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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (5/8/18)

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SmackDown will address the Backlash low blows!

The first SmackDown after Backlash promises to address the double count-out draw between the Phenomenal One and King of Strong Style in their WWE Championship match. What will GM Paige have to say about the double low blows? Plus, THREE Money in the Bank Qualifiers, featuring The Miz, Daniel Bryan, and Charlotte Flair!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Jeff Hardy VS The Miz; Miz wins and joins the Men’s MITB Ladder Match.
  • Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Charlotte Flair VS Peyton Royce w/ Billie Kay; Charlotte wins and joins the Women’s MITB Ladder Match.
  • Cesaro w/ Sheamus VS Xavier Woods w/ The New Day; Cesaro wins.
  • Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose; Mandy wins.
  • Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Daniel Bryan VS Rusev w/ Aiden English; Rusev wins and joins the Men’s MITB Ladder Match.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown General Manager, Paige, heads to the ring!

The Glampire believes Backlash was a smashing success where we witnessed the first singles victory for the returning Daniel Bryan! Fans agree, that was good. We saw the surprise victory from Carmella the SmackDown Women’s Champion. And then there’s the WWE Championship and what happened between Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles. The match was going to be an instant classic until both men started using low blows that neither could recover from. Paige didn’t foresee that happening, but she says we’ll hear from both men later on.

As for Money in the Bank, there will be two ladder matches: one for the men, and one for the women, with superstars from both brands. Those who climb up the ladder to grab the briefcases will bring those contracts back to their brands. Therefore, SmackDown needs to put up the best, which brings us to the qualifying matches, starting right now!

 

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Jeff Hardy VS The Miz!

The Charismatic Enigma is still WWE United States Champion after vanquishing The Viper, while the A-Lister is NOT the Intercontinental Champion after losing to The Architect. Both are decorated champions, but only one great superstar will make it into the Ladder Match!

The bell rings and the fans are rallying with Hardy. He and Miz circle, tie up, and Hardy gets the headlock. Miz powers out but Hardy runs him over. Miz backs off to a corner while fans cheer for Hardy. Hardy and Miz circle again, fans rallying, and they tie up for Miz to get the waistlock. Hardy gets the standing switch, but Miz switches back to a wristlock. Miz wrenches but Hardy reverses the hold. MIz powers out, but Hardy runs him over and splashes down, TWO. Hardy runs but Miz trips him up. Hardy clubs away on Miz but Miz gets out of the ring. However, Hardy follows for Poetry in Motion! Deja vu to Backlash, and Hardy puts Miz into the ring. Hardy climbs up, takes aim, but Miz scrambles to the opposite corner. Miz catches his breath while we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Hardy is in control of Miz with arm-drags, into an armlock. Miz gets to his feet and pulls Hardy’s hair. Miz backs Hardy tot he ropes then whips, then arm-drags, but Hardy arm-drags Miz through to an armbar. Hardy wrenches the arm but Miz stands up. Fans rally for Hardy but Miz punches his way out of the hold. Miz punches Hardy more, then whpis again, but Hardy kicks him away. Jawbreaker countered by a knee, then Miz drops Hardy with a boot. Cover, TWO, but Miz keeps his cool. Miz sits Hardy up and drives in a knee, then puts on a chinlock. Fans continue to rally for Hardy, and Hardy stands up. Hardy fights out then throws a hand but Miz counters with the A-List combination! Cover, TWO.

Miz looks up at the briefcase, the goal he is after for a second time. He keeps on Hardy with punches, then back to the knee in the back. Miz pulls on Hardy’s arms while fans duel between them. Hardy endures the half-surfboard, and fights his way out. Miz throws back, but then slips out of the back suplex. Hardy denies the Finale, then runs but Miz throws him out. Miz runs but misses the wrecking ball. Hardy swings again, but Miz lifts and sits Hardy on the barriers. Miz catches his breath while mocking the fans. He swings on Hardy but misses, Hardy headbutts Miz back. Hardy stands, then LEAPS off the barriers!

Both men go down while the ring count climbs up. The count reaches 6 by the time Hardy stands. He put Miz in at 7, then counters punches with punches. Hardy kicks, whips but Miz reverses, only for Hardy to run him over. Atomic drop to takedown, then a leg-splitting leg drop! Dropkick on top, cover, TWO! Hardy keeps his cool, then gets to his feet. He calls for the Twist, then waits for Miz to stand. Hardy kicks, but Miz denies the Twist. Miz goes for a backslide, but Hardy resists. They stand back up, Hardy tries to bring Miz over, but then flips over MIz to hit the Twist of Fate! Hardy hurries to climb up top, but Miz rolls away again. Hardy runs over but Miz kicks him back, then gives him the neckbreaker to the apron!

The referee checks on Hardy while we go picture in picture. Miz catches his breath in the ring, but Hardy is okay to continue. A ten count begins, and reaches five before Hardy stirs. Hardy drags himself up but the count’s at 8. He beats it at 9, and it surprises Miz. Miz thought he had this, so he boots Hardy out of frustration. Cover, TWO, and Miz argues with the ref. Miz runs and boots Hardy again, then again! Cover, TWO, and Miz is furious.

Miz thinks on what to do next while Hardy stands up. Miz runs, misses the third boot, Hardy rolls him pu, TWO, A-Lister lariat in the corner! Now Miz climbs up, jumps and hits the ax handle. He wants his finish, and circles Hardy on the mat. Hardy stirs and slowly stands, but denies the Finale! Miz goes after the legs, but Hardy counters with a small package, TWO! Miz grabs Hardy in a sleeper hold! Hardy fades to a knee while Miz squeezes tight. Hardy feeds off the fans’ energy while we go single picture, and hits the jawbreaker!

