Money in the Bank has come and gone, and SmackDown is STILL the House that AJ Styles Built! But that means he needs a new #1 contender. Therefore, GM Paige has decided to give The Miz, Rusev, Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan & The New Day’s Big E a chance in a Gauntlet Match! Who will move on to face Styles at Extreme Rules?
All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter
- Becky Lynch VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce; Becky Lynch wins.
- SAnitY VS The Usos; no contest.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Bludgeon Brothers VS The Club; win and
- WWE Championship #1 Contenders Gauntlet Match: Rusev wins and will challenge AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules.
PLAY BY PLAY
SmackDown GM Paige opens the show.
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2018
The Glampire recaps the explosive action and cunning victories from Money in the Bank, including the Phenomenal Last Man Standing, AJ Styles! But that’s just the beginning. The next PPV, Extreme Rules, is fast approaching already. So tonight, we must determine a #1 Contender via a FIVE MAN GAUNTLET! Two superstars start, one will be eliminated by pinfall or submission, and it doesn’t end until there’s only one superstar left! Will Big E, Rusev, The Miz, Samoa Joe or Daniel Bryan stand tall to face the WWE Champion?
Carmella heads to the ring!
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 20, 2018
The FABULOUS SmackDown Women’s Champion is still money as the Princess of Staten Island retains against the Empress of Tomorrow. Of course, there is controversy as an old friend of hers returned to distract Asuka at the most opportune time. She wants to be real for a second, because believe it or not, she used to have self-confidence issues. Carmella never felt special or even good enough, and that was really hard for her. But she didn’t just sit back, she wrote her own story through hard work. Carmella saw beauty in herself before anyone else did, and because of that, she’s champion. So what she’s really trying to say is, “I just want every young boy or girl out there” that doubts themselves, to say these words: #MellaIsMoney!
PSYCH! Carmella? No confidence? As if! She’s been moon-walking and trash-talking since she was in diapers. So the real lesson is: just give up! You can work twice as hard but only be half as good as her. Carmella was Ms. MITB, cashed in to become champion, and in case you missed it, she beat Charlotte Flair twice! And then she did the unthinkable: she beat Asuka. And the best part of it is… Carmella did it all by herself! Carmella again revises history, leaving James Ellsworth out of the story. But speaking of Asuka, here she comes! Wait, that’s not Asuka. That’s James Ellsworth himself!
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 20, 2018
He’s all dressed up the way he was in order to distract Asuka from the match! Carmella hugs her partner in crime. “No one was ready for Ellsworth!” Especially not Asuka. Now shut up, because Jamie L has something to say to his Princess. “When you love someone, let them go,” and whatever else it is. But now Ellsworth is back! And he’s serving “the greatest woman in history”. Carmella is better than: Charlotte; Lita; Trish Stratus; Mother Teresa; Beyonce; and Ronda Rousey! But last but certainly least, she’s better than ASUKA. Okay, THIS time it’s Asuka coming out.
The Empress of Tomorrow storms her way right down the ring, and Ellsworth shields Carmella. Asuka is raring for a fight, so Carmella’s guard dog gets ready, too. They trash talk in Japanese and English, Asuka back kicks Ellsworth! But then Carmella knocks Asuka down! Carmella picks up her title, and her lackey, and heads out. Fans boo and jeer but Asuka gets up. Carmella waves good-bye, but will she be able to avoid the angry Empress for long?
Becky Lynch VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce!
The Lass Kicker didn’t grab the Ms. MITB contract for her own, but it’s not like the IIconics were in that match to try. Can Becky burn up Billie to get back on track in the title hunt?
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2018
Before the match, Billie wants to know where they are. Toledo? What does one do in Toledo? Oh, the zoo! Yes, that explains the smelly animals here. The IIconics have a laugh, then turn to mocking Becky. They could talk about her, or talk to her. “Becky, how did your Money in the Bank ladder match go on Sunday?” “It’s finally time to stop saying ‘I was’, it’s time to start saying ‘I am.’ As in, ‘I am a loser! I am never going to amount to anything. And I am so much better off as Charlotte Flair’s troll of a sidekick.'” Some advice: keep living in the past, because your present is abysmal, and the Future is IIconic. But Becky makes her entrance, because presently, it’s time for this match!
The bell rings, Billie still taunts Becky, so Becky takes her down! Becky throws fast hands, then grabs a leg. Billie grabs ropes but Becky drags her away for more hands. Then she picks Billie up, Becksploder! Billie slips out of the ring, but Becky wrecks her with a dropkick. Becky pursues Billie and hits European Uppercuts. They go back in the ring but Billie slips out again. Becky is on Billie with more EuroUppers, then puts Billie back in. Peyton comes over but Becky swipes at her. Billie capitalizes and puts Becky into the post! We go picture in picture while Becky is down and out.
Billie fetches Becky and brings her back up and in. She then kicks and stomps Becky at the ropes before putting her in a corner. Billie kicks and punches Becky more, but the referee backs her off. Becky hits back, but Billie tosses her out of the ring. Peyton does her best to behave, then Billie drags Becky up for an apron bump. Billie stalks Becky around the corner to bump her again. She goes for a third but Becky turns it around on her! Becky bumps Billie off the apron, then puts her in the ring, but runs into Billie’s knee. Billie keeps on Becky with an overhead throw, cover, TWO. Billie puts her in a chinlock, and Peyton likes what she sees. Becky endures, reaches for ropes, but Billie wrangles and thrashes her back down.
Becky endures as Billie rakes her face. Billie tights her grip, but Becky feeds off fan energy. Becky stands, fights back, and rolls Billie up! TWO, and Becky goes after the Disarm-her. Billie get tor opes but Becky won’t stop trying. Billie makes Becky Eat DaFeet! Cover, TWO, and the IIconics are frustrated. Becky gets to a corner, but Billie throws more hands. Billie stomps, but Becky hits back. Billie hits Becky again, then snapmares. We return to single picture as the chinlock is put back on.
Becky endures while fans rally up again. Becky stands, fights back with body shots, then scoops, but Billie powers out. Billie pushes then roaring elbows Becky down! Billie stomps and grinds Becky, then Peyton gets a cheap shot knee! Cover, TWO, and the IIconics are furious all over again. Billie puts Becky back in a chinlock. Becky has fans rallying up again. Becky stands, but Billie hops on. They go into a corner, then again, but Becky has to throw Billie off. Becky boots Billie, then hops up for a flying shoulder! Fans fire up and so does Becky. Becky rallies with lariats, then the calf kick. Becky stands, kicks, and throws Billie with a Becksploder! Cover, TWO!
This won’t stop Becky, she just fires up again. She takes aim, but Billie puts her on the apron. Becky hits Billie away, then climbs, but Peyton distracts. Peyton scurries away, and Becky still hits Billie back. Billie ends up outside, too, and Becky LEAPS! She tackles Peyton with the crossbody!
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 20, 2018
Billie gets in the ring, and then grabs Becky, but Becky counters to a roll, and Disarm-her! Billie taps, Becky wins!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission
The Lass Kicker gets back a win, and it was #IIconic in its own way. Becky wants to take back the SmackDown Women’s Championship, will this win allow her to say “I am the #1 contender”?
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2018
Jeff Hardy speaks.
Shinsuke Nakamura failed to become WWE Champion, and AJ Styles was victorious. Styles can move on, but Hardy cannot. This memory is lodged in his mind, over what Nakamura did last week. Nakamura’s knee collided with Hardy’s face, sending shock waves through his entire body and even his soul. “But his actions had an unintended consequence.” Those actions didn’t break Hardy, they only made him stronger. Hardy’s eyes were closed, but now they are open. “Shinsuke, I see you.” Will the Charismatic Enigma make Nakamura pay for that #Knee2Face?
The madness has come to SmackDown.
Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, and Killian Dain. “The Chaos has arrived!” Prepare for anarchy, because SAnitY is finally in their new home.
Backstage interview with Daniel Bryan.
He won against Big Cass at Money in the Bank, but he moves on to an even more monumental challenge. He is just one of five men in the WWE Championship #1 Contenders Gauntlet, the winner going on to face AJ Styles at Extreme Rules. How does he feel about being the FIRST man up? Bryan won’t just survive, he’ll win. At MITB, Bryan proved size doesn’t matter, and tonight he goes up against three of the best on SmackDown: Rusev, Samoa Joe & Big E. The MIz is not one of the best. But if anyone doubts Bryan’s stamina, just look at his Greatest Royal Rumble performance. He has legs, lungs, and heart, and those three things will bring him to the WWE Championship.
Now, may he ask Renee a question? Uh, sure. “Renee, do you think I am ready to take on the biggest and baddest in WWE?” Certainly. C’mon, Renee, you know what he’s after. He asks her again, and her answer is… “Yes.” YES YES YES!
SAnitY VS The Usos!
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2018
Jimmy & Jey have locked up many tag teams in the #UsoPenitentiary, but they’ve yet to face a team as truly unruly as this trio. The Usos hear the fans chanting for them, and wish to say “It looks like we gotta whole new tag team here on SmackDown.” These three want to make names for themselves? Remember when the Usos did that? They ran around with face plant like a pair of Ultimate Warriors or something from Sesame Street. But they figured it out, and it takes a lot more than moves and paint. You gotta show heart, be 100, have some screws loose. SAnitY wants to do chaos? Chaos goes Uso Crazy!
