Lucha Underground, Season 4, Episode 1: “El Jefe”
It’s time to return to the Temple! A lot happened in Season 3, and a lot has changed in the time off. No more Prince Puma, but long live Pentagon Dark as THE Lucha Underground Champion! Who will step up to the Bone Collector’s throne? Which stars will return and what new stars will emerge to fight for honor and glory?
Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Lucha Underground Championship Aztec Warfare: Pentagon Dark wins and retains the Lucha Underground Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
El Rey reviews Lucha Underground Season 3!
Dario Cueto was in prison after Season 2, but he was bailed out by a higher and darker power. They gave him the Gauntlet of the Gods to put up as a prize. In the end, The Machine Called Cage won it. Cage grew stronger, but also grew more insane and violent. Cueto started to doubt he chose the right man, and his doubts were justified when Cage KILLED Councilman Delgado! But he had a back-up plan: have The Machine take on the Man of 1000 Deaths and the Death Machine in an Elimination Triple Threat for the Gauntlet. And in the end, Mil Muertes would win! Only for King Cuerno to return and snatch the prize away! The King of Hunters now holds the Gauntlet of the Gods, but will Muertes come back for revenge?
Meanwhile, The Mack, Killshot and Dante Fox would earn a shot at the Lucha Underground Trios Championships. The only problem is that Killshot and Dante Fox hate each other, stemming from Killshot leaving Fox behind in a war zone. However, fighting along side each other brought the brothers in arms together, and this new Trio WON! The Reptile Tribe is reeling, who will challenge The Mack, Killshot & Fox this season? And, Pentagon Dark, now independent from his master, Vampiro, vowed to become THE champion. He would first win the Gift of the Gods Championship, and use it to rob Prince Puma of both title AND LU career! Cueto felt he had won over his superiors, but no. They would leave him for dead, promising “new management” would take his place.
Dario Cueto IS dead!
El Jefe lies in a casket at his funeral. No one else bothers to show up, besides Agent Winter and a certain someone. “Us Cuetos were always better at making enemies than friends.” Antonio is all set, with full control of Lucha Underground. But one issue: ever since “those gangbangers” shot his son, the Temple cannot be used for the promotion. “As long as the sacred seal is in the ring, The Temple can be anywhere.” Antonio has a place. “This will be my new Temple.” Good, but remember. It’s just a cover. Don’t forget the true objective. Dario made many mistakes, but his father won’t repeat them.
Supposedly, Dario tried calling him for help. Is that true? Yes. How ironic, wanting help from the man who ordered his hit. “Dario was always the weak one.” That’s why Matanza is a god. Well, the roster awaits. “Have fun, and be ready”, because “our friend in the limo will be coming for war before you know it.” Daddy’s back, and he has the key to the Monster. What will Antonio Cueto do now that he’s in charge?
The NEW Temple opens.
Melissa Santos asks the audience in attendance stand for a moment of silence for Dario Cueto, and 10 ringings of the bell. Some fans cry, but “hold on!” The only thing colder than this ice warehouse is this crowd! The fans boo the raggedy Antonio Cueto as he limps to the ring. Antonio introduces himself to those who do not know him, and explains that he’s the new owner. “This is MY Temple!” And he knocks down his son’s picture! Fans boo him again. “Tonight, chances are, we will crown a new Lucha Underground Champion!” That gets fans to cheer again. Pentagon Dark will defend his title tonight! In a match that, despite what Dario said, is Antonio’s creation! Yes, it will be AZTEC WARFARE!! Fans really like that, because it’ll be NEXT.
Lucha Underground Championship Aztec Warfare!
Yes, one match with 20 luchadors, and it’s all for the title! Two wrestlers will start and compete to score a pinfall or submission elimination, but more competitors will be added as time goes on. Who will be the last luchador standing to hold up THE Lucha Underground Championship belt!?
Antonio personally asks Killshot and The Mack out to the ring first. They hold the three Trios Championship belts, but where is Dante Fox? Antonio makes sure they understand the Trios Champions themselves will be part of the Aztec Warfare match. All three of them! However, Antonio also notices Dante is MIA. Therefore, Mack and Killshot are entering first! Whichever luchador ends up #3, they’ll automatically replace Fox as their third partner! “Melissa, take it away.” Melissa makes the announcement and introductions, and the third man… SON OF HAVOC! Mack and Killshot don’t really like this, they just got on good terms with Fox. But the decision has been made, these three are now Trios Champions. And to get to know each other, they can beat the hell out of each other!
The match officially begins, and naturally it becomes 2v1 as Havoc fights off both Killshot and Mack. Havoc backs Mack into a corner then dumps Killshot out. Mack runs Havoc over, then speeds things up, and Havoc dropkicks Mack down. Killshot returns with the “Get Over Here!” then covers, TWO. The countdown begins, and #4 is… Joey Ryan! The Sleazy One returns to the Temple, chest hair and lollipop included. Joey enters the ring and stares down with Mack and Killshot. He pulls out handcuffs! Joey is doing what he did in the past: he cuffs himself to a rope so that no one can pin him. But then Mack just throws hands on his greasy body! Killshot whips Mack in for the splash, but we get #5: Mr. Pectacular, Jessie Godderz! The former Impact World Tag Team Champion makes his LU debut!
Killshot and Mack wait for Jessie to enter, but Havoc returns to get dropkick’d down! Jessie is all fired up, but Killshot boots him right down! Havoc adds a handspring back elbow, then Mack adds a BIG hip attack senton! But then Killshot rolls up his pal! Killshot ELIMINATES The Mack!! But all is fair in love and Aztec Warfare, so hopefully Mack doesn’t stay mad long. #6 comes in, and it’s the Lucha Underground Champion himself, PENTAGON DARK! The Bone Collector is already in the match this early, but he welcomes that because he has #CeroMiedo! Pentagon heads down the stairs while we go to break.
Lucha Underground returns, and Pentagon rallies as he Slingblades Havoc, Killshot and Jessie Godderz in a row. Joey Ryan begs for mercy, but Pentagon looks to the fans. Joey un-cuffs himself, and sucker punches Pentagon! It doesn’t do a thing, so Joey goes back to begging for mercy. Pentagon hits him with a Package Piledriver! Cover, Pentagon ELIMINATES Joey Ryan! Joey slides out while Havoc comes in. Havoc goes after Pentagon, then Killshot comes in to roll Havoc! TWO, and Pentagon gives Killshot a Package Piledriver! Havoc hits the Shooting Star, cover, Havoc ELIMINATES Killshot! Seems the Trios Champions are far from friends. #7 enters, it’s TOMMY DREAMER!! The House of Hardcore Soldier is in The Temple! And he’s ready for a fight!
Dreamer brings in some friends, aka chairs, kendo sticks, trash cans, and more. Jessie goes after Pentagon but Pentagon kicks him away. Pentagon runs and SUPERKICKS Jessie, to then cover. While Dreamer SMACKS Havoc with a cookie sheet, Pentagon ELIMINATES Mr. Pectacular. Dreamer grabs a kendo stick and fans are going wild for the ECW Original. Pentagon stares down with Dreamer and takes off his glove to properly introduce Dreamer to #CeroMiedo. Dreamer swings, Pentagon dodges, but Dreamer blocks to then kendo SMACK Pentagon on the leg! But now we get #8: Mariposa! The Monarch of the Moth Tribe returns while Pentagon smacks away on Dreamer.
Mari takes her time entering while Pentagon hops up top. Dreamer trips him up and puts him in the Tree of Woe, then he fetches a trash can. Dreamer places the can in front of Pentagon, but Mari is lurking. He tells her to wait, as he hits the basement dropkick on Pentagon! Mari waited, then she clobbers him! She SMACK SMACKS SMACKS away on both Dreamer and Pentagon with the kendo stick, but Havoc returns. Havoc gets a jab and a SMACK, then more SMACKS. Dreamer slides out while Pentagon gets up. Pentagon aims at Dreamer and slingshots, only for Dreamer to SMACK him out of the air with another kendo stick.
