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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (5/1/18)

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After the low blow at Wrestlemania, the several low blows on SmackDown thereafter, and even a low blow at the Greatest Royal Rumble, Shinsuke Nakamura demands an apology from AJ Styles?! Will the King of Strong Style get his apology from the WWE Champion? Or just a Phenomenal Forearm? Plus, Miz TV with Jeff Hardy!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Randy Orton & Jeff Hardy VS The Miz & Shelton Benjamin; Orton & Hardy win.
  • Xavier Woods w/ The New Day VS Sheamus w/ Cesaro; Woods wins.
  • Six Woman Tag: Carmella & The IIconics VS Charlotte Flair, Asuka & Becky Lynch; Charlotte, Asuka & Becky win.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown General Manager Paige opens the show.

As shown by the replay from last Friday’s Greatest Royal Rumble match itself, Commissioner Shane McMahon cannot be here tonight. Meanwhile, AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura fought to a draw for the WWE Championship. Nakamura used a low blow while Styles attacked Nakamura after. Therefore, their third match at Backlash will be No Disqualifications! Will either Phenomenal One or King of Strong Style survive when there are no rules?

 

It’s time for Miz TV!

The Most Must-See WWE Talk Show comes to Montreal and gives us a programming note. Last week’s “no show” by Daniel Bryan is an offense to both him and the fans. Therefore, Miz bans Bryan from Miz TV. Fans boo that decision. But Miz sends a message over to Seth Rollins on “The B Show”, Raw. “You have something of mine.” Rollins may have hid behind Finn and Samoa Joe at the Greatest Royal Rumble event, but it’ll be 1v1 at Backlash for THE most prestigious title in WWE! And Sunday, an “A-Freakin-Lister” will be champion again! Speaking of champions, tonight’s guest is the United States Champion, Jeff Hardy!

The Charismatic Enigma appears, and is still champion after defeating Jinder Mahal. However, Hardy will have to defend that title all over again against The Viper, Randy Orton. Hardy enters the ring, and Miz refuses to shake his hand since he just gave high-fives to all the dirty fans. Miz asks Hardy if Miz is a better IC Champion than Rollins. Only if by better you mean “obnoxious, annoying, overbearing, wannabe Hollywood movie star”. But if Miz was better, he would’ve won at GRR. Y’know, like Hardy did. “What arrogance.” Hardy’s first night disrespected a future hall of famer in Randy Orton. Miz shows footage from a couple weeks ago. Orton answered Shelton Benjamin’s open challenge, only for Hardy to swoop in and take it instead.

Miz wonders what Orton has to say about that. Let’s find out! Yes, there’s a second surprise guest, and it IS Randy Orton! Who doesn’t wait for the complete introduction. Orton enters the ring and fans chant for “RKO”, but Miz brings up the minor interruption. So? Miz can see those voices in Orton’s head screaming about Hardy disrespecting him. No, Orton isn’t that mad. Hardy took advantage of a situation, but Orton got even. These two are cool with each other. Oh so the fans are okay with that? “Oui! Oui!” Miz puts up his hand to hush the fans. Orton doesn’t play well with others. This is only one of many times the other superstars disrespected him. Orton was only ninth on the SmackDown Top Ten months ago. That doesn’t get you a medal! But who cares about that list? Miz thinks Orton does care.

But how about when Hardy cost Orton his match with Benjamin? No, that was Sunil Singh. Wrong! Hardy’s issues with Mahal became Orton’s issues, so there should be an RKO with Hardy’s name on it! Doesn’t Orton want to teach Hardy a lesson? Miz forgets who he’s talking to. Miz doesn’t tell Orton when he strikes. Orton strikes when he wants to. Orton earned his rematch to the US Championship, so no matter how cool they are with each other, Orton vows to take the title back. Hardy says he can try. Miz can’t believe he’s seeing a “mutual agreement”. Are they going to hug? What happened to the Viper? The Gold Standard comes out to add on!

“No, Randy! You can’t try!” Orton doesn’t deserve to try, nor does he deserve a damn thing. Benjamin beat Orton, so Benjamin gets that US Championship opportunity! But Orton kicks Benjamin on the way in. Miz goes after Orton but Hardy goes after Miz, Whisper in the Wind!

The Viper and the Enigma stand tall, but who will stand tall at the end this upcoming match?

 

Randy Orton & Jeff Hardy VS The Miz & Shelton Benjamin!

SmackDown returns to this match in progress, and Orton whips Benjamin corner to corner. He runs into Benjamin’s elbow and Benjamin hits back with rights and kicks. Benjamin whips Orton but Orton elbows him back. Orton throws European Uppercuts and stomps away on Benjamin in a corner. He drags Benjamin up and brings him over to tag in Hardy. Hardy hops up and gives a double ax handle to Benjamin’s arm. Hardy snapmares and dropkicks Benjamin, cover, TWO. Tag back to Orton, and they double whip Benjamin for double elbows. Orton covers, ONE, but Orton keeps on Benjamin. Benjamin hits back and stomps on Orton. He whips Orton corner to corner but misses the splash, yet denies the RKO. Orton falls for the Dragon Whip! Cover, TWO!

Benjamin drags Orton in and tags in Miz. Miz stomps on Orton, then chokes him against the ropes. Benjamin gets a cheap shot, then another. The referee reprimands him, but Miz covers, TWO. Miz keeps Orton down in the chinlock, but fans rally for The Viper. Orton fights up and throws Miz with a back suplex! Both men are down and fans rally as they crawl. Hot tag to Hardy! Hardy rallies on Miz, whips but Miz reverses, only for Hardy to knock him down. Leg-splitting leg drop! Then the dropkick and cover, TWO. Hardy gets the fans fired up, kicks but Miz denies the Twist. Hardy hits Benjamin and still rolls Miz up, TWO. Miz wants but can’t get the Finale as Hardy rolls him up again, TWO, but Miz hits a back elbow. Benjamin tags in, Hardy dumps Miz out and still hits Twist of Fate on Benjamin!

Hardy climbs, but Miz slow shim down, Benjamin hits that knee! Then Miz dumps Hardy all the way down to the ground! The A-Lister turns things around for his team while we go picture in picture. Hardy checks his head while Miz grins. Orton also checks on Hardy, but the count still begins. Hardy slowly stirs while Benjamin patiently waits. Hardy stands and beats the count, but Benjamin is upon him with stomps. Benjamin brings Hardy up, suplex to cover, TWO. Benjamin rains rights and lefts down on Hardy, then drags him over to tag in The Miz. Miz and Benjamin mug Hardy, then Miz runs to boot Hardy down. Cover, TWO, but Miz keeps Hardy down with a chinlock. Hardy fights his way up and out, but Miz pulls hair to deny the tag. Miz plays dumb, then tags in Benjamin.

Benjamin stomps Hardy, then brings him up into a corner. He drives elbows into Hardy, and Hardy bursts out towards Orton! Benjamin stops him at the ropes, and gut wrenches Hardy up and around to then tag in Miz. Benjamin keeps hold of Hardy for Miz’s dropkick! Miz drags Hardy up and drives in knees into Hardy’s back. Miz puts the chinlock on again, but Hardy gets up. Hardy reaches for Orton, but Miz holds Hardy back. Miz wrangles Hardy down to the mat while we return to single picture. Fans rally while Hardy endures the squeeze. Hardy fires up and fights out, but Miz kicks low and hits the DDT! Cover, TWO! Miz grows annoyed, but he drags Hardy up and over to tag in Benjamin.

Benjamin stomps Hardy, and talks trash as he brings Hardy up by his hair. Fans rally and Hardy hits a jawbreaker! Benjamin is dazed, but he heads for his corner. Tag to Miz, and Miz stops Hardy from reaching Orton. Miz puts Hardy in a corner and stomps away. The fans tell Miz he sucks, but he just hits corner dropkicks a la Bryan. Miz embraces the heat, but Hardy dropkicks him! Both men crawl for their corners, and hot tags to Benjamin and Orton! Orton rallies with clotheslines, then the spinning powerslam! He kicks Miz and tosses him out before throwing him onto the announce desk!

Orton goes back into the ring and dropkicks Benjamin. Benjamin ends up on the apron, but Miz comes back. Orton gets them both, for double draping DDTs! The fans fire up with Orton as he hears those voices. Orton targets Benjamin, RKO! Tag to Hardy, for the Swanton Bomb! Cover, Hardy & Orton win!

Winners: Hardy & Orton, Hardy pinning

RKO TO HARDY!! Orton takes out his competition ahead of Backlash. Like he said, The Viper strikes when he wants to. Will he strike again and regain the United States Championship?

 

Backstage interview with The IIconics & Carmella.