SAnitY arrives and hits the ring, and then try to hit the Usos! The Usos were ready, though, and we have a brawl! However, that leaves things at 3v2, and Big Damo easily lariats Jey down. Eric and Wolfe stomp out Jimmy, then all three do the same to Jey. Big Damo squashes Jimmy in the corner, then squashes him again with the Vader Bomb! Eric made Jey watch, and then Damo makes Jimmy watch as Jey takes the SAnitY neckbreaker suplex combo from Eric & Wolfe! SAnitY’s chaos just ran roughshod over one of the best tag teams in WWE. Did the Uso Penitentiary just become the SAnitY Asylum?
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2018
The Club pumps themselves up.
Abs Anderson shows off that six pack. Even Big LG has some big guns to flex. But Harper & Rowan have big mean streaks and mallets. Which pair of brothers in arms will win this MITB Kickoff rematch?
Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.
Nakamura requested this time to explain his loss to Styles. “What is a loss?” And he’s not pretending to forget English, but he just wants to know how he lost. He is still standing, but Styles only won because that count was fast, or in Japanese. “Very, very unfair” in Nakamura’s eyes. Then what is his reaction to Hardy’s comments? Who? Jeff Hardy. No, he knows English, he just doesn’t care who Hardy is. Hardy is all made up, but if he crosses Nakamura again, he’ll pay for it. Does the King of Strong Style have more in store for both United States and WWE Champions?
SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Bludgeon Brothers VS The Club!
The duo of doom defeated the Good Brothers by mere moments at MITB. But the Glampire in Chief felt it fair to give Gallows & Anderson a second chance. Can the Machine Gun & Big LG get the belts this time around? Or will Harper & Rowan dismantle and destroy them once again?
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2018
SmackDown returns and Gallows is in with Rowan. Rowan whips Gallows into a corner but Gallows boots out. Gallows throws big body shots on Rowan, but Harper comes in. Gallows sends Harper out, then Anderson slingshots, but is caught! Anderson is tossed into steel steps and Rowan runs Gallows over with the heel kick! Rowan drags Gallows up and over to a corner, hoisting Gallows to the top rope. Rowan throws more hands, then climbs up. Gallows resists, but still gets brought down with a SUPERPLEX! Cover, but Anderson stops it. Harper throws Anderson back out, then Rowan joins him, to throw him at the apron!
Rowan returns, and gives Gallows the big splash! Cover, TWO! Gallows lives, and the Bludgeon Brothers seem a bit surprised. Harper tags in and he chops Gallows in a corner. He gives an uppercut, then rakes the eyes of Gallows. Gallows falls, then Harper tags in Rowan. Rowan drops an elbow, then a knee. He puts Gallows in a chinlock, then shifts to a fist vice. Fans rally up for Gallows and Gallows fights back, only for Rowan to run him over. Rowan sits Gallows up for another fist vice, but fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” for The Club. Gallows endures the painful vice, then gets up to fight back again. Rowan clubs Gallows then tags Harper. Rowan clubs Gallows, then Harper adds on his own forearms.
Harper uppercuts Gallows, then whips him in, but gallows boots Rowan down! Gallows hits Harper away, but Harper kicks low. Harper prepares a bomb, but Gallows slips out to uppercut him back. Harper staggers into a YAKUZA Kick! Anderson returns! And he gets the tag! The Machine Gun flies for a crossbody! Then things speed up, SPINEBUSTER!
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 20, 2018
Cover, TWO! Anderson keeps focus, but Rowan comes in! Rowan suplexes, but Anderson slips out to throw him out! Harper is up, and gets Anderson with a Scrapbuster! Cover, TWO!! Harper is shocked, and shakes his head. Rowan returns to the corner, and Harper tags Rowan. But Gallows trips Rowan and they fight! Rowan boots Gallows into the timekeeper’s area, but Anderson rolls Harper! TWO! So close! Anderson dodges, but Rowan tags in, Alley-oop into KILLER BOMB!! Cover, Bludgeon Brothers win!
Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers, Rowan pinning; still SmackDown Tag Team Champions
Another close call, but in the end, The Good Brothers still fall. Will Harper & Rowan ever even be slowed down in their tag team reign of terror?
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2018
Daniel Bryan heads to the ring!
The Goat crosses paths with some familiar foes from his past. Harper & Rowan look Bryan up and down, but they leave him be. Bryan is ready for his chance at glory and gold in the SmackDown Gauntlet!
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 20, 2018
WWE Championship #1 Contenders Gauntlet Match!
We know Daniel Bryan is one half of the opening match up. The other competitor will be… Awwwwwww Toledo~! Don’t you dare be sour, clap for your famous four-time champs, and feel~ the power~!
Daniel Bryan VS Big E!
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2018
Yes, the powerhouse of positive energy is here, and showers the fans in pancakes along with The New Day. Can Big E make a big move and head for a big title match? Or will Bryan remind us all why he was a WWE Champion in his own right?
The bell rings, the two circle and tie up. Bryan gets an arm, then a headlock, but Big E tosses him off. Big E and Bryan circle again, with fans chanting “New! Day Rocks!” They tie up again, and go shoulder to shoulder. Big E powers Bryan down with the wristlocks, but Bryan rolls and spins to a waistlock. Big E swivels hips and tosses Bryan again! Things speed up, and Big E runs Bryan over. They keep going, but now Bryan trips E into a leglock. Bryan shifts, to a surfboard! He gets the legs, then the arms, and starts pulling, to bring Big E up. Big E is too big, so Bryan shifts to a dragon sleeper!
Big E fights out, so Bryan kicks away! Bryan gives a shoulder breaker, then a hammerlock and takedown. Bryan rams knees into that arm, then pulls back on the other. Big E resists and stands up, to back elbow Bryan. Big E runs, but things speed up again. Bryan goes for a hip toss, which Big E denies, and Big E shovels Bryan but Bryan lands on his feet. Bryan runs into a belly2belly! Big E stalks Bryan to ropes, and positions him on the apron. Big E joins Bryan out there, and leaps for the Big Splash! Bryan is squashed on the apron while we go picture in picture.
Big E tells Bryan this is his match. Then E brings Bryan up, and carries him around, to then run all the way into the timekeeper’s barriers! Bryan writhes again, but Big E leaves him at the mercy of the count. Bryan crawls at 5, stands at 7, but collapses at 8! But he hurries back up and beats the count at 9.9! Big E can’t believe it, but he does cover, TWO. Bryan gets to a corner, but Big E is on him with a buckle bump. Big E follows Bryan across the way, and gives a big body shot. Bryan gets to another corner, and Big E hoists him up top. Big E joins him up there, but Bryan hits back. Bryan fights Big E off, and we go single picture as Bryan leaps! The headbutt misses! E covers, TWO!
Big E stands while Bryan clutches his gut. Big E stands Bryan up, gut wrench lift, into the Canadian Torture Rack! Bryan endures being bent and stretched against Big E’s shoulder. He then sits up and out, then runs to run Big E over with a leaping lariat! Big E gets to a corner, but Bryan fires up with the fans. Bryan gets himself to a corner, and Big E runs in, but into a drop toehold! E hits buckles, and Bryan kicks away on him! Bryan hoists Big E up now, then joins him, for a SUPER STEINER! But Bryan fires up again, as does Toledo. Bryan runs in, and hits the dropkick! And another! And, then runs into a BIG lariat! Gut wrench, Canadian Backbreaker! Cover, TWO!!
Bryan is down while Big E catches his breath. Big E stands and grabs a leg, to lift Bryan with a stretch muffler! He bends Bryan, letting gravity do a lot of damage to that leg. But Bryan drags Big E down, into the YES LOCK! Big E resists, powers out, but ends up in a triangle hold! Big E powers up again, to deadlift Bryan! But Bryan shifts again, to a knee smash! Then he goes after the leg, but Big E gets a ropebreak. Bryan lets go, then stands up to give European Uppercuts! Big E throws big hands, then whips Bryan corner to corner. Bryan goes up and over, then builds speed, but is put on the apron. Big E SPEARS Bryan right off the apron!!
Big E himself can barely stand after that collision. But he still gets Bryan in the ring, and stalks Bryan while fans declare “This is Awesome!” Big E lifts, but Bryan slips out, and sends Big E into a post! KNEE PLUS! Cover, Bryan ELIMINATES Big E! Bryan advances and faces…
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2018
Daniel Bryan VS Samoa Joe!
The worst possible opponent to face after all of that. The Destroyer barrels down the ramp while we go to break.
SmackDown returns, and Joe chops away on Bryan in a corner. Bryan keeps getting up but Joe just keeps chopping him back. Joe looms over Bryan, then drags him up again while fans duel. AJ Styles watches this backstage as Joe headbutts Bryan to ropes. Joe whips but Bryan kicks back and then chops back! Bryan also kicks back, then chops, then kicks, repeat. Bryan runs, but into a spinning powerslam!
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 20, 2018
Cover, TWO! Joe backs off while the referee checks on Bryan. Bryan is apparently okay to continue, so Joe drags him back up. Joe chops Bryan again, but Bryan still comes back. Joe kicks Bryan, then chops him, then jabs, then more chops and more jabs. He knees Bryan down, then lets the referee check on Bryan. Bryan is okay, so it’s back to the fight.