Dreamer tells fans to clear out while Mari throws Havoc. Havoc handsprings back to hit Mari with a lethal cutter! Dreamer fights with Pentagon on the stairs, Havoc ELIMINATES Mariposa! The Moth didn’t last long, did she? Dreamer meanwhile pours out thumbtacks! He drags Pentagon over, but Pentagon resists the suplex. Pentagon boots Dreamer, then SPEARS him onto the tacks! The Believers lose their minds over that madness, but Pentagon just puts Dreamer in the ring. Pentagon stands up, for the double stomps! Pentagon ELIMINATES Dreamer just as we get #9: Vinnie Massaro! The Italian Meatball is here, and his pizza just arrived! Vinnie gives a thumbs up, but the pizza guy wants a tip. Here’s a tip: buzz off.
Fans sing to Vinnie, “Hey~ we want some pizza~!” But Vinnie is getting into the ring and takes off the robe. He grabs himself a slice, and even offers some to Pentagon. Pentagon instead gives Vinnie #CeroMiedo, shoves that slice in his mouth, and SUPERKICKS it down his throat! Pentagon then grabs the pizza box, sets the pizza down, Package Piledriver on the pizza! Cover, Pentagon ELIMINATES Vinnie! Just in time for #10: Hernandez! Super-Mex returns to the Temple. And he swaggers down to the ring while Havoc and Pentagon fight. The pizza guy checks on Vinnie, but mostly to see if there’s money in his wallet.
Hernandez stands toe to toe with Pentagon, #CeroMiedo meeting 100% attitude. Hernandez SLAPS Pentagon down to the mat. But Pentagon gets up, and mule kicks Hernandez down! Pentagon then puts Hernandez in the Dark Armbar, and… SNAP goes his arm! Fans love it, Pentagon covers, and ELIMINATES Hernandez! Good-bye again, Super-Mex. Pentagon and Havoc go at it, wheelbarrow roll through to double stomps from Havoc to Pentagon. Cover, TWO! Pentagon runs, Havoc dodges but his handspring goes into the backstabber! Cover, Pentagon ELIMINATES Havoc! At least now Havoc can work on his team building skills with Killshot and Mack.
It’s time for #11: Johnny Mundo! Before Pentagon robbed Prince Puma, it was Johnny Mundo who held the LU Championship, and now he wants that belt back. #CeroMiedo goes to #SlamTown after the break.
Lucha Underground returns and Mundo throws hands while also pokes thumbs into Pentagon’s face. Mundo brings Pentagon up but Pentagon sharply chops Mundo! Fans want “Otra! Otra!” but Pentagon whips Mundo corner to corner instead. Mundo slips out to the apron and slides under, then out again to roundhouse Pentagon away. Mundo climbs while Pentagon goes down. He jumps, but has to bail out as Pentagon evades. Pentagon runs at Mundo, but into the standing Spanish Fly! Cover, TWO, and we get #12: no one? Well, the word is that it was Angelico, but he didn’t come out from the freezer. Mundo wants to know what’s going on, but here comes RICKY Mundo. Don’t forget, his birth name is Ricky Mantel, but he changed it to Ricky Mundo to be more like his hero. Though, that creepy doll…
Johnny Mundo brings Pentagon up and around, but Pentagon reverses into a backstabber! Ricky walks down the steps and talks to the doll, while Pentagon CHOPS Mundo. Ricky sets the doll down, then helps out his hero as he clubs Pentagon. Worldwide Underground works together to mug the champion, then coordinate for the powerslam neckbreaker. Johnny covers, TWO. Ricky ignores all that as he seems to be in a trance with his little friend in the corner… Johnny gets his attention, the Mundos need to work together. But then Ricky turns on Johnny! Roll up, TWO, and now Johnny is furious at his protege. Ricky apologizes, the doll said to do it. The doll? Forget that, Moonlight Drive! Cover, Johnny ELIMINATES Ricky! #13 comes out now, and it’s… Fenix! The Triple Crown Champion, the Bird of War, is here!
Fenix heads right to the ring but Mundo slips out with a grin. Pentagon turns Fenix around, but Fenix is ready with the wristlock and chop. Fenix uses Pentagon for balance as he jumps onto the ropes, but Mundo chops him! Fenix rebounds to enziguri Mundo and arm-drag Pentagon! Only Fenix stands, as he runs in at Mundo. Mundo boots him away, then double wristlock, but Fenix pushes back to jump up. Fenix jumps and jumps, but Mundo jumps too, only for Fenix to throw him with a SUPER-rana! Mundo rolls all the way out, but fans fire up as Fenix FLIES!
Fenix wipes out Mundo and Pentagon! He brings Mundo up to throw him into railing, then brings up Pentagon into the ring. Fenix climbs up while out comes #14: Jeremiah Crane! The Lucha Death Machine emerges and heads for the ring. Fenix is ready, but Crane grabs himself a chair. Crane jabs into Fenix, then sits the chair down. “What goes up, must come down!” But Fenix fights out of the suplex to then turn the tables, “Animo!” But Crane counters to Falcon Arrow Fenix on the chair! Cover, TWO, and out comes #15: MIL MUERTES! And as always, Catrina is by his side, power stone in hand.
There is no love lost between the lovers of the Lady of Death, as they glare at each other the entire time Muertes heads down. Crane blows a kiss to his ex, then jabs a chair into Muertes’ face! But Muertes doesn’t budge. Muertes grabs and CHOKE SLAMS Crane! Pentagon returns but he gets clothesline’d, as do Fenix and Mundo. Muertes keeps going, and even SPEARS Fenix and Mundo in turn. Muertes powers up on the Aztec seal while fans are thunderous for him. Mundo stands, and Muertes grabs him with both hands, but Crane kicks out Muertes’ leg. SUPERKICK from Pentagon, bicycle kick from Crane, and Flying Chuck from Mundo! Muertes goes down, but Crane brings him up to feed to Fenix’s roundhouse in the corner. Fenix then springboards to DOUBLE STOMP Muertes!
Cover, Fenix ELIMINATES Muertes! Catrina is beside herself, then storms off as #16 enters. It’s Kobra Moon! No, wait, it’s her new knight of the Reptile tribe: DAGA! Daga heads down to fight on behalf of his Queen, and goes right for Fenix! Fenix and Daga speed things up, each going for tilt-o-whirl backbreakers only for the other to slip out of them. Daga hits a cutter! Mundo returns but Daga gets him with a suplex backbreaker. Daga runs and gives Mundo a blasting dropkick. Crane returns to throw Daga out, then we get #17: Chavo Guerrero Jr!? Dario Cueto banned Chavito back when he lost to Rey Mysterio, but it seems Antonio Cueto lifted that ban.
Chavo heads down and fans fire up for the lucha legend, and Crane is ready. Crane gives a thumbs down, but Pentagon says #CeroMiedo! Package Piledriver! Pentagon ELIMINATES Crane, but Chavo goes right at the champ with body shots. Chavo unloads, but Fenix comes in and pulls Chavo off Pentagon. Chavo counters with a knee, then suplexes Fenix up for the brainbuster. Cover, Chavo ELIMINATES Fenix?! Don’t call it an upset, but it is still surprising. Chavo goes right after Pentagon again, then whips him corner to corner. Pentagon reverses but Chavo dodges, and Pentagon hits the post. Pentagon tumbles out, and Chavo slingshots out onto him! Chavo fires up while Mundo and Daga are in the ring.
