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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (7/10/18)

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The final SmackDown before Extreme Rules gives us another rematch between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura ahead of their respective title matches on Sunday!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • AJ Styles VS Shinsuke Namakura; Styles wins, by disqualification.
  • AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy VS Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev w/ Aiden English; Nakamura & Rusev win.
  • Lumberjack Match: Asuka VS James Ellsworth; Asuka wins.
  • Sin Cara VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Almas wins.
  • 10 Man Tag: The New Day & Team Hell No VS The Bludgeon Brothers & SAnitY; The New Day & Team Hell No win.

PLAY BY PLAY

SmackDown opens with Miz TV!

The Most Must-See Talk Show in WWE starts off the night as the Hollywood A-Lister recounts how everyone is talking about the Miz & Mrs. debut! The fans can boo but he’s going to win an Emmy for it. But there is something else fans are talking about, and it’s the special reunion of tonight’s guests. Fans “YES! YES!” for the team fighting for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships this Sunday. Give a standing ovation to Kane & Daniel Bryan, Team Hell No!

Kane & Bryan make their way out to the ring, headed for Pittsburgh and the Bludgeon Brothers. But to address the elephant in the room, Miz knows Bryan is upset over their Gauntlet match encounter. Miz will be professional so long as Bryan promises the same. Fans say “NO! NO!” but Bryan wonders if Miz is really asking if he’s getting punched in the face. Fans say “YES! YES!” Kane calms Bryan down, it’s not the time to punch Miz. Bryan promises to be professional. Miz doesn’t appreciate the fans booing that, so he raises his hand. “You want to act like children, I’ll treat you like children.”

This is the level of respect Hell No deserves. They were box office record breakers and tag team champions. They’re a well-oiled machine, and Miz never thought he’d see the day. It’s like an N*Sync reunion. But are they prepared to face one of their greatest challenges? Kane says N*Sync will never reunited. But he will admit Harper & Rowan are formidable. But they’re not Team Hell No. Miz actually agrees. If there’s a team that can handle those two, it’s these two. Let’s look back at the “most united” tag team in WWE History! Footage rolls from two weeks ago, when they #HuggedItOut. And the week after, the two talked it out. Bryan always has a demon watching over him. But then the footage recaps everything Bryan says: the Tombstones, the attempted abductions, the other Tombstones, the arguments, and the beatings.

Miz “claims” that was not what he intended to show. Someone is getting fired over this. Though, with that all being brought up, let’s address it. Bryan stops Miz, and tells him to stop right there. They both see what he’s up to. Miz claims to be professional but he just stirs the pot. It won’t work, because he’s the Miz, who is terrible at everything. Fans agree with that. In fact, the only thing Miz is worse at is actually wrestling. Is that what Bryan thinks? That’s just what Bryan thinks. Because Miz is smarter. Miz doesn’t think, he knows it’ll implode because it’s always happened. Bryan came back from his injury, but Miz has wanted to be the one to end Bryan. Bryan hides behind nostalgia because he can’t hang with Miz anymore.

Kane works to keep Bryan calm. Breathe, deep in and out, to keep the energy focused on the Bludgeon Brothers. Yeah, hide behind the broken down demon. That angers Kane! But then the Bludgeon Brothers appear! Harper & Rowan head to the ring, ready with their hammers and belts. But Kane & Bryan aren’t going anywhere. Wait, now it’s SAnitY?! THey jump Kane & Bryan in the ring! They feed Kane to Harper & Rowan while they stomp away on Bryan! Harper & Rowan throw Kane into steel steps, but here come The New Day! Kofi, Xavier & Big E make the save as Kofi leaps on Rowan & Harper! Woods throws Eric Young while Big E runs Damo over! Woods is on Wolfe, but Young and the Bludgeon Brothers come back. Bryan knocks down Young but Damo runs Bryan over!

Referees finally appear but they can’t stop the chaos! Young gives Woods the wheelbarrow neckbreaker, then Harper & Rowan throw Kofi at the apron. Big E ends up in the powerslam neckbreaker from Wolfe & Damo, and only then does the carnage stop. This is far from how SmackDown was meant to open, will GM Paige have something to say about this?

 

AJ Styles VS Shinsuke Namakura!

It’s yet another Dream (Re)match between the Phenomenal One and King of Strong Style, but not for the title. At Extreme Rules, the WWE Champion defends the House that AJ Styles Built from the Bulgarian Lion while Nakamura looks to become United States Champion against Jeff Hardy. Who will win this main-event caliber opener to gain momentum for Extreme Rules?

But before the match can begin, Rusev & Aiden English make their presence known.

“Hey champ!” Rusev doesn’t care what happens Sunday, Styles can fortify the House all he wants, Rusev is going to break it down. Fans chant “Rusev Day!” as Rusev vows to claim his first ever WWE (world) Championship, to celebrate on a day that will haunt Styles forever. Rusev Daaaaaay~! The bell rings and Nakamura goes right at Styles! Things speed up but Styles dropkicks Nakamura out of the ring! Nakamura bails out while we go picture in picture.

Styles waits for Nakamura while Rusev & English walk to ringside. Styles chops Nakamura against the barriers, then puts him back in the ring. Nakamura rolls all the way out on the other side, but Styles pursues. Nakamura knees Styles then puts him into barriers. He drags Styles up and into the ring, and Styles gets to a corner. Nakamura kicks and knees Styles in the corner, then backs off at 4. Styles stands up but Nakamura is on him with a suplex. Styles blocks, even as Nakamura tries again and again. Nakamura shifts strategies and throws in knees and stomps. He walks it off while Styles crawls to a corner. Styles kicks back then bumps Nakamura off the buckles. Styles rams in his shoulder then brings Nakamura out for a snap suplex. Cover, TWO, but Styles keeps his cool.