Joe drags Bryan back up for a headbutt, but Bryan won’t stay down. Joe suplexes but Bryan slips out and chops back! Bryan kicks and chops again, then runs again, but into bomb position! Powerbomb, high stack, cover, TWO, to Boston Crab! Bryan endures, so Joe just shifts to an STF. Bryan endures more, and drags himself around, so Joe goes to a pure crossface! Joe wrenches back but Bryan still mores, so Joe changes it to Napalm Death! Bryan gets the ropebreak, so Joe lets him go. The Samoan Submission Machine glares down at Bryan, then brings him up for another headbutt. Joe kicks Bryan, but then Bryan blocks, to dragon screw! Joe ends up in a corner, but Bryan goes out to throw that leg into the post! Flashbacks to MITB and Big Cass!
Bryan won’t let up, either, he throws Joe’s leg into the post again. Joe staggers away but Bryan is on him with a EuroUpper. Bryan runs, but into the atomic drop. Joe boots, then adds the back senton! Cover, TWO! This match continues while we go to break.
SmackDown returns, and Joe is toying with Bryan. Then Joe chops Bryan again, and again. Bryan’s chest is as red as his tights but he still chops back against Joe. They have a chop fight, and Bryan gets the edge. Bryan runs, but into the sleeper! Joe wants Coquina, but Bryan tosses him out! Bryan gets himself to the apron, takes aim, and leaps for the flying knee! He hits just enough, then puts Joe in the ring. Bryan climbs up again, leaps again, and hits the missile dropkick! Both men are down, but Bryan keeps himself moving. Fans chant “YES! YES!” to give him strength. He stands, and begins the YES Kicks!
Bryan kicks, and kicks, and kicks, and kicks, and… Joe blocks the buzzsaw! But not the enziguri! Joe goes into a corner, and Bryan fires up again. Bryan runs in, but Joe gets out. Bryan changes plans, and slides, but into a sleeper! Joe brings Bryan down, and watches the count. Joe waits for the count to climb, but Bryan uses barriers for leverage! He brings Joe down, then scrambles to the ring! The count reaches 10, and Bryan ELIMINATES Joe! Joe is in disbelief, but those are the rules. Bryan advances on again, but what’re the Bludgeon Brothers doing back in the ring!? Harper & Rowan circle Bryan like sharks smelling blood, KILLER BOMB! But why!? The match rolls on, and now…
Daniel Bryan VS The Miz!
The A-Lister takes advantage, Skull Crushing Finale! Cover, Miz ELIMINATES Bryan!! And he doesn’t even give Bryan the courtesy of exiting on his own, he tosses Bryan to the floor.
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2018
Miz has an easy win here, but that means he faces…
The Miz VS Rusev!
The Bulgarian Lion, with MC Artiste by his side, prepares to face the opportunistic Miz, but we go to one more break.
SmackDown returns and Rusev dropkicks Miz! Cover, TWO, and Miz asks for mercy. Rusev does not show it, he just stomps Miz out. Rusev drags Miz up but Miz jawbreakers him away. Miz runs, but his A-List clothesline was caught! Rusev brings Miz out, for a Fall Away Slam! Cover, TWO! Styles is still watching, and Rusev throws hands on Miz. Rusev runs, but Miz dumps him out! Miz runs, and hits a wrecking ball dropkick. Miz has English stay back, but English still cheers Rusev on. Fans chant “Rusev Day!” but Miz puts Rusev into barriers. Miz then puts Rusev in the ring, and hits the low boot. Cover, TWO!
Miz puts Rusev in a chinlock, but Rusev moves around against the hold. Fans rally for Rusev, and Rusev feeds off that to get up. Rusev stands, fights out, but Miz counters for the A-list combination! Cover, TWO! Miz stalks Rusev in a corner, then grinds his boot in. The referee backs Miz off, and Miz takes aim from the corner. Miz runs in and hits the A-List lariat, then climbs up. Miz aims, leaps and hits ax handles. Cover, TWO, but it’s right back to the chinlock. Miz rakes Rusev’s face a bit, but fans keep rallying for Rusev. Rusev stands, but Miz wrangles him back down by grabbing hair. Miz squeezes tight, but Rusev endures. Rusev reaches for ropes, but Miz uses a leg to block the ropebreak. Rusev powers through, and gets the break!
Miz lets go then backs off. Ohio still supports Miz, but they also chant for Rusev. Rusev boots Miz, and now they brawl with haymakers. They go back and forth, but Miz knees low. Miz runs, but into a roundhouse! And another! Rusev runs in, big shoulder into the corner, then running heel kick! “Rusev Day!” echoes through the crowd as Rusev prepares. Miz stands, MACHKA- No, Miz dodges the kick and goes for the full nelson. Rusev resists, and powers out! Rusev backs Miz into a corner, then runs in, but into a knee. Miz runs out, but into another roundhouse! Cover, TWO! Rusev catches his breath while Miz rolls out of the ring.
Rusev spots Miz and pursues. He puts Miz back in the ring, but Miz hotshots Rusev, then trips him up, before putting him into steel steps! Then back into the ring, cover, TWO! English is relieved, but Miz is frustrated. Miz stands up and gives IT Kicks. Fans say “NO! NO!” with every kick that Miz parodies. Miz prepares the buzzsaw, but misses! Rusev trips him, but Miz slips out of the Accolade to kick low and DDT! Cover, TWO!! Miz can’t believe it, but he isn’t done, either. He glares at Rusev as Rusev gets to a corner. Fans still rally for Rusev, but Miz mocks the Yes fingers. “No! No!” but Miz runs, MACHKA KICK! ACCOLADE!! Miz taps, Rusev wins!!
Winner: Rusev, by submission; will face the WWE Champion at Extreme Rules
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2018
For the first time in his career, Rusev will face a world champion 1v1! And speaking of, AJ Styles comes out to look at his #1 contender. The Phenomenal One and the Bulgarian Brute are set for an extreme collision course, and Styles lays down a gauntlet of his own. He and Rusev stare down while the fans are thunderous. Both men shake hands, and even English wants one of those. But then he pulls it away to mock the champ. Bad idea, because Styles clocks English with a haymaker!
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2018
Even Rusev can’t believe his pal did that to Styles. Will this feud be more respectful than Styles’ previous one?
SmackDown is back on top! Everything was in a proper order in order to escalate the show to a great high point. Carmella gets to brag, as does Ellsworth, and Asuka is denied her retribution for now. I’m honestly surprised Paige didn’t decide on an Extreme Rules rematch for them, but perhaps she is going to wait to see how the other women do first. Speaking of, Becky does great getting a win on Billie, and this can help her build a case towards challenging Carmella. Peyton herself has a chance, but she’ll probably be used to put Charlotte or even Naomi over.
I’m not as familiar with Jeff Hardy’s Willow persona, but as long as he and Nakamura have a program, I’m good with seeing it in WWE. SAnitY finally arrives, though the main roster fans didn’t seem to think much of it. Them wrecking the Usos was surprising, but it probably is the best thing given their characters. They’ll likely have their real match later on, and that could probably go either way. The Club getting a rematch was surprising, but it’s what Paige wanted. I was disappointed The Club lost, but again, it probably just isn’t time. Harper & Rowan going after Bryan was also confusing, but it gives them some serious Heel Heat. I wonder if Bryan will call on any old friends to take those titles from them…
But even with Harper & Rowan interfering to give Miz his easy win, the SmackDown Gauntlet was equal with the Raw Gauntlet, give or take. Bryan does amazing, as does Big E. That opening match-up alone was good enough for a PPV. Then Bryan shows how lungs and heart play into his fight with Samoa Joe, and it was brilliant for it to be a ring count elimination. Joe doesn’t look weak, just that he got outsmarted for a moment. Miz shares in the Heel Heat with Harper & Rowan, but then he and Rusev themselves put on a great match of their own. What a great thing for Rusev to win, he really deserves it. He’s been over ever since Rusev Day started, and now he’s #1 contender. Nice touch with English still being at least Tweener and then paying for it. This dynamic will really make the Styles-Rusev build unique.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (2/19/19)
Who’s next for the unstoppable Buddy Murphy?
The Cruiserweight Champion continues to be the Juggernaut, Buddy Murphy! Who will step up to challenge him next? Do they stand a chance of dethroning him?
- TJP VS Humberto Carrillo; Carrillo wins.
- Ariya Daivari VS Johnny Lyons; Daivari wins.
- Mike Kanellis w/ Maria VS Cedric Alexander; Alexander wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
At Elimination Chamber, The Cruiserweight Champion outlasted the Stamina Monster!
Buddy Murphy took everything Akira Tozawa threw at him, but it wasn’t enough to slow down the Juggernaut. Now we move to the home stretch of the Road to Wrestlemania. Starting next week, there will be another Cruiserweight tournament! The winner of the field of eight will take on Buddy Murphy in New York! Therefore, tonight’s matches are a last-minute moment to make a case for entering the tournament!
First up, a first-ever match of the first-ever (New Era) Cruiserweight Champion and the newest star to the Division. TJP is a technical wizard but Humberto Carrillo is the Ultimo Ninja! Will Carrillo fly high over the FilAm Flash? Or will TJP make a huge leap towards bring the title back to where it all began?
And in the main event, The Lover and Fighter, Mike Kanellis, will take on another former Cruiserweight Champion in Cedric Alexander. Mike has impressed despite losing to Kalisto and THE Brian Kendrick, but Maria says every loss is a step closer to THE win Mike needs. Mike wants to show the third time’s the charm, but can he break his losing streak by breaking the Soul of 205 Live?
TJP VS Humberto Carrillo!
The Cruiser-Great always feels entitled to big opportunities, but just like everyone else, he’ll have to earn his way through the coming #1 Contender’s Tournament. The Ultimo Ninja is more than ready to prove himself against the inaugural champion, but is he ready for the inaugural champion?