Mundo whips Daga corner to corner but Daga sticks out boots. Mundo blocks, then spins him to kick him. With Daga still on the ropes, Mundo runs and gives Daga a sliding German Suplex while also shoving Kobra Moon! Mundo climbs back up, and gives Daga Fin Del Mundo! Cover, Mundo ELIMINATES Daga while we get #18: King Cuerno! The King of Hunters is here and walks down to the ring while Chavo stomps a mudhole into Mundo. Pentagon sees Cuerno and goes right for him, but gets a roundhouse for it. Cuerno climbs up, but Chavo and Mundo head for him. Cuerno leaps and hits Mundo with a crossbody!
Chavo saved himself by ducking under, and lets Mundo go after Cuerno first. Cuerno dodges Mundo to give Chavo the tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Mundo runs back in, but into a big knee strike from Cuerno. Cuerno ducks Pentagon to then dropkick Pentagon down. Pentagon ends up out of the ring, and fans know what Cuerno has planned. Cuerno builds speed, for the Hunter’s Arrow DIVE! Direct hit, but now we get #19: Dragon Azteca Jr! The young dragon rises after being broken multiple ways, and he heads for the ring.
Azteca hotshots Chavo, then springboards at Mundo for the crossbody. He keeps moving, tilt-o-whirl satellite DDT! Azteca sees Pentagon, builds speed from corner to corner, and FLIES out onto Pentagon over the post! Azteca takes out Pentagon and the Temple is thunderous. But Kobra Moon returns, and summons VIBORA! It’s the infamous Luchasaurus, and though he’s not an official entrant, he goes after Mundo! He grabs Mundo for the Kaiju Choke Slam! Kobra grins, and Vibora gives Mundo the knee trigger while we get #20, the final entrant: Marty “The Moth” Martinez! The madman and “Creepy Bastard!” of the Moth Tribe returns, hoping to redeem his family from Mari’s failure.
Meanwhile, Kobra brings Mundo up for Vibora to scoop him, into a Tombstone piledriver! Marty marches his way down while the Reptiles leave him a present. Marty covers, and ELIMINATES Mundo! The Moth flaps his wings as Cuerno, Pentagon and Chavo recover, and we go to break.
Lucha Underground once more, and Cuerno dropkicks Marty out of the ring. Cuerno builds speed, but Chavo trips him up! Chavo drags Cuerno out, but backs down from the bigger man. Dragon Azteca dropkicks Cuerno down, then rallies the fans as he builds speed. But Chavo intercepts Azteca’s flight with a flying chair! Azteca goes down, and Chavo climbs up, but Cuerno shoves Chavo off the top! Chavo crashes and burns while Cuerno hits the Frog Splash on Azteca. Cover, Cuerno ELIMINATES Azteca! Cuerno, Chavo, Marty and Pentagon are your Final Four, and all four men take a corner to stare down with the rest.
Cuerno eggs Chavo on, and Chavo takes the bait. Chavo runs in, but into a roundhouse! Marty goes after Pentagon with fast hands. Cuerno climbs, but he has to leap over Marty. Pentagon enziguris Marty right out of the ring! Pentagon blocks and counters Cuerno, then mule kicks the leg out. He brings Cuerno up, and #CeroMiedo, for the springboard, but into Cuerno’s knee strike! Cuerno drags Pentagon back up into the fireman’s carry. He brings him to the seal, but Chavo kicks Cuerno in the huevos! Chavo drags Cuerno up and around, for the Gory Bomb! Cover, Chavo ELIMINATES Cuerno! Fans boo but Chavo is legitimately a Top Three finalist in Aztec Warfare.
Chavo and Pentagon stare down, then speed up. Pentagon fakes the Superkick to mule kick Chavo’s leg out, then runs to SUPERKICK his face! Cover, Pentagon ELIMINATES Chavo! But Marty is lurking nearby. He fires himself up, his manic madness the foil to Pentagon’s sinister sadism. Pentagon takes his other glove and CHOPS Marty hard! But Marty grins, and gives away furious forearms. Marty runs, but into a SUPERKICK! He still stands, but he’s wobbly. Pentagon fires up, runs, but into the bicycle kick! Both men are dazed, but Marty runs and Pentagon follows. Marty dodges, and lifts Pentagon, fireman’s carry to TKO! Cover, TWO! And Marty is already frustrated. Fans are thunderous for “Cero Miedo!” while the champion stirs.
Marty takes aim from a corner, his madness reaching a fever pitch. He runs at Pentagon, CURB STOMP! Cover, TWO!! And Marty is shocked. Fans rally for Pentagon while Marty stalks him to a corner. Marty drags Pentagon up and whips him corner to corner. Marty follows but Pentagon goes up and over, for the backstabber! Pentagon covers, TWO! And now Pentagon is a bit surprised. Fans rally up again, and Pentagon kicks Marty sharply. Marty sits up, but Pentagon reminds him #CeroMiedo. Marty bits Pentagon’s fingers! Then he kicks Pentagon low, and prepares the underhook, for Butterfly’s Wings! Cover, TWO!! Marty knows he was close, but fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” and “This is Awesome!”
Marty waits for Pentagon as Pentagon drags himself up. He runs in corner to corner, and hits the splash. But then Pentagon boots Marty down! Pentagon hops up, flipping Destroyer piledriver! Then, Package Piledriver! Cover, Pentagon wins!!
Winner: Pentagon Dark, by pinfall; still Lucha Underground Champion
In a surprise opener to the season, and with no real preparation, the Dark Luchador succeeds in retaining his title in the most grueling match around. Fans chant for the triumphant Pentagon, but he’s not done yet! Pentagon drags Marty out to the center, puts him in the Dark Armbar, and SNAP goes the arm! Marty writhes and shouts in pain, but Antonio comes out to congratulate the champion. “After watching you suffer in this match, Dario would’ve probably made you defend your title against another competitor, right here right now.” But Antonio is much better than his son ever was. Next week, Pentagon will be in an even more violent match than this! It will be another Lucha Underground Championship defense against… “My only son,” The Monster, Matanza Cueto!! Will Pentagon still have #CeroMiedo after facing the Wrath of the Gods?!
What a great season premiere! Obviously the actor who was Dario Cueto is just made up like he’s in Undercover Boss to be Antonio Cueto, but pro-wrestling has always been about suspension of disbelief, especially here in Lucha Underground. Antonio already shows he’s more levelheaded than Dario, as he doesn’t waste any time doing what all great wrestling authority figures do. First, he more or less screws out Dante Fox by not having him in Aztec Warfare, nor letting him have a chance at staying Trios Champion. In reality, there might have been contract things, but in kayfabe this is probably going to be something never really resolved. Second, he cuts the talk and gets to the action with the single best match in Lucha Underground.
This one match went all night and it was amazing with all the returns, debuts and story going into it. That pizza guy taking money from Vinnie was a nice touch, too. Really great to see a good number of talent return, but don’t worry if someone didn’t show up here. Other stars like Drago, Aerostar and Sexy Star are sure to show up next week and the weeks after that. And it is clear the relationship of Lucha Underground and Impact Wrestling is going to influence both sides, as “Mr. Pectacular” makes his debut while crossover wrestlers like Hernandez, Crane/Callihan and Cuerno/Phantasma are here. I was really surprised to see Dreamer, I hope he shows up more. And lastly, Antonio makes sure to hype up next week, Matanza VS Pentagon itself could go all night if they wanted, as it could go either way.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/21)
And you thought last week was big!
205 Live doubles down on historic matches!
Not only are two 205 Live OG taking on a BRUTAL combination in Thatcher & Ciampa, but the WOMEN’S Dusty Cup comes to the purple ‘n’ orange!
- Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade; The Way wins and advances.
- Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa; Thatcher & Ciampa win and advance.
PLAY BY PLAY
205 Live explains how a certain Dusty Cup match came to be.
It was on NXT that Ashante “Thee” Adonis was in a match with the cruel Karrion Kross. Kross showed no mercy to Adonis as he hit him with TWO Doomsday Saido Suplexes and the blindside forearm smash. Then he would show no mercy to Adonis’ tag partner, Desmond Troy, by wrapping him up in the Krossjacket submission! The damage done was too severe for either man to compete tonight, and now they’re OUT of the Dusty Rhodes Classic! However, there is a new team that has been formed.