Styles brings Nakamura up again, for a backbreaker! Nakamura writhes while Styles catches his breath. Styles comes back to bring Nakamura up and whips him corner to corner. Nakamura hits buckles hard and falls to the mat. Styles keeps on him, driving an elbow into his face. Styles then gets room for a running knee drop. Cover, TWO! Styles grows a bit annoyed but he keeps on Nakamura with a chinbar. Nakamura endures and grabs at Styles’ face. Nakamura stands an dfights out of the hold. He has Styles in a corner and rams knees in. He backs off again, but comes back with kicks. Nakamura walks around to embrace the ehat, but Styles mule kicks Nakamura! Styles whips Nakamura into the corner, then runs in, but is put on the apron. Styles hits Nakamura away, then springboards, but Nakamura trips him up!

The champ crashes and burns, but Nakamura throws him into barriers! Nakamura puts Styles back in the ring, cover, ONE. He tries again, ONE. Nakamura grabs Styles into a modified cobra clutch, but fans rally up for Styles. Styles stands but Nakamura brings him back down. Nakamura thrashes him around, but fans still cheer for Styles. Styles gets up again and fights out. He backs Nakamura down but Nakamura gives a strike fest and ax kick! Then a gordbuster! Nakamura backs off to take aim… But Styles rolls him up! TWO, enziguri from Styles! Nakamura staggers to a corner again as Styles stands up. Styles runs into a boot! Styles runs back in but is put on the top rope, for the Top Shelf Knee!

Nakamura drags Styles up from the corner, and scoops for a slam. Cover, TWO! Rusev likes what he sees, and thinks of how he’d improve on the move. Fans duel while Nakamura stomps Styles to the ropes. Nakamura kicks and kicks, but Styles catches on, only for Nakamura to kick with the other leg. Cover, TWO! Nakamura is frustrated but in control while we go to break.

SmackDown returns as Styles chops away on Nakamura. He whips but Nakamura reverss into a knee. Nakamura swings kicks but gets the Phenomenal Blitz instead! Styles adds the sliding forearm! Nakamura gets to a corner, and Styles runs in, for a big corner clothesline. Styles lifts Nakamura but Nakamura slips off to say, “C’MON!” Styles falls for it, but the sleeper becomes the Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Both men are down but Rusev questions Styles’ strength to pick the Bulgarian Brute up. Styles drags Nakamura up but Nakamura denies the Clash. Styles clubs Nakamura to try it anyway, but Nakamura’s legs grab Styles into a triangle hold! Nakamura brings Styles to the mat, but Styles powers up to lift Nakamura into position. He can’t get free so he works ot make it a cover. ONE, but Nakamura still has the hold.

Styles rolls and makes it another cover, TWO! Nakamura had to let go this time, but he keeps his eyes on Styles. Styles swings but ends up in the inverted exploder! He lands on his feet, and tells Nakamura, “C’MON!”

Nakamura falls for it and is thrown outside! Styles slingshots for the forearm! English trash talks Styles about Rusev beating the crap out of him, so Styles haymakers the crap out of English! Rusev protests, but Nakamura boots Styles right in the face! Nakamura takes aim, but Styles dodges, KINSHASA for English!! Styles throws Nakamura into a post, then into the ring. Styles takes aim, but Rusev trips him up!

Winner: Styles, by disqualification

Rusev claims Styles knew the Kinshasa was going into English, so he’s making Styles pay. But then here comes Jeff Hardy! The Charismatic Enigma fights Rusev and Nakamura but numbers get the better of him. They double whip but Hardy dodges to dropkick them down! Hardy takes aim, wrecking ball dropkick wipes them out! Fans chant “DELETE! DELETE!” Here comes GM Paige! The Glampire wants the boys to calm down. With all four men in the ring all set to face off Sunday, why not have us a tag team match? Yes, and right now! Will the reigning champions thwart their challengers together tonight?

AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy VS Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev w/ Aiden English!

In the wise words of former SmackDown GM, Teddy Long: Holla holla! SmackDown returns to this match as Styles and Rusev circle. Styles kicks Rusev in the leg but Rusev keeps with him. Rusev catches the next kick but Styles throws haymakers. Rusev runs Styles over with a lariat, cover, ONE. The Bulgarian Brute stomps Styles now, then brings him up for big haymakers. Rusev drags Styles up for a knee while fans duel between Styles and “Rusev Day!” Rusev lifts Styles in a Bulgarian bearhug, but fans rally up for Styles. Styles fights against the hold, then leaps for a tag, but Rusev catches him. Rusev scoop slams then snap suplexes Styles. He drags Styles up again, for more bearhug! We go picture in picture as Styles endures the squeeze.

Rusev keeps his grip on Styles, and Styles begins to fade. But Styles comes back to fight with forearms again. Fans rally up, and Styles breaks free. But not for long, as Rusev gets him again. We return to single picture as fans boo and jeer. Styles endures and fights out again. Styles gets free, but Rusev knees low. Rusev suplexes but Styles slips out to jump onto Rusev for a sleeper hold! Rusev reaches but backs Styles down into buckles. Styles lets go, but he dodges Rusev’s shoulder! Rusev hits post, and now Styles crawls for his corner. Fans rally, hot tag to Hardy! The US Champ throws hands on Rusev, but Rusev whips Hardy. Hardy runs Rusev over, then atomic drop to leg splitting leg drop and dropkick. He adds a splash, cover, TWO. Hardy keeps his eyes on Nakamura while he waits for Rusev.

Rusev denies the Twist, but runs into an elbow. Whisper in the Wind! But Nakamura breaks the cover! Styles throws Nakamura out, then hits the sliding knee from the apron. MACHKA Kick takes Styles out, then Rusev thrusts at Hardy. Hardy dodges, Twist of Fate! Hardy climbs up quick, but Nakamura trips him up. Rusev is up, MACHKA KICK! Cover, Rusev & Nakamura win!

Winners: Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev pinning

It took distractions and opportunism to do it, but the challengers beat the duo of champions. Will Nakamura have tricks up his sleeve for Hardy? Will Rusev demolish the House that AJ Styles Built? Or will the champions get revenge and retain their belts at Extreme Rules?

