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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (6/26/18)

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After being made an example of by the King of Strong Style, something has awoken within the Charismatic Enigma, and it’s hungry for revenge! Can Jeff Hardy get back at Shinsuke Nakamura while retaining his United States Championship? Plus, Miz TV will have the SmackDown Tag Team Champions as the special guests!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Xavier w/ The New Day VS Rusev w/ Aiden English; Rusev wins.
  • WWE United States Championship Open Challenge: Jeff Hardy VS Shinsuke Nakamura Eric Young; Young wins by disqualification, Hardy retains the WWE US Championship.
  • Six Man Tag: SAnitY VS Jeff Hardy & The Usos; Hardy & The Usos win.
  • Becky Lynch VS Sonya Deville w/ Mandy Rose; Becky wins.
  • Daniel Bryan VS Harper w/ Rowan; Bryan wins, by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown opens with Miz TV!

The Most Must-See Talk Show in WWE has fans chanting “Daniel Bryan!” Miz asks them, “Are you done?” That aside, Miz kicks off his show by introducing “actual soul-devouring” real-life monsters, it’s The SmackDown Tag Team Champions, The Bludgeon Brothers! Harper & Rowan appear and make their way to the ring. They then stand across from The Miz, intimidating as always.

Fans actually cheer, and Miz says that these three actually have something in common: they all proved how easy it is to “dismantle” Daniel Bryan. Miz’s agenda was crystal clear, but we’re all wondering why these two attacked. Why, 2B, why? Fans cheer for Bryan while Harper & Rowan are scarily stoic. Miz tries to silence the fans, to keep them from disrespecting the tag champions. Miz understands these two strong silent types, but to explain it to the fans, here is the “feature presentation.”

Daniel Bryan was all set to face anyone in the Gauntlet, but that was just Act One. Not that these two would understand that. Miz doesn’t mean to insult them, but he’s just saying, Bryan was the overconfident protagonist who was “about to get a rude awakening.” Cut to Act Two: Harper & Rowan defeating The Club, only to be met on the ramp by Daniel Bryan. It was all coincidence of their match ending and his match beginning, but it seems like there was some offense taken. Miz frames it as such, Bryan is a “glory hound” and he can’t stand it when someone else has the spotlight. He tries to steal their thunder, but then, the plot twist. Daniel Bryan is actually our villain! Yes, he is the villain!

And Miz’s favorite part is in Act Three: the BLUDGEON BOMB! This of course allowed Miz to easily defeat Bryan and move on, but he ignores that part. Miz wants the fans to cheer for that! The Bludgeon Brothers are award winning supporting actors, maybe even the new Miztourage. Well maybe not that far, but– Harper slaps the mic out of Miz’s hand… Then both Harper & Rowan move in on Miz. But to the rescue, it’s Daniel Bryan! What a shocker! Bryan is stealing the spotlight again. Bryan tells Miz to shut up. Harper, Rowan, you two cost Bryan a shot at the WWE Championship. But their size isn’t as important as heart.

Bryan is not afraid of Harper & Rowan, or The Miz who cowers behind them. Bryan just wants to know who is up first. Harper says Bryan never learns. But he’s gonna learn, tonight. Is that Harper accepting the challenge?

 

The New Day gets their pancakes turned into milkshakes!

Mr. Bootysworth serves up a pancake-shake, and the New Day is pumped up! They’re ready to take on the new #1 Contender to the WWE Championship, Rusev!

Xavier w/ The New Day VS Rusev w/ Aiden English!

The Bulgarian Brute is now the #1 Contender after winning the SmackDown Gauntlet last week. But with Extreme Rules still weeks away, he needs to keep up momentum. Can he defeat the brains of the most positive trio in the WWE? Or will his momentum be stopped so soon after his triumph?

MC Artiste English comes out and the fans chant “Rusev Day!” English sings a question for Xavier. “Do you have a waffle? Because everyone here thinks your pancakes are awful~!” The Brute’s going to wear you out like a toupee, and hopefully AJ Styles is watching so that he’ll know he’s losing on… RUSEV DAAAAY~! Rusev himself appears, and the match begins.