Peyton Royce & Billie Kay walk in without the SmackDown Women’s Champion, but they now Renee knows why the FABULOUS Princess isn’t here. In fact, Peyton shows off her “spot on” Renee impression. That’s not even close! She sounded like she was from Minnesota. Well whatever, it’s all garbage anyway. The IIconics are of course good enough to be interviewed, they’re better than Asuka! Well, that was one tag team match. Shoo, go chase a moose. Renee leaves and the IIconics interview Carmella. She thanks them for teh respectful introduction. She’s honored to team with them tonight, as they’ve all beaten their opponents tonight. They’re invincible! And they’ll show everyone why #MellaIsMoney, and why #TheFutureisIIconic. Will Carmella be trash talking and moon walking after tonight’s Six Woman Tag?

 

The Bar are officially SmackDown Superstars!

That’s because they lost the Raw Tag Team Championship match against WOKEN Hardy & Bray Wyatt. And then they encounter The New Day. Who do we have here? Who who who? The two guys who said they were going to go back to Raw. But what happened? What? They’ve always wanted to be on SmackDown. Now they can flatten all thre NEw Day members every week, like pancakes. Speaking of pancakes, Mr. Bootyworth brings some in. They’re fresh, too. These are welcome pancakes for Sheamus & Cesaro. Is there laxatives in here? No, not this batch. Even so, The Bar TOSS the pancakes! They want a real welcome: Sheamus against any of them tonight. Big E steps up to avenge the flapjacks! No, not him, Sheamus wants the “short stack” Xavier Woods. Woods says Sheamus’ soul. Is. HIS.

 

Rusev Day rehearses a new song.

But Lana is here too! The Ravishing Russian would like a word with her husband. Aiden English leaves them be. Lana knows Rusev Day is bigger than ever, and he was in that great match against The Undertaker. But Rusev lost. Something is holding him back. But he has a holiday every day. What’s holding him back? English returns to fetch his jacket. That’s who she means…

 

Big Cass heads to the ring!

The Human Skyscraper is in Montreal, but he wasn’t scheduled to appear. He has a match with Bryan this Sunday at Backlash, so he’s here to remind us that he’s from New York City. New York has negative stereotypes, but many of them are true. Like not being friendly to others, and that they are better than everyone else. Cass knows he’s better than all of Montreal! And he’s better than Daniel Bryan! Bryan is the same size as any other person. A WWE Superstar shouldn’t be someone who looks normal, a real Superstar is 7 foot tall and super strong. After all, might makes right. But Bryan is small and weak. When they face off Sunday, it won’t be some five star match, it’ll be five seconds! Cass doesn’t need armbars or wristlocks or Yes Locks, or even time to prepare.

Why wait? Daniel Bryan should come out here right now so Cass can kick his teeth in! Bryan’s music hits, but that’s not Bryan.

Bryan isn’t medically cleared to compete this week, he’s not even in Montreal. The tiny impostor heads to the ring, copying Bryan’s entrance part for part, and Cass is “afraid” of him! Wait, Bryan looks different. He looks a bit taller. Are those lifts? He has a short temper. Is Bryan mad that Cass ambushed him or that he eliminated him during the Greatset Royal Rumble? Bryan’s so short sighted, look at the bigger picture. They have a lot in common. Cass used to be Bryan’s size, when he was five years old.

“And scene.” Welcome Montreal’s own Pierre LeFlour! Applaud for him! Take a bow, Pierre, wave to your fans! He’s available for bookings, just call his agent. Soak it in, Pierre. Because it won’t last long. Cass turns sour, and when Pierre turns around, he gets a boot right to the face! Fans boo and jeer but Cass keeps going by raining rights down on Pierre. Cass stands tall while he stands on Pierre.

Cass taunts Pierre while fans disapprove of the “Cass-Hole”. Referees stop him from toying with Pierre, but Pierre is not Daniel Bryan. Will Bryan gets sweet revenge on Cass at Backlash?

 

Renee Young interviews AJ Styles in the ring.

The Phenomenal One is still WWE Champion through the Double Count Out draw at the Greatest Royal Rumble event. We already know SmackDown GM Paige has made their newest rematch a No DQ’s match, which will only let this already intense feud go all out. With Montreal giving him a standing ovation, Styles responds to that decision. Will he retain his title? Depends: is he going up against the Con Artist, or the King of Cheap shots? Either way, that’s how Shinsuke Nakamura has been while Styles is simply trying to defend the gold. Nakamura keeps going after the wrong jewels with all those low blows. Yet Nakamura wants an apology? Styles should’ve left Nakamura sucking sand in the desert! Nakamura ruined Wrestlemania, ruined Bryan VS Styles, and tried to ruin The Club reunion.

This is far more than just Nakamura wanting to be champion. “Nakamura is a coward.” He attacks from behind and below. But Sunday will be different. The rules are gone, so Styles can do anything he wants, too. It will be eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, and low blows will be the least of Nakamura’s worries. Pieces of Nakamura will be all over the place, and the look on Nakamura’s face will be torture, courtesy of AJ Styles. So there’s no apology? If Nakamura wants an apology, he should come out here. But that isn’t Nakamura heading out to the ring, that’s Samoa Joe!

The Samoan Destroyer has Roman Reigns to destroy this Sunday, but he’s no stranger to the Phenomenal One. “Oh AJ, look at you out here making a spectacle out of yourself.” Styles is so full of anger that he’s lost focus. Styles isn’t focused on the right match at all, he should be focused on Joe proving Roman Reigns is a failure! Roman makes excuses, but Lesnar is still champions, “end of story, period.” Which brings us to tonight. Styles must make peace with his destiny. After Joe puts Roman to sleep, he’s coming after whoever has that WWE Championship! “Believe THAT!” The man who has never made an idle threat in his life makes a threat here tonight. But Nakamura’s music hits! Joe’s ready to face this other old foe, but Nakamura again gets Styles from behind, and below the belt!

The Cheap Shot Artist leaves Styles gasping for air all over again, and mocks him right in his face. Fans duel while Styles tries to stand. Nakamura hovers all around Styles, toying with his prey. Nakamura slaps Styles in the head, then walks circles around him. He fires himself up, to run right past him. But wait, is he going to do it this time? YES, KINSHASA!! Whether the King of Cheap Shots or Strong Style, Nakamura is ready to give Styles one last #Knee2Face to win the title. What won’t these two do to each other in their No Disqualification match at Backlash?

 

Becky Lynch is frustrated backstage.

The Lass Kicker knows she lost and cost Asuka her first SmackDown match. The Empress says to forget last week. Focus on tonight, because they’ll hit back three times harder. The Queen of Flair agrees, because Carmella & The IIconics are not invincible, they’re just annoying. Charlotte vows to use tonight to teach those three a lesson in respect. Okay but don’t be a hero. Those three are shady. Well with the Queen, the Empress some Straight Fire, they’re SmackDown’s Avengers! Becky and Charlotte won’t argue with that. Can these three assemble to take out the FABULOUSLY frustrating trio tonight?

 

Xavier Woods w/ The New Day VS Sheamus w/ Cesaro!

Awwwww, Montreal~! Now that the Celtic Gladiator & Swiss Cyborg are official SmackDown superstars, they want to be properly welcomed with a match. Sheamus is confident he can win against the shortest of the pancake-serving positive-thinking trio, but will he be surprised that height doesn’t matter when New! Day Rocks?

The bell rings and Woods circles with Sheamus. Sheamus shoves Woods down and straightens the Mowhawk. He shoves Woods again and then puts him in a corner. Sheamus whips Woods out then in, but Woods drives in a knee. Woods backs Sheamus with haymakers and chops, but Sheamus whips him back into the corner. Woods goes up and over and speeds up, to dropkick a knee out! Sheamus gets to a corner, but he catches Woods’ splash. He tosses Woods but Woods keeps going for a roaring elbow and dropkick! Woods takes aim as he builds speed, to FLY!

He wipes Sheamus out while the New Day give a shout out on commentary. However, Cesaro distracts with his black market flapjacks, and Sheamus knees Woods down! Cover, TWO.

Sheamus keeps his cool while Woods checks his jaw. Sheamus sits Woods up to club with forearms, then he throws him at the bottom rope! Woods is dazed while Sheamus is in control, we go picture in picture while fans rally for Woods to recover. The referee checks on Woods, but somehow he’s okay to continue. Sheamus stands on Woods’ head, then brings him up for a clubbing clothesline. Sheamus embraces the heat while he drops the knee, then drives in a knee before putting on the keylock. He even holds it with one arm while flexing. Woods fights his way back up while fans rally. Woods punches Sheamus away, but Sheamus puts him on the apron. Sheamus swings but Woods counters with one of his own, but Sheamus still gets Woods in position for the Bodhrain. He starts drumming, but stops part way to shove Woods down.