 

James Ellsworth warms up backstage.

Carmella wants him to take care of Asuka tonight. Don’t worry, eh’s got it. She doesn’t seem as assured. And don’t ever wink at her, or you’ll get a beating worse than Asuka this Sunday. Ellsworth is “ready”, but is he really?

 

Lumberjack Match: Asuka VS James Ellsworth!

The WWE Battle of the Sexes has another go after the count-out draw from last week. With the entire SmackDown Women’s Division at ringside, will the Chinless Wonder weasel his way out of a beating from the Empress of Tomorrow? Or will he shock the world by defeating her?

Before the match, #EllsworthisExquisite wants to address everyone with his shirt off. It must be tempting, but please show some restraint around him. “None of you are ready for Asuka, but James Ellsworth is! Bring her out.” Bold last words, someone better put those on his headstone. Asuka appears as Ellsworth wanted, and this match begins.

Ellsworth and Asuka circle, but Ellsworth avoids her grapple. He also avoids the back hand, but the Lumberjacks keep him in the ring. Ellsworth wants a time-out, but there’s no time-outs in wrestling. Asuka swings a kick, and Ellsworth again narrowly avoids it. Sonya & Mandy keep him from fleeing, so Asuka kicks away and hip attacks him to the floor. Ellsworth ends up surrounded, then swarmed as they put him back in the ring. Asuka kicks him again, then fires off palm strikes from both sides. She gives body shots, then the pop-up knee. Asuka adds a sliding kick, but Ellsworth runs away from the cover. Sonya & Mandy surround him again, but he flees to the timekeepers area. Everyone grabs at Ellsworth, but then theys tart fighting each other! Ellsworth retreats, but Becky pursues! The Lass Kicker knocks him down and drags him over, with help from Naomi.

But then, the Lumberjacks swarm! Asuka has grown impatient, she LEAPS onto everyone!

Carmella hands Ellsworth something. It’s pepper spray! He tries but fails to use it on Asuka, she back kicks him in the stomach. Carmella shouts at Asuka, and Asuka shouts at Carmella. Ellsworth stands back up, so Asuka kicks him into Carmella! Carmella falls, Asuka grabs Ellsworth into the armbar! Then the Asuka Lock! Ellsworth atap,s Asuka wins!

Winner: Asuka, by submission

But Carmella is on Asuka already! It fails, Asuka fires off on Carmella! She goes back to Ellsworth, who uses the pepper spray! He holds her down, for Carmella’s FABULOUS Kick! The Princess of Staten Island stands tall thanks to help from her henchman, but will she learn the truth that NO ONE is ready for Asuka?

 

The New Day & Hell No talk strategy.

Their opponents are all huge, so go after the knees. No, they need something permanent like setting them on fire! How? Summon Satan through a portal? Yes! This is why SAnitY got the jump on them. Hell No needs to work together. Well if Kane let Bryan punch Miz, they would’ve seen SAnitY coming. No. Yes. No… Yes… No…! Yes…! STOP!! If they don’t get ti together, they don’t stand a chance. Xavier, use that big brain of yours! Kofi, run circles around them! Daniel, become the Goat Face Killer! Kane– Kane, are you paying attention? The Big Red Machine promises that they will win, and forever has now begun. YES!! Wait was that an N*Sync lyric? It still applies. YES!

 

Carmella & Ellsworth encounter Paige backstage.

Did she see what Ellsworth just did? His stock is higher than WWE’s! And he’ll make an exception if she wants to kiss. Pucker up! Ew no. Back off. Paige wants Ellsworth to be high above the ring this Sunday, because it’s now a SHARK CAGE Match! Ellsworth is going to be a Chinless Pinata, will he end up watching Carmella lose from the best seat in the house?

 

Sin Cara VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega!

The former Lucha Dragon wanted this match over a month ago, but El Idolo ambushed him backstage. Sin Cara was injured for some time after that, but now he’s back. Can he get revenge on his former amigo and get him away from Vega’s influence? Or will Almas finally get the spotlight Vega believes he deserves?

The bell rings and the two circle. Almas slaps Sin Cara, then back elbows out. He puts Sin Cara against ropes to CHOP! He whips Sin Cara but Sin Cara counters the tilt-o-whirl with an armdrag! Then he headscissors Almas  out of the ring. Vega panics but Sin Cara DIVES! The tope suicida sends Almas to the ramp! Sin Cara puts him back in the ring, then drags him up. Almas standing switches but Sin Cara bucks him off. Almas catches the boots to give Sin Cara a draping backbreaker and elbow DDT. Cover, TWO, and we go picture in picture as Almas stomps away on Sin Cara.

Almas brings Sin Cara over to the ropes to then slingshot wrecking ball dropkick him out! He builds speed, to Tranquilo with Vega! He stops posing to put Sin Cara back in the ring, then stomp him more. Almas brings Sin Cara up but Sin Cara fights back. Almas whips but Sin Cara hits back. Sin Cara whips but Almas tumbles to the apron. Almas catches Sin Cara into a hanging armbar! He lets go at 4, then covers. TWO, but he keeps on Sin Cara with an armlock. Sin Cara endures and gets up. Almas throws forearms then whips him corner to corner. Almas catches the boots again but Sin Cara back elbows Almas. Sin Cara dodges the splash, then throws forearms. Almas throws them back while we go single picture. Sin Cara gives chops, but Almas shoves. Sin Cara springboards for the crossbody!

They stand up, Sin Cara whips but Almas reverses, only to get another springboard crossbody! Sin Cara keeps going while fans fire up. Vega coaches Almas up, and Almas gets Sin Cara only for a spike-rana!