The Professor of Pain and the Psycho Killer put each other through torture inside the Fight Pit, and in the end, they found respect for each other. They’re now a killer combination and having their tag team debut TONIGHT, in the tag team tournament! Will they put the Premier Athlete and Persian Lion through similar suffering, all for a shot at history and the NXT Tag Team Championships?
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade!
How is this for history? 205 Live has its first-ever women’s match, and it is for this historic women’s tag team tournament! But will it be even more historic for the two debuting superstars? Or will Candice & Indi Wrestling dominate where the boys, Johnny & Austin, failed?
The teams sort out, Indi starts against Jade and the two circle. They tie up, go around, and Indi throws Jade down. Indi says Jade is NOT #Impressive, but Jade hits back with body shots! Indi knees low, whips Jade to a corner but Jade dodges! Jade tags Gigi and Gigi dodges Indi for a BOOT! Jade BOOTS Indi, then Gigi runs in to spin and ROCK Indi with a forearm! Indi hits back, drags Gigi over and tags in Candice. Candice stomps Gigi down, brings her up and through the ropes to choke her. The ref counts, Candice lets off at 4 to then CLUB Gigi down. Candice stomps Gigi, taunts Jade, but misses the leg drop!
Gigi rams Candice to the corner, tags in Jade, and Jade runs corner to corner to SHINING WIZARD! Jade brings Candice around but Indi is in the way of her run. Candice CLOBBERS Jade then covers, ONE! Candice hammers away on Jade, dribbles her off the mat, and fans boo as Candice drags Jade up with a chinlock. Candice has a neck wrench, fans chant “You Still Suck!” but Jade fights her way up. Candice CLUBS Jade, whips her to the Way’s corner, then runs in for a back body block! Indi tags in and she taunts Gigi before hitting Jade with a forearm! Indi throws Jade down to cover, TWO!
Indi keeps on Jade with a cravat for the neck crank. Jade fights up, fans rally and Jade throws body shots. Jade whips, Indi reverses and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps her cool, tags Candice, and Candice wrenches Jade to snapmare and chinlock. Candice digs her knee in but Jade endures. Fans rally, Jade fights up, throws more body shots, then breaks free to uppercut! Jade runs but wobbles, but she elbows Candice again! Jade baits Candice into her own corner, dodges, but Candice gets Jade’s leg! Jade kicks Candice away, hot tags to Indi and Gigi! Gigi didges, fires off on Indi, KICKS away on the leg, then kicks that leg out! BUZZSAW!
Gigi DECKS Candice for good measure before she BOOTS Indi down! Cover, TWO! Gigi snarls as she drags Indi up and clubs her on the back. Tag to Jade, they bring Indi around together to double suplex but Indi fights it off! Indi BOOTS Jade, kicks Gigi and reels Gigi in for a suplex of her own! Indi holds Gigi up for a count of 10 before the SLAM! Gigi bails out so Indi tags Candice. Candice runs into Jade’s roll up, TWO! Jade Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! Ghost pin, TWO!! Candice flounders up but gets around Jade to roll her up, TWO!! Indi tags in and kicks Jade to then back suplex SLAM! Cover, The Way wins!
Winners: The Way, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
Candice and Indi are making their way into the semifinals! But will Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter be in the way of The Way making history?
Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa!
The Premier Athlete and Persian Lion have been here since day one of 205 Live, and were looking strong going into this match when it was against Adonis & Troy. But again, it has only been a couple days since NXT, are the Professor of Pain and Psycho Killer in any shape to face them on their home turf?
The teams sort out and Nese and Daivari seem to laugh at the two former enemies trying to be a team now. Daivari starts with Thatcher, they tie up and Daivari goes after an arm. Thatcher pries him off of that with a chinlock and then grinds into a headlock. Thatcher throws Daivari down, pulls on his head, but Daivari tries to pull hair. Thatcher just smiles that jagged tooth grin as he gets back up and goes after Daivari’s arm! Thatcher wrangles Daivari with a hammerlock, traps it with his legs then gets Daivari’s legs. Thatcher pulls Daivari into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Daivari endures, it becomes a cover, TWO!
Thatcher grabs at Daivari right away and has a facelock. Daivari endures, gets around, waistlocks, but Thatcher pries at the arm. Daivari tags Nese in, Nese rolls Thatcher up, TWO! Thatcher trips Nese and has the foot for a toe ‘n’ ankle. He shifts to a heel hook, then gets the arm but Nese scrambles around. Ciampa wants in, so Thatcher tags him in! Fans cheer as Ciampa wrenches Nese’s arm and drags him down. Nese resists the Fujiwara but Ciampa wrenches through again to a wristlock. Nese chinbars to get the arm, but Ciampa slips through to headlock. Nese throws Ciampa off but Ciampa headlocks and throws Nese down! Fans cheer as Ciampa grinds Nese into the mat.
Nese fights up, gets free to waistlock but Ciampa switches. Nese bucks Ciampa off, runs in and trips Ciampa up to go after the leg! Ciampa kicks Nese away, facelocks Nese in return and grinds him down. Fans rally, Nese moves around, and Nese powers Ciampa to the corner. Nese puts the leg on the rope, tags in Daivari, but Ciampa fights out with forearms and elbows! Ciampa DECKS Daivari but Nese trips him up! The ref reprimands but Daivari drags Nese to the corner to SLAM the leg into the post! And then he SLAMS the other leg! Thatcher storms over as Daivari keeps on the legs but the ref shouts at everyone to get back to their corners.
Daivari puts Ciampa in, drops elbows on the leg then stomps it, then drags Ciampa from Thatcher. Daivari drops more elbows, stomps the leg more, then clamps onto the leg to step through, for a Figure Four! Ciampa endures, Thatcher coaches him and the fans rally up! Ciampa drags himself and Daivari over but Nese gets in to hit Thatcher! The ref has to keep Thatcher back but Nese drags Daivari and Ciampa away! Nese tags in to stomp away on Ciampa, and Daivari finally lets Ciampa out of the hold. Fans boo and jeer while Nese flexes. Nese drags Ciampa over, tags in Daivari, and they split the wishbone on Ciampa!
Nese runs at Thatcher but Thatcher DECKS him first! Daivari has Ciampa’s leg but Ciampa enziguris back! Tag to Thatcher! Thatcher clinches Daivari for a BELLY2BELLY! Then a BELLYBELLY for Nese! EuroUppers for both Cruiserweights back and forth! Nese runs back in but Thatcher has the arm! Thatcher clamps on but has to stop Daivari first. HEEL HOOK! Nese pulls Thatcher’s ears and HOTSHOT BULLDOGS! Thatcher is down, Nese tags in, and Nese hurries to PREMIER TRIANGLE MOONSAULT! Tag back to Daivari and Daivari climbs up, LION SPLASH! Cover, but Ciampa breaks it!
Fans fire up as Ciampa returns to his corner. Daivari and Thatcher crawl, Nese tags in first! Thatcher kicks Nese away, and tags Ciampa back in! Ciampa rallies on Nese and Daivari with forearms and CHOPS! Ciampa CHOPS Daivari again but Nese dropkicks the bad leg out! Nese and Daivari both go up, DOUBLE- DECKED! Nese gets a knee, Daivari gets a forearm! Thatcher and Ciampa glare at each other, Ciampa gives Nese WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Ciampa & Thatcher win!!
Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
These two were tearing each other apart on NXT, but they’re standing together on 205 Live! Will Ciampa and Thatcher tear their way through the tournament to put their names on the Dusty Cup?