Sheamus brings Woods back up, but Woods gets him with the hotshot! Woods then steps in, but into a forearm. Sheamus drops another knee then puts the keylock back on while we return to single picture. Fans rally again while Woods endures. Woods stands up and fights back, but Sheaus shoves him and scoops him. Sheamus blocks the arm-drag counter and gives Woods an Irish Curse backbreaker instead! Sheamus keeps on Woods by hooking the nose and pulling hair. Woods fights back again, haymakers and chops backing Sheamus down. Sheamus hits back but Woods slips out of the suplex to mule kick. Woods kicks again, then gives a knee! Woods fires up and slips out of the scoop to then power Sheamus to a corner. Sheamus turns it around then runs in, but into the post! Woods hits the leg drop! Cover, TWO!

Cesaro coaches Sheamus while Woods climbs up. Fans rally for Woods, but he has to jump over Sheamus. Sheamus rolls him up, TWO, Shining Wizard outta nowhere!

Sheamus is rocked, but Woods climbs up again. That’s very far away, and Cesaro distracts Woods anyway. Big E scoops Cesaro but gets put into a post. Kofi flies in but Cesaro dodges and struts. But Woods wrecks him with a dropkick! Only for Sheamus to shove Woods into barriers! They go back in the ring, Kofi distracts, Woods inside cradle! Woods wins!

Winner: Woods, by pinfall

Sheamus can’t believe it! But when you have brains and numbers, it doesn’t matter how big you are, you still lose to the New Day! Will The Bar get payback while they’re here on the Blue Brand?

 

Paige meets with Absolution.

Her girls are here and they’re all happy to see each other again. Madame General Manager, Absolution is reporting for duty. This is so great for the Glampire, really. But they’re pretty sure they know why she called them in. So who is it going to be? It’s going to be Mandy Rose! Really? Wow! Mandy fighting for the title! No, no, you have to earn the title match. This was to decide who faces Becky Lynch next week. But they’re friends, right? No special treatment? They’re Absolution! No, Absolution is dead. What? Since when? Will God’s Greatest Creation be okay after facing the Lass Kicker next week?

 

Andrade “Cien” Almas speaks.

Or, Zelina Vega does. “When is Andrade going to appear on SmackDown”? You don’t get to know. You only know it will. Very soon, SmackDown will be changed forever, by El Idolo. Stay Tranquilo, WWE Universe.

 

Six Woman Tag: Carmella & The IIconics VS Charlotte Flair, Asuka & Becky Lynch!

The Queen could tie the great Trish Stratus with seven championship reigns, but that’s if she takes her throne back from the FABULOUS Princess this Sunday. Can Charlotte count on the Empress and Lass Kicker to help her teach Peyton, Billie and the SmackDown Women’s Champion something about respect?

Charlotte and Carmella start, but Carmella plays keep away to then tag in Peyton. Becky wants in so Charlotte gives her the tag. Peyton taunts Becky while fans chant for the Lass Kicker. Becky gets Peyton in a takedown, but Peyton elbows out and throws Becky down. Peyton covers but Becky slides out to dropkick Peyton down. Becky runs but Billie takes a cheap shot! Becky swings on Billie but misses, then misses her leg drop. Peyton tags Billie and the Iconic Duo go after Becky together. Becky reverses the whip and knocks Billie down, cover, TWO. Becky keeps on Billie with an armlock, then tags in Asuka. The fans fire up as Billie cowers in fear. Asuka cuts Billie off from her IIconic friend, but Billie gets in a shot! Which only makes Asuka grin. Asuka unleashes on Billie, then runs to run her over with a hip attack!

The Empress tags in The Queen, and “WOO~!” she drops an ax handle on Billie. Charlotte rolls Billie up, TWO, but Charlotte chops Billie down. Billie dodges in a corner and hurries to tag in Carmella. Carmella is opportunistic as ever, but Charlotte takes her down to go for the legs. Carmella panics and the IIconics save her, but Charlotte slingshots over!

Charlotte takes out the IIconics with that plancha, but Carmella runs away while we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Peyton has control of Becky in a chinlock. The fans rally and Becky fights out, but Peyton tags in Carmella. They double whip but Becky kicks the champ away. She elbows Peyton then boots Carmella, and even gets Billie with a forearm. Becky throws Peyton out but Carmella takes out Charlotte. Becky dropkicks Carmella, and crawls for the corner, only for the IIconics to wipe out Asuka and throw her into barriers and steel steps. The referee reprimands them, but Caremlla takes care of Becky. Becky shoves her away, hot tag to Charlotte! Charlotte rallies on Carmella with Flair chops over and over. Charlotte styles and profiles, then throws Billie with an exploder. Peyton comes in, she gets one, too!

Charlotte fires up and hits Carmella with a back suplex. Carmella gets to a corner then dodges, but Charlotte climbs up. Charlotte fights off Billie but Carmella trips her up! Charlotte hits the post with her face, then Carmella tags in Peyton. Peyton tags in Billie, and they hotshot and heel kick Charlotte down. Billie covers, Becky breaks it up! Billie rushes Becky and throws her out, then tags in Peyton. They mug Charlotte, then set her up on the top rope. Carmella tags in and flips to FABULOUS Steiner Charlotte down. Cover, TWO, and Carmella can’t believe it. Cover, TWO, and now she’s losing her temper. Another cover, TWO! Carmella clubs away on Charlotte in frustration, then grinds Charlotte’s face into the mat.

Carmella tags in Peyton, and Peyton kicks Charlotte while she’s down. Peyton drives in elbows and wraps on a chinlock. Fans rally while we go picture in picture for a Backlash plug. Charlotte tries to fight her way out but Peyton puts on body scissors to keep her grounded. Charlotte reaches for the ropes, then fights her way up as we go single picture. She throws Peyton off then rolls her up, to the Figure four! Peyton shoves Charlotte away, but Asuka tags in! Asuka rallies at high speed, pop-up knee and a strike fest! She’s still going, sliding enziguri to Peyton’s face! Fans fire up with her as she deadlifts Peyton. Billie tries to save Peyton, as does Carmella, so Asuka just blasts them all with the hip attack. Peyton avoided it and covers, TWO, into Peyton’s knee! TWO, and now Peyton can’t believe it!

The Aussie Venus brings Asuka up but Asuka ducks a kick to give a kick! Billie breaks the cover with her boot. Becky flies in with a missile dropkick! FABULOUS Kick from Carmella, SPEAR from Charlotte! Charlotte keeps going, climbing up high to SUPER MOONSAULT on Carmella and Billie!!

Asuka and Peyton stagger, and the Empress is ready. She deadlifts Peyton but Peyton standing switch and roll up, only for Asuka to get her Asuka Lock!! It’s in, Peyton taps! Asuka and her team win!

Winners: Asuka, Becky & Charlotte, Asuka with the submission

Asuka’s first win since her first loss is a big 3v3 match. Can the Empress rebuild her empire with this? Can Charlotte take that title back from Carmella?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This was both the first SmackDown-After-GRR and the go-home SmackDown for Backlash, but it fell short of being as great as that sounds. Only three matches on the night, and only one in that entire first hour? Given the amount of talent SmackDown now has after the Superstar Shake-Up, that is a horrible ratio. Making that Big Cass segment into a match, as bogus as it would have been, still would’ve been better than what we got. Cass still does alright on the mic, but not as good as last week. And him using a fake Bryan to send a message was rather cliche in hindsight. Orton-Hardy VS Benjamin-Miz was itself formed from a SmackDown cliche, but at least the match and the ending were good. Hardy VS Orton at Backlash can go either way to me, but with Miz and the IC title, I expect Rollins to retain, again.

Making Styles VS Nakamura a No DQ match could easily turn into an endless string of nut shots, but I’m sure chairs or even a table will make an appearance. Joe appearing was a nice surprise, and good to know that win or lose against Roman and regardless of who is champion, Joe wants his turn. Joe VS Styles in WWE would be great, and is the likely choice as we’ve seen Joe VS Nakamura in NXT, and they’re both Heels right now. Woods VS Sheamus was pretty good, and seeing The Bar VS New Day again on SmackDown isn’t so bad. The Absolution segment was good in that it immediately establishes that group is no longer a group. Mandy and Sonya might stick together under a new name, and might be bitter towards Paige now.

The main event saved the show, though. All six women are so good, and they really turned it up as the ending drew closer. The Faces win for many good reasons: Asuka needed her first win back from losing her Streak; Charlotte needs to look strong ahead of her match with Carmella; and Becky needs to stay strong as she works on getting back to the top. There’s a good chance Charlotte regains the title, but Carmella could easily use Champion’s Advantage to weasel her way out of that. Becky has her match with Mandy next week, her moving from one duo to another is just to tide her over. Asuka could still easily go after the title again, she literally only has one singles loss ever in the WWE. And both Becky and Asuka could make major moves at this year’s Money in the Bank.

My Score: 8/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/15/21)

The Dusty Cup comes to 205 Live!

Published

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Coverage 205 2021

The Dusty Cup features the Cruiserweight Division… and Killian Dain?

