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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Report! (7/24/18)

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Tonight, TJP, Mustafa Ali, Hideo Itami and Drew Gulak compete in a Fatal 4 Way to name a #1 Contender to Cedric Alexander’s Cruiserweight Championship!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Akira Tozawa VS Jack Gallagher; Tozawa wins.
  • Lucha House Party VS Ryan Depolo & Chris Robinson; Lucha House Party wins.
  • WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Mustafa Ali VS Hideo Itami VS TJP VS Drew Gulak; Gulak wins and will challenge Cedric Alexander for the Cruiserweight Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

205 Live GM, Drake Maverick, sets the scene for tonight!

This week promises a majorly competitive and important main event match. One man earns a shot at the Soul of 205 Live and a title opportunity. Maverick made sure to carefully select the contenders based on recent in-ring records as well as their overall body of work in the Division.

The Philly Stretcher and submission specialist, Drew Gulak, has put away the picket signs and PowerPoint presentations to instead put his opponents in the punishing GuLOCK. He even swept Lucha House Party 1-2-3 with all tap-out victories. Then there’s the FilAm Flash and “Cruiser-Great”, TJP, who constantly reminds us all that he was the inaugural (New Era) Cruiserweight Champion. Despite Maverick’s personal opinions, there’s no denying that TJP has talent and always has standing in the ranks of the Division. It was his recent win over the Scottish Supernova, Noam Dar, that put him over the top and into this match.

The Japanese Legend and Innovator of the GTS, Hideo Itami, has a resume that speaks for itself. Itami beat out Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy but lost to Alexander in their first-ever 1v1 encounter. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t prove himself worthy in a rematch. And speaking of rematches, the Heart of 205 Live and Beacon of Light, Mustafa Ali, rounds out the field. Ali impresses over and over, especially in his No Disqualifications match with Buddy Murphy. Ali had his shot at Alexander at Wrestlemania, but he’s hungry for more. “Four men, one opportunity”, who turns this win into a shot at the championship?

 

Akira Tozawa VS Jack Gallagher!

The Stamina Monster lost to the Man of the Hour last week in a fast first-ever encounter. Can he recover against the Ungentle Gentleman here tonight?

Drake Maverick is ringside on commentary for this match, as well as the main event, because he wants to have a front row seat for history.

Before the match begins, we watch the selfie video of Gallagher & Kendrick. They explain that Drew Gulak isn’t the only man who wants a title. Gallagher & Kendrick have been the most menacing duo on 205 Live, but some of the WWE Universe seem to forget Gallagher is great in singles competition, as well. Therefore, Tozawa’s defeat is a necessary key to this reminder.

The bell rings and fans “AH! AH!” already for Tozawa. Tozawa grins as he circles with Gallagher. They tie up and Gallagher knees low. Gallagher brings Tozawa down with a wristlock, then brings him up for a full nelson. Tozawa feeds off a fan rally but Gallagher snapmares him. Gallagher runs Tozawa over, then runs. Tozawa jumps up but is caught into a fireman’s carry. He escapes and shoves Gallagher, but Gallagher comes back with a sunset flip. Tozawa rolls through to Penalty Kick Gallagher and hit the screaming back senton! Tozawa fires up and fans “AH! AH!” again. He stomps away on Gallagher, but Gallagher stands up to power Tozawa down. Gallagher grounds ‘n’ pounds, then brings Tozawa up. Tozawa chops, and chops, then fakes the chop to hit the jab!

Gallagher staggers out to the apron, and Tozawa knocks him down. Tozawa builds speed but ends up caught in the apron! Gallagher hammers and stomps away on Tozawa, but backs off to embrace the heat. He drags Tozawa up and into the ring, then wipes his feet before covering. ONE, but Gallagher tries again. ONE again, so Gallagher goes after Tozawa with a chinbar. Fans rally and Tozawa fights out. Gallagher clubs him and stomps him again, then drags him up for a scoop slam. Cover, TWO, but Gallagher keeps on Tozawa’s arm. Tozawa endures, and reaches for arms. Fans rally up again, but Gallagher presses him into the mat. Gallagher pulls on the fingers and wrenches the wrist and elbow! Tozawa endures the torture and manages to get the ropebreak.

Gallagher backs off at 4, then goes after Tozawa’s hand again. He brings Tozawa up to wrench the wrist, then uses his leg for leverage. Hammerlock stomp! The referee checks on Tozawa, but Tozawa won’t quit. Gallagher conducts the crowd in a mocking “AH!” Tozawa gives “AH! AH!” back, so Gallagher kicks the bad arm. Gallagher runs, but into Tozawa’s back kick. Tozawa swings, slides under and hits the roundhouse! Gallagher goes down, so Tozawa goes up. Gallagher rolls out, so Tozawa changes plans and DIVES! The Tozawa Torpedo hits! Tozawa puts Gallagher back in, then climbs up again. Gallagher stands and gets the missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Tozawa grows a little frustrated but he keeps on Gallagher. Gallagher blocks the saido suplex to go after the arm again. Tozawa pushes Gallagher and throws him with a huricanrana. He then gets Gallagher in a tilt-o-whirl Octopus stretch!

Gallagher pries his way out for a tilt-o-whirl side slam! Gallagher grimaces as he brings Tozawa up with a gut wrench. He then makes it a falling powerbomb! Cover, TWO! Gallagher grows frustrated, but he takes aim at Tozawa in a corner. He runs in but misses the dropkick. He lands on his feet, though, and grabs Tozawa. Gallagher suplexes Tozawa back in but Tozawa slips out. Tozawa comes back with a Shining Wizard! Gallagher’s down again, so Tozawa climbs up again. Fans echo “AH! AH!” but Gallagher stops Tozawa with a forearm. Gallagher climbs up and goes after the arm more. Tozawa fights back with body shots, “AH! AH!” He tosses Gallagher down for a rough landing. Tozawa then adjusts, for the SUPER SENTON! Cover, Tozawa wins!

Winner: Akira Tozawa, by pinfall

The Stamina Monster conquers the cruel winter! But this former Cruiserweight champion has something on his mind, and walks over to GM Maverick. Tozawa tells him that “I want a rematch with Lio Rush!” Maverick says he’ll take it into consideration. Will Rockstar Spud fulfill this request and give Tozawa another chance at the 23 Year Old Piece of Gold?

 

TJP speaks while he lounges backstage.

“So Drake Maverick finally got it right.” Unfortunately, Maverick doesn’t score points for “figuring out the obvious”: the main event was always TJP. The best technical wrestler in the game takes out the “Loser-Weights” like he did Noam Dar. Then the Cruiserweight title comes home.

 

Hideo Itami speaks while warming up backstage.

The Japanese legend first speaks in Japanese, then shifts to English. He knows Cedric Alexander survived their first match, but next time, he won’t. Are both Itami and TJP getting ahead of themselves?

 

Lucha House Party VS Ryan Depolo & Chris Robinson!

While Gran Metalik is not in Indiana to join his amigos, the Premier Athlete isn’t here to follow through on the challenge he issued to Kalisto. Kalisto calls Tony Nese out, but the Golden Lynx knows that while Nese & Buddy Murphy have size and strength, LHS has speed and heart! For now, can Lince Dorado & the Lucha Dragon satisfy their hunger for competition with Depolo & Robinson?