Cover, TWO! Vega is frustrated for Almas while Sin Cara keeps the fans in it. Sin Cara brings Almas back up, an dsuplexes, but Alma sslips out. Sn cara elbow sbut runs into an elbow! Almas drags Sin Cara up, Hammerlock DDT coutnered! Cover, TWO, Sin Cara gets Almas with an uppercut! Almas runs in, but is dumped out to the floor! Sin Cara fires up again while Vega panics. Slingshot huricanrana! Then back into the ring as Sin Cara climbs up. Frog Splash hits knees! Almas crawls over, then climbs up top, but Sin Cara trips him up! Sin Cara climbs up to join him, but Almas trips him up into Tree of Woe! WOE STOMPS! Almas keeps going, CIEN KNEES!! Cover, Almas wins!

Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas, by pinfall

El Idolo downs his former friend, and with authority. With Vega by his side, keeping him on this course, will he find his way to the top in no time?

 

SAnitY speaks.

They are here to “break the status quo.” They are here to make happiness into havoc. And they’re not here for nostalgia. Team Hell No & New Day have had their time in the light, but now it’s time for the “pure, unadulterated chaos.” Harper & Rowan enter the darkness, and agree. “Let the bludgeoning begin.” This collection of cruel and unusual allies is unified, will they conquer their Extreme Rules opponents even before Sunday?

 

10 Man Tag: The New Day & Team Hell No VS The Bludgeon Brothers & SAnitY!

Alliances born from chaos and convenience, only one side will gain momentum for their respective matches at Extreme Rules. Can Bryan & Kane keep it together long enough to challenge Harper & Rowan for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships? Or will doomsday come early as the champions and their chaotic comrades come out on top?

The bell rings and it’s a brawl!

All ten men fight, and it’s The New Day & Hell No who hold the ring! We go to break while things settle down.

SmackDown returns and Woods has Wolfe in a snapmare. Woods tags Kofi and they hit their kick, sliding lariat and elbow drop combo! Big E tags in for the Big Splash! Cover, TWO, but Big E manages to keep Wolfe from a tag. Woods tags back in and throws in body shots. Woods brings Wolfe up but Wolfe hits back. Wolfe whips Woods, but runs into a boot. Woods covers, TWO. Woods brings Wolfe to an open corner for a buckle bump, but has to fight off Young & Damo. Wolfe gets Woods in a German Suplex! Rowan tags in without permission, then drags Woods up in a pumphandle backbreaker. He keeps going for a scoop slam and elbow drop. Tag to Harper for the slingshot senton, cover, TWO. Harper rolls Woods around gator style while we go to picture in picture.

Harper keeps Woods down with a chinlock, but fans rally up. Woods gets up and reaches for ropes, then stands up, but Harper yanks him back down. Harper grinds the chinlock in, but Woods endures. Woods sits up again, then fights out, only to get a scoop slam. We return to single picture as Big Damo tags in without asking. The Beast from Belfast drives in elbows on Woods, then wrenches his neck. Woods endures again, and fans rally up. He fights out with body shots, but Damo shoves him. Woods fights out of the enemy corner, only to run into the Wasteland slam and big back senton! Damo looms over Woods while we go to commercials.

SmackDown returns once more, and Rowan squeezes Woods’ head in a hammer fist vice. Fans rally up again, and Woods jawbreakers free. Woods gets up but gets run over by a back elbow. Rowan whips Woods into an open corner, then tag sin Harper. Harper slaps Rowan to fire him up for the corner to corner whip. Harper hits Woods, then Rowan does, to feet Woods to the Michinoku Driver! Cover, but The New Day breaks it. SAnitY throws them out, including Woods. Harper can’t find WOods, but Woods gets him with the siwng kick and the step-n tornado DDT! Fans rally while Young tags in. Hot tag to Bryan! Bryan fires off on everyone, then focuses on Young. He kicks and kicks away in a corner, “YES! YES!” Young reverss the whip but Bryan goes up and over to hit the leaping lariat!

Bryan boots Wolfe & Damo down, then dropkcisk Young in a corner. He hoists Young up top, climbs up, and gives Young the SUPER STEINER! Bryan fires up more, and gives proper YES Kicks. “YES! YES!” Bryan loads up the buzzswa, but Young dodges ot roll up. TWO, into Yes Lock! Young is locked in but Wolfe breaks it. Kane grabs Wolfe, CHOKE SLAM! Rowan heel kicks Kane, but Woods missile dropkciks Rowan. Harper gives Woods a scrapbuster! Kofi gives Harper Trouble in Paradise! Big E returns and works with Kofi for the alley-oop dive!

Everyone is down on the outside, but Big E sees his targets. Big Damo hits the DIVIDE on Kofi, but Big E has him. He throws Damo out, to then run and SPEAR him down! Bryan is up, fired up, and aiming at Young! Young staggers over, KNEE PLUS!! Cover, Bryan & team wins!

Winners: Team Hell No & The New Day, Bryan pinning

“YES! YES!” Bryan & Kane worked together with each other and with their pancake-serving allies. Even Kane does the “YES!” hands. But Bryan shows him the proper way of celebrating, BOOM! Wait, no fire? It works for Kane. Bryan tries again… Nope. Kane says he can do it, but Bryan wants to do it himself. Fans fire up with Bryan and… BOOM!! The fire came! Even Kane is surprised! With them this synchronized, can anything stop Team Hell No from becoming champions again?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Once again, SmackDown is Raw, but better. We get “impromptu” matches made up of unlikely teams, but at least with SmackDown, there was better delivery on most of it. Miz TV leading to a confrontation and an attack was the usual set up, but I like that Miz kept the spark of him VS Bryan alive for later on. And opening with Styles-Nakamura was clearly to lead into something else, but the resulting 2v2 tag match was pretty good. The challengers stand tall now, but you can expect at least Styles to retain over Rusev. Nakamura VS Hardy can still go either way, and it wouldn’t be so bad if Nakamura won his first main roster title to give him something for Summerslam.