Both men are sitting down, catching their breath. Miz hits Hardy, Hardy hits back. They brawl up to their feet, and Hardy gets an edge. Miz swings but misses, into the Russian leg sweep and leg pin, TWO. Miz crawls to ropes but Hardy is upon him. He gets a cheap shot in, then back to the sleeper, but Hardy runs around to pull Miz into buckles. Hardy elbows back, then climbs up, Whisper in the Wind! Cover, TWO! Hardy checks his teeth while Miz stirs. The champion gets the fans fired up, then goes for the twist, but Miz denies it again. Miz ends up on the apron, grabs for the hair, but Hardy hotshots him back. Hardy baseball slide dropkicks Miz to the barriers, then takes aim to slingshots over for a senton!

Fans fire up with Hardy again as he puts Miz back in the ring. Hardy climbs up top, taking off his shirt. He takes aim, but Miz trips him up! Miz climbs up now, but Hardy resists. Hardy hits back with clubbing forearms and sends Miz down with a sunset flip powerbomb! TWO!! Hardy can’t beileve Miz survived that one. Miz rolls his way to a corner again, but fans are loving this match. Hrady comes over, but Miz boots the Hardiac away. Miz runs in, TWIST– Fin– roll up! TWO, but the mule kick from Hardy puts Miz in a corner. Hardy hits the Hardiac Arrest! Hardy keeps going, Twist of Fate! He climbs up once again, with fans firing up with him. Hardy aims, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, TWO!? GHOST PIN, MIZ WINS!!

Winner: The Miz, by pinfall; qualifies for the Men’s MITB

What a twist ending from the A-Lister! Miz returns to the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, which he has won before. Will the sequel be better than the original with a win over Finn Balor, Braun Strowman and five other top superstars?

 

The Bar meets backstage.

Sheamus is eating Lucky Charms to cheer him up after his loss last week. Cesaro thought he had him, too, but then Xavier Woods slipped through his claws. It was those darn Muppets, Kofi and Big E, outside the ring. It’s always 3v2 with The New Day. Though Cesaro feels he would’ve done better. Really? Really? Then try facing Woods tonight and see! Cesaro accepts, because no one makes the fool out of The Bar. Wait, waht’s in Cesaro’s bags? PANCAKES!? That’s not funny, Sheamus. Because now there’s pancakes in HIS bag! Will the New Day pay for this pancake prank?

 

SAnitY is coming.

And they’re bring CHAOS!! Will SmackDown be prepared for the Merchant of Mayhem, the Beast of Belfast and the Ax Man?

 

Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.

The King of Strong Style is not cleared for competition after last night’s match. Is the issue between him and Styles over? “No. Speak English.” We all know he speaks English, that’s not going to work. Yes he did speak English, but he forgot how. Then is there anything he would like to say while he IS speaking English? “AJ Styles nuts. But so am I. We are not finished.” In that case, when will he and the champion settle this championship grudge?

 

Carmella speaks.

“I beat Charlotte Flair!” She beat Charlotte Flair, again! Now it’s party time! But, not in a city like Baltimore, ew. Carmella will go to London, and next week it’ll be a #RoyalMellabration. And the Royal Family isn’t invited. And neither is Ric Flair, or his daughter, who she beat!

 

Superstars speak on MITB.

Imagine this: seven superstars down, one ladder, one man standing and one MITB briefcase. Tye Dillinger knows that may not add up to a championship, but that does add up to a perfect 10. Naomi meanwhile says that she won the inaugural Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal and was a former champion. She vows to climb up and snatch down the contract to then snatch the champion bald, whoever she may be.

 

Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Charlotte Flair VS Peyton Royce w/ Billie Kay!

While The Princess of Staten Island did beat The Queen of Flair fair and square, the former champion has a chance here tonight to make her way back. Can Charlotte get payback on the IIconics who cost her the title in the first place, and then climb a ladder to be the #QueenintheBank?

Billie & Peyton say that while Charlotte loss, she is still an inspiration. Billie’s uncle has always had a horrible stutter, but seeing the look on Charlotte’s face after losing, it sent him into hysterical laughter! He laughed an hour straight, tears streaming down his face while he fell off the couch. But it also cured his stutter! So Billie thanks Charlotte for that. Because that look, “the pain, the agony”, they want to bottle it and make it a fragrance. “Disappointed by Charlotte.” Peyton can imitate that. Oh come on, she’s not that good. Peyton tries, but it’s only funny when Charlotte does it. Then how about Peyton makes Charlotte do that face again now! That MITB contract belongs to the future, and #TheFutureisIIconic.

Peyton enters the ring, the match begins, and she circles with Charlotte. Fans “WOO~” for Charlotte as she ties up with the Venus Flytrap, then powers her to a corner. Charlotte gives Peyton a swift shot, then dares Peyton to come back for more. Peyton goes from one corner to another while Billie checks on her. Charlotte catches Peyton into a waistlock and slam, then brings her up for another. Peyton elbows her way out, then kicks, but Charlotte spins her around for a chop! Charlotte scoops Peyton for the exploder! Fans rally for Charlotte while she throws Peyton out and we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and now Charlotte is down on the ground outside the ring. Peyton drags Charlotte up and into the ring while Billie cheers her own. Peyton puts Charlotte in a chinlock and thrashes about. Fans rally for Charlotte as she endures. Charlotte works her way up and jawbreakers out of the hold. Peyton blocks the chop, then slips out of the suplex, to throw Charlotte head first into buckles! She then drags Charlotte to a cover, TWO, and Billie is furious for her. Peyton hammers away on Charlotte, then bumps her off a buckle before grinding her boot right into Charlotte’s chin. Billie cheers while Peyton uses ropes for her modified motorcycle stretch. Peyton lets go at 4, then stalks Charlotte. She drives in a knee, then bounces Charlotte off the mat. Peyton drops elbows, then puts on another chinlock.