Woods and Rusev circle while fans chant “Rusev Day!” Woods gets a headlock, but can’t get the takedown. Rusev powers out and runs Woods over! Rusev stomps Woods to the ropes, then whips, but Woods kicks Rusev back. Woods chops, throws hands, then runs, but into a tilt-o-whirl headscissors. Big E speaks for Rusev via speech bubble.

And a fitting choice as Woods dropkicks Rusev into the ropes! Woods clubs on Rusev, then whips him corner to corner. Rusev reverses but runs into a boot. Woods rolls, but Rusev SPINEBUSTERS the Honor Roll down. Cover, TWO, and Woods rolls to ropes while we go picture in picture.

Rusev stalks Woods, then drags him up to throw him out. Rusev keeps on Woods as he bumps him off the announce desk. He then puts Woods into barriers, and into the ring. Cover, TWO, but Rusev grabs Woods by the hair to drive in elbows. Rusev wraps Woods into a chinlock, but Woods endures as the New Day and fans rally for him. Woods stands, hits body shots then a dropkick. Woods runs in, but into a boot! He goes down in a heap while Rusev walks it off. Rusev drags Woods back up, then kicks the legs out until Woods sits down. Rusev reels Woods into a roundhouse! He glares at Kofi & Big E before toying with Woods. They go to a corner and Woods hits back with body shots. Woods runs, but into a back elbow!

Rusev looms over Woods, and drags him up while fans rally. Rusev throws forearms into Woods’ back, and Woods doubles over. Now Rusev shoves Woods, but Woods hits back on the rebound! Woods throws haymakers, then runs, but into a bearhug. Rusev squeezes Woods tight, but Woods endures. We go back to single picture as Woods gives ear claps and haymakers. Woods frees himself, then jawbreakers Rusev back. Rusev gets up but Woods counters with more haymakesr and even kicks. Woods chops, chops and chops, then whips. Rusev reverses but Woods dodges and slides under to hit the roaring elbow! Woods runs in, but Rusev puts him on the apron. Woods kicks Rusev back, then springboards in for the DDT! Cover, TWO!

English is relieved, because he knows Rusev’s tougher than that. Fans chant for Rusev Day, but Woods drags Rusev up for a fireman’s carry! But Rusev fights out, only for Woods to throw forearms. Rusev knees low but Woods ducks the roundhouse to SUPERKICK! Woods runs, but into a Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO! Rusev keeps his cool while Woods crawls for ropes. He puts Woods on the top rope, throws hands, then climbs up. Woods fights back with body shots and sends Rusev down. Woods adjusts but Rusev corners him. Rusev runs in, but into a post as Woods evades! Woods hurries to a corner and the top rope. Woods walks the ropes, but has to land on his feet. They speed up, and Woods slides again, but spins into a roundhouse! MACHKA KICK! Rusev is fired up, “Rusev, MACHKA!” Accolade! Woods taps, Rusev wins!

Winner: Rusev, by submission

The Super Athlete is laser focused towards a singular obsession: become WWE Champion! Rusev speaks, “Tonight was not about Xavier Woods.” Not about trombones, pancakes, Booty-O’s or whatever. This is about AJ Styles! Styles is scared, which he proved by punching English out last week. Fans duel between Styles and Rusev Day, but this is just a preview of Extreme Rules. Rusev will break down the door on the House AJ Styles Built, and when he wins, it’ll be a phenomenal Rusev Day!

 

Jeff Hardy speaks.

Adrenaline coursing through his veins, heightening his awareness and threshold for pain while clarifying his vision. The Charismatic Enigma is ready to take flight, and fight. What has Shinsuke Nakamura awoken within the US Champion? However, Nakamura is not medically cleared to compete this week, so Hardy will have to wait for revenge. But being a fighting champion, Hardy issued an open challenge! Who will accept?!

 

Naomi & Lana are backstage arguing.

The Glowbug and the Ravishing Russian are still not over their dance-off controversy. But they encounter the cast of GLOW!