For the first time ever, 205 Live gets to be part of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic! Who will leap out of the sweet sixteen into the second round?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: El Legado del Fantasma VS The Bollywood Boyz; El Legado del Fantasma wins and advances.
  • Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Curt Stallion & August Grey VS Drake Maverick & Killian Dain; Maverick & Dain win and advance.

PLAY BY PLAY

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: El Legado del Fantasma VS The Bollywood Boyz!

Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza want to follow in the footsteps of Santos Escobar, and that means getting titles! But Samir & Sunil Singh want the same, so that they can shine even brighter! Will the lights, camera and Bollywood action be left on the cutting room floor by Death From Above and the Technical Assassin?

The teams sort out and Mendoza starts against Sunil. Sunil and Mendoza circle, fans rally up as they tie up, and Mendoza wrenches to a wristlock. Sunil rolls, wrenches back, but Mendoza wrenches again to wristlock. Sunil gets up, trips Mendoza up and gets a headlock. Mendoza gets up, Sunil wrenches and yanks on the arm over and over! Sunil wristlocks, Mendoza knees low and hard, then whips. Sunil reverses, Mendoza goes up and over and things speed up, Mendoza runs Sunil over! Fans fire up with Mendoza and he runs, but Sunil drops to hurdle then monkey flip! Mendoza flounders up but Sunil clotheslines him out!

Sunil dares Mendoza to come back and Mendoza does, into an arm-drag! Sunil has the arm, Mendoza fights up, but Samir tags in. The Bollywood Boyz double whip, double shoulder and double elbow! Cover, ONE, but Samir keeps on Mendoza down with an armlock. Mendoza fights up, whips free but Samir gets around to crucifix takedown! TWO, and Samir wheelbarrows to arm-drag! Another arm-drag and Samir is back on the arm! Mendoza moves around, Samir keeps on the hold, and fans rally as Mendoza fights up. Mendoza pulls hair to put Samir in the corner, Wilde tags in but runs into a drop toehold!

Samir has the arm, Wilde pulls on an ear and whips, but Samir holds on tight to wrangle Wilde down! Tag to Sunil, they whip Wilde and leap frog, to then double hip toss! Cover, TWO! Sunil wrenches, tags Samir back in and Samir hops up to drop ax handles. Wilde knees low, goes to buckle bump but Samir blocks to give the bump first! Samir ducks Mendoza’s sucker punch to punch back, but Wilde gets him for a DDT! Wilde stomps Samir, brings him up and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Mendoza, he CHOPS Samir then taunts Sunil. Mendoza runs in and clotheslines, tag to Wilde! Wilde clotheslines and tags, then Mendoza repeats the process! Double suplex! Cover, TWO!

Wilde keeps on Samir and throws him out hard! Wilde goes out, Mendoza talks trash, and Wilde bumps Samir off the announce desk! Wilde drags Samir back into the ring as fans rally up. Wilde cravats and cranks on Samir’s neck, but Samir fights up and body shots free! Wilde whips Samir hard into buckles! Tag to Mendoza, El Legado drags Samir up and double whip him to ropes. Samir kicks back, Mendoza clubs him, then a whip, but Samir reverses to send Mendoza into Wilde! Mendoza shoves Samir to the Legado corner but Samir dodges and Mendoza gets POST! Fans rally up as Samir crawls, hot tag to Sunil!

Sunil rallies on Mendoza with forearms and elbows, then a whip! And a BACK DROP on the rebound! Sunil keeps going, atomic drop and a running WINDMILL KICK! Wilde returns but Sunil DECKS him! Sunil goes out to bump Wilde off the 205 Live logo over and over! Mendoza runs out but he gets the same! Sunil puts Mendoza in, climbs up top and leaps, BIG ax handles! Cover, TWO! Escobar is ice cold as Samir tags in. Sunil hoists Mendoza up, FLYING UPPERCUT SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Mendoza is still in this but Samir throws haymakers in the corner. Samir hoists Mendoza up top, climbs, but Mendoza fights back! They brawl, Samir clubs Mendoza but Wilde anchors him!

Sunil YANKS Wilde down, tags in and then Samir SUPERPLEXES Mendoza! Sunil add the MACHO ELBOW! Cover, but Wilde breaks it! Not even the Bollywood remake of Power ‘n’ Glory could do it! Samir goes after Wilde with fury, then whips, only for Wilde to send him into steel steps! The ref reprimands but Mendoza gets Sunil with a FLIPPING DRIVER! Tag to Wilde, Electric Chair FLYING CODE BREAKER! Then the ENZIGURI LEG SWEEP! Cover, and Mendoza intercepts Samir, El Legado wins!

Winners: El Legado del Fantasma, by pinfall (advance to the second round)

Wilde and Mendoza make Escobar very proud, but this was just the opening round. Will Legado del Fantasma grow even stronger as the Dusty Classic continues?

 

Drake Maverick and Killian Dain make final preparations.

Maverick pins up the doodle of him and Dain, only for Dain to pull it back down. Dain puts on his wrist and hand tape, so Maverick does the same. Dain asks why he keeps mirroring him? Maverick says it’s 2021, a new year, a new look as they’re now matching. Look, Maverick’s a denim jeans guy now! Dain wants Maverick to promise him he fixed the music. He did! The new theme has a lot of rock to open, Dain is satisfied. Will Dain do the dance if they win? No. Not even if they win? Maverick quickly pins up the doodle again, will it be a good luck charm for the odd couple?

 

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Curt Stallion & August Grey VS Drake Maverick & Killian Dain!

The Lonestar and #RetroAG did great as a team in their first outing last week, but now it’s the real deal! Will Stallion and Grey ride into the second round with high spirits? Or will they be brought down by Rockstar Spud and the Belfast Beast?

The new music hits, and it’s to Dain’s liking, but then it morphs into a remix of that whistling theme Maverick had in the first place. Well, it’s fitting for their brand of dysfunction. The teams sort out and Stallion starts against Maverick. They circle and tie up, Stallion headlocks but Maverick powers out, only for Stallion to run him over. Stallion stares Maverick down as they reset and start again. They tie up, Stallion headlocks again but Maverick works on an escape. Fans rally, Maverick powers out but Stallion runs him over again. Things speed up, Maverick hurdles then throws Stallion out, to do some skipping.

Stallion runs back in but is sent back out! Maverick does more skip step, but Stallion comes back to tie up. Stallion whips Maverick to a corner, Maverick goes up and over and does his trot. Stallion rushes in, only for Maverick to hip toss and calf kick him down to an armlock! Maverick wrenches the arm, but Stallion pushes free to tag in Grey. Grey is fired up because it’s the Dusty Classic! He dares “big man” Maverick to bring it, and Maverick says one moment. He tags to Dain! Dain is a bit bigger than 205 but Grey still ties up with him. Dain pushes Grey away to a corner! Grey comes back, ties up with Dain again and gets a headlock, but Dain powers out to run Grey over!

Dain runs, Grey ducks and hurdles, but he decides to avoid the punch. Grey leaps but the crossbody bounces off of Dain! Dain tags in Grey, they double whip Grey and Dain uses Maverick to trip Grey up for the back senton! Human weapon, scoop slam senton! Maverick covers, ONE! Maverick clamps onto an arm, wrenches, and Dain tags in. Dain BOOTS Grey down, then fireman’s carries Maverick for the SWINGING BOOTS! Dain even RAMS Stallion with Maverick! Dain lets Maverick go back to the corner so he can CLUB Grey! Dain then fireman’s carries Grey but Grey slips out to tag in Stallion!

The Cruiserweights go after the heavyweight together! Mule kick, front kick, forearm and ROLLING ELBOW! They bring Dain in but Dain DOUBLE SUPLEXES them! Grey and Stallion bail out, Maverick tags in and he says Dain is the one to dive?! Fans want to see it and Dain gives it a try, only to pick up Maverick and TOSS him! Maverick topples Stallion and Grey over and fans fire up! Dain goes out to fetch Stallion into the ring and then puts Maverick in. Dain clubs Grey down and Maverick covers, TWO! Maverick hikes up his pants and brings Stallion up, but Stallion hits a REVERSE NECKBREAKER!

Tag to Grey and Grey whips Maverick. Leap frog into HEADBUTT, then the BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Grey clamps on tight with a chinlock and Maverick endures. Fans rally up, Maverick fights up, but Grey keeps him from Dain. Maverick keeps trying but Grey wrangles him away. Fans duel now as Maverick fights up. Maverick throws body shots, backs Grey down, but Grey CLUBS Maverick first! Grey back suplexes, Maverick lands on his feet, and boots Grey away! Maverick hits Stallion for good measure, slides under Grey and hot tags Dain! Dain rallies with big clotheslines, then he TOSSES Stallion in! They both get LARIATS!

