbin keeps his cool, and from the look on his face, has an idea. Corbin drags Rollins around by his legs, but Rollins knows what this is! Ropebreak, not that Lacey would say it. Corbin yanks Rollins but Rollins lands on his feet! Rollins elbows Corbin, dodges him, then runs in. But into a boot! Corbin leaps but gets ropes! SUPERKICK!
Rollins climbs up again, FROG SPLASH! Cover, but Lacey reluctantly counts, and then pretends to get a shoulder cramp. Rollins and the fans are tired of this farce. Rollins glares at Lacey, then goes at Corbin. Corbin jabs and SMACKS him with a chair! Obviously these chair shots don’t count to Lacey. Corbin puts Rollins back in the ring and SMACKS Rollins more! Lacey again plays dumb to this. She “reprimands” Corbin about the chair, and he “apologizes.” Now Lacey has to make another adjustment: No Disqualifications…
WWE Universal Championship No Hold Barred: Seth Rollins VS Baron Corbin w/ Special Guest Referee Lacey Evans!
And we thought Shane was trying to pull one over on Roman. Fans still want to see where Becky went, but Corbin drags Rollins up. But Rollins spins out to throw hands! Corbin shoves and pops Rollins up, but Rollins gives him a Falcon Arrow on the chair! Cover, but Lacey doesn’t even start this time! Michael Cole counts to 7 but it doesn’t matter! Rollins is starting to reach a breaking ponit, but between Lacey being an official and a lady, he isn’t allowed to. Lacey even SLAPS him! Rollins laughs it off, and the two argue. She SLAPS him again! Then kicks him low! Corbin comes back but Rollins punches him away! Lacey low blows Rollins! END OF DAYS!!
But here’s Becky!! She finally gives Lacey what she deserves! And it’s No DQ, after all! Becky forearms Lacey down! Then throws her into barriers! Then Becksploder into the barriers! Before raining down more rights! Real referees come out to pull Becky off Lacey and Corbin shouts for someone to get in. John Cohn is back from Super Showdown! Corbin reels Rollins in but Rollins slips out, SUPERKICK! CURB STOMP!! Cover, Rollins wins!!
Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall; still WWE Universal Champion
The Lone Wolf’s ludicrous conspiracy fell apart! Becky checks on her man, and he’s clearly thankful she helped out. #ManSquared stand tall as WWE Universal and Raw Women’s Champion, are they going to #BurnItDown with Straight Fire?
For the concerns and disappointments in the build, I have to say, WWE managed to salvage everything with the actual Stomping Grounds event. There were still some glaring flaws, but pretty much everything made up for everything up to this point. I still wish the WWE would treat Cruiserweights better, because to be honest, their title match did not deserve to just be a kickoff show match be default. Nothing personal to New Day, Kevin Owens or Sami, but they should’ve been the kickoff show. There was nothing on the line, and they made the first part into Kevin-Sami Spam Their Best But Woods Survives. It would’ve been more shocking and perhaps better served to the story if Kevin & Sami won faster or maybe dirtier than they did.
What we got was still a really good match, because of the four men in the match, but it wasn’t even for being #1 contenders to tag titles. Meanwhile, the Triple Threat was an actual Cruiserweight Championship match. And it was a great one! I knew all there guys were going to give it their all, and Gulak won as predicted. It would’ve been too much too soon for Nese to retain against two top opponents, and Tozawa was clearly in to take the pin from Gulak. This all works so that at WWE Extreme Rules, Nese finds his way to a rematch so that he and Gulak can go to the extreme to not only fight for the belt, but settle their feud that’s been long-standing since the dreadful Enzo Amore days of 205 Live. That could go either way, and would definitely raise the winner’s stock considerably.