A good episode, though with some obvious results. While Gigi Dolin (Priscilla Kelly) and Cora Jade (Elayna Black) are very good wrestlers, they weren’t going to beat The Way, and it says a lot that Indi got the pin for this one. Candice & Indi are among the favorites to win the tournament, and I’m betting on a stellar match between them and KC Squared, Catanzaro & Carter. Gigi & Jade still made a good combination, and their aesthetics match up well, I hope they stick together.
Ciampa & Thatcher becoming a team after their Fight Pit match is a pretty cool way to follow up, and naturally they were going to beat the first team they faced. The OG had good combinations, but Nese and Daivari have been perennial jobbers to the stars even before this. Thatcher & Ciampa take on Undisputed Era next and that is going to be a great match that could go either way. Given the history between Undisputed Era and the current tag team champions, Lorcan & Burch, I give it 51-49, UE wins so that they can get a shot at the champions.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/22/21)
Will Apollo be able to #ThinkBig and be a champion?
Big time challenges go down on SmackDown!
SmackDown goes big as Big E takes on Apollo Crews’ rematch challenge, and Bayley takes on Bianca Belair in the ULTIMATE obstacle course challenge!
- Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay; Charlotte & Asuka win.
- Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler; Cesaro wins.
- Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella; Sasha wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Crews wins by disqualification, Big E retains the title.
- Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair; Bianca wins.
- Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin; Corbin wins.
- Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns; No Contest.
PLAY BY PLAY
Roman Reigns heads to the ring!
The Head of the Table, with Special Counsel, Paul Heyman, is back to open SmackDown, but no Jey Uso? Roman and Heyman are not in a good mood after the bait ‘n’ switch Adam Pearce pulled over on them with Kevin Owens. Heyman hands Roman a mic as fans boo and give thumbs down on their screens. “So KO said he was going to deliver a message today, huh?” Or is he not? No, we’re not going to see Kevin Owens tonight because Roman said so. Now let’s talk about last week and “card subject to change.” Real clever. A lot of people made comments about Pearce getting one past them, outsmarted them.
But let’s make this clear: “That way of thinking is beneath me.” Card subject to change is how losers think. It’s how people who are scared to come to work think. Roman doesn’t miss appearances, he puts in work! Legitimately! It took Roman’ sown health being at risk during a pandemic to keep him away. So he never wants to hear anyone say anything about him missing appearances. But what if Roma started thinking like “a puss” like Pearce, talking about his elbow and shoulder hurting. No one would doubt it because of the work Roman puts in! Roman’s knees hurt, and so does his neck. But what else? His ankles have been bad since college. And his back… Heyman says just the weight of it all is making Roman’s back hurt, because Roman’s been carrying the WWE for YEARS!
But what if Roman’s back continues to hurt until the Royal Rumble? What if he can’t make it because of that? Pearce walks out and says this is going too far. Heyman says Pearce is being rude not even addressing Roman. Pearce says this is spiraling out of control, and Roman can’t believe he wants to talk about control. We know who is in control. But what’s out of control is that Pearce is going against Roman. That Pearce is doing a favor and putting Kevin back into the Universal title picture. And the fact that Pearce is favoring Kevin! This isn’t even really a favor. Pearce is Kevin’s BITCH! And he’s also Roman’s bitch.
But what Roman really can’t stand right now, is Pearce having the audacity coming out here and complaining about how his body feels. Pearce hasn’t been in a match for six YEARS, but he’s talking about how his body hurts. Pearce is next to the thoroughbred of the WWE, a man who does 52 weeks a year, multiple days a week! Roman never complained, never stopped and busts his ass for this place, and that is why Roman is who Roman is! And Pearce is going to complain, whine, MOAN about stuff? “No wonder you never made it to the WWE.” Heyman chuckles at that one.
Pearce asks if this is funny to Heyman. It is. Pearce can take it from Roman but he won’t take it from Heyman. Oh? Well that’s disrespectful. Disrespecting Heyman is disrespecting Roman. Heyman, straighten Pearce out. Heyman is given the mic to speak. Pearce disrespected the Tribal Chief and his family. Heyman’s known his family 15 years. Roman’s family would not be friends with someone who isn’t tough! Do you know what it is like to be a friend of the Anoa’i family? Everyone buys into Heyman’s persona, that he’s “impotent as a man.” Heyman’s from New York, he whoop yo’ ASS for disrespecting the chief. Wanna stare Heyman down?
Heyman may not be a lawyer but he’s from a synagogue full of them. In Florida, a verbal contract is BINDING. So if you want something big for the main event, how about this? Pearce VS PAUL HEYMAN! What?! Heyman offers a handshake, and Pearce TAKES IT! The challenge is accepted!! Pearce will have his first match in six years, against Paul E. Dangerously! Roman says at the end of the night, Pearce gets his ass kicked. #BelieveThat.
Sami Zayn heads to the ring!
He has a sign with #JusticeForSami on it, and he brings out cuffs?! Sami is going to cuff himself to the ringside barriers as a form of protest because he is not part of tonight’s Intercontinental Championship! How will WWE officials respond to Sami’s sudden SmackDown sit-in?
SmackDown returns and Sami claims he is being victimized, but he will enter the Royal Rumble to counter it! Sami says he had Apollo Crews beat, though with hands somehow on Apollo’s tights. But then Apollo does the same thing back to him and Apollo wins?! That is not fair! But then the Empress of Tomorrow interrupts Sami with her entrance, followed by The Queen’s! The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions are here!
Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS The Riott Squad w/ Billie Kay!
The Queens of Tomorrow have a lot going on as individuals on Raw, but they return to SmackDown to focus on their teamwork! Meanwhile, Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott haven’t been able to focus with the Femme Fatale frantically interfering. Will Billie be a burden as the Squad has a chance at earning a championship opportunity?
As the teams sort out, Natalya and Tamina are watching from backstage. The bell rings as Charlotte and Ruby start. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Charlotte pushes Ruby to ropes. Ruby pushes back but Charlotte headlocks and throws Ruby down. Ruby keeps her shoulders up, fights to her feet, but Asuka tags in. Charlotte snapmares Ruby, Asuka runs Ruby over with a shoulder! Asuka headlocks Ruby, Ruby fights up but Charlotte tags back in. The Queens of Tomorrow hand Ruby off and Charlotte bumps Ruby off buckles! Charlotte digs her boot into Ruby’s head but lets off at 4. Ruby flounders, Charlotte taunts her to reach for Liv, then CLUBS her down.
Charlotte looms over Ruby, drags her up and whips her to a corner hard! Ruby falls over, Billie protests on the apron but Charlotte runs her off. Ruby rushes at Charlotte but into an elbow! Liv tags in as Billie shouts at Charlotte! Ruby rushes Charlotte but is thrown out, and Charlotte grabs at Billie! Liv apron dropkicks Charlotte back in! Liv hurries up top and leaps to crossbody! Cover, TWO! Billie can’t believe she’s being helpful as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns again and Charlotte blocks a buckle bump to give a buckle bump! Charlotte stomps away on Liv, backs off as the ref counts, and lets out a “WOO~!” Fans clap on their screens, Charlotte scoops Liv but Liv slips out. Liv runs, Ruby tags in, Liv huricanranas and Ruby runs in to tilt-o-whirl! Charlotte blocks the headscissors but Ruby fires off forearms! Ruby goes up and gives Charlotte DEADLY NIGHTSHADE! Cover, TWO! Tag to Liv, Sami is still filming his protest, and the Squad double SLAMS Charlotte down! Cover, ONE! Liv tags Ruby back in, they stomp away on Charlotte in a corner, and then tag again.
Ruby and Liv bring Charlotte out, double whip but charlotte stops herself to kick and forearm and CHOP! Charlotte CHOPS away, throws Ruby into buckles then kicks Liv low! EXPLODER! And kip up! Charlotte fires up but misses Liv in the corner. Liv runs into the backbreaker and BUCKLE SHOT! Tag to Asuka, SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, Ruby breaks it! Ruby runs but into Charlotte’s BOOT! Liv dropkicks Charlotte and enziguris Asuka! But Asuka has the leg for an ANKLE LOCK! Liv tries to roll through but gets caught to a trapped-leg GERMAN SUPLEX! Asuka kicks but misses, Liv rolls her to swing. Asuka blocks, reels Liv in, but Ruby tags!