The bell rings and Dorado starts against Depolo and they move in close. Dorado shows a test of strength, but he keeps changing hands. That’s because he’s actually getting Depolo to do the “Lucha! Lucha!” dance. Depolo figures it out, so he swings on Dorado. Dorado dodges and Kalisto distracts with a matraca. Depolo mocks the Lucha dance, but he turns around into Dorado’s chop! Dorado wrenches an arm but Depolo reverses. Dorado handsprings through to reverse back and puts on a headlock. Depolo powers out, but Dorado goes up and over from the corner. Dorado speeds up, ducks under, then runs again to headscissor Depolo down. Depolo swings but Dorado blocks all his strikes to then SUPERKICK Depolo to a corner.

Dorado takes aim from the other corner, for a bronco buster! He drags Depolo over and tags in Kalisto. Murphy watches backstage as Dorado helps Kalisto with the elevated splash, then adds his planking splash. Fans are fired up, as are Lucha House Party. Kalisto kicks Depolo then tags Dorado back in. Dorado whips but Depolo reverses, only to get the heel kick! Robinson jumps in but gets a Listo Kick. Dorado takes aim at both men, DOUBLE Golden Rewind stunners! Dorado runs to FLY onto Robinson! Kalisto tagged in as Dorado was on his way out, so Kalisto gives Depolo the Salida Del Sol! Cover, Lucha House Party wins!

Winners: Lucha House Party, Kalisto pinning

The fastest team in the Cruiserweight Division continues to soar, but they’ve only just begun to battle the muscular Murphy & Nese. Who will come out on top when speed goes up against strength?

 

Drew Gulak speaks while preparing backstage.

“Tonight’s Fatal 4 Way will be a chaotic free for all.” It basically embodies everything he sees wrong in 205 Live. Matches like this can be unpredictable, but Gulak promises that the result will be as always: someone WILL tap out.

 

Mustafa Ali speaks from the shadows.

All Ali has to do to earn a Wrestlemania rematch is “eat a few rib-breaking kicks from Hideo Itami.” Then he’ll hobble around on one leg after TJP twists it off with that Kneebar. And after that, he’ll survive “whatever horrendous torture Drew Gulak puts me through.” Lastly, he’ll climb up to the top rope, and hit his 0-5-4 on someone and win.  “Should be a piece of cake.”

 

WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Mustafa Ali VS Hideo Itami VS TJP VS Drew Gulak!

From the Beacon of Light to Don of Nihon to FilAm Flash to Philly Stretcher, each man in this match has had at least one match against Cedric Alexander. Which man will overcome the other three to then get their desired rematch with the Cruiserweight title on the line?

The bell rings and the four men stare each other down. They circle counter clockwise, and both Gulak and Itami go after Ali! But TJP stays back, letting them do the work for him. However, they notice he’s alone, so instead of ending up 2v1, he agrees to help them. They move aside and TJP runs in at Ali, but Ali goes up and over! TJP hits buckles while Ali hits Itami. Gulak hits Ali, then whips Ali to ropes. Ali kicks Gulak away, but TJP kicks Ali. TJP whips Ali but Ali reverses. Gulak side steps to send TJP to the ropes, but TJP goes Spider-Man to stay on the apron. Gulak swings on Ali but Ali ducks under to hit TJP. Ali then trips up Gulak, and catapults him at TJP! TJP goes down while Ali rolls Gulak, but Itami breaks the cover with a kick.

Itami demands respect while he stomps out Ali. Itami drags Ali up and whips him corner to corner. Ali boots Itami back, but then Gulak comes up. Ali knocks Gulak away, then springboards backward at Itami, but Itami kicks him out of the air! Itami embraces the heat while Alexander watches from backstage. Itami drags Ali up to whip, then give him the kitchen sink knee. Cover, but TJP breaks it with a shove. Itami glares at TJP now, but TJP runs away. Ali rolls Itami, TWO. Itami swings but Ali ducks as he runs. Ali tilt-o-whirls on Itami but transfers to TJP to throw TJP with the headscissors! Itami kicks but Ali blocks to counter with a kick of his own. Gulak returns to clobber Ali with a clothesline!

Gulak looms over Ali, then drags him up for a neck wrench. Ali endures while fans rally up. Ali fights with body shots but Gulak throws him down by his hair. Gulak brings Ali back up for a gord buster! Cover, but TJP breaks it again. TJP wants mercy from Gulak and Itami, and Gulak keeps the peace. They agree to beat up Ali first, and bring Ali up. They double whip and TRIPLE back drop Ali! TJP gets them to coordinate, and they double whip Itami into Ali for a corner clothesline. Then Itami feeds Ali to them, for a double suplex. They hold him up, but TJP leaves Gulak to do that alone as he rolls Gulak up! Itami kicks the cover apart just in time. TJP gets mad at Itami, but Itami and Gulak are mad at TJP for being a sneak.

Meanwhile, Ali climbs up top, to FLY in with a crossbody! He gets all three at once! Ali fires up while Gulak slumps out of the ring. Ali chops away at TJP, then whips him to ropes. TJP reverses to a standing abdominal stretch. TJP wrenches a wrist while fans rally up, but he sees Itami coming. He manages to evade Itami’s attack to then trap Itami into a separate standing abdominal stretch! He brings them together for an amazing submission fusion! But look who’s lurking in the background…

Gulak creeps ito the ring while TJP waits for a tap, and he grabs TJP into his Gory Gulak Special! He bends TJP’s arms way back, then brings him down for a backslide. TWO by just inches. Another try, another TWO. Gulak keeps trying, but TJP pops him into a cover for TJP! ONE and Gulak sits on a cover. ONE and it goes back to TJP, but ONE and Gulak goes for a high stack cover. TJP sidewinds the headscissors, but then Gulak gives a headscissors hold of his own. TJP pops out but Gulak sweeps the legs. Gulak covers but TJP kicks out. TJP returns the sweep and cover, but Gulak kicks out. The two stand off and fans applaud the technical exchange. But then Itami barrels into TJP and knocks him into Gulak. Gulak rolls out while Itami stalks TJP to a corner.

TJP warns him about Ali, and Itami does see Ali crawling. Itami kicks and stomps Ali, then tells TJP to climb. TJP cooperates while Itami picks Ali up in an electric chair. But Ali slips out the back to shove Itami into TJP! Ali then runs in, SUPER STEINER sends TJP into Gulak! Fans fire up with Ali, but Itami grabs him. Ali ducks the attack to then rally with lariats. He whips but Itami reverses, to flapjack dropkick Itami out. TJP kicks Ali low, then whips. Ali slides to a stop then slides out to roundhouse TJP away. TJP staggers and Ali takes aim, somersault X-Factor! Gulak returns but Ali builds speed to tilt-o-whirl satellite DDT! Cover, but Itami and TJP both break it just in time. All four men are down but the fans know “This is Awesome!”

Fans rally up as all four men stir. Gulak and Ali are up first, and Gulak shoves his familiar foe into a flapjack. TJP kicks Gulak down but Itami boots TJP down, only for Ali to SUPERKICK him down! All four men are down again, and now fans really like it. Ali drags himself up with the ropes while the others barely stir. TJP sits up next while the others get to corners. TJP fireman’s carry but Ali slips out. They speed up, double crossbodies! Ali and TJP are down again while Itami drags himself. Gulak follows and stares down with the sinister striker. Gulak says “I respect you.” He does? Yes, now shake his hand! Itami trusts Gulak, but gets a slap for it! Itami slaps back, so now it’s a brawl!