The bell rings and Humberto circles with TJP. Fans like both guys as they tie up. TJP waistlocks to snapmare and ghost pins, ONE and Carrillo gets his own cover, ONE. The two circle and tie up again, and TJP gets a headlock. Carrillo powers out but TJP slides under. TJP shoves but things speed up as Carrillo keeps up with TJP. Carrillo runs and acrobatically arm-drags TJP out of the ring! Carrillo builds up speed but spots Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher coming down the ramp. The Submission Commission want Carrillo to stay safe and sound with feet on the ground. TJP slides in while Carrillo actually listens to Gulak & Gallagher for a moment. Carrillo and TJP tie up and TJP cartwheels to a hammerlock. Carrillo flips through but TJP wrenches again. Fans rally for Carrillo as he handsprings and sweeps the leg!
Carrillo gets a Gulak approved takedown to a standing kneebar. TJP spins with the headscissors to bring Carrillo down! TJP claps along with the fans but Carrillo powers his way up. Carrillo cartwheels through the next spin, then leaps, but TJP throws him down! Cover, ONE! TJP puts the shoulders down again, ONE! TJP goes to put his weight on Carrillo but Carrillo acrobatically monkey flips him away! Carrillo runs into the corner at TJP but TJP puts him on the apron. Carrillo rocks TJP then climbs up, big crossbody! Cover, TWO! Carrillo CHOPS TJP, then runs in for another acrobatic move, only for TJP to plant him on the mat! Gulak tells Carrillo he shouldn’t have done that. TJP traps one arm and grabs the other to YANK it! Carrillo writhes, clutching the arm, while TJP looms over him.
TJP drags Carrillo up and wrenches the arm. TJP whips and runs Carrillo over with an elbow. Fans duel and rally while TJP drags Carrillo up. TJP scoop slams Carrillo down, then slingshot sentons! Cover, TWO! TJP drags Carrillo up while Gulak & Gallagher coach Carrillo. TJP kicks and dropkicks Carrillo down then wraps on a chinlock. Fans rally while TJP toys with Carrillo. TJP hammerlocks and chinlocks Carrillo but Carrillo fights his way up and out. TJP whips but Carrillo rolls over TJP’s back. Carrillo dodges in the corner then runs back in. TJP goes up and over and Carrillo hits post! TJP hoists Carrillo into the Tree of Woe, then gets the fans clapping along as he stands on Carrillo’s face. The ref counts and TJP backs off, to go around the world for a basement dropkick! Cover, TWO, to Gulak’s and Gallagher’s relief.
TJP snapmares Carrillo back into a trapped arm. TJP goes after the other arm again and pulls. Fans rally up as Carrillo endures. Carrillo powers up to a fireman’s carry, but TJP slips out. TJP shoves Carrillo to a corner but runs into an elbow. TJP runs back in but into a boot. Carrillo hops up and leaps, big sunset flip! TJP rolls through but Carrillo dodges the Penalty Kick. Carrillo kips up, misses the roundhouse but hits the enziguri! TJP bails out and Carrillo FLIES out onto him! Carrillo takes TJP out but Gulak and Gallagher scold Carrillo for that. Carrillo puts TJP in and covers, TWO! Gulak and Gallagher coach Carrillo on staying in the ring and on the mat. Carrillo heads to the corner and climbs up high, not at all what they said.
Carrillo leaps but rolls through as TJP gets under. TJP huricanranas but Carrillo sunsets! TWO, and Carrillo fires off more kicks! Carrillo reverse somersaults to the moonsault! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up as Carrillo keeps his cool. Carrillo drags TJP to the drop zone and hops up for the headstand. TJP pushes him over but Carrillo shoulders and slingshots back in. Carrillo wheelbarrows but TJP rolls through to the STF! With a modified crossface! Gulak and Gallagher say Carrillo got himself into this situation, now he has to get himself out. Carrillo crawls and crawls and gets the ropebreak! TJP lets Carrillo go but the damage has been done. Carrillo gets on the apron and TJP joins him out there.
TJP toys with Carrillo then drags him up. Carrillo shoulders TJP but TJP fires off forearms. Carrillo rocks TJP with one big right, then runs in, but is put back in the ring. TJP misses the shoulder and gets rocked agani. Carrillo leaps up, missile dropkick! Headstand, Aztec Press! Cover, Carrillo wins!
Winner: Humberto Carrillo, by pinfall
It wasn’t safe and sound on the ground, but a win is a win! Gulak & Gallagher accept that much, and Carrillo has pinned the former champion! Gulak & Gallagher join Carrillo in the ring, and compliment him on the ground game he did right. They have the fans applaud Carrillo’s victory! The young Cruiserweight is hoisted onto the shoulders of the Submission Commission, but will he live up to his potential?
Tony Nese speaks.
“I finally proved to Noam Dar once and for that I’m the better man.” When he was beating the Scottish Supernova to a pulp, it finally occurred to the Premier Athlete: 205 Live is his for the taking. He could be better than anyone in the Division, it’s just about believing in himself. Whatever mental block that’s been holding him back, Nese smashed it down when he smashed Dar through the timekeeper’s area. This is a Premier Promise: he will win the tournament, he will win the Cruiserweight Championship, and he will do it at Wrestlemania. But will he really do it against his Body Guy buddy, Buddy Murphy?
Backstage interview with Mike & Maria Kanellis.
Mike’s had a hard time picking up wins. Was it wise to go after someone as accomplished as Cedric Alexander? Maria speaks on Mike’s behalf. Is it wise to ask about Alexander’s accomplishments when Mike has accomplished so much himself? Mike has been in the business for 16 years and has been a champion all over the world! Does anyone think Mike has been successful for taking the easy way out? That’s a question, Kayla. Mike has not taken the easy matches or the easy opponents. Because you don’t make it to Wrestlemania that way. Tonight, Mike defeats the Pride of 205 Live to prove why he’s the most dangerous man here. Will this be the night Mike turns it all around?
Ariya Daivari VS Johnny Lyons!
The Privileged Lion is sick of being a sidekick, he’s finally putting himself first again. He tells the fans in New Orleans that they are bearing witness to the Daivari Destruction of the Cruiserweight Division. He swears to beat his opponent so bad, no one here can say the referee made the wrong call. Football fans will get that better than most. Because unlike the Saints, Daivari’s actually going to the big game. But will Lyons have a surprise for the Persion Lion?
The bell rings and Daivari circles with Lyons. They tie up and Lyons gets a headlock. Daivari pulls Lyons’ hair and puts him in a corner. Daivair jabs away on Lyons and then stomps a mudhole into him. He throws Lyons corner to corner but Lyons goes up and over and dropkicks Daivari back! Fans fire up but Lyons misses in the corner and gets a big roundhouse from Daivari! Nawlins rallies for their local Lyons but Daivari drags him aruond to kick him while he’s down! Daivari stomps away on Lyons, then wrenches him into the hammerlock lariat! But Daivari isn’t done there, he drags Lyons up again for a cobra clutch! Daivari puts on body scissors, Lyons taps out!
Winner: Ariya Daivari by submission
Cobra clutch or Million Dollar Dream, Daivari uses it to destroy the dreams of young Johnny Lyons. Daivari will want to live a dream of everyone’s and go to Wrestlemania, but will he bust in the Contender’s Tournament?
Buddy Murphy speaks.
“I’ve got to hand it to Drake Maverick.” It must be so hard for a GM to run a brand with a champion as strong and dominate as Murphy. Maverick’s trying to get Murphy the challengers he wants. First was Mustafa Ali, the Heart of 205 Live. Murphy left Ali heartbroken. Next was Cedric Alexander, the savior of the Division and wanted to redeem himself. But the Age of Alexander came crashing down. And then the Royal Rumble put Murphy against three big names: the leader of the Lucha House Party, Kalisto; the savage striker, Hideo Itami; and the Stamina Monster that dethroned the King of the Cruiserweights, Akira Tozawa. Murphy got the challenge he asked for and beat that challenge.
Tozawa got a second chance at Elimination Chamber, but it ended like every other night: Murphy’s hand held high. So who’s next? Maverick put this tournament together to pit eight of the best to fight THE best. Murphy declares he’s the greatest of all time, but who will meet him on the Grandest Stage of Them All?
Mike Kanellis w/ Maria VS Cedric Alexander!
For Mr. & Mrs. Kanellis, it isn’t about the losses, or even about the wins, it’s about getting THE win that will define a career. Will Mike get that win tonight on the verge of the #1 Contender’s Tournament? Or will the Age of Alexander begin its resurrection on the road back to Wrestlemania?
Maria does not join commentary this time. Perhaps she’s sick of Aiden English grilling her about Mike’s win-loss record, despite her philosophy on it. She moves her chair up in front of commentary and takes a seat to watch her husband even closer. Alexander makes his entrance, and we begin.
The bell rings and fans already cheer Alexander on. Alexander claps along as he circles with Mike. Mike and Alexander tie up and Alexander gets a waistlock. Mike gets to the ropes then reverses to a wristlock. Alexander trips Mike and gets a facelock, then scrambles around. Mike reverses the facelock but Alexander powers him to a corner. The ref calls for a break but Mike turns it around. Mike shoves Alexander then eggs him on. Alexander rushes Mike but Mike uses ropes as defense. Alexander toys with Mike but Maria says it’s fine. Mike and Alexander circle again and tie up. Mike gets a headlock and grinds Alexander down. Alexander powers up but can’t power out of Mike’s grip. Mike grinds Alexander down more but fans rally up.