The co-ed Lumberjack match went as about you could expect in WWE. Asuka fires off all the shots on Ellsworth, as he deserves, but Ellsworth only runs away because showing men hitting women would not be good for national, family-friendly television. Carmella gets good Heel Heat at the end there, but I feel like making things a Shark Cage match downgrades it a little. But at the same time, there’s no way to keep Ellsworth out of things when a normal Cage match was already given to Strowman VS Kevin on Raw. I hope Asuka wins this, because otherwise, WWE is just burying the streak NXT gave her. Almas VS Sin Cara was great, hopefully they get something more going for Summerslam’s build.

The one odd point is that Samoa Joe VS Tye Dillinger was advertised, but the only acknowledgement of it was on Twitter. WWE shared a video that had Dillinger making his way out, only for Joe to mercilessly attack and choke him out. It was meant to be from the start of the night, though that doesn’t make sense because Miz TV was advertised to open. Then it wouldn’t make sense to say it was after Miz TV because we went right into Styles VS Nakamura. It would’ve been better if WWE never advertised in the first place and ditched the blindside attack, but WWE seems to be so big that their left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing. The 10 Man Tag was really good, and definitely piques interest for the tag matches on Sunday, and a long-running program for New Day VS SAnitY for the Summer.

My Score: 8/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Report! (7/17/18)

Published

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Can the Man of the Hour overcome a former Cruiserweight Champion?

Akira Tozawa is a former Cruiserweight Champion, but can he keep up with the ultra-fast Man of the Hour, Lio Rush, in their first-ever encounter?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • TJP VS Noam Dar; TJP wins.
  • Drew Gulak w/ Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick VS Danny Garcia; Gulak wins.
  • Akira Tozawa VS Lio Rush; Rush wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Drake Maverick reviews last week’s Cruiserweight Championship match.

The Japanese legend, Hideo Itami, put up a fight against the #AgeOfAlexander, but the Soul of 205 Live was tougher than even Itami expected. But not one to rest on his laurels or take it easy on himself, Cedric Alexander wants yet another challenger on this road to Summerslam. GM Maverick promises to address the state of the Cruiserweight Championship before the night is through. Who will Maverick choose to put before the champion as summer heats up?

Meanwhile, conflict is settled in the ring as the 23 Year Old Piece of Gold gets to main event against the Stamina Monster. Is the Man of the Hour ready for prime time as he goes up against a former champion? Though, Lio wonders what has Akira done lately? And before all of this, we open with the “Cruiser-Great” taking on the returning Scottish Supernova in a rematch from that surprisingly quick defeat a couple weeks ago! Can TJP get back the loss Noam Dar gave him? Or will Dar make it a quick 2-0 on the FilAm Flash?

 

TJP VS Noam Dar!

As he makes his way out to the ring, the inaugural (New Era) Cruiserweight Champion speaks to Wilkes-Barre. “What a treat!” Maverick lets TJP know who his opponent is beforehand. He’s feeling so spoiled getting his entrance music and ring gear of his choice, too! It’s like Christmas! Okay not really, because if it were, he’d be getting his chance at the title. Instead, he’s a “curtain jerker” in the “diaper storm” town of “Wilkes-Boring”. Do the people here admit they’re from here? Or do they pretend they’re from Philly? But TJP gives Dar credit for coming back from his knee injury. At least this match will be twice as handsome than TJP wrestling a local. But this comeback story will be just a comeback sentence. TJP is the one constant in this Division because he is still the best technical wrestler today. Dar makes his entrance, and we begin.

TJP rushes Dar but Dar sees it coming. Dar sweeps the legs out, then aims for his finisher, but TJP scrambles out of the ring. TJP takes his time recovering, but then Dar leaps in outta nowhere! Dar rocks TJP with a right, then a left. TJP is floundering as Dar puts him in the ring. Dar ducks and then tosses TJP, covers, TWO. Fans are behind Dar as he brings TJP up for another left. Dar whips TJP but TJP gose Spider-Man to then slide under and waistlock. Dar standing switches but TJP switches back. TJP trips up Dar but Dar resists. Dar pries free but TJP rolls Dar around for an armbar. Both men fight for control, and Dar slips free! He wants an STF but TJP gets the ropes.

Dar lets TJP go, but TJP gives him a kick. Dar rushes in but is sent into the ropes, then TJP springboards for the wrecking ball dropkick! TJP takes his time going over to Dar, then quickly runs him into buckles. TJP keeps going, throwing shoulders and elbows in the corner. He brings Dar up for a boot into Dar’s throat. Maverick watches backstage and disapproves of TJP’s attitude. TJP backs off at the ref’s count, but Dar comes back at him with a kick and a forearm. TJP European Uppercuts Dar down, then brings Dar up again. He scoop slams Dar fast, then slingshot sentons. Cover, TWO, but TJP keeps his cool.

Dar gets to a corner but TJP is on him again. TJP Northern Lights then rolls through to hammerlock an arm and go for more limbs. Dar resists, but TJP gets the other arm and pulls on it. Dar endures as TJP wrenches and pulls the wrist and fingers. He gets around with his legs for a ropebreak, and TJP lets him go again. TJP brings Dar up but Dar throws elbows from both sides. TJP gives Dar a swift elbow of his own, then whips Dar. Dar comes back with a backslide, TWO! And TJP goes for the armbar! Dar tries to get to ropes, so TJP changes it up with an Indian Deathlock. TJP grabs at arms to then shift into the hammerlock, and he YANKS on that opposite arm!

Dar writhes while TJP catches his breath. TJP drags Dar back up, then suplexes. That’s one amigo, and he makes the second amigo a back suplex. Cover, TWO, but TJP goes right at the legs. It’s another deathlock variation, and TJP grabs at Dar’s arms again. TJP wrenches Dar’s arm from elbow to wrist, but fans rally up for Dar. Dar fights out of the hold and small packages, TWO! Dar runs in but TJP goes up and over, only to miss his crossbody! TJP and Dar slowly stand up, but Dar runs into a boot. TJP goes up but Dar sweeps the legs again! Dar takes aim, and he fires off a throat chop, headbutt and EuroUpper to TJP! TJP gets to a corner, but Dar runs in with the back elbow and suplex! Cover, TWO!