Fans rally for Charlotte again while she endures. Charlotte stands up but Peyton hits her first. Peyton whips but Charlotte kicks her back, then hits a neckbreaker. Charlotte catches her breath while Peyton holds her head. Both women slowly stand, then Peyton swings but Charlotte counters with foerarms. Charlotte gives more and more forearms, but Peyton knees low. Peyton whips but Charlotte reverses, then chops Peyton! Charlotte chops and chops again, and again, and again, dropping Peyton down.

The fans fire up while Chalrotte struts and chops Peyton down again. Charlotte stalks Peyton, then goes to boot, but Peyton dodges. Peyton kicks but misses, Charlotte rolls her up with the bridge, TWO. Charlotte gives Peyton a big back suplex, then kips up! Charlotte grabs the legs but Billie saves Peyton, only for Charlotte to slingshot down on Billie! Peyton hits a neckbreaker on Charlotte! A ring count begins, and Peyton drags Charlotte up and in. Peyton covers, TWO, and she’s furious. Charlotte elbows her away, then again. Billie hotshots Charlotte, Peyton heel kicks! Cover, TWO!? The IIconics are furious, and Billie argues with the referee. Peyton stands up and goes after Charlotte with a knee, but Charlotte rolls her up, TWO. Charlotte dodges in the corner, and boots Peyton down!

Fans fire up while Charlotte climbs. Charlotte MOONSAULTS, but onto Peyton’s knees! Small package, TWO! Peyton hits a knee, covers, TWO! The IIconics are at a loss for how Charlotte is still in this. Peyton glances at the briefcase while standing up. She stalks Charlotte, then brings her up. Fans rally for Charlotte, and Charlote reverses into a SPEAR! Cover, TWO, and now Charlotte grows frustrated. She goes for the legs, but Peyton rolls her, TWO. Charlotte rolls again, TWO, into the Figure Four! And Figure Eight! Peyton taps out, Charlotte wins!

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

The Queen gets back on track with this win, and enters the second-ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match. Can Charlotte take that contract and get sweet revenge on the inaugural Ms. MITB with her own cash-in?

 

Backstage interview with Daniel Bryan.

Has he had time to recover from Big Cass’ sore loser attack? Well let’s not forget why Cass attacked him: Bryan made Cass tap out. But as for tonight, Bryan is a former Mr. MITB, and he cashed in here in Baltimore. Bryan will fight, will climb up, and prove that the bigger they are, the faster they tap. Can Bryan beat the Bulgarian Lion to enter this year’s Money in the Bank match?

 

More superstars speak on MITB.

The Gold Standard, Shelton Benjamin, made this match famous, so he vows to finally win the opportunity no one is giving him. His highlights are all over this match type, and the best is yet to come. As for the Empress of Tomorrow, Asuka wants to climb up, grab the contract, and cash in on Carmella. “No one is ready for Asuka”, and certainly not armed with that briefcase.

 

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

Awwwww, Baltimore~! The brains of the outfit beat the Celtic Gladiator last week, with some help from his friends. Will the Swiss Cyborg have better luck that his teammate? Or will The Bar be swept by the Power of Positivity?

The bell rings and Woods circles with Cesaro. They tie up, Woods gets the waistlock and headlock, but Cesaro reverses Woods to toy with him. The fans chant “We Want Pancakes!” which only annoys Sheamus & Cesaro. Big E makes it rain flapjacks, but then Cesaro swipes at him to stop. Woods goes after Cesaro but the ropes are in the way. Cesaro then slips around to tie up with Woods. Woods still gets a headlock but Cesaro reverses it. Woods powers out but Cesaro runs him over. Cesaro says “No Pancakes!” then runs, but Woods leaps up. Cesaro catches him but Woods slips around to a waistlock. Woods is bucked off but runs back, dodges, then tilt-o-whirl headscissors Cesaro down!

Woods goes after Cesaro in a corner with body shots, but Cesaro turns things around. Cesaro honors the break, for a second. Woods fires back on him, but Cesaro shoves him at the ref to clobber him in the back! The Bar boast while Woods writhes at the ropes. Cesaro deadlift gutwrenches Woods and throws him! We go picture in picture while Cesaro stalks Woods. The New Day coach Woods up, but Cesaro is upon him. Cesaro grabs some pancakes that were lying around, and crumbles them up! He tosses the crumbs, but WOods fires back with haymakers. Woods runs, but into a big flapjack from Cesaro! Cesaro covers, TWO, so he drags Woods over to choke him on the ropes. Sheamus takes a selfie with that, but Big E backs him off.

Cesaro keeps on woods, but Woods chops and body shots back. Cesaro knees low, then gives body shots of his own. He brings Woods out for more, then wrenches the arm. Cesaro whips and catches Woods into an abdominal stretch. He grinds an elbow into Woods’ ribs, but Woods endures. We return to single picture as fans rally for Woods. Woods fights out, but Cesaro hits back. They brawl with chops back and forth, then Cesaro hits a right jab. Woods kicks back, then kicks a leg out to knee Cesaro in the head. Woods runs in but Cesaro puts him on the apron. A kick sends Cesaro reeling, then Woods slingshots for a springboard kick!