I was really surprised in the moment that the Raw Women’s Championship was first up, but we know why now. Lynch VS Lacey was a good but I feel like the MITB one was better. Perhaps because of the story they had planned, that’s why. Obviously Lynch retains but sadly it seems like WWE is trying to make her VS Lacey a real rivalry. And good to see the SmackDown Women’s Championship match turned out about how I figured. Nikki costs Alexa, but for now, Alexa doesn’t seem that upset at her. Maybe that changes if something goes wrong again. Hopefully this means Bayley moves on to actual SmackDown superstars like Carmella, once she and Ember Moon deal with Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville. Again, if only Vince hadn’t ruined the Women’s Tag Division…
What a great surprise for Ricochet to win the United States Championship! And then he gets congrats from HHH! That must be a sign that WWE sees Ricochet’s value and is going to use it to the fullest. This match was great, too, so apparently Joe was for it, too. I really hope Ricochet brings back the United States Championship Open Challenge, we need to see him take on any assortment of superstars even without it being a PPV. Though, AJ Styles talking to Ricochet, that must mean that’s the plan for Extreme Rules. Bryan and Rowan were great in their kickoff promo, and their match with Heavy Machinery was also great. No idea who there is unless Kevin & Sami suddenly go Face to face Bryan & Rowan. Or that huge WWE Undisputed Tag Title idea I had given what Raw did.
Shane really tried his hardest to screw Roman over. I almost thought he was going to recreate the Montreal Screwjob having the bell ring to say Roman “submit” to McIntyre’s modified crossface. But luckily they didn’t go that way, even though it did lead to Roman winning to regain that ol’ Super Roman level of power. A handicap to count as the joint Shane-McIntyre VS Roman rematch on Raw is just gonna be the same and sadly it does no one any favors. The cage match was about how all cage matches go, but what really made it good was Kofi’s dive to escape. No one ever did that before, and I don’t know why, but it was great for Kofi to be the one.
I really thought there was going to be a cash-in while The New Day was on stage. On one hand, Lesnar needs to remind Kofi he’s a target, too, but then again, maybe he’s letting Kofi think he’s not a concern at all until a much bigger PPV, such as Summerslam. I guess Heyman teasing is enough for the WWE. Then the WWE Universal Championship, that was dragged out for way too long. Becky should’ve been on Lacey much sooner. I get they wanted things to escalate to that No DQ “restart,” but even that could’ve been done faster because I’m sure plenty of wrestling fans have seen the “biased referee” bit before. Lacey payed it perfectly, though, but this should’ve all been a half step faster. But hey, at least WWE can now market the real-life relationship of Rollins and Becky.
My Score: 8.2/10
The WWE TV YouTube Experiment (RAW: June 17, 2019)
The WWE TV YouTube Experiment
Week 1, Episode 1
Monday Night RAW/ June 17, 2019
Los Angeles, California
As you can read in my introduction column, I’m doing an experiment to see if WWE’s YouTube content is any good. If it’s worth watching, if it’s enough to make me want to get back into watching WWE (I’m 11 months clean and sober), or if it’s just not worth my time. Every week I will only watch the video clips WWE posts to their official YouTube channel, and I’ll write a review, so to speak, of the show based on that alone. It’s an experiment. Seriously. I have a hypothesis and everything! Go check out the big introduction if you haven’t already, and then come back and read along with me!
I welcome and greatly encourage feedback, especially because my only exposure to WWE (for the most part) will be the YouTube clips. I won’t be reading recaps or reviews. So please, by all means, if you have any opinions, positive or negative, about what I’m about to write, let me know. I thrive on criticism (constructive or otherwise — tell me I’m a batshit crazy moron if you want). That all aside, I don’t want to be insanely long-winded, so I’m going to get right into it.
Total Number of Clips: 18
Total Time: 45 minutes, 43 seconds
Seth Rollins blasts Elias with a steel chair (2 minutes, 22 seconds)
Good start! Based on what I know, Seth Rollins and Baron Corbin have been feuding over the Universal Title. Seth is defending the belt on Sunday at Stomping Grounds, and Corbin promised that the match would have a special guest referee. In this clip, Elias is in the ring making fun of Los Angeles and reveals that Corbin chose him to be the ref on Sunday. Out of nowhere, Seth Rollins appears out of the darkness and lays Corbin out with a chair (very cool visual) and declares that anybody who decides to take Corbin up on the offer to referee the match on Sunday is going to take a steel chair up the ass. Something like that.