Dar works to keep focus as fans rally up again. He drags TJP up, but TJP fireman’s carry! Dar slips out but TJP elbows back. TJP runs, but Dar sweeps the legs once again. TJP staggers up but ducks one lariat, only to get the other! Cover, TWO! Dar gets up again, he still wants that finishing kick. TJP sees it coming again and manages to roll out of the way. Dar walks over but gets caught into a small package! TWO! TJP fireman’s carry but Dar slips out again. Dar runs into a drop toehold that sends him into ropes. TJP goes for but misses the wrecking ball to get a basement dropkick from Dar! Dar fetches TJP on the outside, but TJP throws him into barriers.

TJP drags himself up to the apron but Dar is there quickly. Dar wants a suplex but TJP resists. TJP hops down and sweeps Dar’s leg! Dar clutches that leg, and fights TJP off. Dar crawls away but TJP gets back up and in. The referee checks on Dar, but TJP doesn’t care, he chop blocks the leg! TJP shows no mercy as he stomps away on the leg. He drags Dar up to throw him to the apron. TJP keeps stomping Dar, then Half Crabs him through the ropes! He lets go at 4, and Maverick still doesn’t approve. TJP gets back in the ring and stalks the crawling Dar. He stands on the bad leg to torture Dar, then puts on the Knee Bar! Dar taps, TJP wins!

Winner: TJP, by submission

The Cruiser-Great tortures Dar by holding on after the bell, but lets go so he can boast about the ring. His attitude may not be so great, but has TJP earned that big opportunity like he’s been demanding?

 

205 Live takes a closer look at Alexander VS Itami.

The Don from Nihon demands respect, whether he deserves it or not. The Soul of 205 Live worked way too hard for way too long to earn that Cruiserweight Championship. It wasn’t about what Itami thinks he deserves, but Alexander adding Itami’s legend to his own legacy. The best striker in the Cruiserweight Division gave Alexander’s body bruise after bruise, but the agility and aerial attacks evened the playing field. Itami was merciless with those hands and feet, but Alexander would not die. All it took was the right opening to hit the Lumbar Check for Alexander to win #AndStill be the Cruiserweight Champion. The Age of Alexander continues, who will be the next challenger added to the legacy?

 

Mustafa Ali speaks.

“They told me it was dangerous. They said it was impossible.” The Beacon of Light means the No Disqualification match he had with Buddy Murphy two weeks ago. Ali admits it was dangerous, but he didn’t quit. He found a way to win, because he was fighting for millions. Ali vows to fight all the way until he’s Cruiserweight Champion. How long and how hard will his fight to the top be?

 

Drew Gulak w/ Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick VS Danny Garcia!

If Alexander is the Soul and Ali is the Heart, then perhaps the Philly Stretcher is the Brain of 205 Live. The self-proclaimed best submission specialist in WWE today looks to build more momentum for his Ungentlemanly Alliance tonight. Will the smartest Cruiserweight in the room be named the next challenger to the title?

Kendrick gives Garcia a handshake hello before he and Gallagher exit the ring. The bell rings, and Gulak clobbers Garcia right away! Gulak drags Garcia up for a STIFF back suplex, then into the GuLOCK! Garcia fades, Gulak wins!

Winner: Drew Gulak, by submission

The best and most dangerous submission specialist proves his word tonight with a fast and furious finish. But Gulak isn’t done, as he wishes to speak.

“Well you can’t always get what you want, but if you try some time, you just might find, you get what you need.” Gulak isn’t a big fan of “the rock ‘n’ roll” but Mick Jagger had a point there. The 205 Live Universe has been subjected to two years of “unworthy champions. But not anymore!” They’ll have the champion they need in Drew Gulak. And speaking of, that Danny Garcia reminds him of Alexander. Not physically, but in spirit, because when you step to Gulak, you WILL tap out. Will Gulak grind the rest of the Cruiserweight Division into dust in his pursuit of giving us all a #Better205Live?

 

Backstage interview with Tony Nese & Buddy Murphy.

The Cruiserweight Juggernaut lost his cool with Lucha House Party spinning their matracas last week, and that cost the Premier Athlete his match. Murphy just doesn’t like losing, but the luchadors were the wrong guys in the wrong place at the wrong time. He doesn’t regret what he did, just that Nese didn’t get to properly showcase himself. Nese can defeat a former champion on Kalisto. And Kalisto knows better than anyone that he was going to lose. But Nese is willing to give Kalisto a chance to prove him wrong. In fact, next week can be a match where the teammates are left behind to settle this 1v1. Will Nese and his eight abs be enough to show the Lucha Dragon who is worthy of moving up the ranks?

 

Akira Tozawa VS Lio Rush!

The Man of the Hour told the Stamina Monster that, at least from his perspective, the former champion hasn’t done much since losing that belt. Of course, Tozawa pointed out Lio hasn’t done all that much in just showing up in the Cruiserweight Division, either. Who will make something of this first-ever encounter of high-speed superstars?

The bell rings and “AH! AH!” echoes out already. Lio admits, the people love Tozawa. He circles and approaches Tozawa, but then backs off. They feel things out, but Lio always keeps just out of reach. Tozawa keeps chasing, but Lio is just playing with him as he gets to the ropes. Lio then rushes and gets a headlock. Tozawa powers out but Lio goes up and over. Tozawa tries to trip him up but Lio sees it all just in time to change direction. Lio keeps things moving, then counters Tozawa’s whip with a springboard huricanrana! Lio grins at Tozawa while lounging on the top rope. Maverick watches this, too, and is slightly amused with Lio’s swagger. Tozawa rushes Lio but Lio bails out. Lio takes a breather but Tozawa chases him down!