Alexander feeds off the energy and powers out this time. Mike runs him over with a shoulder, then things speed up. Alexander arm-drags Mike down into an armlock! Mike scrambles around but Alexander grinds him down. Alexander wrenches but Mike kicks low. Mike CHOPS Alexander, then again. Mike elbows Alexander down then drags him back up. Alexander handsprings and headscissors Mike down, then dropkicks him, too! Fans cheer while Mike gets to a corner. Alexander CHOPS Mike back, and Maria seethes. Alexander buckle bumps and CHOPS Mike again. Mike kicks back but misses his chop, Alexander CHOPS Mike again. Alexander snapmares Mike to dropkick him in the back! Cover, TWO! Alexander keeps his cool while Mike gets to a corner again.
Alexander stomps Mike down then CHOPS him yet again. He whips Mike corner to corner then runs in, but Mike puts him on the apron. Alexander hits Mike back then springboards, but Mike punches him out of the air! Alexander is dazed and Mike catches his breath. Mike rains down rights on Alexander but fans rally up for the former champion. Mike snapmares Alexander to then drive elbow after elbow into Alexander’s shoulder and chest. Maria applauds while the fans boo. Mike says he’s the best in the world as he drags Alexander over. Mike snapmares Alexander for more elbows into the shoulders! He sits Alexander up to basement dropkick him against the ropes! Mike pulls Alexander back against the ropes but lets up at 4. Mike drags Alexander onto the apron and rocks him with another right!
Fans boo and Mike tells them to shut up. Mike stalks Alexander but walks into a CHOP! Alexander CHOPS Mike more, then brings him out for European Uppercuts. Alexander runs but into a pop-up, that he turns into a wheelbarrow victory roll! TWO, and Mike rocks Alexander again! Mike whips Alexander face first into buckles! Alexander is dazed again while Mike grits his teeth. Mike drags Alexander to a cover, TWO! Mike puts Alexander in a chinlock but Alexander endures. Maria likes what she sees as Mike grinds his knee into Alexander’s back. Fans rally up and Alexander powers up. Alexander jawbreakers free! Both men stagger and Alexander throws haymakers. Mike responds but Alexander bobs ‘n’ weaves and CHOPS! Uppercut! Alexander dropkicks the legs out then dropkicks Mike in the face!
Fans fire up as Alexander gets to a corner. Alexander and Mike slowly stir while Maria grows worried. Alexander rallies on Mike with forearms and elbows. Mike kicks but Alexander blocks to the stiff back elbow! Alexander runs, handsprings, Neuralizer kick! Mike staggers to a corner, but dodges Alexander. Alexander goes to the apron and springboards, but his legs give out and he tumbles down! This happened to Alexander weeks ago, is it a bad sign? Mike takes advantage by stomping the legs! Fans boo and jeer but Mike and Maria laugh while the referee checks on Alexander. Mike comes back and grabs the bad leg. Mike spins through but Alexander cradle counters! TWO, and Alexander SUPERKICKS Mike down! Mike and Alexander are both down from exhaustion and pain.
Fans rally for Alexander while Maria shouts for Mike. Alexander stands first and hobbles over to Mike. Alexander lifts but the bad leg prevents much more. He throws forearms into Mike instead, and tries again, but Mike fights out. Mike fireman’s carry but Alexander slips out. Alexander pushes Mike, handsprings through, but into Mike’s SUPERKICK! Mike picks Alexander up, Samoan Driver! Cover, TWO!! Alexander lives and the Kanellises are furious! Fans rally up but Maria tells them to shut up. Mike drags Alexander back up, but Alexander uppercuts him! Mike throws another right, but Alexander kicks! Alexander misses the back hand and Mike pushes him to a corner. Mike runs into a boot, Alexander hops up, but Mike hits another rocking right!
Mike drags Alexander out, Backpack Stunner! Cover, TWO!! Mike grows frustrated, but he slaps himself back into focus. Mike drags Alexander up once more but Alexander shoves him away. Alexander rolls Mike up, TWO! Penalty Kick misses, small package, TWO! Backslide, TWO! Sudden Michinoku! Cover, TWO!! Now Alexander is shocked, but Maria is still worried for her husband. Mike crawls to the ropes but Alexander grabs the legs. Mike kicks Alexander away but Alexander comes back. They brawl between the ropes, Mike hotshots Alexander down. Mike drags Alexander back up to suplex but Alexander lands on the apron. They brawl more and double boot! Both men fall but Mike lands on the floor. Alexander’s still in the ring as the count begins.
Mike starts crawling away, he doesn’t seem to care anymore. But Alexander staggers his way over to Mike, only to get a SPINEBUSTER on the ramp!! The referee checks on Alexander as he writhes in pain. Mike crawls back towards the ring and gets in. The ring count passes 5 but Alexander hasn’t gotten up. Alexander crawls at 7, at 9, and gets in at 9.9!! Mike is furious but he goes right at Alexander. Alexander grabs ropes to deny the hold. Mike stomps Alexander out and drags him back over. Mike turns Alexander over for a Boston Crab! Alexander endures the leg and back pain as he crawls for the ropes. He reaches, but Mike sits down deep! Alexander still gets the ropebreak! Mike and Maria are beside themselves but New Orleans is loving this!
Mike paces to keep his cool while Maria glares at Alexander. Alexander makes it to the ropes as Mike blows a kiss to Maria. Mike runs in but Alexander dumps him out. Alexander builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit takes Mike out! Alexander puts Mike back in but can barely move on his own. Maria gets in Alexander’s way! Fans boo as Maria plays goalie, but Alexander gets past. To get a SUPERKICK!! Dragon sleeper, swinging neckbreaker! Cover, Mike wins!? No, no! The referee saw Alexander get his shoulder up! It was a TWO!! Alexander kicks out by mere inches, but it’s still a kick-out! The match must continue! Mike runs into Alexander, Alexander rolls but Mike sits on it! TWO, into the LUMBAR CHECK! Cover, Alexander wins!!
Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall
The narrowest of margins was the difference between a victory and a defeat! Alexander finds himself on the upside of the decision, but Maria actually smiles. Does she still believe the career-defining win is on the horizon? As for Alexander, is he going to repeat his path to Wrestlemania from 2018? Or is there a roadblock in the way for both of them just around the corner?
Drake Maverick speaks.
The 205 Live GM has made his decision on the first Cruiserweight superstars to enter the tournament. Deciding was not taken lightly, as he again considered both recent performances as well as past accomplishments. Therefore, the first of the first round matches Maverick has decided on are: Kalisto VS Tony Nese; and THE Brian Kendrick VS Drew Gulak. Half the field has been named, which of these first four in will make it to the finals? Who else will join as the last four in and join them on the Road to Wrestlemania?
A really great episode of 205 Live, and I like the announcement of another Cruiserweight tournament. Last year when Drake Maverick was first introduced to the show, the tournament was a necessity because of circumstances (Enzo Amore) but it was so good, doing it this year is a good move. Learning half the field now is alright, and gives Maverick time, in kayfabe, to figure out the other four after the matches we just got tonight. Kalisto VS Nese and Kendrick VS Gulak are going to be great, and the stories are all there. Nese wants to finally be champion, even if it’s going to be against his good pal, Buddy Murphy. Kendrick and Gulak are enemies and will fight even fiercer now that a chance at the title is involved. Nese is a given but Kendrick VS Gulak could probably go either way.
I was wondering when Gulak & Gallagher would make themselves Carrillo’s corner men and turns out that was tonight. Carrillo and TJP had a great match, and it’s great for Carrillo to defeat another Cruiserweight Division staple. I almost thought Gulak & Gallagher were going to Electric Chair Drop Carrillo while celebrating, but there’s a lot of time for their story to develop. As great as Carrillo is, his story with Gulak & Gallagher will sidetrack him from the title one way or another. Daivari sadly can’t do the story he was going to with Hideo Itami after Itami got his release. Daivari had to settle for getting cheap heat off of local sports teams. I’m not sure if he’s in the tournament, but his new push would dictate that he is, and probably reaches the semifinals just so he looks good.
Alexander VS Mike was incredible, certainly Mike’s best match since coming to the WWE. Which is a shame, he should’ve been doing way more on Raw or SmackDown than what they had him do. Mike might make it far in the tournament, if he’s even in it. Alexander is definitely in the tournament, but I feel like it’d bee too easy to say he’ll return to Wrestlemania. As Murphy said in his promo tonight, he’s beaten just about everyone around, and he continues to establish himself as one of history’s best Cruiserweights. I’m betting on Kushida finally debuting in WWE to skyrocket to the top. He’ll make every match he has in the tournament into an instant classic, and then give us another one at Wrestlemania with Murphy to take that title and stop the unstoppable.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Results & Report! (2/19/19)
Who will be named Daniel Bryan’s Fastlane opponent?
The New Daniel Bryan returns to SmackDown STILL WWE Champion! But without wasting any time, a new #1 Contender to the title will be determined for Fastlane!
- Aleister Black VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Black wins.
- The Bar VS Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano; Ciampa & Gargano win.
- Asuka VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville; Rose wins.
- Ricochet VS Eric Young w/ SAnitY; Ricochet wins.
- Six Man Tag: Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy VS Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton & Samoa Joe; Kingston, Styles & Hardy win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Shane McMahon heads to the ring!