Asuka lets Liv go to get Ruby, but Billie distracts! The O’Conner roll is rolled over but Billie argues too long! That costs Ruby, she has to kick Asuka! Liv saves Ruby from the hip attack but falls on Billie! Ruby SUPERKICKS but Asuka counters the Riott Kick to the pop-up KNEE! Asuka runs, tags Charlotte, CODE BREAKER to NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, the champions win!
Winners: Charlotte Flair & Asuka, by pinfall
Billie went from helping to hindering the Squad again! Will this partnership fall apart before Billie’s very eyes?
Billie finds the Squad backstage.
She apologizes for, for… For what, Billie? Stopping Ruby from pinning Asuka? Messing this opportunity up for them?! Yeah… Well for someone who doesn’t mean to, she’s pretty good at it. Maybe that should be put on the resume. Well, all the great teams have overcome obstacles! Billie has good news, though. She talked to Sonya Deville and the Squad is in the Women’s Rumble match! They can practice throwing Billie out over the ropes! Billie can pretend to be Bianca or Mella! No, there is no “us” anymore. The Squad works better when it’s just Ruby and Liv. Sorry. Will Billie ever catch a break?
Daniel Bryan is here!
And he goes past Sami’s new sign, where SAMI is an acronym: Stand Against Moral Injustice. Clever. Bryan goes to the ring and fans join in the “YES!” fingers on their screens. Bryan says a week from this Sunday is one of the most unique and historic traditions in the WWE, the Royal Rumble match. And even saying that, this time of year, a chill goes down Bryan’s spine. It’s a little hard to explain why but Bryan will give it his best shot. “It’s the uncertainty of what number you’re going to. It’s watching the countdown for every superstar that comes out. It’s waiting for that buzzer to hit, for that music to play, for you to run down, nobody knows that you’re coming, and you don’t know who’s coming out next!
“It’s the exhilaration of competing against 29 other superstars that could go over an hour, and it’s every man for themselves.” One of the most challenging, grueling things you can do in the WWE, and that makes Bryan feel alive. Despite all the pain, all the uncertainty, it is absolutely worth it because the winner gets to face the champion of their choosing in the main event of WrestleMania! Bryan is very proud of his career, he’s accomplished a lot. But the one thing he has never done is win a Royal Rumble! Experts, commentary, Michael Cole even, will say- Cesaro interrupts!
Cesaro thought he beat some sense into Bryan last week, but here Bryan is again talking about how he’ll win the Rumble. Cesaro appreciates Bryan explaining the rules, but Cesaro could’ve done it better and in five languages. But that’s besides the point. Bryan is NOT winning this year’s Rumble, Cesaro is. As the first-ever Andre the Giant Battle Royal winner, Cesaro is an expert on this. Bryan didn’t forget about the loss, but instead of talking, how about putting the mics down, and they can fight it out again? Cesaro says no. Cesaro is sick and tired of proving himself week after week doing the same thing over and over! He beat Bryan, and Bryan isn’t dressed for the occasion, Cesaro issues an open challenge! Anyone who has already declared for the Rumble, come on down!
The one to answer the open challenge is… Dolph Ziggler! One half of the SmackDown Tag Team Champions is here asking about the conversation. Ziggler has been in the second most Rumbles ever. Ziggler can go all night long, ask anyone. And aside from himself and his colleague, Robert Roode, there is no one that can go toe-to-toe with Ziggler except maybe Cesaro. No offense to Bryan but it ain’t 2014 anymore. But if we’re talking about a Rumble challenge, Ziggler wants to win to go to Mania and get paid! So Bryan, scoot over, and Cesaro, consider your challenge accepted. Will the Show-Off show up the Swiss Cyborg?
Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler!
SmackDown returns and Bryan has joined commentary for this great match-up already underway. Ziggler has Cesaro down and has a leg, gets a cover, TWO! Cesaro gets a lateral press but Ziggler keeps his shoulder up. Cesaro pushes him around, gut wrenches and lifts but Ziggler resists by grabbing Cesaro’s leg again. Ziggler shifts, rolls, has a cover, ONE! Cesaro tries a cover, ONE! Cesaro waistlocks but Ziggler gets the ropes. Ziggler elbows Cesaro away then jumps on for a sleeper hold! Cesaro stays up, RAMS Ziggler into buckles and is free. Cesaro runs in to BLAST Ziggler with that EuroUpper! Ziggler flounders into a trip and then a SWISS SWING!
Cesaro brings Ziggler around and around for a count of 10, then maybe 15 even, or 20! Cesaro throws Ziggler, covers, TWO! Ziggler survives the swing, Cesaro stalks him to a corner, then runs in, only to get POST! Ziggler rolls Cesaro up, TWO! Cesaro back drops, Ziggler sunset flips, TWO! Cesaro sits on the cover, TWO! Ziggler sunsets, TWO! Cesaro, TWO! Ziggler, TOW! Cesaro high stacks, TWO! Ziggler pops him to a cover, TWO! SUPER- No, Cesaro blocks but uppercuts into a backslide,. Cesaro slips out, but into a ZIGZAG! Cover, TWO!! And yes, Sami is still protesting. He’s even memeing! “Sami was robbed, change my mind.”
Cesaro and Ziggler slowly rise and Ziggler sleeper holds again! Cesaro gets up, shifts Ziggler from backpack to a front facelock, for a suplex! Ziggler knees free, kicks low then runs, into a pop-up! Ziggler tries to huricanrana, but Cesaro makes it a NEUTRALIZER! Cover, Cesaro wins!
Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall
Michael Cole points out this is two times in a row that Cesaro has beaten a former world champion! Will Cesaro take the Rumble and be a WrestleMania contender?
Sasha Banks VS Reginald w/ Carmella!
It is very rare for WWE to do co-ed matches like this, and certain against a champion like The Boss against the sommelier in employment of The Untouchable Princess of Staten Island. Will Reginald ruin Sasha’s momentum towards the rematch with Mella?
SmackDown returns and Mella makes her entrance to accompany Reginald to the ring, two other assistants bringing the champagne and drinking glasses to the ring for them. Mella and the champagne join commentary as the bell rings. Sasha tells Reggie it’s time to put up or shut up, but Reggie presents her with an orange rose. Sasha accepts the rose but goes to slap Reggie! He blocks, only for Sasha to SLAP him with the other hand! Sasha knuckle locks, goes up and uses the ropes to arm-drag, but Reggie handsprings through! Mella says that’s her Reggie! Reggie waistlocks but Sasha resists the lift and slips out the back to switch. Reggie does the same and rolls right out of the ring!
Reggie plays some cat ‘n’ mouse and does a back flip off the apron! But Sasha wrecks him with a baseball slide dropkick! Sasha whips Reggie at the steel steps but Reggie leaps up and over! Mella applauds the bit of flair, Sasha gives chase, they go in the ring and speed things up with hurdle for hurdle. Reggie shows off with that flip, Sasha goes up and springboards, but Reggie blocks the sunset flip! Reggie wheelbarrows Sasha but she turns that into a BULLDOG! Sasha wants Mella to see why she’s the boss, but Sasha misses the meteora to hit buckles! Sasha avoids Reggie’s elbow drop, Oklahoma roll but Reggie slips out!