Cover, TWO, and Sheamus is relieved. The fans rally again, and Woods powers up. He runs but Cesaro rolls to the apron. Cesaro hotshots WOods away, then lifts, but Woods slips out. Woods hops for the wheelbarrow, but Cesaro shove shim away. Woods keeps moving, wheelbarrow facebuster! Cover, TWO! The New Day keep coaching Woods, and Woods makes his way to a corner. Woods climbs up but Sheamus distracts. Woods chases him off, but Cesaro rolls up! Feet on the ropes but Kofi stops that! Woods rolls, TWO, Shining Wizard! Sheamus protests while Woods climbs, but Big E uses pancakes to get Sheamus’ attention. Sheamus jumps at Big E, misses, Kofi LEAPS and takes Sheamus out! Woods finally takes aim and springboards, but into a big European Uppercut! Cover, Cesaro wins!

Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall

The numbers game goes the wrong way for the New Day, and now they’re even with The Bar in singles competition. Woods is 1-1, how will Kofi and Big E fair against Cesaro & Sheamus?

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

The Phenomenal One still has a major welt from Backlash’s championship match. He’s not cleared to compete, either, and knows Nakamura said they’re not done. Styles admits he sank to Nakamura’s level. He doesn’t want to fight like that, but he will if the title is on the line. How convenient Nakamue now speaks English again. Styles doesn’t’ care when, why or where, but if Nakamura has the… guts to fight him again, Styles will finish him. This is the House that AJ Styles Built, what will he do to defend it?

 

A twisted scene of broken WWE action figures…

The teams of the SmackDown Tag Team Division, namely. The Bludgeon Brothers say they have their own toys. “So please, come play with us.” “We’re waiting.” TO DESTROY! Who will step up to the SmackDown Tag Team Champions and face their own personal doomsday?

 

Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose!

The duo formerly with Paige in Absolution must now strike out on their own without her help. Mandy says that she and Sonya can be in the MITB match, but then the Glampire comes over. Remember, Absolution is dead. Yes, they know, but they realize that Paige isn’t their mommy. She can desert them, but they will never break up. Then that’s awkward to bring this up… Sonya, you’re barred from ringside. What?! Does God’s Greatest Creation have what it takes to take on the Lass Kicker alone?

The bell rings, and Mandy ties up with Becky. She gets the waistlock but Becky throws her off. Becky dares the rookie to bring it, then arm-drags Mandy out of the ring. Mandy takes her time regrouping, but Becky is right on her. Mandy rocks Becky with a right, then puts Becky in a corner for a mudhole stomp. She whips Becky corner to corner then drops her with a dropkick. Mandy stalks Becky and hits the big knee strike, cover, TWO. Mandy keeps on Becky with a thrashing chinlock, but fans rally for the inaugural SmackDown Women’s Champion. Becky stands up and fights out, but Mandy throws her down by her hair.

Mandy taunts Becky then gives another strong right, but Becky gives as good as she gets. Becky gets an edge, then brings Mandy to the mat. Mandy slips away to the ropes, but still gets thrown with a Becksploder! Becky hits the jump kick but Mandy throws her into the ropes, roll up, Mandy wins?!

Winner: Mandy, by pinfall

Whether that was beginner’s luck, Becky being in a slump, or a legitimate upset, a win is a win. Can the golden half of the duo formerly known as Absolution earn herself a chance at the MITB match?

 

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Daniel Bryan VS Rusev w/ Aiden English!

The Goat won his return-to-PPV match at Backlash, but Big “bully” Cass beat him down for it. Will the Goat still have enough to defeat the Bulgarian Lion and make his return to Money in the Bank?

MC Artiste, Aiden English, already has the fans chanting for “Rusev Day! Rusev Day!” Baltimore~, more like Balti-less, cuz Orioles and Ravens don’t impress. But don’t stress, will Bryan win? No, DB will wish he was still GM, and when the Lion climbs the ladder, you’ll know that today is… RUSEV DAAAAAAY~~!

The bell rings and Rusev circles with Bryan. They tie up while fans duel, and Bryan rolls to wristlock Rusev. Bryan wrenches the arm into a hammerlock, but Rusev elbows out. Rusev runs to run Bryan over, but then things speed up and Bryan toeholds Rusev into half the surfboard. Bryan goes for the arms, but instead stomps those knees. Bryan kicks out an arm, then starts up kicks on the shoulder. Rusev is reeling while Bryan grabs his arm again. Bryan wrenches but Rusev scoops and slams! Rusev kicks Bryan but Bryan gets to ropes. Bryan dumps Rusev out of the ring, then builds speed, to DIVE! But Rusev catches and tosses Bryan over the desk! The Bulgarian Brute is in control while we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Rusev suplexes Bryan up and over. Rusev takes his time while the fans duel between “Rusev Day!” and “Let’s go Bryan!” He even toys with Bryan in a corner. He whips Bryan corner to corner, but Bryan goes up and over to then build speed and run Rusev over with a lariat! Bryan fires up while Rusev gets to a corner. Fans chant “YES! YES!” while he runs in for a dropkick. He keeps going, for a second dropkick. Bryan kicks away on Rusev, then lifts him up to the top. Bryan climbs up, throws punches, then hits a SUPER Steiner! Fans continue to chant “YES! YES!” while Bryan stands back up.

Bryan goes over to Rusev and gives his YES Kicks. Kick after kick, then the buzzsaw misses. Rusev trips Bryan but Bryan slips away, only to be caught. Rusev swings but Bryan rolls him up, TWO. Roundhouse from Rusev! Cover, TWO, and English is frustrated for Rusev. Fans duel again, but Rusev stands up and says, “Rusev! MACHKA!” He stomps Bryan, then prepares the Accolade, but his bad wrists stop him. He can’t put on his hold, but Bryan brings him down for his! YES Lock, but ropebreak. Bryan lets go, and the two stand up. Rusev swings, misses, and Bryan retaliates with a kick. Bryan kicks and kicks, but Rusev kicks back. Rusev German Suplex but Bryan lands on his feet for the buzzsaw! Rusev goes down, and Bryan fires up with “YES! YES!”