The Glamorous Ladies of Wrestling are here, and are so excited to #FeelTheGlow! Naomi loves Allison Brie’s own Russian persona. Lana should not be the sad, they are both Ravishing Russians. They could even be sisters. Well yes, that’s a good accent, for a peasant. Zoya is no peasant, she’s a warrior! The cast of GLOW loved their dance off, they should be partners instead of opponents. Yeah, but Lana is tripping. Lana didn’t fall. Thta’s not what she meant. But Naomi admits Lana is a good dancer, too. Maybe they can be ravishing together while snatching opponents bald? Then everyone will #FeelTheGlow!

WWE United States Championship Open Challenge: Jeff Hardy VS ???

Hardy is #ImmuneToFear, so he does not fear the possibility of losing. The challenge has been issued, and the superstar to accept is… a member of SAnitY! But which member? Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain all come out together. They all hit the ring, but it’s Eric Young who enters.

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin. Eric goes right after Hardy with clubbing hands. He clubs and stomps Hardy in a corner while Wolfe & Big Damo taunt the champ. Eric whips Hardy but Hardy reverses, so Eric tumbles up and out to the apron. He slides back in under Hardy, but Hardy catches him with a kick. Hardy hits a partial Twist of Fate stunner, then climbs up top. Eric bails out, regroups with SAnitY, and we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Eric has Hardy in a neck wrench. Hardy stands up, fights out and runs, but into a back elbow. Cover, TWO, and Eric is frustrated. Eric stalks Hardy to a corner, climbs up, and drags Hardy into a hangman dragon sleeper! He lets go at 4, then drops ax handles. Cover, TWO! Eric grins, he knows he’s in control. He drags Hardy up and tries to spin Hardy’s head off! Eric stalks Hardy while fans rally. Eric does it again, and the referee checks on Hardy. Hardy refuses to quit, so Eric drags him back up for a chinbar. Hardy endures while fans continue to rally, and he fights out of the hold. Eric throws him down by his hair, cover, TWO! Back to the chinbar and neck wrench.

Hardy endures the twisting and wrenching, and the fans rally again. He stands up, fights out again, then whips. Eric reverses, and hard! Cover, TWO, but Eric doesn’t lose focus. Eric stomps on Hardy, then brings Hardy up. Hardy fights back, backs Eric to a corner, then whips. Eric reverses again, but Hardy is ready this time, and he rolls Eric up as he comes in. TWO, and Eric clobbers Hardy! Cover, TWO, and now Eric is frustrated. Eric declares himself the new champion as he stomps on Hardy. He drags Hardy up, then twists the neck more. Hardy endures while fans rally again. Hardy stands up and jawbreakers out! Eric staggers, and Hardy throws hands. Hardy whips but Eric reverses again, only for Hardy to rally. Atomic drop to leg-splitting leg drop, and dropkick! Cover, TWO!

Hardy keeps focus, he calls for another Twist. He kicks, but Eric slips out, double clotheslines wipe them both out! Fans rally while both men stir. But wait, it’s the Usos!  Jimmy & Jey want some payback for last time, and SAnitY is willing to give it. It’s an explosion of a brawl on the outside!

Eric jumps out to join in, bringing Jey in. Jey tackles, the match is thrown out!

Winner: Eric Young, by disqualification; Hardy retains the WWE US Championship

But just because the match is over, doesn’t mean the fight is! Hardy & The Usos fight SAnitY all over the ring! Jimmy & Jey run over Damo & Wolfe while Hardy holds onto Eric. They all work together to dump Eric out, and we go to break while the chaos calms down.

 

Six Man Tag: SAnitY VS Jeff Hardy & The Usos!

Holla holla, the SmackDown GM Paige clearly followed in Teddy Long’s footsteps to make the brawl into a match! Can Hardy help The Usos get that revenge they’re after?

SmackDown returns as Jimmy fights off Big Damo with body shots and a jawbreaker. Hot tag to Jey! Jey leaps over the Beast of Belfast, then hits Wolfe & Eric just because. Jey builds speed while dodging Damo, but still gets caught by the Divide! Damo’s big crossbody flattens Jey underneath! Damo glares down at Jey as he stomps him at the ropes. He scrapes Jey out while tagging Wolfe, and Wolfe rams Jey into barriers, then flapjacks him on the apron. Wolfe puts Jey back in the ring, covers, TWO. Wolfe tags to Eric, and Eric hops up while Wolfe gives a gutbuster, and Eric adds an elbow drop! Cover, TWO, and Eric is upset again. Eric wrenches Jey’s neck now, like he was to Hardy earlier.