Shane O’Mac is back in New Orleans, but not as a SmackDown Tag Team Champion. He and The Miz lost to Jimmy & Jey Uso at Elimination Chamber, but that’s not even the biggest thing to come out of that PPV. The WWE Championship Elimination Chamber closed the night, and Kofi Kingston stole the show! Kofi gave it his all against Daniel Bryan, but one missed splash changed everything, and the Planet’s Champion still has that title belt. The WWE Universe showed Kofi Kingston love, but where does Kofi go from here? Aside from tonight’s major main event, that is.
As for Shane, New Orleans is happy to see him and he’s happy to see them. Shane notes the amazing main event tag match, and the NXT superstars debuting on last night’s Raw. Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Aleister Black and Ricochet all impressed Shane so well that he’s invited them here to SmackDown tonight! But first, The Miz makes his entrance. The A-Lister apologizes for interrupting but he has to get this other apology out. Roughly 48 hours ago, Miz lost their titles. No matter where he goes or what he does, he can’t shake the guilt. Shane took a chance on Miz, and Miz knows his reputation in the locker room. Shane still took that risk because of Miz’s passionate plea. But to make a confession, Miz was just using Shane.
Miz knew Shane could relate about their dads being proud of them. Fans chant “Dad! Dad!” Miz got hurt at the World Cup tournament and Shane stepped in for him. When Miz wanted to be a tag team partner, Shane revealed he wanted to be a tag team champion. Miz always puts his all into making the titles he holds the best titles in the company. And they did that together. Shane surprised Miz by bringing out his dad. As Mr. Miz walked out, he said he was proud of The Miz. That was the first time Miz heard those words. Miz gets a little emotional as he says that was the best moment in his career and one of the best moments in his life. And it was all thanks to Shane, so Miz thanks Shane now.
But then in their first title defense, Miz let Shane down and he is sorry for that. Miz can’t change the past but he can control the future. There are no automatic rematches anymore, but Shane’s a McMahon. If anyone can make a rematch, it’s Shane. Fans want a rematch, too! And Miz knows Shane wants a rematch, too! Fans chant “Rematch! Rematch!” but out come the Usos! The NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions shout “Whoa! Whoa!” Wait for it. WHOA! It sounds like the WWE Universe want to see The Miz & Shane VS the brand new tag team champions! The Usos know there’s nothing automatic anymore. Maybe if Shane can forgive Miz, then the Usos will give them a second chance at being the Best Tag Team in the World.
But there’s a reason he shouldn’t, though: Miz is a joke. He’s a loser. A failure. A fraud. Miz is a wannabe A-Lister with C-List skill! Shane should ask Miz, because apparently Miz is a crybaby. Shane needs a better partner, because Miz ain’t cutting it. But Shane stands up for Miz! Do not disrespect his tag partner. The rematch is on! And it’ll be in Cleveland for Fastlane! Fans aren’t happy it isn’t tonight, but the rematch is happening! And that is AWESOME! Will the Co-Besties be back on top in Miz’s hometown? Or will the second visit to the Uso Penitentiary be their last?
Aleister Black VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega!
The Embodiment of the End made Elias #DriftAway and #FadetoBlack, and now he’s making his SmackDown debut the very next night! And he also revisits a feud from when both he and El Idolo were in NXT! Will history repeat itself on the main roster? Or will their time apart bring about a different result?
SmackDown returns as Almas and Vega make their entrance. The bell rings and fans chant for “NXT! NXT!” Aleister and Almas circle and tie up. Almas gets the wristlock but Aleister rolls and sweeps. Cover, ONE, and Almas sweeps to cover. ONE and Aleister swings a roundhouse! Almas stays back, and they circle again. They tie up, Almas gets the waistlock but Aleister slips out to a headlock. Almas powers out but Aleister slides under. Things speed up and Almas CHOPS Aleister off his feet! We see Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano watching backstage as Almas stomps Aleister on the ropes. Almas backs off at 4 but comes back to CHOP Aleister in the corner! Almas whips corner to corner and knees Aleister back in! Cover, TWO!
Vega is frustrated for Almas as he looms over Aleister. Almas drags Aleister up and CHOPS him again. He whips corner to corner but Aleister dodges! Almas tumbles over and out to the floor! Aleister builds speed but fakes Almas out, to springboard and sit down. The Dutch Destroyer gives the camera a glance while we go picture in picture. Almas catches his breath while Aleister stares intently at him. Almas slowly returns, keeping his eyes on Aleister. He rushes Aleister but Aleister ducks and kips up to speed up. Aleister rolls off Alma’s back to block and boot, then knee Almas down! Cover, TWO! Aleister keeps going, Japanese arm-drag to an armlock! Almas endures while Vega shouts at him.
Aleister wrenches the arm but Almas fights his way up. Almas pushes Aleister to a corner, then goes to chop. Aleister dodges but ends up on the apron. Aleister hits Almas back but Vega swipes at his legs! Almas attacks in the distraction! Almas drags Aleister up and goes to suplex, but Aleister resists. Aleister goes to suplex but Almas resists. Aleister still gets Almas onto the apron and the two brawl on the edge. Tey exchange heavy forearms, then Aleister boots and boots Almas. Almas boots right back, then dragon sleeper, for the inverted DDT on the apron! Vega applauds as Almas puts Aleister in for a cover, TWO! Almas is right on Aleister with a chinlock. He grinds Aleister down while fans rally up.
Aleister fights his way up and puts Almas into a corner. Almas holds on but Aleister again rams him into buckles. Aleister is free, but Almas hops up to grab him. Aleister denies the tornado inverted DDT, but walks into a boot. Almas adjusts but Aleister kicks him down! Both men are down and Vega panics. We return to single picture as they both stand. Almas is on Aleister but Aleister throws forearms. Almas shoves but Aleister rallies with forearms! Aleister blocks a kick to give a kick then sweep the legs to drive in a knee! He kips right up and New Orleans fires up. Aleister goes to moonsault but Almas shoves him out!
Almas fetches Aleister into the ring, then drags him up and around for the hammerlock. Aleister slips through to roll him! ONE, but Aliester boots Almas away. Flying Meteora! Roundhouse, to Snap German! Bridging cover, TWO! Aleister is shocked Almas lives but Vega keeps coaching Almas up. Aleister drags Almas up but Almas blocks the suplex. Almas slips out of the suplex and boots Aleister away. Aleister comes back, but Almas hip tosses him into the corner! CIEN KNEES! Cover, TWO!! Aleister lives and Almas is seething. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” but this match has to end some time. Almas drags Aleister up again, hammerlocks, but Aleister fireman’s carry! Hotshot in the corner, then BLACK MASS! Cover, Aleister wins!
Winner: Aleister Black, by pinfall
Two matches in two nights and it’s two Black Masses for two victories! The Embodiment of the End will be a permanent part of the main roster one day, will that be Judgment Day for everyone else?
Backstage interview with Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano.
After an incredible debut on Raw, the expectations are high for all four NXT superstars. Can they keep up? Ciampa understands a lot of fans are seeing them for the first time. These two have made careers out of defying expectations. Ciampa and Gargano earned everything they’ve gotten in NXT, it won’t change here. These two went to war against each other in this very building last year, but they’ll wage war together and show everyone the future.
But Cesaro and Sheamus come by and make fun of “Bring Your NXT Title to Work Day.” The Bar says no one knows who DIY is, and no one cares. They can go to Raw or stay in NXT, just stay out of SmackDown. Is there a question here? Gargano and Ciampa aren’t here to set the bar, they’re here to break The Bar. But The Bar laughs. Will they have the last laugh after tonight?
Jeff Hardy encounters AJ Styles backstage.
Can they let bygones be bygones? They need to focus on the Six Man Tag tonight. Styles agrees to that, and then The New Day come extending an olive- er, pancake branch of peace. They are all on the same wavelength, right? Styles and Hardy each take a flapjack, truce accepted. Will the Phenomenal One, Charismatic Enigma and New Day’s Pegasus of Pancakes be able to defeat the Viper, the Destroyer and the Planet’s Champion?
The Bar VS Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano!
The Celtic Gladiator and Swiss Cyborg have already mocked the NXT Champion and NXT North American Champion, but will they regret thinking of DIY as a joke?
SmackDown returns to Johnny Wrestling and the Psycho Killer making their entrances. Teams sort out, and we begin with Sheamus against Ciampa. The two circle and tie up. Sheamus powers Ciampa to a corner then grinds his forearm in. He backs off at 4 but Ciampa slaps him back! Ciampa waistlocks but Sheamus elbows out and throws European Uppercuts. Sheamus whips but Ciampa kicks and boots him back! Ciampa runs to boot Sheamus down! Sheamus bails out and Ciampa eggs him on. The Bar regroups and Sheamus comes back to tag Cesaro in. Cesaro shoos Ciampa and wants Gargano. Fans want Gargano, too, so Ciampa tags him in. Gargano and Cesaro circle and tie up. Cesaro waistlock slams Gargano fast, then floats all over him. Cesaro mocks the fans and Johnny Wrestling, too.
Gargano rolls, handsprings and wrenches, but Cesaro whips. Gargano comes back with a tilt-o-whirl headscissor! He then hooks an arm and rolls Cesaro to a ghost pin! TWO, and Cesaro rocks Gargano with a BIG EuroUpper! The Bar laughs while Sheamus tags in. Sheamus stomps Gargano at the ropes! Tag back to Cesaro and The Bar double whip. Gargano dodges, Ciampa tags in! Gargano dumps Sheamus out and Gargano boots Cesaro back! Ciampa clotheslines Cesaro out, then knees Sheamus back out! Gargano builds speed to DIVE onto Sheamus! Cesaro comes around, Ciampa leaps! But Cesaro catches Gargano for a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Sheamus clobbers Gargano, and shouts the catchphrase while we go to break!