English bails Rusev out, but Bryan just runs and wrecks them both with the dropkick! Then he aims at Rusev, Meteora off the apron! Bryan puts Rusev in the ring, then climbs up top, for the missile dropkick! Bryan is sore himself, but he still kips up. He takes aim at Rusev from the corner, everyone chanting “YES! YES!” with him. Bryan runs, but into a pop-up knee! Rusev MACHKA Kick! Cover, Rusev wins!!

Winner: Rusev, by pinfall; qualifies for the Men’s MITB

The Lion slays the Goat, and is now going to make the match a RUSEV in the Bank Ladder Match! Will Rusev Day triumph and grab that contract? And who else will join him, Jeff Hardy, Finn Balor and Braun Strowman as the weeks go by? As for Bryan, fans still love him, even if he lost. Bryan hoped he’d make another great run towards the top, so where does he go from here?

 


 

My Thoughts:

As Raw did last night, SmackDown did great in making up for Backlash while transitioning to MITB. Though I’m a little disappointed we still haven’t seen SAnitY or Almas yet, but maybe their debuts next week will have major impact on the PPV. We do get a great opener in Hardy VS Miz, and that was an amazing surprise for Miz to win that way. Miz is proving that while he isn’t the best technical wrestler, he is definitely deserving of the world title scene. Carmella’s celebration next week will surely be interrupted by any number of the women who will join the MITB match. And Charlotte-IIconics is a great match in itself, and Charlotte winning could set up a great story of karma, with Carmella losing the title because of Charlotte cashing in.

Woods-Cesaro is a great match, and they did great to book Cesaro winning as a surprise. Now we get a tag team match where the winning team sends one person to the Men’s MITB match. New Day winning would be crazy if they somehow decide to Free Bird Rules the briefcase to then Free Bird Rules the singles title they take. At the same time, The Bar might not be so willing to do that, and this could lead to a potential break up. I did NOT see Becky losing so quickly to Mandy. This losing streak of hers could be a way to turn her without any particular superstar to go after.

Rusev winning was another big surprise, but it makes sense when A) he’s super over, and B) Bryan can’t risk a concussion in that ladder match. Plus, Bryan might still have Cass to worry about, the same way Styles still has Nakamura to get through. They have time to build the WWE Championship match up even more, which is good because Nakamura is a genius for “not knowing English.” I hope that when the time comes, the decision is either a Last Man Standing match or a Ladder match of their own, so that there is one true winner in the end.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Results & Report! (9/24/18)

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After being ambushed and screwed out of a championship match, The Revival returns to get revenge and the Raw Tag Team titles from McIntyre & Ziggler!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Finn Balor w/ Bayley VS Jinder Mahal w/ Alicia Fox; Finn wins.
  • Six Woman Tag: The Bellas & Natayla VS The Riott Squad; win(s).
  • Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush VS Elias; wins.
  • Raw Tag Team Championships: Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler VS The Revival; win(s) and
  • Six Man Tag: The Shield VS Baron Corbin & ???; win(s).

PLAY BY PLAY

Baron Corbin greets the returning Raw Commissioner, Stephanie McMahon!

And it’s her birthday! Corbin begins singing for her, but then Triple H exits the limousine, too. Corbin promises everything is set up for her in her office and offers to lead the way. Stephanie tells Corbin that whatever she has to say to and about Corbin, she can say in front of everyone in the WWE Universe. HHH says this must be awkward for Corbin, so he’ll just leave. Stephanie says she thought Corbin could do the job Kurt Angle couldn’t. Corbin tries to make excuses but she cuts him off by saying she expected him to make good decisions, the right decisions. Was Corbin putting himself in a match for the WWE Universal Championship a good decision?

Corbin admits that was too much, but The Shield keep provoking him. They’re running wild. So then he admits he has no control over the show? Mistakes can be tolerated, but excuses aren’t. If Corbin wants to get the Shield in line, grab two tag partners and settle this in the ring. Otherwise, Angle might be back from “vacation” sooner than anticipated. What is the Lone Wolf to do about the Hounds of Justice? Speaking of…

The Shield heads to the ring!

Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are going to be back in action as the full trio here in tonight’s main event! But that means there’s a couple hours for Constable Corbin to find compatriots to fight one, if not THE, most dominant trio in WWE History. At the same time, it will be quite the chance for The Shield to warm-up before Super Show Down’s showdown with The Pack. But as for right this moment, The Shield hears Denver out on their ovation before speaking.

“What you are looking at are the three workhorses of WWE.” Ambrose knows they’ve lost battles here and there, but they’ve never lost the war, because they’re still standing. Roman says their resumes would take all day to read. But the fact is, they can lift up two title belts. The championships are the keys to the kingdom, and everyone should want them. It’s why Brock Lesnar came back, it’s why Baron Corbin put himself in title matches, because the titles will change your life. But the only men that deserve championships are the ones in this ring right now. Rollins says that Raw is and will always be about being the best. That’s what The Shield are. Braun Strowman wanted power so bad, he’s recruited a “pack of jackasses”.

As for Corbin, “the world’s largest substitute teacher”, he has a problem with The Shield. He’s to get a couple of partners to show everyone who’s the boss. Well The Shield is here now, they can show how big of a problem they are right NOW! Baron Corbin appears and does his best to laugh it all off. Corbin lets everyone know that tonight is Stephanie’s birthday. And he’s not going to let Raw erupt into madness like it has these last few weeks. Corbin puts his foot down tonight. Because he and his partners are going to rag doll The Shield while impressing Stephanie. Corbin and his partners will expose the Shield as “a bunch of selfish individuals.” No one likes The Shield, and that includes The Pack! Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre all walk out, microphones in hands.