Fans rally while Jey stands up and fights back. Jey runs but Eric runs him over. Eric stomps Jey, then pulls him into the ropes for a choke. Jimmy protests, but that leaves Jey open to Damo’s cheap shot stomp. Eric drags Jey up, then tags in Damo. Damo gives a boot to the ribs, then stalks Jey to a corner. He brings Jey up and suplexes him down. Cover, TWO! Damo keeps on Jey with a neck wrench of his own. Fans rally and Jey gets up. Jey throws body shots, then an uppercut. Damo shoves Jey but Jey hits SAnitY. Jey leaps but Damo intercepts. Damo rocks Jey with an uppercut, then does the same to Jimmy. Jey ends up in SAnitY’s corner, and Damo squashes him with the corner splash. Eric tags in, and Damo holds Jey in place for Eric to rock him with a right.

Eric drags Jey up, suplex, but Jey lands on his feet! Jey shoves Eric out of the ring, but he’s still far away from Hardy! He leaps to tag, but Eric trips Hardy! Jey is isolated as Eric drops elbows. Eric tags in Damo and brings Jey up. They double whip Jey into the corner, then Damo whips Eric in. Jey puts Eric out, then dodges to send Damo into the post! Jimmy returns, and Jey heads to his brother. Hot tag to Jimmy just as Wolfe tags in. Jimmy rallies, pop lock uppercut! Then, Samoan Drop! Jimmy is fired up while Wolfe gets to a corner. He runs in, but Wolfe put shim on the apron. Jimmy punches Wolfe away, big crossbody! TWO!

Jimmy takes aim, but Wolfe blocks the superkick. Jimmy still hits the dragon whip! Then he gets the hip attack! Jimmy covers, but Eric breaks it with an elbow outta nowhere! Hardy dropkicks Eric out, but Damo throws Hardy out. SUPERKICK from Jey, but Damo stays up. Jey SUPERKICKS Eric away, but Damo grabs Jey. Jimmy SUPERKICKS, but Damo stays up, so DOUBLE SUPERKICKS send him out. The fans and Usos fire up, Jimmy holds the ropes for Jey to FLY! But Wolfe rolls up, TWO! Wolfe German Suplexes Jimmy but Hardy tags in. SUPERKICK from Jimmy, then Hardy climbs up! SWANTON BOMB!

Cover, Hardy & the Usos win!

Winners: Hardy & The Usos, Hardy pinning

The Uso Crazy Enigma trio succeeds in curtailing the chaos! Will SAnitY come back for more? Will Hardy be able to get his revenge on Nakamura in the near future?

 

The Lass Kicker fires up.

She’s so focused for her match, she almost hits one of the staff. Her match with the Gladiator Gal approaches, will she burn her up with #StraightFire?

Becky Lynch VS Sonya Deville w/ Mandy Rose!

The duo formerly known as Absolution found humor in Becky’s supposed comeback story. Becky dared one of them to step up and get their arm ripped off, so here we are.

The bell rings and the two circle. Sonya swings kicks but Becky ducks and dodges each of them, to then sweep the leg. Sonya out at One, and the two grin. They tie up, and Becky bends Sonya back. Sonya bridges, but Becky covers, ONE. Sonya stands back up, and she knees low. She runs and runs Becky over with a shoulder. She and Mandy embrace the heat, then cover, but Becky slips out even before a count. Becky mule kicks the shocked Sonya, then waistlocks. Sonya bucks her off, then mule kicks back. Sonya waistlocks to a takedown, then again. Becky headlocks and spins around to a waistlock. Sonya standing switches, but Becky runs and tosses Sonya off. Mandy coaches Sonya up while calming her down. Sonya drags Becky out and goes to throw her at the announce desk, but Becky turns that around and sends Sonya over!