This was a very simple and effective start to the show. Rollins showed a ton of fire, and coming out of the darkness with the chair shot, as I mentioned, made for a really cool visual. I am interested in watching the next video clip! (1 for 1)
Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match (2 minutes, 42 seconds)
Another great clip. A quick peek at the results shows that the match was about 14 minutes long, and they crammed it into 2 and a half. Not a bad thing, as the idea of the YouTube clip is to get across the story being told. The story here is that Ricochet beat Cesaro, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman and The Miz in order to earn a shot at Samoa Joe’s United States Championship this Sunday. Strowman was dominant. He caught Cesaro springing off the ropes and nailed him with the powerslam and followed up by scooping Lashley up, thwarting an attempt at a spear and hitting another powerslam, except instead of driving him into the mat, he threw him onto Cesaro. Moments later (according to the clip) he hits Lashley with a second powerslam and pins him. Cut ahead in time, and Cesaro is hitting the Gotch Neutralizer on Braun, which allows Ricochet to kill Braun with a massive 630.
I don’t know if there’s a deeper backstory or if Lashley and Cesaro were just mad that they were eliminated fair and square. Not only did they attack Braun after being eliminated, but after the 630, they piled on and helped Ricochet secure the pin! Is Cesaro a heel? Is Braun? Lashley? I know Ricochet is a babyface and unless things have changed very recently, The Miz is a babyface as well. Either way, that gave Ricochet the chance to win the match, as moments later (the magic of editing!) he hits a second 630, this time on The Miz, and pins him to win the match. He doesn’t have long to celebrate, however, as Joe hits the ring and blindsides him. Ricochet saves himself by ducking a clothesline and sending Joe to the floor and wiping him out with a dive.
When you only show 2 and a half minutes of a 14-minute match, you’re due to get all action. It was fun. Since I’m essentially coming into this as almost a newcomer, this clip told me that Braun is a dominant beast, Cesaro is strong as hell, Ricochet is good at flipping, and the Miz… maybe sat ringside until the very end. I don’t know. He was only in the clip for about 5 seconds. Oh, and Joe is an asshole. An enjoyable clip that gave me a little bit of an idea about 4 of the 6 men involved. (2 for 2)
Becky Lynch catches Lacey Evans by surprise (4 minutes, 21 seconds)
I don’t really know much of the backstory here. Lacey has been a thorn in Becky’s side. I know that she interfered in the title match with Charlotte to cost Becky the SD Women’s Title and according to the promo here, Lacey has been attacking Becky from behind. Becky cuts to the chase and calls Lacey out, and Lacey obliges. She talks about how she’s a classy lady (I gather that’s her usual promo) and before she can get into the ring, Becky attacks and hits her with the Bexploder and leaves.
Some of the segment was definitely cut for time, but it got the message across. Becky is tired of Lacey’s schtick, but Lacey is keeping it up because she knows it pisses Becky off. Becky caught Lacey by surprise and got the upper hand before their match on Sunday. I’m hoping that what I saw here isn’t indicative of what Becky has become because her promo was super generic and she didn’t seem like she wanted to be there. The fire that I remember seeing in clips since she became “The Man” was not there. It seems like Lacey would be a perfect foil for her, so maybe the edit hurt the segment or maybe missing the entire feud up to this point has cost me some context. In any event, it wasn’t bad by any means. It was average. I love Becky and I’m interested in seeing what Lacey can do, so I’m in. (3 for 3)
Seth Rollins takes out Baron Corbin with a steel chair (1 minute, 5 seconds)
This was a quick one. Baron Corbin cuts an awkward promo about Elias no longer wanting to be the referee. I assume it’s because he’s afraid Seth will hurt him, even though he could, I dunno — leave the arena and avoid Seth until Sunday? In any event, Corbin stumbles over his lines and tries to be smarmy and cocky (I think) but just comes across like a goof who is struggling to remember his lines. He had about 35 seconds to fill with 6 sentences, and he sounded like a 5th grader practicing for his first ever role in a school play. Slow down! Enunciate! Take a breath and pause between your sentences, dude. I understand the character traits he was trying to get across, but he did that poorly.