Fans still chant “Get These Hands!” for the Monster Among Men as he stares at The Shield. Strowman hopes Roman shines that belt up real nice, because he wont’ be wearing it for much longer. As for the entire Shield, there are cracks already forming, and then they’ll implode all over again. Super Show Down will be two against four, and it’s not about Corbin. Rollins points out the bad math, maybe they need to brainstorm together on this. Strowman wants them to check the mat with Ambrose, because perhaps Ambrose sees the light. The Shield needs Ambrose but he doesn’t need The Shield. Two years ago, on SmackDown, Ziggler was there when Ambrose was WWE World Champion all by himself. Ambrose had fire in his eyes, but now his brothers have everything and he has nothing.

Rollins and Roman shrug this off, but McIntyre uses his brutal honesty to point something out. Ambrose pushed Mcintyre to his absolute limit, that was a close match. McIntyre wants Ambrose to look him in the eyes. The Shield does not appreciate Ambrose, and Ambrose deserves more. Ziggler wants “Disposable Dean” to realize something. Rollins asked Ambrose to help him in order to fight Ziggler. And then Roman needed Ambrose to stop the Monster in the Bank’s cash-in. What has Ambrose gotten in return for any of that? Nothing. Rollins: champion. Roman: champion. Ambrose: chump. Ziggler even uses Rollins’ interruption as a reason Ambrose isn’t needed. Ambrose goes down and how long does Rollins wait to replace him with Jason Jordan? And did they even communicate while Ambrose was out?

Ziggler points out another thing. Ziggler & McIntyre are Raw Tag Team Champions. Strowman can beat Roman for the Universal Championship. So maybe Ambrose becomes Intercontinental Champion with them? Think about it, because it’s all true. But Roman tells Ziggler to shut up with all this already. The fans aren’t here to watch people talk. They’re here to watch The Shield whoop The Pack’s ass. Strowman leads the charge but Corbin keeps the peace. This is not happening like this. Fans chant “YES! YES!” but Corbin stands firm. The tag team champions have their match but Corbin and his partners will “spoil your little reunion before it even begins.” The matches have been set, but will The Shield stay unified? Or will Ambrose give in to the mind games?

 

Finn Balor w/ Bayley VS Jinder Mahal w/ Alicia Fox!

Raw plugs the Mixed Match Challenge as the Extraordinary Man goes 1v1 with the Modern Day Maharaja while their partners are in their corners. Can Finn score points for Team B ‘n’ B before tomorrow night’s MMC? Or will Alicia’s #InnerCrazy rub off on the man of peace?

The bell rings and fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” Mahal puts Finn in a corner then throws heavy hands and stomps. Mahal scoops and slams Finn, then grins as he looms over the inaugural Universal Champion. He puts on a chinlock and Finn endures as Bayley and the fans rally. Mahal drives his knees into Finn, then grinds on a headlock. He gets the headlock takeover, but Finn works against it. They stand up and Finn powers out, only for Mahal to run Finn over. Mahal wraps the chinlock back on, but fans still rally with Bayley. Finn stands and powers out again. This time, Finn ducks and dropkicks Mahal! Finn clotheslines Mahal out, then builds speed to FLY! Direct hit! Finn flexes while we go to break.

Raw returns and Finn fights out of a waistlock. Mahal knees low then whips to then kick Finn down. Fans chant “Jinder Sucks!” but Mahal tunes it out as he chokes Finn against the ropes. Mahal drops springboard knees then grinds a knee into Finn’s ribs. He drags Finn up for a standing abdominal stretch. Finn endures while fans rally again. Mahal drives in elbows, then pulls on Finn more. Finn works against the hold and pops out, only to get a knee to the ribs. Mahal throws a haymakers, then sunset flips, but Finn rolls through to dropkick Mahal down! Both men get to opposite ends, and Finn boots Mahal away. Finn dodges Mahal to hit him down with forearms. Finn gets the takedown then the double stomps!

Fans fire up with Finn as he runs into the corner for the chop! He whips but Mahal reverses. Finn goes up and over but get a kick! Mahal hops up but Finn swing kicks him down! Finn climbs up and aims at the drop zone. Mahal springs up but Finn jumps over him to come back with a slingblade! Finn takes aim, but Sunil Singh trips him up! Mahal rolls Finn up, TWO! Mahal kicks low, then elbows Finn down. He runs but Bayley trips Mahal up now! Alicia protests but fans are on Bayley’s side. Foxy and the Huggable One come face to face. Alicia swings but Bayley counter punches! Sunil looks to defend Alicia’s honor but gets a Bayley2Belly! Finn rolls Mahal, Finn wins!

Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall

The Extraordinary Man takes the win and helps his team gain ground for the Mixed Match Challenge. Will this be a preview of the future? Or will #Mahalicia turn things around? One thing is for sure, Mahal takes his frustrations out on Sunil. They go into the ring, and with Alicia cheering him on, Mahal roughs Sunil up more. Mahal calms himself, and forces Sunil to go along. They chant “Shanti~”, but will this partnership be anything but stable?

 

Six Woman Tag: The Bellas & Natayla VS The Riott Squad!

After Ruby, Sarah & Liv ruined the Queen of Harts answering Ronda Rousey’s open challenge, these three former Diva’s Champions team up to show the new generation how it’s done! Can Natty, Nikki & Brie win before the Squad #StartaRiott?


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Andrew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Red Stars Ratings & Review: Day 7 & 8

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We get another combined article because of the way Stardom likes to stagger matches in this tournament.

Day 7 actually didn’t have any Blue Star matches at all, so now the articles will be titled a little differently. I need that Rick and Morty clip about getting your shit together and direct it at Stardom booking. Oh wait, I can!

via GIPHY

 

So with that established, I guess we should look at the matches to come. Tam is eliminated but still has 3 matches to go. So she can go from a measly 2 to a respectable 8 if she can put a few wins together. Utami and Rachael however are still very much in the thick of things, and even face one another on Day 8.