Dain brings Grey around for an OVERHEAD suplex! Dain runs in to corner splash Stallion, then does the same to Grey! He whips Grey into Stallion and SHOTGUN DROPKICKS them both down! Stallion staggers, but into an URENAGE! SLINGSHOT SENTON! Dain has the fans fired up as he aims at Grey, but Grey dodges, only to get the DIVIDE! Cover, but Stallion breaks it! Dain grabs Stallion and whips him to a corner, but misses to get buckles! Stallion runs at Maverick but gets double boots! Maverick rolls Stallion to his feet for a JUMPING NECKBREAKER! Grey staggers, blocks a kick and KNEES Maverick! Dragon sleeper to a SPINNING POWERSLAM! But Dain drops a senton on Grey!

Fans fire up as Grey runs but Stallion gets around him to waistlock. Stallion tries to lift, Grey SUPERKICKS Dain into the GERMAN! Bridging cover, ONE! Stallion tries a lateral press, but Maverick breaks it! Grey and Maverick brawl, Maverick hits him and Stallion back and forth! Fast hands and feet, but he gets mugged 2v1! Stallion and Grey stomp Maverick in the corner, CHOP him, then whip him corner to corner. Dain puts Maverick on the outside to BOOT Grey and buckle bump Stallion! Tag to Maverick, BOOTS at the corner! Dain drags Stallion up, Maverick LEAPS to take out Grey!

Dain POWERBOMBS Stallion! Maverick wants a high-five, but he gets used as a human weapon again, POWERBOMB SENTON! Cover, Maverick and Dain win!

Winners: Drake Maverick & Killian Dain, by pinfall (advance to the second round)

One of the more unique combinations in this year’s Dusty Cup gets through to the next round! But they’re going up against a couple of rascals in MSK, will the dysfunction fall apart?


My Thoughts:

A pretty good 205 Live that at least got over half an hour this time. Legado VS Bollywood Boyz was a good opener, and it makes sense for Legado to advance. There is always a good story behind a faction wanting to have title belts for each member, but there’s a good chance they’re facing Imperium next round. Imperium wants to do the same thing between both NXT and NXT UK, and Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner will definitely want to get back to the titles. In the end, I don’t see Legado or Imperium being Dusty Cup winners, though.

Maverick & Dain VS Stallion & Grey was a good match, but with Stallion having the Cruiserweight title shot in his back pocket, and with Maverick & Dain being a fan favorite combo, it makes sense Maverick & Dain won. I just knew that Maverick’s new choice for a theme was really just a swerve. Dain & Maverick are probably losing to MSK, though, as MSK are new and it’d mean a lot more if they got into the semifinals. Though again, I wouldn’t see Dain & Maverick winning the cup, even if there is some story there between them and Lorcan-Burch. Though that would be a great shocker.

My Score: 8.3/10


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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/15/21)

Will Scrap Daddy sign on the dotted line?

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Coverage SmackDown 2021

SmackDown sets a contract signing for Roman Reigns VS Adam Pearce!

Despite being furious with the WWE official, the Head of the Table made Adam Pearce the new #1 contender for his WWE Universal Championship! But will Scrap Daddy find that that’s punishment enough?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jey Uso; Nakamura wins.
  • Natalya w/ Tamina VS Liv Morgan w/ Ruby Riott & Billie Kay; Natalya wins.
  • Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin; Corbin wins.
  • Cesaro VS Daniel Bryan; Cesaro wins.
  • Apollo Crews VS Sami Zayn; Crews wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Roman Reigns sits in his room.

He looks over the contract for the WWE Universal Championship match, and Paul Heyman says it’s the same stuff all the time. Cookie cutter, boiler plate WWE garbage. This one just happens to be for the Royal Rumble 2021. Heyman hates it, too, didn’t like it from the moment he started reading, but the match does need a stipulation. It needs the stipulation of letting Roman be Roman. Heyman can take this off Roman’s hands to bring to Adam Pearce. Roman silently hands the contract over and Heyman says he can consider this handled. But what exactly will Heyman suggest as a stipulation for The Head of the Table VS Scrap Daddy, a man who hasn’t wrestled in roughly six years?

 

Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jey Uso!

The King of Strong Style’s rise through the gauntlet last week was epic, but also abruptly ended as Roman Reigns and his cousin got involved. Jey welcomes us to SmackDown, and says it’s The Bloodline Show! Because Jey and Cuz Roman run this! Not Adam Pearce! Not Kevin Owens! Not nobody in the WWE Universe! Their family calls the shots, Uce! Pearce, be careful. You’re going to wish you kept that suit on. But if you thought they’re just satisfied with SmackDown, think again! Roman Reigns, the Universal Champion, the provider, needs to be thanked by all the talent in the back! The food in catering, “Thank you, Roman!” You being relevant for the first time in your careers, “Thank you, Roman!”

Jey says as far as being the right hand man, he’s trying to get his, too. The family is expanding! Step one, Jey officially declares for the Rumble! Step two, he’ll win the match! Step three, he’ll whoop Drew McIntyre, “Oldberg” and any WWE World Champion so that the Bloodline WILL be the entire WWE! But first, there’s business with Nakamura. Everyone talks about Shinsuke in the gauntlet. He did good, had to survive and advance, facing one man after another, match after match. Nakamura beat Mysterio, he beat Baron “Big Head” Corbin, and even Daniel Bryan! But as soon as they said, “NOPE, not tonight, Uce!” DONE! Out like a light!

So Jey tells Nakamura to thank them! They let him survive! Now he wants to step up and fight? King of Strong Style? Let’s see how strong you really are then, bruh! You know as soon as you cross the family, you leave the ThunderDome on a stretcher! But here comes Nakamura! And Nakamura has a mic to respond, “If your cousin, Roman Reigns, is the Big Dog, that makes you… His little puppy!” And then Nakamura ROUNDHOUSES Jey down! They have their match after the break, will Jey be able to get this for the Bloodline?

SmackDown returns, the bell rings, and the two fire off forearms! Nakamura backs Jey down, Jey shoves but Nakamura knocks him down! Nakamura drags Jey up, snapmares and drops a knee! Cover, TWO! Nakamura keeps on Jey with a grinding headlock, but Jey powers up and powers out. Things speed up, Jey drops then knocks Nakamura over with an elbow! Jey drops elbows on Nakamura and Nakamura gets to a corner. Jey is after Nakamura at the ropes, scoops him and slams him! Cover, ONE! Jey drags Nakamura up, throws haymakers, but Nakamura body shots back! Nakamura backs Jey down with forearms but Jey hits and whips hard!

Nakamura writhes on the mat but Jey brings him up to whip again. Nakamura reverses, break frees, misses the roundhouse but not the windmill kick! Nakamura follows up with knees into Jey’s shoulders and ribs! Nakamura bumps Jey off buckles, brings him up and suplexes for a gourd buster! Then he throws in more knees! Nakamura stomps Jey to the corner, the ref has Nakamura let off. Nakamura comes back to stomp Jey again, then lets off for a moment. He brings Jey back up into a sleeper hold! Jey endures as Nakamura shifts to a chinlock and grinds him down. Jey fights his way back up, but Nakamura throws knees.

Nakamura puts Jey in the corner to give some Bad Vibrations! But wait, Cesaro is heading to the ring! Cesaro is Nakamura’s tag team partner so maybe he’s showing support. Nakamura dropkicks Jey then POSTS him! The Swiss Cyborg cheers Nakamura on as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Nakamura stomps Jey around at the ropes. Jey goes to a corner, Cesaro is on commentary and Nakamura whips Jey corner to corner. Cesaro knows he has his match with Daniel Bryan later but he wants to cheer his friend and tag partner on. Nakamura runs corner to corner but Jey throws him out! Jey kicks, Nakamura blocks and spins but Jey dragon whips him down! Michael Cole wonders where Cesaro was last week when Nakamura was getting beat up, but Cesaro says Tropicana Field, the new home of the ThunderDome, is very big. He was too late getting here, the cameras cut away and Michael Cole probably left.

Jey puts Nakamura in the ring with some force, then glares at Cesaro before going to Nakamura. Jey ROCKS Nakamura with the uppercut then clubs him down! Jey stomps, Cesaro says HE is entering the Rumble, and Jey stalks Nakamura to a corner. Jey digs his claws in, stomps away, but lets off as the ref counts, only to get around and fire off forearms and stomps! The ref backs Jey off, but Jey comes back to HIP ATTACK in the corner! Jey stomps Nakamura more, the ref counts but Jey stops at 3. Fans give thumbs down on their screens, Jey goes back to a corner, then runs corner to corner again, into the DYNAMIC DROPKICK!

Nakamura fires up as he sees Jey get up. Nakamura KICKS Jey back down, then KICKS away on his legs! Nakamura whips, kitchen sink knees then sliding KNEES to add on! Jey gets up, Nakamura stalks him and runs in but into a boot! Jey boots again but Nakamura spins him into the ropes, SLIDING GERMAN! Cover, TWO! Nakamura grows frustrated but he drags Jey back up. Jey fights off the exploder and throws forearms. Jey shoves, fireman’s carries, and SAMOAN DROPS! Cover, TWO! Cesaro admits Jey is a great wrestler because of their history in tag team competition, but never underestimate Nakamura. Speaking of, Nakamura fires off a strike fest!