Reggie avoids Sasha’s dropkick to bomb lift, but Sasha arm-drags free! Sasha runs in but is put on the apron, but she knees Reggie away! Sasha goes up, leaps, crossbody but Reggie holds her up! Reggie pops Sasha up but into another arm-drag! Reggie is sent out, Sasha hurries to the apron, METEORA! Sasha slaps the champagne out of Mella’s hand! Sasha goes back into the ring with Reggie, brings him in for a backstabber but he rolls through! Sasha kicks him, and knuckle locks to flip up and into another METEORA! Mella sneers but Sasha tilt-o-whirls and drags Reggie down by his arm! BANK STATEMENT!! Reggie taps, Sasha wins!
Winner: Sasha Banks, by submission
Sasha got her revenge on Reggie, and throws him out to Mella! Will Sasha do the same to the Princess at the Royal Rumble?
Roman Reigns sits in his private room.
Heyman says Roman was brilliant. They got Pearce! “We? What’re you talking about?” Heyman knew what Roman was up to, he fed right into it. Roman simply passed Heyman the mic to do what he does better than anyone, and that is verbally rip someone to shreds. Roman didn’t say Heyman should challenge Pearce to a match. But Heyman has stepped into it, so he has to do this. Roman didn’t hire some punk to be Special Counsel, he hired a man. So Heyman needs to go out there and represent Roman as a man and handle business. “Paul, be a man. Handle your business.” The Special Counsel has no words, will he have no defense against Pearce?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Apollo Crews!
Sami Zayn is irate as Big E taunts him with the belt. But Sami is not the champion’s concern, he’s taking on the man in the ring! Big E and Apollo have been in friendly competition, but after what Heyman told both of them over these last few weeks on Talking Smack, will all of that go out the window?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and it’s time to #ThinkBig or go home!
Apollo rushes Big E but right into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Apollo goes to the apron, Big E follows and stomps him, to then run and APRON SPLASH! Big E is fired up and gets back in to run at Apollo. Apollo elbows back, BOOTS back, then runs, into a scoop! Apollo slips off, and ENZIGURIS! Big E wobbles into a BOOT! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Apollo keeps focus as he stalks Big E. Apollo waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES Big E! Apollo holds on to GERMAN again! Big E elbows over and over until he’s free, and he gets Apollo with the Urenag-E! Cover, TWO! Big E keeps his cool as he goes out after Apollo.
Big E and Apollo end up by the announce desk. Big E tells Apollo he’ll never make the mistake of disrespecting him again. Apollo pushes Big E away, then dodges him to go up the apron and MOONSAULT! Direct hit and down goes Big E! Apollo gets Big E back in at the ring count of 8 then climbs up top! Big E hits Apollo first then climbs up to join him. Big E throws forearms, stands Apollo up, but Apollo resists the superplex! Apollo throws headbutts as fans clap on their screens! Big E falls back, Apollo adjusts, but Sami uncuffs himself! Sami’s strike is over as Apollo leaps to missile dropkick Big E!
Apollo resets but Sami HELLUVA KICKS him!! SAMI SCREWS APOLLO!
Winner: Apollo Crews by disqualification (Big E is still WWE Intercontinental Championship)
And then Sami HELLUVA KICKS Big E! And Sami has the nerve to talk about injustice! Sami says HE is the champion, but that this is what Big E and Apollo deserve! Will Sami get what he deserves soon enough?
Kevin Owens speaks.
“I showed up to work today, and I was told I couldn’t get into the building because Roman Reigns pulled some strings to make sure I wouldn’t be there. Roman, dude… It’s fine. But just know this: at the Royal Rumble, there’s no more strings for you to pull.” At the Rumble, they will settle this once and for all. And Roman calls Kevin “a cockroach that won’t die,” and tells him to just stop fighting, but Kevin can’t do that. Roman has yet to beat Kevin like the champion he claims to be. Roman did not earn those victories. The family did that for him.
And the other reason Kevin keeps fighting is this. Kevin has a lot of tattoos, and they all have a story behind them. He has his wife’s name on his wrist, his kids’ names on the other side, then one to remind him of his parents. Kevin fights for all of them, but he has tattoos on his knuckles. These are his grandfathers’ initials: M for Melvin, his dad’s dad, and P is for Pierre, his mom’s dad. Those men had Kevin’s back all the way. They were his biggest fans, and nothing made them happier than seeing Kevin in the ring. The biggest regret Kevin will have is that he didn’t make it to the WWE in time for them to see, because they both passed away just before.
But they will always be with Kevin. The mark they left on Kevin will always be there, because both men battled illnesses that should’ve made their lives a lot shorter. Those two men refused to quit, and because of that, Kevin was lucky to have many, many great years with them. So how can Kevin stop fighting? That is why Kevin will not stay away and why he will #JustKeepFighting. That is why come Royal Rumble, Kevin will be the Last Man Standing.
The Street Profits have a basket.
Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins see Ziggler talking with Sonya, and have a quick question: Are you ready~, ready~? This is a celebratory basket for congratulating Sonya on her new job and office! But don’t jump the gun! They’re not just congratulating her on the new gig. She sits next to Pearce, looking pretty, but they have business. It has been two, two weeks, since the Profits lost the SmackDown Tag Team Championships against Ziggler & Roode, Entertainment Dysfunction. Put that on a t-shirt, it’ll make millions! But that aside, the Profits- Sonya knows they want their rematch. She’s so smart!
Sonya knows they were champions for 312 days, won two Slammy Awards, so yes they deserve a rematch. But Ford is still recovering from the leg injury. If he gets in that ring too soon, gets hurt and is out of action, that hurts SmackDown as a whole. So hear her out: For now, hang out, keep doing your segments to hype the show, and let another team get the opportunity. Then when Ford is 100%, he and Dawkins get back in the game and back in the title picture. Cool with t hat, fam? yeah, that’s cool. Golly, Sonya, thanks for your concern. Enjoy the basket! It’s expensive. But will the long wait really work out in the Profits’ favor?
Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge: Bayley VS Bianca Belair!
The Role Model wants The EST to prove she’s still got it when it comes to being the strongest, the fastest, the roughest, the toughest, etc. Therefore, SmackDown is setting up a truly challenging obstacle course for them both to run! Who backs up their words, after the break?
SmackDown returns and Michael Cole presides over this special competition, and gives the introductions for Bianca, then for Bayley. Bayley takes over and says DING DONG, BYE Cole. This is her show now! And look, Bianca, this is what Bayley has for her. America Ninja Warrior ain’t got nothing on UAOCC! This is of course timed, starting right here with the “big ol’ 400 pound tractor tire,” which you only need to flip once. Go down the ramp, take on the short hurdles, climb the trio of military walls. And then Bayley even got advice from Chad Gable and Alpha Academy, he will put you through the full body test, the fireman’s carry!
But that’s not all! The very last challenge is grab the basketball, put it through the net, and time stops at the exact moment the ball exits the bottom of the net! The competitor with the shortest time is of course the winner! Let’s get the clock going, and Bayley wants to go first. Bianca says that’s fine, and we begin… NOW! Bayley flips the tire, hurries down the ramp, though not quite that quickly, and takes on the hop hurdles to go right at the military walls. The short one seems to throw her off, and she just weaves around them?! Is that allowed?
Bayley fireman’s carries Gable, and he seems to be heavier than he looks. Bianca “cheers” Bayley on as she goes from one end to another, then she gets the ball to DUNK- no, wait, there! Bayley finishes at 1:12. But she says she did Bianca a favor. “Let’s EST up this course,” all for Bianca. Oh, the hurdles are now full hurdles, and Bianca wraps her braid. GO! Bianca easily flips the tire, runs down the ramp., leaps the hurdles, leaps the walls, but she isn’t carrying Gable, but OTIS! Bianca has 40 seconds, she carries the 330 pound Otis with ease, then gets the ball and even dares Bayley to play D! She breaks ankles and DUNKS! She had 17 seconds to spare!