Let’s find if anyone else gets eliminated, or if we continue to have the top half stay alive.

 

Day 7

Rachael Ellering vs Tam Nakano

Rachael’s promo is fake and over enthusiastic, whereas Tam’s was realistic and a little bubbleheaded. So it’s really hard for me to ever connect to Ellering’s promos, cause she’s not convincing and her matches thus far have been…umm…shall we say, sub par. So sadly Tam seems to be in the plucky underdog role this year and always getting close with not much of a pay off. So let’s she if she picks up a win to play spoiler, or continues to come up short.

I have no clue what it is about most of Rachael’s matches, but they are hard to watch. Rachael’s Pump Kick that she over uses never looks impactful, she doesn’t take or sell offense well, and it’s just a schlog. This match was no different.

Tam’s kicks are usually crisp, but they hit awkwardly and slowly. Tam even went for a bottom rope assisted Back Body Drop, but Rachael’s foot cause the middle rope and it just looked sloppy. Tam still sold her back, while Rachael focused it, so that was good.

We also see a decent barrage at the end of the match with some false finish rollups, Rachael’s Bossman Slam and then Ellering finally finishes this with the Fallaway Powerbomb.

Winner: Ellering via Fallaway Powerbomb

Rating: * 1/2

 

Kagetsu vs Kimber Lee

Kimber always has this oddly endearing way of cutting a promo. She talks fairly slowly (the way people do when you’re speaking a language people might not understand), which I find ridiculous, but she says all the correct babyface things. Kagetsu however has a skull mask on her head, pops up into frame and just starts talking casually about things. She just wants to end the match, eat some good food and head to Osaka. It’s casually dismissive of Kimber, but not cruel, perfect tweener kind of temperature.

Kagetsu takes the early advantage and does the cocky heel thing by throwing Kimber to the outside. Hazuki and Sumire get in a few cheap shots before rolling her back in. Kagetsu takes a drink of water and then we get her water spit/mist spot. Which I’m still not sure why that isn’t a disqualification, but I like it, so I’m not questioning it.

After the initial cockiness, Kimber takes advantage of Kagetsu taking her foot of the gas and puts together some offense. A few well placed kicks and suplexes lead to the Swanton Bomb attempt, but Kimber misses. After a little more struggle, Kagetsu eventually hits a Chokeslam and then enough of the Oedo Coaster to get the pinfall.

Not Kagetsu’s best work, but it was a fairly short match and Kimber isn’t positioned as a threat in this tournament.

Winner: Kagetsu via Oedo Coaster

Rating: *** 1/4

 

Day 8

Kimber Lee vs Tam Nakano

The opening promos are pretty low energy for both women. Kimber talks about being eliminated but fighting for herself and Tam tries her best to psych herself up. The lack of points is effecting both of these women. Who will get the ball moving to end on a high note?

Not a bad match, just fairly short. Given that all of the Grand Prix matches have a 15 minute time limit, even the longer ones are a little short. Both women utilize a fair amount of kicks and flexibility in their offense, so the mirror aspect was on full display.

Kimber does her split spot, Tam goes for a Buzzsaw Kick, but Kimber blocks it and tries to sweep the leg, but Tam does a split and they both start throwing forearms from the split position. Kimber hits a kick combination first, which drops Tam but only for two. In her opening promo Tam put some emphasis on not wanting to lose to kicks, since those are kinda her thing.

Maintaining advantage, Kimber goes to the top rope but Tam shows some fight. Eventually hitting the Avalanche Snapmare and going up for her Diving Idol Knee, for only a near fall. After a few more close calls, Kimber catches Tam coming off the ropes for a Brain Buster, pulls her to a corner and lands the Swanton Bomb for the pinfall.

Valiant efforts in all her matches, but Tam really can’t catch a break.

Winner: Kimber via Swanton Bomb

Rating: ** 1/4

 

Rachael Ellering vs Utami Hayayshishita

Well, ya know I’m usually overly disinterested in whatever Rachael’s been doing, but this match was a little different. She basically got to play the heel since she was being very tough on Utami and showing some personality while arguing with the referee. So when it comes down to Rachael’s involvement, it wasn’t the thing that brought the match down, for a change.

However, after the initial burst from Rachael and the playing up a few strikes on the outside, the match never kick it into another gear. It basically was treading water for the last half. Signature moves were hit, Utami landed her Sleeper Hold takeover into the Coquina Clutch, but Rachael got out of it. I’m guess the high point was supposed to be Rachael hitting a Superplex, but nothing felt important, desperate or impressive.

The match ends just as Utami cinches in an Inside Cradle, but the time expires. All of the draws in this tournament are a little off putting.

Winner: Time Limit Draw

Rating: ***

 

Red Stars Standings:

Kagetsu 4-1-1 (9 Points)
Rachael Ellering 4-1-1 (9 Points)
Jungle Kyona 3-1-2 (8 Points)
Utami Hayashishita 3-1-2 (8 Points)
Konami 3-3 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Kimber Lee 2-4 (4 Points) – Eliminated
Tam Nakano 1-5 (2 Points) – Eliminated
Natsuko Tora 1-5 (2 Points) – Eliminated

 

Thoughts:

You know Stardom, you know what happens when you make Tam look good but don’t give her wins? Nothing happens, it’s actually decent story telling and could set up for a big upset of Kagetsu on the Finals day. So as much as the fan in me hates watching Tam come up short (Naito fans around the world know that feel), her determination and the storyline wrinkles could pay off later.