SmackDown returns and Cesaro has Ciampa down in a chinlock. Fans rally up and Ciampa fights up. Ciampa jawbreakers free then knees Cesaro away. Ciampa leaps but into a EuroUpper! Cesaro tags Sheamus and Sheamus hits Gargano! Sheamus swings at Ciampa but Ciampa dodges, only for no one to tag! Ciampa turns around into Sheamus’ bicycle knee! Sheamus hauls Cesaro up top and then throws haymakers before climbing up. Sheamus clubs away on Ciampa, then fireman’s carry. Ciampa fights out with elbows and then drives even more elbows in. Ciampa adjusts, Sunset Flip Powerbomb! But Sheamus’ body also lands on Ciampa’s knee! Both men are down from that and crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Cesaro and Gargano!
Gargano rallies on Cesaro! Enziguri, headscissors sends Cesaro out! Fans fire up with Gargano as he slingshots out,. He jumps over Cesaro’s sweep to SUPERKICK! Then he cannonballs onto Sheamus! Cesaro runs in but misses, only getting barrier! Gargano huricanranas Cessaro into the LED apron! Gargano puts Cesaro in quick, then slingshot DDT’s! Cover, TWO! Cesaro lives but Gargano keeps his cool. Gargano drags Cesaro up but Cesaro shoves him to a corner. Gargano goes up, over, schoolboy kick! Things speed up again, big tilt-o-whirl into the GargaNO Escape! Cesaro resists with one good arm, but Gargano still gets the hold! Cesaro powers through and lifts Gargano for a backbreaker! Tag to Sheamus, Sheamus climbs up, another backbreaker to the flying knee drop! Cover, but Cesaro breaks it in time!
The Bar throws Ciampa out hard and goes after Gargano again. Double Irish Curse Backbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Gargano lives with that superhuman heart he’s made famous on NXT, but The Bar is furious. Sheamus drags Gargano up and talks trash. Gargano SUPERKICKS Sheamus down! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus got surprised but he still survives. Sheamus and Gargano crawl, tag to Cesaro! Cesaro swipes at Ciampa but gets rolled up by Gargano, TWO! Cesaro rams Gargano into the corner, Ciampa tags in! Ciampa slingshots and rolls Cesaro! DIY wins!!
Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano, Ciampa pinning
It wasn’t as definitive as defeating The Revival, but Ciampa and Gargano find a way to get one over on former SmackDown Tag Team Champions! Will DIY be right at home no matter what main roster brand they choose?
Samoa Joe and Randy Orton meet with Daniel Bryan and Rowan.
They’re all meant to team together tonight, but Joe and Orton take one look at the WWE Championship. There won’t be any problems tonight, though, right?
Asuka heads to the ring!
The Empress of Tomorrow, the SmackDown Women’s Champion, finally returns to New Orleans for an exclusive interview, after the break.
SmackDown returns and Kayla Braxton notes that Asuka was the winner of the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble and the record-holder for longest undefeated streak. But it seems like everyone is talking more about Raw Women’s Champion, Ronda Rousey. With so much going on with Ronda, Charlotte and Becky Lynch, does she feel lost? No, she’s just waiting for a new challenge. Asuka beat both Charlotte and Becky at TLC. Asuka made Becky tap out at the Royal Rumble PPV! She doesn’t care about them. She wants to know who is ready for Asuka tonight!! “Mandy…!” Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville walk out and tease “poor Asuka” for no one paying attention. Here’s some advice: take notes from God’s Greatest Creation, “the most magnetic, the most irresistible, and the most talked-about superstar in WWE.” If anyone’s ready, it’s Mandy.
Asuka grins as Fire & Desire walk out to the ring. Mandy takes off the jacket and walks into the ring. It seems this match is happening, right now!
Asuka VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville!
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans are strongly behind Asuka as she gives a quick kick to Mandy’s leg. Mandy comes back and headlocks, but Asuka powers out. Mandy runs but Asuka follows and dropkicks Mandy down! Cover, ONE! Asuka grins as she keeps on Mandy by her hair. But here comes Lacey Evans! The Model Soldier struts her stuff again and it gets everyone’s attention, from Sonya to Mandy to Asuka. Lacey smiles as she simply watches from the ramp. Sonya approaches, but Lacey struts back to the back. Mandy shoves Asuka! Russian Leg Sweep! Cover, ONE! Asuka survives the sneak attack and runs Mandy out of the ring. Asuka is furious while Fire & Desire regroups.
Mandy takes her time returning but Asuka is still stinging from the sneak attack. Mandy throws heavy knees and then throws Asuka down by her hair! Asuka kicks back from the mat but Mandy drags her up into a corner. Mandy stomps a mudhole in, then drags Asuka around. Asuka throws Mandy out! God’s Greatest Creation is down while we go to break.
SmackDown returns and Mandy has Asuka in the abdominal stretch. Asuka fights out and drop toeholds Mandy to a kneebar! Mandy scrambles and manages the ropebreak! Asuka lets Mandy go and Mandy drags herself to the apron. Sonya coaches Mandy up while Asuka slips out the side. Mandy sees her coming and rocks her with a golden knee! Sonya fires up for Mandy as she returns into the ring. Asuka is down and the ring count begins. The count passes 5 but Asuka hasn’t moved! The count reaches 9 but Asuka springs to life to enter at 9.5! Mandy is right on Asuka with stomp after stomp. She is furious but keeps focus as she drags Asuka up. Asuka fires up as Mandy pushes her around. Mandy slaps Asuka around, so Asuka SLAPS back!
Asuka fires palm strike after palm strike then whips. Mandy reverses but Asuka hops up and missile dropkicks! Asuka fires up and back hands Mandy again and again! Then the back heel kick! Cover, TWO! Asuka keeps on Mandy with a German Suplex! Asuka runs, Shining Wizard! Cover, TWO! Mandy lives but Asuka grits her teeth. Asuka drags Mandy up but Mandy pushes her back. Mandy runs into the pop-up knee! Mandy says her eye is damaged! The referee checks on Mandy and keeps Asuka back. Asuka doesn’t believe Mandy, and Mandy yanks Asuka into ropes! Mandy rolls Asuka, Mandy wins!!
Winner: Mandy Rose, by pinfall
God’s Greatest Creation caught Asuka off guard! Her trick got the better of the Empress, but will she have another one that can take the title from her?
Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.
The Queen saw that upset victory of Mandy over Asuka, but she herself has had a shocking week. Becky Lynch attacked her at a live event, then again at Elimination Chamber, all in violation of the suspension. Is Becky going to haunt Charlotte the entire time? Haunting is a good word. Becky is a ghost who meddles in things she shouldn’t. Charlotte made Becky pay for it the first time, but then Becky got her back last Sunday. But if Becky does it again, she’ll be arrested. Whether Becky or Ronda or any of the fans want to face it, it will be Ronda VS Charlotte as the main event, because of Charlotte.
The Miz finds Shane backstage.
He can’t thank Shane enough for making their rematch official. They’re ready to get those titles back. Miz has more breaking news: Mr. Miz is going to be ringside at Fastlane! That’s great to have Miz’s dad there to support them. Will Miz and Shane make their fathers proud by becoming two-time SmackDown Tag Team Champions together?
Ricochet VS Eric Young w/ SAnitY!
The One and Only has an extraordinary Raw debut alongside the Extraordinary Intercontinental Champion, Finn Balor. Now he’ll debut on SmackDown standing alone against the loony leader of SAnitY! Will Ricochet be 2-for-2 like the rest of the NXT superstars? Or will the chaos ruin the fun?
SmackDown goes picture in picture while SAnitY makes their entrance. Young has Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe by his side as he walks to the ring. Fans are on Ricochet’s side as the bell rings and he circles with Young. They tie up and Young pushes Ricochet to a corner. Young shoves Ricochet but backs off as we return to single picture. They tie up again and Young wrenches Ricochet’s wrist. Ricochet rolls, handsprings and wrenches Young back. Ricochet brings Young to the mat, then wrenches again. He throws Young with a headlock takedown, but Young headscissors. Ricochet pops out and dares Young to bring it. They tie up again and Young headlocks. Ricochet powers out but Young runs him over. Young roars but Ricochet kips up!
Ricochet blocks the boot and whips but Young reverses. Ricochet rolls off Young’s back and handsprings back to headscissor Young down! Dropkick sends Young out of the ring but Ricochet builds speed. Ricochet fakes Young out and superhero lands! Young returns but runs into haymakers. Ricochet whips again but Young holds ropes. Young dumps Ricochet out but Ricochet shoulders back in. Wolfe distracts and Young clobbers Ricochet! The referee reprimands Wolfe while Young fetches Ricochet. Young puts Ricochet in and stalks him to a corner. He throws haymakers and then hops up for a hangman’s sleeper hold! The ref counts and Young lets go at 4. Young leaps and drops an ax handle on Ricochet! Cover, TWO!