Jey ducks the forearm to mule kick then uppercut! Back suplex to a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Nakamura survives but Jey heads for a corner. Jey sees Nakamura get to a corner so he goes back in and runs in, but into buckles! Nakamura KICKS, climbs up, FLYING KNEE! Cover, TWO! Nakamura fires up and aims from a corner! “YAO~!” SUPERKICK FROM JEY!! Jey heads to a corner, climbs up top, and USO SPLASHES onto knees! Nakamura saves himself and rises as Jey goes to a corner. Nakamura runs in but only gets post! Jey rolls Nakamura, has his feet on ropes, but the ref sees it just in time!

Jey protests that the ref was already counting three! The ref says it’s at his discretion when the bell rings, but Nakamura rolls Jey to a KINSHASA! Cover, Nakamura wins!

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall

The Swiss Cyborg celebrates with the King of Strong Style! Cesaro is in the Men’s Royal Rumble, gunning for Roman Reigns, will Nakamura look to do the same?

 

Sonya Deville talks with Adam Pearce.

They’re going over a copy of the title match contract, and she says she’s looked up his past stuff on YouTube. To her, he’s still got it. Pearce appreciates that, but he hasn’t been that guy in a long time, and even that guy couldn’t handle Roman Reigns. Sonya says he shouldn’t think like that. But then in walks Heyman with his copy of the contract. Heyman presents the agreement from the Tribal Chief. Pearce now holds “the opportunity of a lifetime!” Not only does Pearce get to main event the Royal Rumble PPV, he has the opportunity that was never presented to Scrap Daddy.

This opportunity is not only at the Universal Heavyweight Championship, but against the single biggest star in all of sports entertainment, Roman Reigns. And not only that, but the stipulation, “my GOD,” Sonya’s perfume is effective. But that said, this is actually tilted in Pearce’s favor. This is a match under NO DISQUALIFICATIONS! So this is the part of the pitch that it’s somehow for Pearce’s benefit. He’ll still sign it, even though we all know it’s ridiculous. This only means Pearce gets injured, which is exactly what Heyman wants. But Pearce put his name on the contract, will he be able to prepare now that he knows what’s coming?

 

Jey Uso shouts at referee Charles Robinson backstage!

Three is three! Shoulders were on the mat! How long has he been doing this job?! Yes, Nakamura’s shoulders were on the mat, but Jey’s FEET were on the ROPES! You don’t think Jey knows rules? Charles has to do his job! Didn’t his daughter just get married? He’s about to get fired by The Chief. What? Jey’s veiled threat is clear, is no one safe from Roman’s wrath?

 

Backstage interview with The Street Profits!

Kayla Braxston asks Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins if it was wise to put their SmackDown Tag Team Championships on the line against Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler only a week after the vicious attack that injured Ford’s leg? Ford says you can call them a lot of things, like playboys, honorary Vikings, and “two dudes who’re dying to get drawn up as Simpsons characters,” but one thing they cannot, will not and shall not be called is scared. “On March 2nd, in the Year of Our Lord 2020,” the Profits became World Tag Team Champions! For 312 historic days, every single team that stepped up got dealt with! So for them not to accept a challenge would be disrespecting the very legacy they’re trying to build!

There are a bunch of names for the new champions. Roode-Dolph. The Two Aces. The Dirty Dawgs. ED. Whoa, whoa, keep it PG. No, it stands for “Entertainment Dysfunction.” That’s good! And now… Champions. But you best believe the Profits will run it back! It ain’t no rerun, fam. What they did to Ford had him limping for a minute. But when the sequel happens, they’ll drop bodies like they’re entering the Blood House. Tell ’em why, fam. Because the Profits are UP, even though they’re down right now. And #WeWantTheSmoke!

 

Roman Reigns talks Apollo Crews!

“You’ve gotta believe it. It’s all about control.” If Apollo doesn’t get it, then who will? Understood? Apollo does believe. Heyman returns and has the contract “sign, sealed and delivered.” Roman allows Apollo to stay and watch this and learn from it. The stipulation is No Disqualifications. Pearce signed? Yes. Well Roman chooses not to sign. He never wanted No DQ, never said he wanted No DQ. He wants it as… a LAST MAN STANDING MATCH.

What?! But Adam Pearce will never go for that! Oh he will. Because Heyman will make him. Heyman needs to tell Pearce that they’re going to sign this in the ring tonight. And then it’ll be considered “Handled.” Roman continues to talk with Apollo about how this is about control. Is Roman going to control this entire situation so it plays out how he wants it?

 

Natalya w/ Tamina VS Liv Morgan w/ Ruby Riott & Billie Kay!

The two second-generation superstars ditched the Femme Fatale and became a duo themselves, but now Billie’s hopped on a new bandwagon! Will she be able to help the Riott Squad keep things on track? Or will this mismatched trio fall apart before it gets going?

Billie joins commentary and the bell rings. Liv and Natty tie up, go around, and Natty puts Liv on the ropes. The ref counts, Natty lets off and shoves Liv. Liv pushes back! Liv counters the punch to a headlock, Natty powers out but Liv dodges and huricanranas! Billie cheers Liv on as she runs in and back body blocks Natty in a corner! Liv whips, Natty reverses but Liv stops herself and elbows back. They knuckle lock, Natty pushes and turns Liv, then throws her up and over. Liv lands on her feet to monkey flip! Both women are down but they spring up! Natty trips Liv, Liv pushes back and wheelbarrows, but Natty makes it a STUNGUN!

Billie and Ruby are worried but Billie says to walk it off. Natty fires off on Liv in the corner then tells the ref to shut up. “You think this is a joke, Liv?!” Natty pushes Liv, drags her up, and snap suplexes! And then KICKS Liv in the back! Liv crawls, Natty brings her back up but Liv resists the suplex to cradle counter! TWO, and Natty LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Billie cheers Liv on more but Natty brings Liv up to a Canadian rack and backbreaker stretch! Natty tells Billie to shut up as she jams Liv harder. Liv fights with elbows, gets to ropes and then the apron. Natty throws a haymaker but Liv hits back! Liv slingshots and sunset flips, TWO!

Liv kicks low, front kicks then enziguris! Natty goes to a corner, Billie cheers Liv on again, and Liv runs in to SHINING WIZARD! Liv stomps away on Natty in the corner, the ref counts and Liv lets off at 4. Natty throws Liv into buckles! Then DISCUS LARIAT! Billie panics as Natty covers, TWO! Billie shouts as Natty tries for the Sharpshooter, and Liv cradle counters, TWO!! LIV BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Natty survives and Billie protests. Tamina is there and Billie gets a little too close. Tamina gets after Billie and Billie says she didn’t do anything. Billie gets in the ring?! And in everyone’s way! Natty rolls Liv up!! Natty wins!!

Winner: Natalya, by pinfall

Billie realizes what happened and she apologizes, but still says the ref wasn’t counting right earlier. Will Billie ever get it right on SmackDown?

 

Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin!

The moment the King of Lucha was eliminated from the gauntlet by the King of Strong Style last week, the Lone Wolf King attacked them both! Corbin added insult to injury but now Rey wants payback! Will Rey trump the King of the Ring on the road to the Royal Rumble?

SmackDown returns as Corbin goes to the ring and Dominik joins commentary. The bell rings, Mysterio and Corbin circle and approach. Rey slides under, Corbin gets him with a choke grip but the choke slam is turned into a huricanrana! Rey rams Corbin in a corner but Corbin whips him away into buckles and then CLOBBERS him! Corbin mocks Dominik on commentary then puts Rey in a corner. Corbin ties an arm up on the ropes, throws body shots then throws haymakers. Rey goes to the other corner, Corbin stalks him and back suplexes high and hard! Cover, ONE! Corbin is annoyed already and he drags Rey up for another back suplex, only for Rey to counter with a BULLDOG!

Rey goes after Corbin but Corbin knees low and slides Rey out! Corbin slides out to then CLOBBER Rey again! Corbin stares Dominik down as the ring count starts. Dominik stands up but Corbin shoves him down! Corbin says Dominik’s not going to do anything to cost Rey and then he puts Rey in to cover, TWO! Corbin keeps Rey in the ring, brings him around to choke on ropes and taunt Dominik at the same time. Dominik say she’s going to let Rey fight his fight because he trusts in him. Corbin drags Rey up, talks some smack, then runs to DECK Rey with a right hand! Corbin says Dominik’s only good as a cheerleader, but then Rey gets up to dropkick the legs out!