They go back and forth with forearms, but Itami runs to boot Gulak. Gulak runs to boot Itami, but Itami boots back. Itami boots Gulak again, but it’s Gulak who suplexes Itami! Cover, ONE, and Gulak is shocked. Itami crawls but Gulak brings him up for another suplex. Itami knees out and fires off a kick. He suplexes Gulak, Falcon Arrow! Cover, ONE and now Itami is a bit shocked. Both gritty gladiators glare at each other as they crawl over. They brawl on their knees with elbows and forearms. They put their full weight into each other, but end up outside the ring. The fists keep flying as they go around the corner. Gulak chops Itami, but Itami slaps and kicks Gulak. Ali takes aim at them both, but TJP intercepts Ali with the low dropkick!

Ali hits ropes, and TJP hits a triangle wrecking ball. But Gulak & Itami yank him off the apron to put him into barriers. Then it’s back to the brawl! Ali recovers and climbs up quick to SUPER CANNONBALL! He wipes Itami & Gulak out, then puts TJP back in. Ali runs, springboards, tornado DDT! TJP is down in the drop zone, so Ali climbs up again. 0-5-4!! Cover, but Itami drags him out the side! Itami smacks Ali’s face off steel steps, then dropkicks Ali’s head into them! Itami drags Ali up and around to throw him into a post! Ali is down and out, but Itami isn’t done with him. He drags Ali around by his hair and into the ring. Gulak pounces, putting Itami into post! Gulak puts on the GuLOCK!! Ali is OUT, Gulak wins!!

Winner: Drew Gulak, by submission

Cedric Alexander sees this shrewd and sadistic bit of opportunism from backstage, learning who he faces next first hand. Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick join their triumphant ally in celebrating, as well. Will they and Gulak be celebrating after he makes the Age of Alexander tap out? Or will the Soul of 205 Live keep from being GuLOCK’d down?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A really good night for 205 Live from top to bottom. Maverick’s tradition of opening video packages was great this week with the four contenders featured. Then we go right into a solid opener with Tozawa and Gallagher. Gallagher makes a good point that he and Kendrick aren’t just giving up on being champions in the Cruiserweight Division. Tozawa wins and wants another go at Lio Rush, but Gallagher & Kendrick can still go after the impending Cruiserweight Tag Team Championships. They’ll obviously be joined by Lucha House Party, and Nese & Murphy. Hopefully WWE invests in a fourth team because three isn’t enough. I’m still hoping it’s the Daivari Brothers and even Lorcan & Burch.

The four individual promos from TJP, Itami, Gulak & Ali were well-done, and that Fatal 4 Way was amazing. I like the element that the Heels were working together to go after the one face, only for TJP to be the one to break that alliance. It really fits his character to be the opportunistic one, but then just as I thought that was going to bring him the win, it goes the other way. Gulak getting the win through Ali is a great callback to their feud way back in the early days of 205 Live. And speaking of callbacks, we finally get Gulak VS Alexander for the title, like what I expected back in those dark Enzo Amore days. I can’t be sure who wins, but I’m pretty sure the match will be just as amazing as this Fatal 4 Way tonight.

My Score: 8.5/10

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Mitchell’s WWE Mixed Match Challenge 2 Results & Report! (12/11/18)

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WWE Mixed Match Challenge

The Mixed Match Challenge is almost done, but there’s been a last-minute substitution! Apollo Crews replaces Finn Balor, can he help Bayley make it to TLC?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Jinder Mahal & Alicia w/ The Singh Brothers VS Apollo Crews & Bayley; Mahal & Alicia win and advance to the Finals at TLC.
  • The Miz & Asuka VS R-Truth & Carmella; Truth & Carmella win and advance to the Finals at TLC.

PLAY BY PLAY

It’s time for the Mixed Match Challenge Semifinals!

The final four teams will be cut down to just two tonight! The Season One champions are still in the running, but they’ve had a rough go of it this year. The Miz and Asuka lost to the #ExtremeFlair after Jeff Hardy stepped in for AJ Styles. However, not even the top seed still stands as the #FABULOUSTruth pulled off the biggest upset to date! Can Truth & Carmella pull off another upset against a tense and dysfunctional Team AWESKA?

As for the Raw Block, #Mahalicia is the only team standing with its original members! Of course, Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox have yet to truly see eye to eye despite making it back from the bottom of the block. That said, Finn Balor must step down from the Mixed Match Challenge because of the beating Drew McIntyre gave him on Raw a week ago. In his place now stands Apollo Crews, who wants to finally make his mark on the main roster! Can this new Team A’n’B go all the way to TLC?

 

Backstage with Bayley & Apollo Crews.

New partners start big with a semifinals match, but the dynamic doesn’t change for Bayley. These two are more prepared than ever, and they’ll be so close to being the #30 spots in their respective Royal Rumbles! But the Singh Brothers come in to get them to slow down. No one cares about where they “think” they’re going, because they’re going home! The Maharrrrraja and Foxy will be Too Sweet. No, better: they can hug it out! Bayley boots the Bollywood Boys out, and says she and Apollo will worry about vacation destinations after the match.

 

Backstage interview with R-Truth & Carmella!

The FABULOUS Truth is ecstatic for tonight. They had a rough start but are on a roll. They’ll be up against the MMC Champions. Miz & Asuka were worried about every team but Truth & Carmella. Well Miz has run his mouth a long time, and Truth knows that from teaming with Miz back in the day. Truth knows for a fact Asuka carries that team. As for tonight, Mella & Truth will carry SmackDown’s flag all the way to TLC. They vow to win, and that’s the truth. Also, Miz said something about shoes? Check these! Carmella’s kicks are F A B U L O U A S! That’s not how you spell fabulous. That aside, let’s move on to choosing a vacation site. Truth likes the idea of Athens. Greece? Georgia? No, Ohio. Well on to match preparations!

 

Jinder Mahal & Alicia w/ The Singh Brothers VS Apollo Crews & Bayley!

Team A’n’B already meshed well together when they and The Boss, Sasha Banks, took it to #Mahalicia on Raw. However, Sasha Banks won’t be present to help cancel out Samir & Sunil, will #HugNation be able to overcome Shanti and head to TLC?

Bayley and Apollo talk on the way out, and it’s decided: once they win that vacation, they’ll go to Jamaica. “This one’s for Finn!” The teams then sort out, and the men begin. Apollo circles with Mahal and they tie up. Mahal gets a headlock and the Singhs already celebrate. Apollo powers out but Mahal runs him over with a shoulder. Mahal runs but Apollo gets up, only for Mahal to whip him. Apollo leaps over for the sunset flip, TWO! Backslide, TWO! Apollo rolls Mahal up, TWO! Mahal scrambles away and Alicia tags in. Mahal claims he had this, but Alicia doesn’t care. Vegas fires up for Bayley as she circles with Alicia. Bayley rolls Alicia, TWO! She tries again, ONE! A third time, TWO!

Alicia wants a breather and she bails out of the ring. She reprimands the Singhs and Mahal for not helping out. Alicia wants that 30th spot and vacation, but the Singhs and Mahal remind her she needs to win first. Alicia gets back in the ring, but Bayley gets her with a drop toehold! Bayley wants to put on an abdominal stretch, but Alicia resists. They go around and Bayley gets a facelock. The Singhs say that’s cheating, but Alicia drives Bayley into a corner. Alicia throws forearms then wrenches the arm. She kicks Bayley around then reels her in. Bayley reverses to a cradle, TWO! Bayley gets to a corner and flapjacks Alicia on the buckles! The Singhs coach Alicia up and she tags to Mahal!