It’s tough to judge this one. It was barely a minute long, and while it featured a brutal 35-second mushmouth performance from Baron Corbin, it ended with him getting hit with a chair. I can’t be mad. (4 for 4)
The Viking Raiders vs. Russ & Randy Taylor (52 seconds)
Hey! A full match! Erik hits a sweet running knee on one of the dudes and pulls the other into the ring to hit him with an exploder. Ivar tags in. Erik hoists the guy up for a German and Ivar springboards into a clothesline to assist and add extra impact. A springboard Doomsday German, perhaps. Erik presses the legal man into the air and Ivar catches him with a powerslam (the move is now called the “Viking Experience” — good to know) and that’s that, in 32-seconds.
The Raiders looked awesome and the other guys got in zero offense, which is exactly how it should be. If I’m a fan who has never seen these two guys before, I get two things from this clip. One, I want to see these guys again, because they look awesome. Two, their names are stupid as shit. Still, this was good. (5 for 5)
R-Truth and Carmella try out some new disguises (1 minute, 9 seconds)
While the Taylor Brothers — why not call one of them Brad or Mark, by the way? Missed opportunity — lay in the ring, still recovering from being destroyed by the War Raiders, the cameras pan the audience. Carmella and Truth are in disguise, but everyone quickly realizes who they are and a cavalcade of people come running down the ramp. Truth tries to hide under the ring only to find a confused Titus O’Neil, and the distraction lets he and Carmella run through the crowd to get away.
I haven’t been following the 24/7 Championship saga very closely, but what I have seen has been entertaining. Nothing really happened here, but it was a minute long and happened in the same televised segment as a good squash match, so there’s zero to complain about. (6 for 6)
Drew McIntyre brutalizes old friend Heath Slater (2 minutes, 17 seconds)
Heath Slater walks into a room with a little buffet. Shane McMahon is there with The Revival and Drew McIntyre. Drew looks like he would rather be anywhere else in the world. Slater asks for a raise, and because he’s an asshole, Shane gives him a sliver of hope and then denies the raise and tells him to get to steppin’. As Slater leaves, he makes the sign to Drew to follow. Quick cut to the hallway, as Drew feigns trying to help Heath and offers him some money, but beats the crap out of him instead.
Now I’m not familiar with the storyline — so correct me if I’m wrong. I know Shane McMahon has been winning matches left and right over top talent, and I’m assuming that Drew has been helping him cheat to win. Whether I knew that or not, here’s what I gathered from this: Shane McMahon is the asshole boss, The Revival, who go unnamed, are a couple of silly lackeys, and McIntyre is just Shane’s bodyguard/hired gun. If that’s actually the case, that fucking sucks.
The Revival running in and scooping up all of the cash was funny. I enjoyed that. Again, I don’t know the story, so maybe Drew is getting sick of Shane’s power trip. That would explain his body language. If that’s not the case, as I said, that sucks. So Shane is getting a bunch of big wins, the tag team champions are bumbling lackeys, and Drew is a possibly unhappy bodyguard? Gross. Now, if Drew wins on Sunday against Roman, that’s a big deal. Shane doesn’t have a match, so maybe he’s proven his point and is going to step aside and be Drew’s manager and the authority-like leader of the group of Drew and The Revival. I would be all for that. Again, I don’t know much about what’s going on, so I’ll catch up as time goes by. As a standalone segment, this was fine, but because I don’t like Drew as a “heavy” and I know enough about this story as it currently stands, I just didn’t like it. (6 for 7)
The New Day crash “The Kevin Owens Show” (5 minutes, 0 seconds)
Baron Corbin is the guest. Sami and Kevin don’t want to get hit by chairs, so they both opt out of being the guest referee for Baron Corbin’s Universal Title match on Sunday. Corbin figured that would be the case, so he has EC3 waiting in the wings. EC3 comes out, and as expected, he gets lit up by Seth Rollins with a chair shot from behind and gets another shot while he’s on the ground, just for good measure. I’m enjoying this running gag. It’s funny, but at the same time shows that Seth isn’t going to let Corbin try to make believe he’s still the “Constable” and yield power that he doesn’t actually have.