Rey goes to a corner, climbs up top and leaps, seated senton! And then a springboard, but into Corbin’s arms! Corbin pops Rey up to a fireman’s carry but Rey sits up to rain down rights! Rey spins and ranas Corbin onto ropes! Dial it up, DEEP SIX!! Cover, TWO!! Corbin is furious as Rey survives! Rey crawls to a corner and gets to his feet. Dominik says he’s learned resilience from his father, and Rey dodges Corbin. Corbin slides out, in but into a boot! Rey runs, slides, but Corbin ducks under to throw an elbow! Dominik stands up again and Corbin taunts him again. Corbin puts Rey in then SUCKER PUNCHES Dominik! But Rey 619’s Corbin at the apron!

Rey keeps Dominik calm and out of the ring but then Corbin shoves Rey into Dominik! END OF DAYS!! Cover, Corbin wins!

Winner: King Corbin, by pinfall

The Wolf King used father and son against each other quite literally and he took the win from them! Will he continue to play on the “family drama” as the Royal Rumble approaches?

 

Adam Pearce comes across Paul Heyman in the hallway.

Has Roman signed the contract? Heyman says there’s a bit of a wrinkle. No, Roman hasn’t signed the contract. But Heyman says it’s because Roman agreed with Pearce’s concerns. What does that say to the WWE management and the fans to deliver a No DQ match as the main event of the Royal Rumble for the WWE Universal Championship and Adam Pearce’s return to wrestling? No DQ is not enough! Where is Heyman going with this? Roman VS Pearce, at the Royal Rumble, LAST MAN STANDING. What is with these people?! Oh~ Pearce wonders who that favors. Well Heyman isn’t really into spoilers.

Heyman says Pearce can take his time because they can address this in the ring later tonight. Heyman will leave Pearce to his thoughts, and considers this business “handled.” Will Pearce do what Roman wants?

 

Rey and Dominik talk backstage.

Rey wants Dominik to calm down but Dominik says he’s been fighting giants like Corbin his entire career. Now, NOW Rey backs down? Rey didn’t back down, he’s being smart. He suggests Dom do the same. You don’t pick a fight without a plan. Corbin has been a WWE United States Champion, Mr. Money in the Bank and King of the Ring. He’s even a former Golden Gloves boxer! Dom doesn’t care about what Corbin’s done! Well if Dom wants to take care of Corbin, Rey knows just the guy to talk to. Who is it that will give the Mysterios the upper hand on the Wolf King?

 

SmackDown presents Bayley’s brand new talk show!

DING DONG, HELLO~! Bayley walks in through the door, has an arm chair and a plaque commemorating her 380 day reign as SmackDown Women’s Champion. She welcomes us to HER talk show, which is already bigger than Marvel’s WandaVision. Now let’s welcome the EST of WWE, Bayley’s first guEST ever, Bianca Belair! Bianca makes her entrance and joins Bayley in the ring, and Bayley insists she go through the door. Ring the bell, too. DING DONG, who could that be? Bayley, c’mon. Bayley opens the door and lets Bianca in. Bianca then takes the arm chair and Bayley says that’s her. Well she has good taste, this is very comfortable.

Bayley would take the stool meant for guests, but y’know what? With the Women’s Rumble match, Bayley will probably be in it for a full hour so she might as well get her legs stronger now. Bayley congratulates Bianca on her WWE Chronicle premiering on the WWE Network on January 24th! And after everyone sees it, there will be so many Bianca Belair believers. Here’s a special sneak peek! It was when Bayley beat Bianca about a month ago. Oh, sorry, that wasn’t the right footage. Bayley says move on from that and go to the hard hitting questions.

Why does Bianca call herself the EST? It is her nickname based on her accomplishments in various things, such as track & field, sports, school- But those are all things from before the WWE. Isn’t that disrespectful to those that built the division? Bianca asks Bayley why Bianca’s confidence threaten Bayley so much? Bayley is mad at a nickname when Bianca doesn’t even brag, she’s just being herself. So when Bianca says she’s the strongEST, fastEST- Wait, hold on, doesn’t that make Bayley the best now? She beat Bianca in that match! And was a champion for 380 days. Bianca tells Bayley to take her talk show and go put on some dusty go and give Bianca a rematch right now.

Bayley knows Bianca is just trying to play mind games, but she’s not falling for it. She has nothing to prove. But Bayley has an idea! We can figure out who is the superior with an obstacle course! Yes! Imagine it! The Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course Challenge! YES! Oh wow, really? Bianca can’t even argue with that, challenge accepted! Bayley has her EST, but there ain’t no way she can whoop Bianca. Now ding dong dat! Will Bianca prove it to Bayley and the world that she is then, now and forever THE E S T?

 

Daniel Bryan continues his training with the Alpha Academy!

It was earlier tonight that Bryan and Otis were backstage, and they got those hips moving left and right! Chad Gable has them explode up to their feet, and Kayla comes by. How has this training helped ahead of the Royal Rumble? It’s going great! “The pursuit of excellence” never ends. That’s what Bryan likes about Chad and Otis. And if training with the Alpha Academy makes Bryan even a little bit better, he’s all in. A great attitude to have, but did Bryan’s loss in the gauntlet hurt his confidence? Chad says no negativity. Nakamura is a former Rumble winner, there is no shame in losing to him. Bryan has a lot of respect for Shinsuke, and surely he has that same respect for Bryan.

But Cesaro barges in and says Bryan cannot speak for Nakamura because Bryan is not Nakamura’s friend. But Cesaro is so he will. Cesaro says Nakamura only shook Bryan’s hand was because he felt sorry. It was more a pity handshake. And Bryan would’ve had more of a chance at winning if he trained with someone who could teach him something more than that stupid hip thrust Macarena stuff. Then how about Bryan show Cesaro how that works firsthand later tonight? That is to say, NOW!

Cesaro VS Daniel Bryan!

The Swiss Cyborg won the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal but Bryan has never won a battle royal ever! Anywhere! Will Bryan show Cesaro that the Alpha Academy knows what it’s doing?

SmackDown returns and the bell rings! These two tie up, Cesaro headlocks and hits a takeover. Bryan tries to headscissor but Cesaro pushes that off. They stand up, Bryan powers out but Cesaro runs him over! Cover, ONE, but Cesaro keeps Bryan down with another headlock. Bryan fights up, powers out again, and drops to then arm-drag Cesaro to an armlock! Bryan grinds Cesaro down, wrenches to a wristlock, then wrenches more and hits an elbow breaker! Bryan drags Cesaro down to a hammerlock but Cesaro backs him to a corner. The ref counts, Cesaro elbows Bryan with the free arm! Then he throws EuroUppers!

Cesaro whips Bryan corner to corner and EuroUppers again! Cesaro pushes Bryan around, drags him up and wrenches to whip corner to corner. Bryan dodges and Cesaro hits buckles, then Bryan fires off kicks from all sides! Bryan runs corner to corner for a dropkick! Armlock BULLDOG! Bryan keeps on that arm, hammerlocks it and drops knees on it! Bryan pulls on the arm and twists the wrist! Cesaro rolls, gets up but Bryan wrenches. Cesaro scoops and SLAMS Bryan down! Cesaro shakes out the bad arm and he brings Bryan up to shove him to ropes, and CLUB him hard in the back! Cesaro stomps Bryan, drags him up, shove shim again but Bryan ROCKS Cesaro back!

Bryan fires forearms but Cesaro hits a standing STO! Knuckle lock cover, TWO as Bryan bridges! Cesaro goes to put his weight on Bryan but Bryan counters to monkey flip Cesaro into ropes! A rough landing and Cesaro tumbles out of the ring! Bryan goes to a corner, climbs up top and leaps, BIG CROSSBODY! Both men get up and Bryan fires off kicks! The ring count is climbing as Bryan KICKS Cesaro against post! Cesaro ducks the next one and Bryan kicks POST! Bryan goes down, clutching his shin, and SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Cesaro stomps away on Bryan in a corner. Cesaro is after the leg but Bryan scrambles, so Cesaro double stomps Bryan down! Cesaro stomps Bryan’s leg again! Cesaro drags Bryan up but Bryan throws a EuroUpper! Cesaro EuroUppers, Bryan fires off kicks and uppercuts, only for Cesaro to ROCK him! Cesaro whips Bryan corner to corner, Bryan goes up and over but the leg jams! Cesaro runs in but Bryan manages a drop toehold! Bryan PENALTY KICKS Cesaro’s bad arm! Bryan runs back in, tilt-o-whirl and takedown! YES LOCK!! Cesaro endures, moves around, pries free of the hold and stomps Bryan’s legs!

Cesaro gets both legs, for a SWISS SWING! Then a SHARPSHOOTER! Bryan endures as Cesaro sits deep! Bryan crawls, drags himself and Cesaro over, but Cesaro reaches back to get an arm! CROSSFACE! Bryan rolls it over, and gets the arm again! Cesaro holds off the Yes Lock but Bryan fish hooks Cesaro’s face! Bryan gets the YES LOCK! Cesaro reaches, ROPEBREAK! Bryan lets go, but he wrenches to an elbow breaker! Cesaro goes to a corner, Bryan kicks him and puts him up top. Bryan climbs to SUPER- NO! Cesaro blocks the steiner to bring Bryan up and into a TWISTING SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Bryan survives and Cesaro is furious!