Apollo comes in, but Mahal wants him to take it easy. Mahal kicks but Apollo blocks to counter punch. Apollo whips but Mahal hits a body shot. Mahal stomps a mudhole into Apollo, then whips him corner to corner. Apollo goes up and over and handsprings, then leaps over Mahal to hip toss him down. Fans fire up with Apollo and Apollo back flips. He lansd on his feet but walks into a hotshot and big knee! Cover, TWO! Mahal keeps his cool as he drives an elbow into Apollo’s head. He whips Apollo corner to corner hard and Apollo hits the mat. Mahal stomps away but Bayley keeps the Singhs back. Mahal drops knees then grinds Apollo down. The ref counts and Mahal stops at 4. Mahal brings Apollo up in a half nelson chinbar.

Apollo endures as fans rally up, and Apollo fights out. Mahal shoves Apollo and runs him over with an elbow! Cover, TWO! Mahal puts Apollo back in the half nelson, but Apollo endures. Fans rally up and Apollo fights back. Mahal shoves but Apollo kicks back. Apollo runs but into a clobbering clothesline! Mahal pulls back with a camel clutch. Fans rally again but Mahal wrangles Apollo back down. Mahal wrenches back on the chinlock, but Apollo endures. Fans rally up and Apollo gets moving. Apollo arm-drags out and enziguris Mahal down! Both men crawl for their corners, hot tag to Bayley!

Alicia comes in but Bayley rallies! Bayley puts Alicia in a corner for the back elbow, and corner punches! She gets 8, but Alicia slips out. Bayley jumps over to hit a big back suplex! Bayley runs in for the big knee, but Alicia gets to the apron. Alicia bumps Bayley off buckles, but Bayley hotshots her back! Bayley2Belly! Cover, but the Singhs drag Alicia out! The referee reprimands them but Apollo wipes them out with flying clotheslines! Apollo then leaps up again, asai moonsault takes them out again! He feeds Samir to Bayley2Belly! Then the same for Sunil! Bayley fires up but Mahal boots Apollo down! Bayley DIVES on Mahal! She puts Alicia back in, but walks into a boot!! Cover, Mahalicia wins!!

Winners: Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox, Alicia pinning; advance to the MMC Finals at TLC

The dysfunctional duo makes it work! Granted, they succeeded against teams that had substitute members, such as how Curt Hakwins stepped in for Braun Strowman last week. But a win is a win, and now Mahalicia will represent Raw in the Finals! Who will they face in their shot at the 30th spots and the all-expenses-paid vacation?

Backstage interview with Mahalicia.

Did they ever think this day would come? Of course they did! Mahal meditated and visualized, and he sees himself, Alicia, and the Singhs on the beach. Alicia agrees with winning, but NOT with letting the Singhs joining them. They’re successful because SHE is the Captain! She’s driving this ship into Port Victory, without them! But Asuka comes over, laughing at how Mahalicia thinks they’re gonna win. It doesn’t matter what happened on tonight’s SmackDown, Asuka says she’s gonna win, because her match is next!

 

The Miz & Asuka VS R-Truth & Carmella!

The Season One champions are on the rocks right now as The Empress doesn’t appreciate The A-Lister trying to take credit for her work. Meanwhile, the fourth seed FABULOUS Truth have put in the work to make it back up from the bottom. Will we see another historic upset from Truth and the Princess of Staten Island?

“Las Vegas, make some noise! What’s up!?” The Miz and Asuka aren’t impressed, and aren’t in the mood for that Dance Break the fans are cheering for. The teams sort out and both Miz and Asuka say “I’ve got this.” Fans are on Asuka’s side. Miz concedes, and Asuka starts with Carmella. But then Miz calls over to tag in. Asuka refuses, because she’s got it. But then she chops him, which counts for a tag! Truth comes in and Asuka is annoyed. Truth rolls Miz up! TWO, but Truth stays on Miz. Miz powers out but Truth runs him over. Truth does his bunny hop dance, then things speed up. Truth holds ropes to do the rest of his dance. Miz runs in but Truth dodges to tilt-o-whirl Miz to a corner. Truth runs in to haymaker Miz. The ref backs Truth up and Miz kicks low.

Miz bumps Truth off buckles, then stomps him. Miz whips corner to corner but Truth goes up and over to dab on ’em! This annoys Miz and he runs back in, but Truth does the splits to dodge, then hip tosses Miz down! Truth clotheslines Miz out, and Carmella comes in, for the DANCE BREAK~! Asuka is furious at Miz while Truth and Carmella floss and twerk. Carmella calls out Asuka, so Asuka shows off her moves on the apron. Miz is annoyed but Truth hip tosses Miz back in! Truth throws hands then climbs up for corner punches. He gets 8 before Miz pushes him away and boots Truth down. Miz chokes Truth on the ropes, then hits his straddle attack. Cover, TWO!

Miz keeps on Truth with a camel clutch but Carmella rallies the fans. Truth gets up and fights back. Miz pulls hair to throw Truth down and deny the tag. Miz stalks Truth, to boot him down! Cover, TWO! Truth survives and Miz argues with the ref. Miz hears the fans rally and say “We Want Asuka!” Miz ignores that but gets rocked by haymakers from Truth! Truth back suplexes but Miz lands out to kick low and hit the basement DDT! Cover, but Carmella breaks it! Carmella goes back to her corner, but then Miz mocks the moonwalk. It wasn’t very good, but Miz stomps Truth down. Miz brings Truth up and uses his It Kicks. Miz winds up but misses, Truth rolls him up! TWO, and Miz clobbers Truth with a clothesline!

Fans rally but Miz grins as he runs corner to corner at Truth. He hits the dropkick, then keeps going to hit another. Miz soaks up the heat before running back in, but Truth clobbers him! Both men are down but fans are fired up. Truth and Miz crawl, hot tag brings in the ladies! Carmella rallies with lariats and a kick. She brings Asuka over for a bump off her boot. Asuka’s down but she dodges the bronco buster to then lift Carmella in a waistlock. Carmella screams and shouts to be let down, so Asuka gently sets Carmella back on her feet. To then lift her back up! Carmella fights out but gets the pop-up knee! Asuka runs, sliding wizard! Cover, TWO!

Carmella survives and Asuka grows frustrated. Miz is also frustrated but Asuka stays on Carmella with knees. Carmella jawbreakers and shoves Asuka away, Miz tags in! Miz goes after Truth but Truth punches him away. Truth rallies with the Lie Detector elbow! Cover, but Asuka breaks it! Carmella throws Asuka into buckles, and tunes up the band. She aims at Miz, but Miz uses Asuka as a shield?! The FABULOUS Kick hits Asuka, then Miz shoves Truth into Carmella before rolling Truth up! TWO!! FABULOUS KICK, to Scissor Kick! Cover, TWO!? Miz lives?! Fans are stunned but loving this!

Asuka throws Carmella out, then Miz dumps Truth out. Miz and Asuka catch their breath, but Asuka locks eyes with Miz. She knows what Miz just did, and he tries to say it wasn’t him. Asuka doesn’t believe Miz, she knows what she saw. Miz is afraid of what she’ll do, and says that they’re still a team. They can still win this together! Okay? No! Asuka fires off on Miz!! Buzzsaw! Miz is rocked, and Asuka ditches him! Truth gives Miz an Unprettier! Cover, Fabulous Truth win!!