Winner: Bianca Belair
Sorry, Bayley, but that’s the power of the EST! Bayley is a sore loser and throws the ball at Bianca! And then hammers away with forearms and stomps! The ref reprimands but Bayley doesn’t care, as she POSTS Bianca and knocks down the basketball hoop! Bayley storms off, perhaps having proven she’s the meanest on the roster.
Rey Mysterio coaches Dominik backstage.
Rey reviews with Dom that Baron Corbin is a former boxer, so he has to watch out for the hands. Dom says Rey can trust him to have this. Dom is comfortable with his skills and has prepared. Okay, then we’ll do it his way. But if something goes wrong, they do it Rey’s way. That’s fair. Dom heads out, will he be able to trump the Wolf King?
Dominik Mysterio VS King Corbin!
SmackDown returns as Corbin is already in the ring. Dominik makes his entrance, leaving Rey backstage so he can handle things. The bell rings and Dom circles with Corbin. They tie up, Corbin powers Dom to a corner but Dom dodges the hands to throw hands of his own! Dom rams his shoulder in but Corbin shoves him away. Dom dropkicks but Corbin stays up. Dom whips, Corbin reverses but Dom wheelbarrows and throws Corbin out of the ring! The ring count climbs but Dom slingshots, only for Corbin to get clear and CLOBBER him! Corbin drags Dom up and into the ring, covers, TWO! Corbin already glares at the ref as he grows annoyed.
Corbin stalks Dom, drags him to ropes and stands on him! The ref counts, Corbin hops off at 4, then drags Dom up to throw body shots! The ref counts, Corbin lets off at 4 again, then stands Dom up. Corbin whips Dom corner to corner hard! Dom bounces off buckles to hit the mat, and Corbin takes his time bringing Dom back up. Corbin brings Dom around, reel shim in but Dom slips out to dropkick a leg! Corbin ends up on ropes, Dom dials it up but the call is blocked! Corbin drags Dom from ropes, yanks but Dom lands on his feet, only for Corbin to DECK him! Corbin reels Dom in and hits END OF DAYS! Cover, Corbin wins!
Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall
The Wolf King wins because he did this his way! Will the Mysterios regroup and draw up a winning game plan?
Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman w/ Roman Reigns!
Scrap Daddy’s switcheroo not only got the better of the Special Counsel last week, it might be why he stuck his foot in his mouth this week! Will Pearce’s return to the ring also get the better of Paul E. Dangerously? Has the Head of the Table truly left Heyman hanging?
Heyman is taping his hands on his way to the ring, but stumbles off the steps? The ref checks on Heyman but he says he’s fine. Give him a minute to walk it off. Heyman fumbles on the steps again and Pearce smells a plot. After all, he let his “bum leg” be why Kevin Owens is back in the title match. And just as he knew, Heyman cites “card subject to change.” This was the trump card Heyman had up his sleeve! Roman did NOT leave the building, he’s heading to the ring! Now that the bait ‘n’ switch is on the other foot, will Scrap Daddy be scrap metal?
Adam Pearce VS Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman!
Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES Pearce the second he’s in the ring! This isn’t even a match because the bell hasn’t rung! Heyman says he has obviously found a suitable replacement, and Roman is pulling steps apart. Pearce throws a haymaker! Roman glares at Pearce, and LOW BLOW KICKS him! And then throws Pearce OVER the barriers! Roman is snarling as he goes around the way to drag Pearce up and throw him INTO ThunderDome screens! And then he drags Pearce up to throw heavy forearms! And then throws him into stage wall! Fans give thumbs down but that’s not going to save Pearce from Roman’s wrath!
Roman fireman’s carries Pearce and puts him on the upper level, the same place he threw Kevin off of. But speaking of, Kevin runs in and attacks Roman! Kevin saves Pearce as he throws haymakers and bumps Roman off barriers! Roman throws Kevin into screens, throws haymakers of his own, then they brawl to ringside! It’s Royal Rumble come early! Roman puts Kevin in the ring, storms in but into a USUPERKICK! Roman SUPERMAN PUNCH- NO! STUNNER from Kevin!! Kevin dares Roman to get back up! Roman sputters as he gets out of the ring but Kevin whips him into barriers! And clubs away on his back!
Referees rush out to try and stop this, and Kevin backs off to cool off. But then Kevin comes back to STOMP Roman into barriers! Roman flounders back up, referees try to talk Kevin down, and even Pat Buck, Pearce’s coworker. But Kevin gets past them to give Roman another STUNNER! Kevin wants Heyman to say something but Heyman has nothing to say! So Kevin brings Roman over, pops him up, POWERBOMB through the announce desk!! Kevin is pulling steel steps apart! The refs keep him from bringing that over to Roman! Kevin says Roman’s lucky the officials are here to stop him, but it won’t happen at the Royal Rumble! Will Kevin truly #StunTheWorld when he is THE Last Man Standing?
A great SmackDown that honestly could’ve been a go-home to the Royal Rumble in some cases. Charlotte & Asuka VS Riott Squad was good, but naturally the champions win, mostly because Billie was too involved. She has been kicked out of the Riott Squad, though she wasn’t really a member to begin with, but I feel like they could’ve gone another week, though. Natty & Tamina were watching backstage, I wouldn’t mind seeing them get a match with Charlotte & Asuka, even if they were to lose. The match of Sasha Banks VS Reginald was pretty good, mostly because Reggie is insanely athletic. Depending on how the story goes of him being Mella’s sommelier, maybe he can split off and get into like 205 Live and the Cruiserweight Division to freshen things up a bit.
But of course Sasha wins, she’s the champion. I have a feeling this means the go-home sees Mella standing tall so that Sasha is still the favored to win. The “Ultimate” obstacle course challenge was very clearly going to be won by Bianca, but I commend Bayley for trying to rig it in her favor. Though, shouldn’t she have been penalized or even disqualified for outright skipping those military style walls? Pretty sure we’re getting a match between the two, and Bianca can sell the bad arm to “overcome” it and win, for big momentum going into the Women’s Rumble.
The Profits had a good segment with Sonya, and I like that, at least on the surface, Sonya is being a responsible official and having the Profits wait so they can be healed up. But I wonder if there will even be defenses in that time, as there aren’t many tag teams on SmackDown. It’s mostly the champs, the Profits, Cesaro-Nakamura, and maybe Alpha Academy, aka Gable & Otis. Dom VS Corbin felt like filler just to get things to what Rey was talking about last week, which should’ve just been what we got this week. Unless it was because the person they have in mind (Cain Velasquez) isn’t available right now because of some COVID concerns. That I’d understand.
Sami Zayn “protesting” this episode just so he’d be ringside for the Intercontinental Championship was a pretty good long game for the episode. Sami’s signs were clever, but it does seem a shame for what should’ve been a huge match. Maybe we get another Triple Threat for this title, and that is the way Big E loses. Though, I think it’d work well if Big E won, making his reign feel even bigger from having dealt with two contenders. After that, Big E can face just about anyone else on the roster, such as Nakamura, Cesaro or even Otis. And speaking of, Cesaro had a good promo with Bryan and a really good match with Ziggler, but I feel like all these wins are setting Cesaro up to not win the Rumble. But I said the same thing about Bryan making it his mission to win the reason he won’t, so maybe as far as SmackDown goes, it’s between the two of them as Rumble finalists.
And again, we got a lot of great stuff out of the Roman Reigns story. The opening promo segment was really good, it helped set up the main event, and gave a great tease of Pearce VS Heyman. But Heyman using the fake injury and “card subject to change” back on Pearce was also very clever, and naturally it was Roman who would beat Pearce up to get back at him for everything so far. Kevin had a really good promo, made a great save, and got to stand tall tonight with the table bomb. I’m curious as to Kevin’s part in the go-home next week. I can’t see him standing tall two weeks in a row just to keep the math in Roman’s favor, so maybe Roman turns this around to then defy the math and still retain the title. I’m pretty sure Roman does retain, and we leave it up to the Rumble to decide the rest.
My Score: 8.5/10
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