As for the two days…meh? Nothing stood out and these really just felt like matches to set up for the final swerve. These kind of days happen in all tournaments, it just hit really hard in these four matches. I just really really hope Rachael doesn’t win Red Stars.


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Mathew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Results & Review: Day 8

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So tomorrow is the last day of the Five Star Grand Prix where we will have our final four matches and the final match on the same day but we got two matches left to cover before we go to the final day.

This show is for people that didn’t have their six matches before the final day and we’re using this to make sure they’re all caught up to speed and we can see who has a chance to make it and who doesn’t. I know it says day 8 in my headline but I had no matches on the seventh day, so I decided to just skip it and go where I have my actual matches. So who wins these two matches?

Let’s find out and…dive right in.

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Kelly Klein vs. Natsu Sumire

Review: It’s pretty clear that Sumire is pretty much eliminated and even if she does win this match and her last one, the fact that Mayu would hold the tiebreaker over her if she lost today and won tomorrow, but would still be out if Momo won on the final day since she’d have nine points while Sumire would still have eight if she won both and wouldn’t matter, but she has been one of the highlights of this tournament due to her personality flourishing a lot more here and the fans loving her more and more. Sumire in her pre-match interview seems to be more focused on her bust size and even talked about the supplements she’s been taking for a couple weeks now and is disappointed that there’s been no change in her results just yet and hopes to provide progress updates. Kelly is her opponent tonight and if Kelly does win here, she’ll be in the top spot of the standings and would have a strong chance of winning. Can Kelly win again or will Sumire ruin it for her?

Once again, Sumire made the match fun when it was needed due to it not being the best bout in the tournament here but they did work with what they got, even if it was as pretty standard as they come. Kelly did an okay job in the match as well and probably my least favorite outing of her in the Grand Prix and she just wanted to dominate Sumire. Sumire was mostly doing her antics that you would see in her matches with the false handshakes, cradling them up when they least expect it, and just whipping them. It looked like Kelly was going to go for the win here and when she ran the ropes, Kagetsu kicked her in the back to stun her long enough for Sumire to grab the Oedo Tai sign so she could hit Kelly with it, but Kelly moved out of the way causing the sign to bounce off the ropes and hit Sumire instead in which it gets turned around for Kelly to hit the Fireman’s Carry Slam for the victory and she’s now in first place.

Rating: Tony Schiavone

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani

Review: A win here is very crucial for Mayu Iwatani if she wants to tie it up with Kelly, otherwise she would be eliminated from the tournament and her opponent, Hazuki would take the top spot with nine points and potentially win the whole thing if things work out in her favor. The last time the both of them fought one on one was around February during the ROH Women of Honor tournament and Mayu would come out the winner of that match and Mayu wants to beat her again to show she’s on a whole different level now. Who will take the top spot of the standings, Mayu or Hazuki?

Hazuki is in my top 5 wrestlers of Stardom right now and this match here with Mayu just solidified my statement for this claim. This whole tournament, she has been one of the most consistent wrestlers in her matches with her sequences being on point, her moves are crisp, and how to handle a match lately has been outstanding that she should be under peoples radar. Hazuki right away was being aggressive with Mayu before the bell even rang when she attacked her from behind and kept rolling her up which failed, but she kept on the attack by throwing her around into chairs on the outside and even destroyed Mayu’s arm during the whole match and not holding back on her, I love this side of Hazuki.

This match is one of my favorites in my block next to Hazuki/Momo still being my favorite one, but this one was still pretty damn close with their chemistry in the ring together gave us a special match and it’s not even their last one for their block. They told a great story in the ring, executed everything almost flawlessly, seeing a more aggressive side of Hazuki in her previous two matches, and Mayu selling it all to make it look more dangerous than it probably is, but they were just on point with everything together. Hazuki was pulling out all the stops with having her in the Crossface, working on her arm, stiff Dropkicks and a Codebreaker, but it still wasn’t enough to take Mayu out as she hits the Dragon Suplex Hold and gets the victory to tie first place with Kelly Klein. After the match, she told the crowd that she was now in first place and hopes the crowd will still support her as she looks to win it all at the final.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Overall: Can’t really give it a fair assessment due to only having two matches with one being average and the other one being great, but the average of it was solid enough. I’m glad to see that all three of my picks are in the top 4 of potential winners and excited for the last day since it’s stacked.

Favorite Match: Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani

Score: 6/10

Blue Stars Standings:
Mayu Iwatani: 4-2 (8 Points)
Kelly Klein: 4-2 (8 Points)
Momo Watanabe: 3-2-1 (7 Points)
Hazuki: 3-2-1 (7 Points)
Nicole Savoy: 3-3 (6 Points)
Jamie Hayter: 2-4 (4 Points)
Saki Kashima: 2-4 (2 Points)
Natsu Sumire: 2-4 (4 Points)

Now that we have our final standings before the final show tomorrow, we see that our top 4 people that could still win this are Mayu Iwatani, Kelly Klein, Momo Watanabe, and Hazuki. We’re gonna break down the final card for tomorrow and see who has a real chance and how can it be done.

  • Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe
  • Hazuki vs. Natsu Sumire
  • Kelly Klein vs. Nicole Savoy
  • Saki Kashima vs. Jamie Hayter

Here is how these four can win.

Mayu Iwatani: Defeat Momo Watanabe and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein.

Momo Watanabe: Defeat Mayu Iwatani and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein.

Kelly Klein: Defeat Nicole Savoy

Hazuki: Defeat Nicole Savoy, Momo Watanabe defeats Mayu Iwatani, and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein

If Momo and Hazuki do win their matches and Kelly loses, these two will be in a tie and it’ll be interesting to see who gets the final spot since they did tie it up in their outing, interesting direction if that’s the case.


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