Winners: R-Truth & Carmella, Truth pinning; advance to the MMC Finals at TLC

The Season One Champions are no longer in the tournament! The A-Lister made a major mistake thinking he could manipulate the Empress of Tomorrow, and now the FABULOUS Truth capitalize! It will be Truth & Carmella VS Mahal & Alicia at TLC, who wins to become the new Mixed Match Challenge Champions?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Last episode, last time for one of these. Admittedly, we all should’ve known, me especially, that this was not going to end with an amazing match up of top stars in the Finals. The big names like Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, Charlotte Flair, AJ Styles, etc were only in this second MMC to hook fans. WWE needs people to use Facebook Watch because of the deal they made, so that’s why we got great combinations to start. But naturally, it was all bait and switch, considering how those same big names would inevitably end up in more important stories like the titles and grudges we’re getting at TLC. Rest in peace, my dream of Bullet Club leaders and NXT Four Horsewomen members all in one match.

As for the bracket we did get, I knew it was going to end up this way. I thought Apollo was going to be Bayley’s second chance at that 30th spot after Finn had to step down for the sake of his match against Drew McIntyre. Then San Jose could cheer on their hometown girl as she goes against SmackDown’s finalist. However, Mahalicia still wins so that they are the Heels of the Finals. And while I knew Truth & Carmella were going to go in once Asuka ended up in the TLC Triple Threat, I really enjoy how they wrote it for the match. It was only a matter of time before Asuka got fed up with Miz’s ego, and this was the breaking point. Truth and Carmella will certainly benefit the most from being the 30th entrants, even if they aren’t destined to win the Rumbles.

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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Results & Report! (12/11/18)

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SmackDown brings us a Wrestlemania Rematch this close to TLC! The Queen ended the Empress of Tomorrow’s undefeated streak, but will history repeat itself?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Daniel Bryan VS Mustafa Ali; Bryan wins.
  • The Miz & Shane McMahon VS Chip & Chad; The Miz & Shane win.
  • Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jeff Hardy & Rusev w/ Lana; Hardy & Rusev win.
  • Charlotte Flair VS Asuka; Asuka wins, by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

Daniel Bryan heads to the ring!

Or should we say, the new Daniel Bryan. Either way, the WWE Championship will be on the line against the Phenomenal AJ Styles. However, it’s a minor miracle Styles can even compete after what this Daniel Bryan did to his leg at the end of last week. Fans boo and jeer this Bryan as he picks up a mic. Bryan recalls calling the WWE Universe a bunch of sheep. He wants to apologize for that. Bryan wants to apologize to sheep. Sheep don’t deserve to be compared to such idiots! They’re not the ones destroying the planet with endless consumption. It’s not a “carbon hoof print.” The fans aren’t sheep. They’re parasites! Fans disagree, and believe “Daniel Sucks!” He just calls them fickle.

As he was saying, fans are parasites because they take and take and give nothing in return, especially in Las Vegas. But Bryan isn’t surprised, because fans latched on tot he Old Bryan and lived vicariously through him. That’s what the Yes Movement really was. “Well guess what? The Old Daniel Bryan is dead! And the Yes Movement is dead!” But just like any parasite, the fans have moved on to a new “fickle field”. And these idiots all sit on the couch in the House that AJ Styles Built. Fans cheer for Styles, but Bryan reminds us he is the WWE Champion! And at TLC, Bryan vows to crush Styles’ dream of reclaiming the title, and then the announcement will be “Still WWE Champion, the NEW Daniel Bryan!”

Do fans not believe him? “No! No!” Well Bryan debates with friends all the time, “sometimes you don’t know whether your’e stupid or you deliberately pull the wool over your eyes so you don’t have to realize the facts.” Stupidity is the deliberate cultivation of ignorance. Like in Vegas! But wait, here comes Bryan’s opponent for tonight, the Beacon of Light, Mustafa Ali! Ali responds to Bryan with an introduction, but Bryan already knows who he is. The idiot fans might not but Bryan does. And he knows they’re having a match later, but Ali can join him now. Bryan gives Ali an introduction, and it seems fans do know who he is. Ali is the Heart of 205 Live, and is an incredible performer. Bryan sees a lot of his former self in Ali.

So Bryan gives Ali advice: they don’t need to have this match tonight. Bryan tells Ali that the fans won’t care, “they’re too self-absorbed” and xenophobic. These fickle fans do not deserve this great match. Fans boo so Bryan calls them all fickle. But Ali wants to know what happened to Bryan. Bryan inspired wrestlers like Ali to become a superstar. The entire 205 Live roster looks up to Bryan because Bryan stood toe to toe with any giant and proved he had heart. So what happened? Bryan talks about the Old Bryan, but that Old Bryan would want a fight. Ali wants a fight! Bryan paces while fans chant “Fight! Fight!” Bryan asks Ali what kind of car he drives. What does that have to do with this? But, it’s an SUV.

Bryan doesn’t like that. Ali is small, why does he need a car so big? Well, he has a wife and kids- Bryan slaps him! Bryan says Ali is ignorant, and slaps him again. So Ali fights back! Bryan whips but Ali reverses and headscissors Bryan tot he apron! Then dropkicks Bryan out, and leaps with a senton! Ali looks to shut this New Bryan up, next!

 

Daniel Bryan VS Mustafa Ali!

SmackDown returns as Bryan whips Ali and knocks him down with a kitchen sink knee. Bryan drags Ali up for a headbutt then toys with him. Fans boo as Bryan taunts Ali then bumps him off buckles. Bryan kicks away on Ali in the corner, then soaks up the heat. Bryan drags Ali up with an arm wrench, then whips him corner to corner. Ali goes up but Bryan catches him with a kick. Bryan kicks Ali while he’s down, then drops knees. Bryan hooks Ali’s face but lets up at 4. Ali gets to a corner but Bryan rocks him with a European Uppercut. Bryan grabs Ali for a toehold, then drops an elbow on the knee. Bryan hooks the legs and grabs at the arms. Ali resists so Bryan hooks the nose instead!

Bryan lets up at 4, then hooks the nose again. He lets go at 4, and then lets off the legs to stomp Ali on the back! Fans boo but Bryan soaks up the heat. Bryan stalks Ali and gives him the Yes Kicks. OR perhaps now, the “No Kicks” because fans say “No!” with each one. Bryan aims but Ali dodges to kick back! Ali SUPERKICKS Bryan in the back, covers, TWO! Bryan bails out but Ali builds speed to wreck him with a dropkick! Ali slingshots but Bryan dodges to send Ali into the post! Bryan grins while we go picture in picture.

Ali is down while Bryan catches his breath. Bryan climbs up top to make sure everyone can see him. Then he goes back for Ali on the outside, but leaves him for dead. Bryan soaks up the heat and counts along, but Ali gets in at 9! Bryan looks annoyed by the resilient Ali. He kicks Ali while he’s down, then drags him up. Bryan snap suplexes Ali down, then heads up top. Ali gets up and stops Bryan! Ali climbs up to join Bryan, and hits a SUPER SPANISH FLY!! But Ali flounders away, he crawls back to a cover, TWO!! Ali was so close to pinning THE WWE Champion! He hurries to put Bryan in a drop zone and goes back up. But Bryan trips Ali off and Ali hits the floor!