Young keeps on Ricochet with a chinbar. Ricochet endures as fans rally up. Ricochet feeds off the energy but Young wrangles him right back down. Young puts more weight on Ricochet in the chinlock. Fans rally up again and Ricochet powers up. Young wrangles Ricochet down a second time and squeezes tighter. Ricochet gets a second wind and fights out with body shots. Ricochet throws haymakers but Young shoves him to a corner. Young runs in but gets buckles! Ricochet CLOBBERS Young! Ricochet rallies on Young then hits a huricanrana! Young flounders about, Ricochet rams a shoulder in. Ricochet springboards, flying uppercut! Standing shooting star! Cover, TWO! Ricochet keeps his cool as he dares Young to stand.
Young gets up, Ricochet fireman’s carry, but Young slips out. Ricochet elbows Young away, then whips him corner to corner. Young goes up and to the apron, and shoulders Ricochet. Young slides under but Ricochet boots him away. Ricochet somersault dropkicks Young all the way out! Ricochet triangle dropkicks Wolfe away! Then he builds speed, to FLY onto Young and Dain! Ricochet fires up with New Orleans as he puts Young back in. Ricochet climbs up while Young is in the drop zone, but Young springs up quick. Young runs into a kick and Ricochet finishes climbing. Ricochet aims, 630 senton! Cover, Ricochet wins!
Winner: Ricochet, by pinfall
The King of Flight is 2-for-2! He moves fast, flies high and hits hard, will both rosters have to prepare for the One and Only?
Backstage interview with The New Day.
Kofi did not become WWE Champion, he was the highlight of the night. Triple H said Kofi capture the hearts of the world. Xavier Woods says this didn’t just happen over the course of a week, but over the course of 11 years! 11 years is longer than Drake’s So Far Gone. Longer than Instagram! Longer than Empire’s been on air, and we all know they’ve been doing some crazy things to keep that show going.
Kofi himself says that this past week has been special for everyone. Kofi feels like the entire WWE Universe has his back. #Kofimania! This is wild, and to be honest, none of it would be possible without his brothers, Big E and Woods. They pushed for him to be the one to represent in the Chamber! Kofi loves his boys, dead serious. But now it’s time to introduce us to his other friend: Mo Mentum! Awwwww~ Nawlins~!
Six Man Tag: Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy VS Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton & Samoa Joe!
Pancakes and positivity follow The New Day wherever they go, and that’s no different when Kofi teams with the Phenomenal and the Enigma. Will momentum be on their side going against the other three men from the Elimination Chamber match? And who, who who who, will be named the new challenger to the Planet’s Champion?
SmackDown returns as the rest of the competitors make their entrances. But before the match, Daniel Bryan speaks. “Small minded skeptics throughout history have oppressed the great minds, the radical thinkers. Thomas Beckett, Joan of Arc, Socrates!” They’re not superheroes or celebrities, so that’s why no one here knows who they are. “Ignorant!” The WWE Universe tried to will the title off of Bryan, but Bryan survived! And that’s because Bryan serves a higher purpose: to enlighten and educate those who refuse to be educated! Bryan will educate everyone again about his opponent at Fastlane. But he won’t say who it is, he’ll say who it isn’t. It will be none of the other men in this match tonight, because he already defeated all of them in the Elimination Chamber! Bryan scratches everyone off his list, but will he regret saying that before this tag match even happens?
SmackDown returns again and this match finally begins. Bryan starts against Kofi but then he tags out to Samoa Joe. Joe and Kofi circle and tie up. Joe puts Kofi in a corner but Kofi dodges and fires off kicks! Kofi whips but Joe reverses, only for Kofi to go up and missile dropkick! Cover, ONE, but Kofi stays on Joe. Tag to Hardy and Hardy drops an ax handle on the arm. Hardy kicks and whips but Joe reverses. Hardy runs Joe over with forearms! Atomic drop and leg drop! Dropkick added, then a splash, TWO! Hardy calls for DELETE, but Joe denies the Twist of Fate to headbutt Hardy down! Tag to Orton, and Orton drags Hardy over. Orton stomps Hardy’s ankles, then his legs. Tag to Bryan and Bryan drags Hardy up for a facelock.
Fans boo as Bryan gives Hardy stiff No Kicks. Buzzsaw hits! Cover, ropebreak! Bryan tags to Orton and Orton stays between Hardy and the corner. Orton wraps Hardy in a chinlock but fans rally up. Hardy feeds off the energy and fights out with elbows and a jawbreaker! Hardy hurries, hot tag to Kofi! Springboard ax handle drops Orton! Kofi hits Joe and Bryan for good measure before rallying on Orton more! Kofi dropkicks and leaping lariats! Fans fire up with Kofi as he hits the Boom Drop! Kofi aims from the corner but Bryan runs in. Kofi sends Bryan out then clotheslines Orton out! Orton hits announce desk and Kofi climbs up high. Kofi aims but Bryan shoves him all the way down! Fans boo while Joe blasts Styles. Orton back suplexes Kofi on the announce desk! Momentum is going the other way while we go to break.
SmackDown returns once more, and Bryan rains down rights on Kofi. Bryan shouts that Kofi doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring, and he stomps Kofi out. Fans rally up for Kofi as Bryan tags in Orton. Bryan throws Kofi out and Orton back suplexes Kofi onto the announce desk again! Orton puts Kofi back in and covers, TWO! Orton drags Kofi around by his hair and into a chinlock. Kofi endures as Orton thrashes him around. Fans rally up again, and Kofi fights back with body shots. Orton clubs Kofi then whips him to a corner. Orton runs in but gets only post! Both men are down and fans are thunderous! Kofi crawls, but so does Orton. Hot tags to Bryan and Styles! Styles hits Joe and rallies on Bryan! Bryan back suplexes but Styles lands out for the STO backbreaker!
Styles fires up and hits a big clothesline in the corner! Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Styles drags Bryan up for the Clash, but Bryan slips out. Orton comes in but Styles denies the RKO with a Pele! Bryan roundhouses Styles! Bryan runs in the corner but into a Calf Crusher! Styles has Bryan’s leg, but Joe stomps him out! Hardy hits Joe with a Twist of Fate! Orton throws Hardy right out of the ring, but Styles clotheslines Orton out. Bryan rolls Styles! TWO and Styles roles Bryan! TWO, Labell Lock! Styles scrambles to a ropebreak and Bryan lets him go. Bryan aims again, but his knee misses, and he gets a Pele! Styles and Bryan crawl, hot tag to Kofi! Kofi springboards on Bryan with ax handles! Bryan tosses Kofi out, Kofi wipes everyone else out! Kofi intercepts Bryan’s dive with a forearm! Kofi hurries up top, leaps, missile dropkick!
Bryan bails out but Kofi keeps moving. Kofi climbs up top and Trust Falls onto Bryan and Rowan! Kofi puts Bryan in fast and aim from the corner. Fans fire up behind Kofimania, Trouble in Paradise hits!! Cover, Kofi and team wins!!
Winners: Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy, Kingston pinning
Momentum carries Kofi through, and his team wins! Shane McMahon comes out and loved it all. He notes that there won’t be just one rematch at Fastlane. Bryan will defend his title against… Fans want “Kofi! Kofi!” and Shane makes the choice! Kofi Kingston IS facing Bryan for the WWE Championship 1v1! Is this FINALLY going to be Kofi’s time?!
An AMAZING SmackDown that is again like Raw but better. Firstly, we have Miz apologize to Shane but the Usos rubbing it in that Miz inevitably loses. Their Fastlane rematch is going to be great, but I have a bad feeling Miz and Shane will lose again and then we end up with their Wrestlemania match. Having Miz’s dad in the front row will likely be part of that result, such as Mr. Mizanin favoring Shane over Miz and Miz gets jealous. The NXT superstars do great here tonight, too, in a slight flip from Raw. Aleister Black has a great revisit match with Andrade Almas, while DIY and Ricochet have random but solid matches.
Ciampa’s leg getting squashed under Sheamus was a scary moment but good to see he’s okay. Ricochet VS Eric Young was definitely better for SAnitY since they’re finally on TV again. These debuts probably aren’t full call-ups as there’s a lot for them to still do on NXT, but I would love if this was to tie into a huge NXT invasion angle. NXT has felt better than Raw and even SmackDown for some time, and there’s word of Fox wanting more than just SmackDown, so perhaps this can all lead to a huge move for NXT to try and be the third brand come a PPV like Survivor Series.
It was great to see Asuka return to television, and obviously we get a lot of foreshadowing for her Road to Wrestlemania. She has a good match with Mandy Rose, and Lacey Evans’ random appearance wasn’t so random as Mandy almost took advantage. I’m a little disappointed Mandy beat Asuka by faking her eye injury when Asuka knew exactly that’s what she was doing. Clearly Fastlane will have Asuka VS Mandy, but Lacey Evans might be the Wrestlemania match. Lacey hasn’t even had a match on TV yet, but she’ll likely go through the rest of the roster to establish herself. Lacey came close to being a contender to the NXT Women’s Championship, so it’s not a stretch if she manages to make it to the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
The Six Man Tag was great, but too many commercials. But commercials aside, when Bryan declared no one in the match was going to challenge him at Fastlane, that literally meant someone was. And because of all the momentum at his back, it was going to be Kofi Kingston. It was therefore very fitting that Kofi did so great in this match and got the pin on the champ. Kofi VS Bryan 1v1 is going to be great, and the WWE Universe will surely be red hot for Kofi again. I really hope that this time, WWE pulls the trigger and gives us Kofi’s Grand Slam Championship moment. Houston was ready to explode, Cleveland will be more than ready.
My Score: 8.5/10