The New Day make their way out for no discernible reason (which I’m cool with, of course) and challenge Corbin, Owens, and Zayn to a match. EC3 agrees to sanction the match just like Stephanie McMahon sanctioned her marriage to Triple H, and that’s that. Renee Young made the obvious “Weekend At Bernie’s” joke (and now the Tweet makes sense!) but it was too obvious, and she didn’t try to make it topical. If you have to go that direction, why not say “Weekend At Dixie’s”? It’s a 3-second line that most people aren’t going to pick up on anyway… how many people watching RAW do you think actually saw that movie?
This was fun and felt way less than the 5-minute runtime of the clip. It’s the 8th clip so far and the longest of the night. The Nick Marsico from a year ago would probably complain about the lack of compliance to the “wildcard rule”, but I think it’s actually a funny gag to have more than the allotted 3 (I think that’s how many it’s supposed to be) pop up on the opposite show every week. It’s humorous to me whether it’s their intended purpose or not, so I’m all for it. Plus, The New Day is a welcome addition to any show, any time. Fun, silly, and furthered the night’s running storyline, as well as the build for the title match on Sunday. Plus, Baron Corbin said less than the other segment he was in, and didn’t stumble over his lines! Everybody wins! (7 for 8)
The New Day vs. Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (2 minutes, 52 seconds)
Woods rolls up Sami for the first fall (why not tell us it’s 2 out of 3 falls in the description?). Cut to the second fall and Owens hits a superkick on Big E, but doesn’t get the pin. Cut again, still in the second fall I assume, to Kofi almost pinning Corbin, but Corbin comes back with a SWEET looking Deep Six. Clip again, and Corbin accidentally clotheslines Sami. Owens doesn’t like this and superkicks Corbin, allowing Kofi to get the pin with Trouble in Paradise.
Can’t really get any gauge as to whether this was a good match or not, but it got the story across. It’s an ineffective and lazy story, though. I get that the gimmick for the night is that Baron Corbin is having a really shitty night leading up to his title match at the PPV, but did he need to look like a chump AND get pinned? I love the New Day, but they didn’t have three other guys who could have benefitted from being in this spot? Why not Ryder, Hawkins, and Cedric Alexander? Great segment to lead into the match, but the match was worthless. (7 for 9)
Paul Heyman has a reminder for Seth Rollins (3 minutes, 22 seconds)
Hey, it’s Paul Heyman! He puts over both Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan, which is cool, and teases that Brock is going to show up. We know he isn’t around. I like that he completely disregards that Baron Corbin has any kind of chance at winning the title, as he addresses everything directly at Rollins.
This was definitely clipped big time — there’s no way Paul Heyman spoke for less than 3 and a half minutes. It got across the point, though, and proves that 3 and a half minutes is all that he needs to cut an effective promo. Brock is watching and Brock is waiting. Be scared, because he’s always got the advantage in any situation, but having that briefcase gives him even more power, so the Universal Champ should be scared.