Bryan gets Ali back into the ring fast, and wraps on the No Lock! Ali moves around, enduring the hold. Bryan wrenches back hard, but Ali doesn’t give up. Ali drags himself and Bryan towards ropes as we return to single picture. Ali reaches, and gets the ropebreak! Bryan lets go, but is simply annoyed further. Bryan drags Ali up and puts him on the top rope backwards. He pulls Ali down into the Tree of Woe and gives more No Kicks. Bryan runs corner to corner, and hits a dropkick! Bryan drags Ali out of the Tree, then puts him back up. He climbs up behind Ali, but Ali slips out of the Super Back Suplex! Ali dodges Bryan and Bryan hits buckles! Ali CHOPS Bryan, and again, and again! Bryan kicks back and bump Ali off buckles.

Bryan whips but Ali reverses. Ali gets under Bryan to hit the tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! Ali again comes close and is shocked. Bryan ends up in a drop zone and Ali hurries up again. Ali leaps, 0-5-4 FLOPS! Bryan drags Ali over and slams his leg into the post! And again! And again! Ali crawls away but Bryan comes around from the corner to chop block the leg! Bryan drags Ali into the Heel Hook! Ali taps, Bryan wins!

Winner: The New Daniel Bryan, by submission

The WWE Champion’s new mean streak helps him snuff out the Beacon of Light tonight in Vegas! However, The Phenomenal One is coming for payback, will he become the new champion?

But Bryan isn’t done with Ali! He attacks Ali on the stage with those savage stomps! And he puts the Heel Hook on again! Ali taps but it doesn’t matter. More referees appear and Bryan lets Ali go. Fans boo but Bryan revels in it as he holds up his title. This mean streak runs deep, will it be the key to keeping the New Bryan the current champion?

 

Awww Vegas~! It’s time for a Rap Battle!

The New Day come out to host a special battle of bars between The Usos and The Bar!

SmackDown returns as Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E stand ready as judges for this second ever SmackDown Rap Battle. Meanwhile, The Bar look like they stepped out from the 90’s. Now they’ll all be battling in the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Triple Threat. The Bar requested this battle but the New Day won’t allow for any funny business. Sheamus starts off, “This has gone too far, Big Tony, hit them with the bar.” Cesaro starts a beat for “Ice Ice Shamy.” The Bar basically parody Vanilla Ice. Fans don’t know whether to laugh or boo. The New Day rank that… a trash can out of 10.

As for the Usos, Jimmy and Jey take a moment to collect themselves. “It’s the Usos VS the Bar in a rap off, I’m like it can’t be. What the hell are they about to talk about, UCe?” “Sheamus’ hair grease. Cesaro’s mouth piece.” The Usos got cheated, defeated, they removed it from their memories like Woken Hardy: DELETED. They beat the Ninja Turtles, and now it’s on to Bebop and Rock Steady. “FELLA~!” Mr. Movie Star, they’re not stealing a line but that was booty. Usos show love, like cupid. Sheamus looks dumb. No, like stupid! Is Sheamus purposefully staying white like chalk? Does he have Cesaro help him with the mohawk? Brogue Kicks VS Superkick, ain’t no pump action, those come from the hip, hit you in the teeth. But how do you knock Cesaro’s teeth out with no knuckles? I dunno. Let’s introduce our friend, Mr. Turnbuckle.

Hello, Mr. Turnbuckle! How did it feel? Well when he pushed Cesaro’s teeth down his throat, we learned who’s the real man of steel. Cesaro the Swiss Superman, right? King of Swing, right? But that won’t matter against their Uso kryptonite! The Bar sets the bar? No this is a true tag team, they’re the stars. Ten years, still going hard, zero injuries, Uso Iron Man! Tony Stark!! The Usos are bulletproof, are the truth and still have fun. Back to back tag team of the year, six time champs coming soon. The Bar, New Day, Usos, Sunday, Welcome to the Uso Penitentiary! The Bar have heard enough, they start swinging! The Usos are ready, and they hit back! Cesaro and Sheamus get sent out, and then the Usos are ready to throw with The New Day.

But The Bar comes back to blow it all up! BROGUE for Jey, and then a beating for the hosts! Jey gets up, but gets A-Swiss-ted White Noise! The Bar hold up their titles, and as the Usos said themselves, “We ARE the Bar!” Will #RunBAR continue to run the SmackDown Tag Team Division after TLC’s Triple Threat?

 

Asuka speaks.

“I thought nobody would be ready for Asuka. I was wrong, I was not ready, I made one mistake.” The mistake was Asuka let up. But this Sunday, Asuka will kick, strike, climb and grab that title to win. As for tonight, Charlotte won’t be ready this time! The Empress is fired up, will she settle the score from back at Wrestlemania?

 

The Miz is in the ring!

He holds the World Cup trophy, and tells Shane McMahon that while it’s his week to have custody, Miz needs to speak his mind. Miz wants Shane to come out, and doesn’t want to have to beg. Fans want to see him beg. Miz concedes, and kneels. He bends the knee, and asks Shane come out to talk. This is bigger than a trophy, so please come out. Shane O’Mac appears! He joins Miz in the ring, and says “What’s up, Las Vegas?” And what is up with Miz? Is he okay? Why is Miz out here with the trophy? It’s the only way Miz can get through to him! Shane won’t respond to him. They can be so good together, if he’d just give Miz a chance.

Miz knows Shane is scared, and so is Miz. But Shane owes Miz one. They should tag together again. If they lose, fine, this can stop. But if they win, they can be the #BestTeamintheWorld! Shane thinks this is getting weird. No, the trophy is just a symbol. They can be so much more! Then enlighten him. Okay, fine. Miz will say this for the first time in his life. In fact, Miz will show him! Get a referee out here! A referee appears. They’ll take on Chip & Chad, The Vegas Boys! Chip & Chad appear, and the match is set?

The Miz & Shane McMahon VS Chip & Chad!

Shane is very confused, and tries to reason with Miz while the bell rings. Chip and Chad attack Shane! Miz is shocked, but he coaches Shane up. Shane fires off fast hands! He knocks Chip(?) down then throws him out! Shane dares Chad(?) to fight, and he lights him up with jabs! Shane whips then hits a big back elbow. He hits Chip away and then gives Chad a float-over DDT! Fans want Miz to get in, but he’s busy holding the world cup. Shane brings Chad into a triangle hold! Miz is already celebrating before Chad taps out. Shane & Miz win!

Winners: The Miz & Shane McMahon, Shane by submission

The Best Team in the World finally succeeds! But Miz is clearly more pumped then Shane is about it. Will Shane come around and join Miz on this tag team journey to the top? Or is Miz just seeing what he wants to see?

 

Paige is furious with the referee.

They can’t just be making matches without the GM’s consent! Especially with the commissioner. But The Miz said she gave permission. Paige sees what’s going on now. But just as she tells the ref to hush, Chip & Chad come in, with invoices. The Miz said they were getting paid $5000 each for that match. Paige tears up the invoices, and tells everyone to leave. Will the GM have words for the overly ambitious A-Lister?

 

Randy Orton heads to the ring!