They go around the ring and back in, but Tozawa dodges Lio now. Lio sunset flips but Tozawa rolls through, to Penalty Kick! Tozawa has Lio now as he hits the screaming back senton! Tozawa copies the lounging to show anything Lio can do, he can do better.

Lio runs in but gets a chop for it! Tozawa chops Lio again, then stalks him to the ropes. Lio throws Tozawa out then fires off hammering hands. The referee backs Lio off, but Lio handspring kicks Tozawa down! Lio wants time to recover, “Count him out!” Lio swaggers about in the ring, though his chest is still stinging. Tozawa gets up at 6 and in the ring at 8, but Lio is on him with more hammering hands. Lio toys with Tozawa as he stomps away in a corner. They look like Tozawa’s shouting stomps. Tozawa hits back with body shots, but Lio stomps Tozawa down again.

Lio grins as he says Tozawa’s done already. He drags Tozawa up, suplexes him down, then covers. ONE, but Lio just grins. Lio kicks Tozawa while he’s down, then drags him up. Tozawa hits back, and now it’s a brawl of forearms. Lio gets some in, but Tozawa hits back. Tozawa runs but Lio runs Tozawa over with an elbow! Lio drops an elbow, then another, taunting Tozawa every time. The fans “AH! AH!” for Tozawa but Lio wraps on a chinlock. Tozawa feeds off the “AH! AH!” and stands back up. Tozawa hits Lio but Lio hits back. They brawl again, hitting each other back and forth. Tozawa chops, chops, feints, then jabs! But Lio saw it coming! Lio fires off a strike fest, but his kick is blocked. Tozawa flips Lio but Lio lands on his feet, only to get that jab!

Tozawa kicks, swings, slides under, and hits the kick. Lio is rocked all the way out of the ring. Tozawa builds speed to DIVE! The Tozawa Torpedo hits Lio right into the desk! Then they go back in the ring. Lio flounders while Tozawa climbs, for a missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Tozawa is surprised by the young upstart, but he isn’t done. Fans rally up and Tozawa feeds off the energy. Lio crawls to a corner but Tozawa pursues. Tozawa brings Lio up but Lio kicks again. Tozawa catches the kick, but Lio SLAPS the mouth piece out of him! Lio runs in, but into a saido suplex! Tozawa climbs up, “AH! AH!” from the fans at a fever pitch.

But Lio gets out of the ring. Tozawa goes to dive again, but Lio ducks, so Tozawa aborts the launch. Tozawa pursues Lio directly, but Lio throws him at steps. Lio gets away while Tozawa stops himself. Tozawa grabs at Lio, rocking him with a right. Lio staggers, comes back, but misses the shoulder tackle to get a kick. Lio goes down, Tozawa goes up. But Lio trips Tozawa up! Tozawa hits buckles, and now Lio climbs. FINAL HOUR FROG SPLASH! Cover, Lio wins!!

Winner: Lio Rush, by pinfall

He came to collect, and collect he did! The Man of the Hour gets the upset victory to add a big name to his short undefeated streak in the Cruiserweight Division. Will Lio make the entire Division, and the Cruiserweight Champion, #FeelTheRush soon enough?

 

Drake Maverick meets with Cedric Alexander.

Everyone heard from the 205 Live GM that there would be answers as to who is next for the champion to face. So who is it? Maverick has thought it over all night. Just look at tonight’s show! The best talent in the WWE is right here in 205 Live. That said, Maverick has narrowed it down based on each man’s “overall body of work” in the Division. Therefore, next week, Drew Gulak VS Hideo Itami VS TJP VS Mustafa Ali, Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender’s match! Alexander likes the sound of that. May the best man win. Who will be that best man to best the other three and go on to face the Cruiserweight Champion?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A very good episode of 205 Live from top to bottom. TJP VS Dar was great with TJP showing off those technical skills again. I figured he’d get the win this week to even things with Dar. Dar is fine, because he’s still promised a United Kingdom Championship match, so the Cruiserweight Division isn’t as crucial for him right now. Ali has a great promo and Gulak makes quick work of his jobber. Learning that these three plus Itami will be in a Fatal 4 next week is great, because all four options make for a great match with Alexander. All four men have had a match or two with Alexander in the past, but I don’t doubt the possible rematches will be even better than the originals.

Buddy Murphy & Tony Nese already take an interesting turn in their teaming together as Nese insists he doesn’t need a corner man to face Kalisto. I would hope Murphy honors the agreement so that there isn’t reason for this duo to break up already. And whether Nese wins or loses, the muscular pals going against Lucha House Party in tag team matches should be good to bolster the idea of a Cruiserweight Tag Division. Though, if they get a third guy on their side, I’m starting to think it’ll be a Trios Division. Then the main event, Lio VS Tozawa, was very good for their first time out, but with neither man at the championship level yet, I expect a rematch to give this feud plenty of fire.

My Score: 8/10


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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (7/17/18)

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Will Hardy reclaim his title on SmackDown tonight?

After a low blow got Shinsuke Nakamura the win, SmackDown GM Paige wants to make it right by giving Jeff Hardy his rematch tonight! Will Hardy get revenge?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • AJ Styles VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Styles wins.
  • Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville; Becky wins.
  • Samoa Joe VS Tye Dillinger; Joe wins.
  • Kofi Kingston w/ The New Day VS Eric Young w/ SAnitY; Young wins.
  • WWE United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jeff Hardy; Hardy wins by disqualification, Nakamura retains the WWE Untied States Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

Jeff Hardy heads to the ring!

The Charismatic Engima is feeling very, very sore after Extreme Rules in Pittsburgh. He got beat, but not the way he or the WWE Universe would’ve wanted. The King of Strong Style made sure to get a quick low blow while the referee’s back was turned, then gave Hardy a #Knee2Face. Hardy lost his title, but gets a chance to win it back later tonight. But for right now, Hardy speaks to Wilkes-Barre, who is happy to see him.