I love heady-handed Michael Cole ending the segment by pointing out that Brock Lesnar’s steel chair attack on Seth is what drove Rollins to go on a chair-swinging rampage. I don’t think Heyman meant that when Brock returned, he was coming with a chair. He was specifically reminding us, without actually saying the words, that Brock recently kicked the shit out of Seth with a chair. He implied that Seth is on a rampage because of what Brock did and Cole (at Vince’s command, I’m sure) heavy-handedly drove that point home by literally saying it. Stupid line from Cole aside, this was good. (8 for 10)
Seth Rollins dissuades Eric Young (1 minute, 22 seconds)
Corbin asks Eric Young to be the guest referee, and Eric says he’ll think about it. Clearly Seth Rollins overheard because he approaches Young. EY backs off, trying to say he only agreed to think about it because he was tired of talking to Corbin (which is a 100% plausible story), but Rollins beats the piss out of him with a chair anyway.
Nothing wrong with this. Chair-swinging lunatic Rollins is fun. I’m glad Sanity they disbanded Sanity for this. Totally worth it. (9 for 11)
The Usos vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (2 minutes, 51 seconds)
Oh my god, Gallows and Anderson have been around for 3 years? Holy shit. Cole mentions that they were “part of a club” with AJ Styles and namedrops the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles. Well that was odd. Gallows and Anderson completely dominate but pause to “Too Sweet” each other. Gallows gets caught with a double superkick, and that’s the end.
Based on what I read going through the results so I could put these videos in order, I saw that AJ gave the Good Brothers a pep talk backstage and told them to get their crap together. They didn’t, and acted cocky, and it cost them the victory. That works for me. Maybe this time they’ll actually follow through on this storyline. This is like the 3rd or 4th time they’ve done the “You’re supposed to be the most dominant team in modern Japanese wrestling history! What the fuck are you guys doing?” storyline. I hope they don’t just drop it after 2 weeks like they have in the past. The match was heatless, but was literally shorter than the length of this clip, so I can’t complain. They didn’t do a boring 10-minute match to tell a 3-minute story. That was smart. There’s promise here. (10 for 12)
Roman Reigns storms into Shane McMahon’s VIP room (5 minutes, 1 second)
Shane and Drew talk smack, but Drew mentions Roman’s family, so THE BIG DOG makes his way to their (really sweet, actually) VIP room. Roman threw one of the dudes from the Revival at least 50 feet down a hallway and into a loading door on the way. Good god. Roman kicks the crap out of Drew and puts him through a catering table then chases Shane to the ring, where the Best in the World eats a Superman punch and spear. And the crowd was cheering for Roman the whole time! That’s gotta be a positive thing.
This was fine. It looks like they clipped out whatever Roman said to start the segment, since this video started with him in the ring, but it probably wasn’t important. Drew sort of looked like an idiot when he kept talking even after Roman was halfway to the backstage area. Shane already saw that Roman was coming — Drew mentioned something about a movie Roman is going to be in, so I guess they just had to shoehorn that in there. Now I don’t know anything about this rivalry, but it seems like Drew talking about how he’s going to disfigure Roman’s body to the point that his family wouldn’t recognize him was big time overkill. That was graphic for no good reason, and he could have made the same point 30 other ways. But hey, they cheered for Roman and it looks like Drew might not just be a lackey after all, so I’m cautiously optimistic. (11 for 13)
Rumors spread about Bayley (38 seconds)
Watch the video. Whatever. Was this really something that needed to be documented? (11 for 14)
The IIconics vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross – WWE Women’s Tag Team Title Match (2 minutes, 36 seconds)
Not much to say about the match. Bayley was at ringside, probably because of the mean social media post that Charley Caruso showed her in the previous clip. Nikki Cross did most of the work for her team and controlled the match for the majority of what was shown. Alexa Bliss pushed Bayley down, and the IIconics take advantage of the 2-on-1 situation, with Billie rolling up Nikki to retain the titles. Bayley stopped Alexa from getting back into the ring to break up the pin.
The match looked fine. It’s not really possible to judge based on under 2 and a half minutes of wrestling, but the IIconics looked okay in the ring. Nikki Cross is great and if she gets the chance, she will be a fantastic babyface when she plays the same role Nia Jax played back when she was Alexa’s lackey who thought they were besties. I thought the rule was that you were supposed to wait 7 years before running the same storyline? None of this was bad at all. (12 for 15)
Nikki Cross learns the “truth” about Bayley (38 seconds)
Nikki is upset that Bayley stopped Alexa from saving her, which cost them the tag titles. She’s going to be in Alexa’s corner at Stomping Grounds.