The Viper prepares for a Chairs Match with the King of Lucha Libre! These two will be able to do whatever they want with those infamous steel weapons. Orton brings one into the ring with him, and says “Nothing like a good ol’ fashioned solid steel chair, am I right?” They’re built for comfort, but can also make a statement. Orton rolls footage of how he’s used these chairs to brutalize Rey Mysterio these last few weeks, namely wrapped around Mysterio’s head before being thrown into a steel post. Orton likes that, but perhaps we can do better. He rolls more footage, as he did very much the same thing, but throwing Mysterio into steel steps this time.

“Now let me get this straight.” Mysterio knows he has a Chairs Match, and is okay with that? Everyone’s seen what Orton does to his opponent, yet Mysterio is okay with that? Mysterio must think he’ll get his revenge. But Mysterio is a victim, and victims don’t get revenge. The locker room will be worried about TLC, but Mysterio needs to be worried about RKO. But Mysterio SMACKS Orton from behind! Mysterio jabs the chair into Orton, then SMACKS him again! Then he tosses the chair at Orton, to dropkick it in his head! Orton is on the ropes, and Mysterio hits the 619! Orton bails out, but Mysterio wants more! Will the Viper be a victim after Sunday?

 

Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.

If Charlotte Flair and Asuka beat each other up badly enough, does that give her an advantage in the SmackDown Women’s Championship TLC? Advantage? Becky’s getting back in the ring, road testing both her banged up face and her banged up brain, in one of the most dangerous matches in all of WWE. And not just against one but two of the best. So no, there is no advantage. But Becky still loves it. Fighting against the odds is what Becky does. And doctors can get all twitchy, but she’ll still scout her opponents tonight. And then on Sunday, she’ll remind all of us how much chaos can happen when The Man comes around.

 

Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jeff Hardy & Rusev w/ Lana!

The Destroyer wants to remind the Enigma of his troubled past, while the King of Strong Style wants to make it clear the Super Athlete will never relive his glory days. Will Hardy and Rusev uniting be enough to show Joe and Nakamura that it’s not about the past but the future?

Nakamura and Joe troll their opponents, but then the FABULOUS Truth appears? Dance Break~! The music hits and the flossing begins! “Proceed.” Nakamura kicks Hardy and the match begins! Nakamura drives in knees, then stomps Hardy down. He tags in Joe and Joe drives down elbows. Hardy hits back and Joe bails out. Joe drags Hardy out to join him and then throws Hardy into barriers. The Destroyer looms over the Enigma as we go picture in picture.

Joe puts Hardy back in the ring and stands hardy up. He tags to Nakamura and Nakamura stomps away in the corner. Nakamura gives Hardy Bad Vibrations, then taunts Rusev. He says “C’MON!” and Rusev takes the bait, but the ref keeps him back. Nakamura goes back to Hardy for a snapmare and knee drop! Cover, TWO! Joe tags in but Hardy flounders for Rusev. Joe drags him back and stomps Hardy out, before driving elbow after elbow into Hardy’s shoulder. He wrenches Hardy’s neck and Hardy endures as fans rally. Hardy stands up and fights back, but runs into Joe’s back elbow. Joe covers, TWO! Joe stands Hardy up for jabs as we return to single picture.

The referee counts and Joe backs off. Hardy fires off but Joe reverses the whip to hit the back elbow to Pele! Hardy goes down, Joe covers, but Rusev breaks it. Joe keeps on Hardy with another snapmare, and chops to the shoulder. He tags in Nakamura and Nakamura stomps on Hardy. Nakamura brings Hardy up in a facelock, then rams his knee in. He puts Hardy on the top rope and hits the Top Shelf Knee! Cover, TWO! Nakamura keeps his eyes on Rusev as he tags Joe back in. Joe kicks Hardy while he’s down, then pulls on the arms for the half surfboard. Rusev and fans rally for Hardy, and Hardy gets up. Hardy kicks and punches Joe, but Joe denies the Twist. Joe runs into the corner but into an elbow. Whisper in the Wind hits! Both men are down but fans fire up!

Hardy and Joe crawl for their corners as fans chant “Rusev Day!” Hot tag to Nakamura, then to Rusev! The Bulgarian Brute rallies on the Rockstar, and throws haymakers! Rusev whips and clobbers him at the ropes. Rusev scoops Nakamura to ram in his knee, then throws him with the Fall Away Slam! Nakamura gets to a corner but Rusev runs in for the back shoulder, and then the spinning heel kick! Fans fire up with Rusev as he stomps the mat. Nakamura slowly stands, and he elbows Rusev away. Rusev still lifts but Nakamura slips out. Nakamura swings but misses, Rusev’s roundhouse connects! Cover, but Joe breaks it. Hardy gives Joe the Twist of Fate!

Hardy follows after, and leaps off the apron! He wipes Joe out, but Nakamura runs at Rusev. Drop toehold, into the Accolade. Nakamura escapes to use his strike fest, then aims from a corner. But he runs into a MACHKA KICK instead! Cover, Rusev & hardy win!

Winners: Jeff Hardy & Rusev, Rusev pinning

The Bulgarian Brute pins the United States Champion! Will Rusev use this to launch back into the title scene? Will Hardy be able to render Joe’s mind games OBSOLETE?

 

Shane McMahon confronts The Miz backstage.

What is going on with him and the trophy? Paying competitors to attack Shane? Tricking an official into calling a match no one sanctioned? Miz is crossing a line. Miz admits it! But he won’t apologize. Shane’s instincts kicked in and won, just like he did at the World Cup! That kill-or-be-killed McMahon instinct! Miz has main evented Wrestlemania, has a film franchise and a reality TV series, but he’s never been considered Best in the World. Not until Shane came along. Miz offers a handshake, but Shane denies it. Miz is left hanging, will he give up this pursuit? Or will he only be all the more motivated?

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

“The New Daniel Bryan” took the WWE Championship through underhanded means, but is Styles ready to take the title back? Styles is biding his time, because no one else wants to beat Bryan up more than he does. He’s counting the days, hours and minutes to TLC. This “new” Bryan isn’t that new. It’s more like “the real” Bryan. But there’s only one Phenomenal One, and that’s AJ Styles. Styles is ready for revenge, but will he get satisfaction on Sunday?

 

Charlotte Flair VS Asuka!

The Queen and the Empress are both ready for TLC’s first ever Women’s TLC match, that is also a triple threat with the champion, Becky Lynch. However, tonight is about a rematch from their epic SmackDown Women’s Championship Wrestlemania match! Will Charlotte be able to repeat history? Or will she find she’s no longer ready for Asuka?

SmackDown returns with a backstage interview from Charlotte. She’s days away from another historic first, but what about this amazing rematch? Charlotte knows what’s at stake. Asuka says she’s going to break Charlotte, but The Queen doesn’t break. The Queen breaks streaks. This will be a preview of how Charlotte will make them bow down to the Queen! The Queen makes her entrance, and we begin!

But wait, The Man promised to be ringside, and her she comes! Becky Lynch raises her belt all the way down the ramp and over to commentary where she takes her seat. The bell rings and Asuka and Charlotte turn their focus back on each other. Charlotte boots but misses, and Asuka puts on a waistlock. Asuka lifts but Charlotte fights out, only for Asuka to chop her back. Asuka runs, but her hip attack is caught! She still victory rolls through to a Kneebar! Charlotte scrambles around and stands up. She pries Asuka off and drives her down with a back suplex! Charlotte stands but Asuka follows. Charlotte CHOPS Asuka, and again. Asuka ducks the third to hit a German Suplex! Asuka fires up and runs, but Charlotte dodges the hip attack. Charlotte boots Asuka off the ropes, and takes a moment to catch her breath.