Becky returns to the ring and dares Sonya to return while we go picture in picture. Mandy and Sonya regroup, then Sonya returns. Becky is right on her with a drop toehold to roll, TWO. Sonya kicks low, then rolls Becky, TWO. Sonya grabs Becky in a facelock, but Becky stands up. Becky reverses and whips, then follow to dropkick Sonya down. Sonya bails out while Becky fires up. Becky sees Sonya regroup with Mandy again, so she slides out. Sonya and Mandy get clear, and Sonya rams Becky into the apron. Sonya then throws Becky into barriers, and embraces the heat. She talks Becky, then puts her back in the ring. Sonya covers, TWO, and she grows a bit frustrated.

Sonya kicks Becky against ropes while we return to single picture. She throws body shots, kicks and knees, then wraps Becky in body scissors and a chinlock. Becky endures the squeeze and grind, and fans rally up. She makes it a cover, TWO, but then SPINEBUSTER. Cover, TWO! Mandy is frustrated for Sonya, but Sonya toys with Becky. Becky hits back with European Uppercuts, but ends up in a backslide. TWO, and Sonya rocks her with a heel kick. Cover, TWO, and Sonya puts Becky back in the body scissors. Becky endures again as Sonya puts on the chinlock. Fans rally and Becky feeds off the energy. She stands up, Sonya rocks her with a right and puts her in the corner. Sonya runs in, but misses, and Becky responds with a jump kick!

Becky runs, and rallies on Sonya with lariats! Calf kick dropkick on top, then a handspring. Becky uses a Becksploder and throws Sonya, cover, TWO! Becky keeps her cool as she runs in at Sonya, but that knee drives Becky right down! Cover, TWO! Sonya goes for a high stack, TWO. Sonya runs, but she misses the knee, and Becky hits a forearm. Cover, TWO. Becky keeps going, bringing Sonya up and going after the arm. Sonya pushes her off, rolls up, holds the gear, TWO! Step-up enziguri! Sonya crawls to a cover, TWO! Becky gets to a corner, and Sonya runs in, but into a boot. Becky hops up but Mandy distracts so Sonya can yank Becky off. Cover, TWO!

Sonya rains down rights while Mandy shouts for Becky to give up. But Becky yanks Sonya into Mandy! Then she yanks Sonya into Disarm-Her! Sonya taps, Becky wins!

Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission

The Lass Kicker’s comeback continues! Can she heat up even more this Summer and make it back to the SmackDown Women’s Championship?

 

James Ellsworth prepares backstage.

And by “prepare”, he really just puts on an Asuka mask. But then he encounters the Perfect Ten, Tye Dillinger! Sup, ya boy’s back. No no no. That mask is more of a ten. Wait, “Todd”, he’s a ten, right? No, put down a hand. So, a five? No, put down like four fingers. That’s you. A one?! Yep! Well, Ellsworth still thinks of himself as number one, but what will Ellsworth do after the break?

 

Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega speak.

El Idolo sent a message to Sin Cara when he put Sin Cara on the shelf. But why is there on other competition? Is everyone else afraid? They should be. Get the message and stay out of their way, “if you know what’s good for you.”

 

James Ellsworth heads to the ring.

Ya boy Jimmy L is back again to once again do the bidding of “the greatest woman ever”, Carmella. That includes him taking the bullet for Carmella last week against Asuka, it seems. But he says there are two types of men in the world: the kind who wear sandals, graduate high school, and “talk about their feelings”; then the real men like Ellsworth! Men who stand up for their beliefs! Asuka ruined the Mellabration and attacked him for no reason. But that’s okay, because Asuka is here tonight. So listen up “babe”, this is a man’s world, and when you mess with a bull, you get the horns! Now before you blow up his Twitter getting all triggered, Ellsworth lets everyone know he loves and respects women. His love life is so hot, you could fry an egg on it. And the feeling is mutual, wink wink.

But Asuka, there’s no love lost between them. Nor is there respect. Ellsworth wasn’t ready last week, but now that his shirt’s off, he’s ready this week! Try it again, Asuka, he dares you! Ellsworth waits, and fans hope she shows up, too. That and hopefully he puts his shirt on. Instead, it’s the GM, Paige!