Cesaro gives Bryan EuroUppers, then rains down forearms! Cesaro reels Bryan in, Gotch but Bryan back drops out! Bryan boots from a corner, runs, but into a pop-up, only for Bryan to backslide! TWO and Bryan unleashes a Yes Kick and a BUZZSAW! Cesaro already has a cut on his head so the ref checks. Bryan and Cesaro go to opposite corners and Bryan pops up with Yes fingers, only to run into a POP-UP UPPER! GOTCH NEUTRALIZER!! Cover, Cesaro wins!!

Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall

Incredible! Cesaro beats a Grand Slam Champion in Bryan and is rolling towards the Royal Rumble! Will Bryan’s dream of finally checking off a battle royal win be only dreams?

 

Backstage interview with Carmella!

The Untouchable and her sommelier, Reginald, are here and Kayla asks her about what she said last week. Mella says she was telling the truth about Sasha Banks. When it comes to natural talent, Sasha can’t touch Mella. Yet here Mella is here, where is Sasha? Why haven’t we seen Sasha back? Oh, of course. It’s because Mella proved she’s better than Sasha in every way. Maybe Sasha’s hiding from Mella. But then Sasha comes out and shoves Mella over! Sasha isn’t hiding from anyone! Reginald keeps this from getting any more physical, and Sasha tells him to tell Mella that they’ll have the title match. So long as Sasha gets at Reggie first! Will Mella agree to this deal at the expense of her assistant?

 

Apollo Crews VS Sami Zayn!

Both men want after Big E and the WWE Intercontinental Championship, but we saw earlier tonight how Roman Reigns was giving Apollo some pointers. Will Apollo take control and have another shot at the title? Or will he not see the next trip Sami has up his sleeve?

SmackDown returns and Sami makes his entrance, accompanied by his documentary film crew to have evidence of the “Anti-Sami Conspiracy” Sami claims exists in the WWE. Big E is ringside, lounging on a couch and having a fruit salad from is minifridge!? Sami is upset because he never got anything close to that as champion, and as the bell rings, Sami runs into Apollo’s dropkick! Apollo counter punches Sami, whips him to ropes but Sami reverses to knee low. Sami runs, Apollo hits an OVERHEAD THROW! Big E respects that but his version is better. Apollo waistlocks but Sami elbows him away, then dodges to clothesline Apollo out!

Big E says he doesn’t believe in Sami’s conspiracy theories and says he didn’t really need the pep talk Heyman gave him like he gave Apollo on Talking Smack. Sami tells Big E to watch this as he JABS away on Apollo. Sami goes to bump Sami off the desk but Apollo blocks to bump Sami off the desk! Apollo then uses the desk for a MOONSAULT to knock Sami down! Apollo puts Sami in at the count of 8, climbs up top, but Sami trips Apollo up! Apollo hits the mat, Sami stomps Apollo into a corner! Sami digs his boots in, the ref counts and Sami lets off. Apollo staggers, Sami hops up and leaps for a flying elbow! Cover, TWO! Sami keeps on Apollo with another cover, TWO! Another, TWO!

Sami tells his personal camera crew to focus on this as he climbs back up. Sami leaps, Apollo gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down but Sami got folded! Sami goes to a corner, Apollo runs in, blocks a boot, and trophy lifts Sami up to throw him into the buckles! ENZIGURI! Apollo STANDING MOONSAULTS, but onto knees! Sami covers, TWO! Sami dodges Apollo and rolls him up, but the ref sees him grabbing tights! Sami is upset with the ref, similar to Jey and Charles Robinson, but Sami still catches Apollo to an EXPLODER into buckles! Sami goes corner to corner, but Apollo rolls Sami, and has TIGHTS! The ref doesn’t see this one, Apollo WINS!

Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall

Did Sami’s cameras get Sami’s butt crack like WWE cameras did? Apollo walks over to the couch, picks up the belt, and grins as he tosses back to Big E. Big E says Apollo can keep coming for it but he won’t touch it again. They’ll see each other down the line, but who wins when the title is back on the line?

 

Roman Reigns heads to the ring!

The Head of the Table leads the Special Counsel, Paul Heyman, and #MainEventUso to the table that’s waiting in the ring for this contract signing. And then Adam Pearce quietly makes his way out with the official contract. Pearce takes a seat at the table, Roman takes his time circling around the table, and Heyman moves the chair to the head of the table. Roman doesn’t want that chair. He wants the chair Pearce just sat in. Heyman asks Pearce that he give up the chair, but Jey just takes it from Pearce. Roman takes a seat and Heyman helps Pearce into the chair Roman didn’t want.

Roman says Pearce needs to go ahead and sign. Heyman says this sitting around is not good television. Pearce looks at the contract as he holds the pen, and signs it. Heyman smirks at the passive aggressive behavior as he hands Roman his own pent to sign with. Roman signs his name, gives the pen back, and it is done. Roman says that’ll be the last contract Pearce ever signs. Pearce says, “I’ve waited all night for you to do that.” What’s that supposed to mean? Pearce leaves with the contract in hand, goes up the ramp, and then seems to have a problem walking. Pearce says his knee has been bugging the hell out of him all day. An old injury that just creeps up on you at the worst possible time.

But Pearce says it’ll be fine. After all, we all know that standard contracts say the same things. As a WWE Official, Pearce reserves the right to have a substitute, should he not be medically cleared to compete at the Royal Rumble. In fact, Pearce already has one in mind. It’s KEVIN OWENS! Roman sighs, perhaps disappointed he didn’t see this coming. Kevin signs his name to the contract, and it’s all but a given that the Prizefighter is back in the fight! Will Kevin finally #StunTheWorld and end Roman’s reign as Universal Champion?


My Thoughts:

A really good episode for SmackDown, with some interesting developments in the different stories. The story of Roman Reigns and all those related took an expected yet perfectly executed twist. It was clear Adam Pearce wasn’t really going to compete against Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble, but how he tricked them into a trap like that was great. We’re getting another Roman VS Kevin, but now Last Man Standing, and if Jey is in the Royal Rumble, he might have to consider not interfering. And even if he does, maybe Pearce gets involved so that Scrap Daddy at least gets one great moment WWE PPV moment? Or maybe it’ll be Bryan or Nakamura, depending on who wins the Rumble.

Jey VS Nakamura was a good opening match and I was worried Cesaro showing up when he did was going to mean he costs Nakamura. But Cesaro stays on commentary, stays Nakamura’s friend, and yet also stays a bit Heelish as he still talks smack on Bryan, Otis and Gable. Bryan VS Cesaro was a great match, and it was a great surprise to see Cesaro win. It works for both men going towards the Rumble. Bryan wants to win so badly but that alone could be why he’ll lose, and Cesaro needs a little something to keep him afloat. Cesaro really is a great talent, we all know that, but who knows when and where he’ll get the world title nod.

The Profits had a good promo and they’ll eventually have that rematch with the Dirty Dawgs, but who knows if they win it. Natty VS Liv was alright, but Billie was a highlight of the whole thing with her wannabe punk rock outfit and behavior. She did more of a Spider-Man web shooter hand than the rock ‘n’ roll fingers, and then she costs Liv the match, adding more tension to the tenuous friendship. Maybe Billie does something big to make it up to the Riott Squad and that’s how she wins them over. Bayley is great, Bianca is great, and maybe Ding Dong, Hello was being awkward on purpose, but it didn’t quite land. And I don’t think their obstacle course challenge will, either, even if Bianca does an amazing job with it. Just give us a 15 to 20 minute NXT level match on SmackDown with them.

Rey VS Corbin with Dom on the side was good, but I almost thought Dom was going to find a way to Eddie Guerrero Corbin out of the win. I’m very curious as to who Rey is talking about when it comes to dealing with Corbin. I’m thinking it’s Cain Velasquez given the established relationship between him and Rey. Though that does bring up the question of what happened to A) the relationship of Murphy & Aalyah, and B) the Knights of the Wolf King. The former is probably one of those many cases where WWE gave up on it because they couldn’t figure it out. The latter is probably COVID concerns, and then some of the former.

Mella and Sasha had a decent segment, and they set up the obvious rematch. But I really like the idea that Sasha is getting a co-ed match against Reginald. I have a feeling Mella will interfere in return to put Sasha behind the 8 ball for their match. Apollo VS Sami was good as a main event match, but we did not need that much Sami butt cheek… I like that Big E now has a couch and fridge, oddly. Apollo is slowly starting that turn to Heel given what Heyman told him on Talking Smack last week, I’m just waiting for that moment when it’s complete. Then we’re really going to see some stuff from the already athletic and charismatic Apollo and Big E for the workhorse title of the WWE.

My Score: 8.3/10


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