Fans echo the “WOO~!” as Charlotte brings herself over to a corner. Charlotte climbs up and moonsaults, but gets knees! And then flipped into the Asuka Lock! Charlotte scrambles more and gets up. Asuka holds on, but Charlotte makes it a backpack senton! Asuka grabs Charlotte again! Charlotte scrambles around but can’t get Asuka off. Charlotte roles to a ropebreak, and Asuka lets go at 4. This epic rematch continues after the break.

SmackDown returns once more, and the two are brawling on the mat! Charlotte and Asuka fire up with each hit and fans are dueling. Asuka hits, Charlotte hits, but Asuka gets an edge! Charlotte blocks, spins Asuka around, but Asuka switches to an octopus stretch! Charlotte endures as Asuka pulls back harder. Fans rally on both sides as Charlotte works against the hold. Charlotte pops Asuka up but Asuka makes it a crucifix driver! Cover, TWO! Fujiwara armbar outta nowhere! Charlotte struggles against it, but can’t get away. Becky seems unimpressed either way. Asuka wrenches back but Charlotte rolls through, only to end up in a triangle hold! Charlotte makes it a cover, ONE. She tries again, ONE! Charlotte rains rights then makes it a cover again, ONE.

Asuka fires palm strike while holding the hold. Charlotte deadlifts and powerbombs! Cover, TWO!! Charlotte almost had Asuka, but both women are down from exhaustion. Fans “WOO~” for Charlotte and cheer for Asuka as the two stir. Charlotte sits up first, and crawls over to Asuka. Asuka sits up and they both trash talk. Charlotte slaps Asuka as she says “You will never break me!” But Asuka gets the takedown, the jackknife, but Charlotte slips through to Figure Four! Asuka endures as Charlotte wrenches back. Asuka turns the hold over! The pressure reverses and now Charlotte endures! Charlotte scrambles to ropes and the two separate. Becky seems amused now. Asuka and Charlotte force themselves up, but Charlotte gets Asuka’s leg. Asuka endures the toehold, but Charlotte drives in elbows! Charlotte goes for another Figure Four but Asuka resists, so Charlotte drops a knee!

Fans duel as Asuka endures. Charlotte hammers away on Asuka, her frustration boiling over. Cover, TWO! Becky is again stoic as she watches Chalrotte drag Asuka over to a corner. Charlotte throws a leg into the post! She gives Becky a glare before she again throws Asuka’s leg against post. Charlotte then drags Asuka over, covers, TWO! She goes for the figure four, but Asuka cradles! TWO, and Charlotte CHOPS Asuka. And chops, and chops! Asuka blocks the next chop, and fireman’s carry takedown to kicks! Asuka runs, but Charlotte follows. Spear into a code breaker! Cover, TWO!! Asuka almost caught Charlotte there but this battle continues. Fans continue to duel as Asuka stands. Asuka kicks away on Charlotte, again and again and again, but then the buzzsaw is blocked. She still knocks the wind out of Charlotte, then fires off elbows from all sides!

Asuka kicks Charlotte in the face again and again, almost toying with her. She gives another shot then runs, but into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!? Asuka survives and Charlotte is surprised. Becky is stone faced, but on the edge of her seat. Charlotte flounders to her feet while Asuka stirs on the mat. Charlotte drags Asuka to a drop zone while fans duel. She climbs up top, moonsault! Asuka gets her feet up, but Charlotte saw it coming! Charlotte grabs the feet for a figure four, but Asuka sees that coming! Cradle to Asuka Lock!! Charlotte flairs but the hold is on deep! Asuka stays on Charlotte’s back, and they fall out of the ring! Charlotte resorts to a kendo stick! And she SMACKS Asuka!

Winner: Asuka, by disqualification

The Mad Queen returns as she swings wild! Charlotte gave Asuka the win, but The Man simply smirks as she looks at her battered competition. Becky goes to leave, but Charlotte SMACKS her in the back! Charlotte SMACKS away on Asuka, but Becky comes back with kicks! Becky throws Charlotte into the steps, then takes up the stick! She SMACKS Charlotte now! And again, and again! But Asuka attacks Becky! And throws her over the announce desk! Asuka picks up the stick for her own, and SMACKS Charlotte back! And Becky on the table, too! Asuka smacks everyone!! The Empress stands over The Queen and The Man, but will she stand tall as the Women’s Champion?!

 


 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown again has the superior main roster go-home! And oddly enough, that might be because they changed some things. Naomi and Mandy Rose were meant to spark a feud tonight, as started by social media, but perhaps there were factors beyond anyone’s control that cancelled that match. After all, this is a live show. But I do appreciate SmackDown at least wanted a midcard story going into TLC, it can’t always be about the title.

Moving on, Daniel Bryan’s opening promo was great. I knew he was going to pull that gag about “that’s an insult to [x]”. And it’s great for Mustafa Ali to be the one trying to get through to Bryan about his new behavior. For one, it’s just great that Cruiserweights are showing up on both main shows, and I hope this continues to some degree, in perhaps an effort to stop the isolation of the Division on 205 Live. Raw already has Lio Rush and the Lucha House Party, perhaps SmackDown can have stars like Ali, Noam Dar, or Cedric Alexander show up to give us some great matches. Bryan VS Ali was itself a great match and Ali looked strong even in losing.

I’m a little disappointed Bryan VS Styles won’t be a Chairs Match, but learning that Orton VS Mysterio gets that, that’s really great. Orton and Mysterio have been heading that way given the violent chair spots, and I am sure they’ll do the stipulation justice. But Mysterio standing tall tonight, I have a feeling that means Orton wins at TLC so his hunt for heroes can continue. The rap battle was great, from The Bar having a completely comedic routine to The Usos having a killer one. The Bar attack and manage to stand tall, but perhaps that, too, is a sign we get new champs at TLC. I feel that since The New Day already reached their five-time mark, The Usos will get another turn. And as great as these three teams are, I hope Usos becoming champs help shuffle challengers. SAnitY and The Club deserve second chances.

The Miz is definitely heading for a match with Shane, he just has to be. He goads Shane into a surprise match with jobbers, which actually helps cover up that Shane’s floatover DDT turned into a hungover DDT. I’m just wondering what he’ll have planned now that Shane seems firmly against #BestTeamintheWorld. Hardy & Rusev VS Joe & Nakamura was a really good match, and definitely builds things towards their respective blow-offs. However, it still feels too early to call who wins their respective feuds. It would be great if Rusev gets the US Championship back, he could use it after that detour with Aiden English. Hardy-Joe is also harder to decide, but Joe hasn’t won much lately so he could really use this one.

The SmackDown Women’s Championship scene is incredible right now. This Wrestlemania rematch tonight was amazing, and in the moment I was disappointed that it ended with a disqualification. But between the awesome brawl that happened between Charlotte, Asuka and Becky and how a disqualification keeps both women strong, I’m okay with it. The TLC Triple Threat is going to be off the charts, and it will definitely steal the show no matter where it is on the card. I’m hoping that if there is a new champion, it will be Asuka. The fans were so behind her, they have been behind her, and will be behind her even if she takes the title from Becky. The only other option fans will still be behind is if Becky retains, because otherwise Charlotte treads dangerous waters in her push.

My Score: 8.7/10

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