She asks Ellsworth what he’s doing. He knows full-well Asuka is not here, because Ellsworth was asking the entire time where Asuka went. And when he found out Asuka was back home in Japan, that’s when he decided to come out and pull this stunt. But since he’s here, let’s get to business. Ellsworth’s appearance at MITB warrants love and respect for Asuka, from Paige. Carmella WILL defend her SmackDown Women’s Championship at Extreme Rules against Asuka! That’s funny, everyone knows Asuka doesn’t’ deserve that rematch. But is that all she’s got? Or is it… Is she out here because she wants to go out with him? Fans already know the answer to that. Paige plays along and says yes, so how does next Tuesday sound? Y-Yes! Okay shush. See you there.

But um, it’s not a date with Paige. No. And it’s not a date, but a match. With ASUKA!! Ellsworth’s words will come to haunt him, because he messed with a bull, and now he gets the horns. Will Ellsworth get gored by the Empress of Tomorrow?

 

Bryan warms up with the help of the Good Brothers.

Gallows & Anderson know what it’s like to go up against Harper & Rowan, so they can give good advice. Will their hints and tips help The Goat overcome one half of the duo of doom?

 

Daniel Bryan VS Harper w/ Rowan!

The Bludgeon Brothers claim they’re trying to teach the Grand Slam Champion Goat a lesson the hard way, but have not explained what the lesson is about. Will Harper get it through to Bryan by breaking him? Or will Bryan prove the bigger heart trumps the bigger man?

The bell rings, and Harper immediately powers Bryan to a corner. Harper uppercuts, then throws Bryan out. Rowan lurks but Bryan gets away. Harper chases and corners Bryan but Bryan slips out to kick away. Harper rocks Bryan with a right, then throws him back out. Bryan gets back in, builds speed, and dropkicks, but Harper catches him to drag him out and put him into barriers. Harper drags Bryan up for chops, then brings him around the corner to scoop him. Bran slips out and shoves Harper into posts. Bryan kicks away, then goes back into the ring to kick Harper on reentry. He kicks and kicks, then wrenches, but Harper decks him with a forearm. Harper rakes and hooks the face of Bryan, then puts him in a half-clutch.

Bryan endures being bent back, and fans rally. Harper rakes the face again, but Bryan chops and kicks back. Harper hits another uppercut, then brings Bryan up. He pushes but Bryan kicks back. Bryan dumps Harper out, then builds speed to DIVE! But Harper catches him, to throw him at the announce desk!

Harper lines up a shot, and boots Bryan into the timekeeper’s area! Bryan is down, but we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Harper has Bryan in a chinlock. Fans rally and Bryan feeds off the energy. Bryan fights back, but Harper knees low. Harper has Bryan in a corner, then chops him again. Bryan gets to another corner, but Harper is upon him. Harper whips him corner to corner, but Bryan goes up and over. Bryan runs, dodges, but runs into a scrapbuster! Cover, TWO! Harper grows a bit frustrated, but he’s still calm because he has control. He sits Bryan up to clobber him in the back. Harper grinds his foot into Bryan, then slingshots with the senton atomico! Cover, TWO, so it’s back to a chinlock. Harper also traps an arm, so it’s half straitjacket. Fans rally again, and Bryan gets up again. Bryan jawbreakers out, but Harper clubs and clamps on again!

Harper keeps Bryan on the mat, but fans keep rallying. Bryan stands up, fights out, but Harper rocks him with another right. Harper takes aim, runs in, but into a boot! Bryan runs and dropkicks the arm. Bryan runs corner to corner, for a big dropkick! Then another! He tries one more time, but runs into a scoop Michinoku driver! Cover, TWO! Harper keeps focus, and stands up. He brings Bryan up by his hair to club and clamp on again. Harper brings Bryan backward into the body scissors. Bryan endures while fans rally again. Bryan gets loose, then stands back up for more body shots. He kicks the leg, then the bad arm. “YES! YES!” but Bryan runs into Harper’s dropkick!