Bookending the tag title match with 38-second backstage interactions. Works for me, and advances the storyline very quickly and very simply. (13 for 16)
Fear is power in the “Firefly Fun House” (3 minutes, 9 seconds)
The latest iteration of the Fun House randomly has Bray saying that the Earth is flat and that dinosaurs aren’t extinct. Okie dokie! Or, Yowie Wowie, I guess. Bray, all his friends, and Cultaholic, I guess, want you to “Join Us” and it appears that along with “Let Me In”, Bray’s new catchphrase may be “Follow the Leader” instead of “Follow the Buzzards”.
This continues to be different from everything else on the show, and in a very good way. It looks like they’re putting a lot of legitimate effort into this. I hope it translates well once he gets out of the Fun House and into the arena. (14 for 17)
Seth Rollins vs. Daniel Bryan (3 minutes, 26 seconds)
Rollins hits Bryan with a suicide dive, but upon his second try (he and Bryan both do the multiple dive spot, don’t they?) he’s caught by Erick Rowan, who nails him with a sweet-looking Iron Claw modified choke slam (guess you can’t really call it a chokeslam, but whatever). The match is thrown out after a brawl ensues involving a bunch of mostly random people. The New Day come out to help Seth, which… good guys helping good guys, I guess… Sami and KO followed, which makes sense since they have Woods & Big E at the PPV. The Revival aren’t doing anything on Sunday (except for interfering in the Roman/Drew match I would assume) but they ran down as well. And The Usos, who also aren’t on the card for the PPV, also ran down, since… they’re pals with The New Day. What a random bunch of nonsense. The Usos take out all of the bad guys with a stereo dive over the top and the match is restarted. Seth beats Bryan with the Stomp but gets taken out by Corbin with a steel chair on the ramp to end the show.
I don’t get the point of the big run-in party. To make things seem chaotic, since the 3rd hour of RAW is down and dirty and gritty now? Are they still pushing that or was that literally a one time only deal? Maybe They’ll do Usos vs. Revival on the pre-show. Maybe The Revival will be co-special guest referees. In any event, I’m sure the match was good, but they only showed about a minute of it. Closing the night with Corbin standing tall after blindsiding Rollins with a chair is the type of good, simple booking I like to see. Strong way to close the show. (15 for 18)
Week 1, Episode 1
For the most part, I liked what I saw. Out of the 18 segments, only three of them got the thumbs down from me. One of them was only 38 seconds long! It took 7 videos for me to find something I didn’t like. That definitely makes this a good show in my eyes. Granted this was a curated, truncated version of Monday Night RAW, but nothing got left out. There was some stuff that wasn’t necessary and could have been cut entirely and not be missed. An important note: just because I liked a segment didn’t mean it was a great segment. Unless something is actively bad, I’m going to give it a pass. I’m an easy grader. RAW was easy to watch and made plenty of sense as a series of clips clocking in at 5 minutes or less.
If nothing else, this proves that RAW could very easily be a 2-hour show and not have to cut anything. It also proves that as a 3-hour show, they could fit so much more and feature more wrestlers. Well, one episode doesn’t prove it, but if this becomes a recurring theme over the course of the next 2 months, I think that would prove it. The roster isn’t too big for the amount of time they have.
I’ll have to see if this becomes a trend — interestingly enough, the runtime of the 18 clips, which featured everything that happened on the show, was 45 minutes. That’s the length of an hour-long television show if you exclude commercials. RAW without commercials is roughly 2 hours and 25 minutes, and SmackDown is roughly 1 hour and 25 minutes. If my theory holds up, the runtime of the YouTube clips for SmackDown should be in the range of 35 minutes.
Nick Marsico/ Writer (Kinda)
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