Harper gets feeling in his arm while Bryan gets to a corner. Harper brings Bryan up and chops him swiftly. Bryan staggers but chops back. Harper headbutts Bryan down then stalks him to a corner. Harper chops Bryan again, then hoists him up top. He chops more, then climbs up to join Bryan. Bryan resists, sends Harper down, then fights with haymaker after haymaker! Tornado DDT! Both men are down, but Bryan is firing up. Bryan stands to give YES Kicks! “YES! YES!” over and over. He prepares the buzzsaw, but Harper mule kicks him back. Harper brings Bryan up, but Bryan slips out to a roll up, TWO. Harper misses the discus, Bryan goes after the bad arm! They go around, YES Lock is on!! Rowan attacks!

Winner: Daniel Bryan, by disqualification

Rowan throws hands and body shots, then stomps away. Harper comes back to give knees, then Rowan gives more stomps. They stand Bryan up, and Harper slaps Rowan to fire him up. Rowan whips Harper in for a big back elbow! And Rowan adds the crossbody! The Bludgeon Brothers aren’t done with Bryan, they drag him back up. Harper climbs, but fire and brimstone! It’s KANE!!

The Big Red Machine has returned! And he’s saving his old Team Hell No partner! Kane stands toe to toe with both Harper & Rowan, but no one backs down. Kane throws hands! He boots Harper down, then grabs each of them with a hand. They kick back, but Bryan flies in to double dropkick them! KNEE PLUS for Rowan! Then for Harper, the CHOKE SLAM! The Bludgeon Brothers retreat, and fans chant “Welcome back!” for the Devil’s Favorite Demon. Bryan himself isn’t so sure if Kane is a friend or foe. But fans hope for it as they chant “Team Hell No!” Bryan and Kane approach each other, and fans chant “Hug it out!” Kane steps forward, and offers a hug! Bryan isn’t sure about that. But then, after thinking about it, he accepts!

Team Hell No is back together! Paige won’t let this moment slip through her fingers. Extreme Rules will see a SmackDown Tag Team Championship match, The Bludgeon Brothers VS Team Hell No! That deserves a Hell “YES! YES!” And as if the answer isn’t obvious, will they take those titles from Harper & Rowan?

 


 

My Thoughts:

What an all-around fun SmackDown. There were some changes to what I remember being announced this morning, but SmackDown still adjusted to them well. Nakamura may actually be hurt enough to take a week off, but it was a great shift to have SAnitY appear and bring in The Usos for the “impromptu” Six Man Tag. That was a great match, and it’s fine that Hardy & Usos go over, SAnitY is still new and yet is used more than AoP or Revival have since their call-ups. Then I thought it was to be Becky VS Peyton for the possible IIconics sweep, but perhaps something changed. Becky VS Sonya still turns out great, and either way, Becky wins to keep herself going strong.

Woods VS Rusev was a solid opener, and Rusev wins to stay strong for Extreme Rules. I’m sure Styles will get a chance to respond in some way next week since he was absent today. The GLOW cast shows up mostly as a catalyst to Naomi & Lana thinking about a team-up, and if SmackDown is the show that starts a WWE Women’s Tag Division, it does make a lot of sense for Naomi & Lana to be a dancing duo to go against IIconics and Sonya-Mandy. I’m surprised WWE is going with a co-ed match, but it makes sense for it to be Asuka VS Ellsworth, mostly on story. And for anyone who is worried, it won’t be “Oh no, that guy should stop beating her up” to “Damn, Asuka just kicked his teeth in.”

Almas & Vega have a good point: just because Sin Cara is “out”, doesn’t mean Almas should be off TV. Put him in a match with someone, like Hardy or Dillinger. Maybe that can start next week while we still wait on Nakamura to return for Hardy or Sin Cara to return at all. Bryan VS Harper was set up perfectly via Miz TV, and their match was incredible. While SmackDown copies Raw with “great main event is ruined by interference”, SmackDown does it better because of who comes out to save Bryan: KANE~! I was hoping for this last week, and I’m so glad we got it this week. Nothing against Harper & Rowan, but I hope Team Hell No wins the titles at Extreme Rules as a last hurrah for Kane before he truly retires.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/21)

And you thought last week was big!

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Coverage 205 2021

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!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 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?


My Thoughts:

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


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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/22/21)

Will Apollo be able to #ThinkBig and be a champion?

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Coverage SmackDown 2021

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!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 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?


My Thoughts:

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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