“I may look like Jeff Hardy. I may make an entrance like Jeff Hardy and wear face paint like Jeff Hardy. But I do not feel like Jeff Hardy. I feel like something’s missing. I feel incomplete. My heart… is BROKEN!” Hardy isn’t United States Champion anymore after what Nakamura did to him. Nakamura continues to prove “he is the embodiment of moral turpitude.” That’s a fancy way of saying he’s just a jackass! Nakamura uses a low blow because that’s the only way he can win. Hardy wasn’t thinking clearly Sunday, but now he’s mega clear. And Hardy wants to make sure Nakamura feels pain, to make Nakamura OBSOLETE, and to take back the United States Championship! But until then, enjoy SmackDown! Hardy is ready for Nakamura, but what about Nakamura being ready for him?

Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.

His response to Hardy is “Jeff Hardy is a sad clown.” He wears the paint to hide his tears. Nakamura cries his own crocodile tears over Hardy losing his title, because now it’s Nakamura’s title! That is a reason to smile. Smile, Renee, smile. Okay… And tonight, Nakamura gives everyone a reason to smile. He’ll make the clown cry. God Bless America.

 

AJ Styles VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega!

SmackDown is STILL the House that AJ Styles Built, because The Phenomenal One is STILL WWE Champion after a stellar match with the Bulgarian Brute. But after an encounter with Vega backstage, the Champ that Runs the Camp is willing to give El Idolo a go in the ring. Will Almas shock Styles with a major upset victory? Or will Styles show Almas that he’s not quite phenomenal yet?

The bell rings and we begin. They tie up, and Almas gets a waistlock. Styles works to get out but Almas arm-drags Styles down. Almas eggs Styles on, and they circle again. Styles gets a waistlock now, but Almas pries his way out to a shoulder breaker and standing switch. Almas arm-drags Styles again and confidently dusts himself off. They go again, Styles gets another waistlock. Almas elbows out then puts on a headlock. Fans rally for Styles as he powers Almas to a corner. Almas dirties the break with that kick. Almas gets a headlock again, and Styles can’t power out. Styles rolls it, ONE, and Almas grinds Styles on the mat. They stand up again and Styles fights out. Styles pwoers out of the hold and things speed up. Almas Tranquilo while Styles goes for a dropkick. The mind games begin while we go picture i picture.

Almas stays on the apron to embrace the heat, but Styles gets him with a sweep of the legs. Styles throws Almas into barriers, then puts him back in the ring. Alma sis up and ready, and he gets Styles with the back elbow. Almas runs in for a knee into the corner, then covers. TWO, but Almas keeps his focus. He drags Styles up for a forearm that floors Styles. Almas stomps away as Vega commands. Styles chops back hard, but Almas throws more strikes into him. Almas whips corner to corner, but Styles dodges and Almas tumbles out! El Idolo hits the floor, but Styles hits him with a slingshot forearm! Almas checks his jaw while Styles drags him up. They go into the ring, and Styles brings Almas up. Almas kicks but Styles blocks to dragon screw! Almas rolls out but Styles follows.

Vega stands in Styles’ way, and Almas gets Styles with a sucker punch! Almas chops Styles, then walks off the damage before putting Styles in. Almas chops Styles more, then brings Styles up for an arm-lock. Styles endures while Vega coaches Styles on. Styles gets up, fights out with forearms, then gets Almas with a wheelbarrow facebuster! Both men are down and Vega is upset. Almas and Styles stir, then stand up. Styles throws hands while blocking Almas, then clobbers him as we go single picture. Sliding forearm! Then a corner clothesline! He lifts Almas but Almas dropkicks him down. Both men are down again, and Vega coaches Almas while fans are behind Styles. Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz, but Almas stops it short. Almas throws elbows from both sides, then turns Styles sideways for the draping backbreaker and elbow drop DDT! Cover, TWO!

Vega grows frustrated for Almas, but Almas keeps his cool. He stomps a mudhole into Styles, then throws more elbows. Almas hoists Styles up top but Styles throws hands back. Almas triangle dropkicks Styles! Then he dumps Styles down, preparing the knees. He runs corner to corner, but into the USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Styles is a bit surprised by Almas, but he gets up again. He brings Almas up for the Clash, but Almas powers Styles to the apron. Styles knocks Almas away, then springboards, but Almas disrupts it with an elbow! Almas gets over to Styles and positions him. He climbs up top while fans rally up for Styles. Almas moonsaults, but Styles rolls, standing moonsault follows through! Cover, TWO!! Vega is beside herself with how close that was.

Fans are fired up as both men slowly stand. Almas grabs Styles, but Styles slips out of the suplex to enziguri! Almas staggers to a corner, but he boots Styles back. He climbs up and drags Styles with him, but Styles PELE! Styles climbs up to join Almas, and quickly adjusts, but Almas trips him up. Tree of Woe STOMPS! Vega wants him to finish, CIEN KNEES!!

Cover, TWO!! Almas was that close to pinning the champ! But Almas refocuses as he brings Styles up. styles blocks the DDT, Calf Crusher! Almas taps, Styles wins!

Winner: AJ Styles, by submission

The Phenomenal One found a fight in El Idolo, but he finds a way to win out! Almas stands back up, but before Styles has a chance to respond, Almas and Vega leave. Is this just the first of many matches between these two? Who will step up to be Styles’ new #1 contender come Summerslam?

 

Aiden English meets with someone backstage.

MC Artiste apologizes. To Lana. She must be so angry with him for the mistake he made. That was Rusev’s moment, and English ruined it. So please, talk to Rusev for him. Lana confirms Rusev is angry and disappointed, but needs his space. Why did he come to Lana about an apology? English needs to think hard and long if he’s what’s best for Rusev. English says he’s always had Rusev’s best interests in heart. He owes so much to Rusev, so he just wants a second chance. Don’t we all deserve that? Lana will take that into consideration. Will an apology passed on through the Ravishing Russian be enough for Rusev to forgive English?

 

Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville!

The Lass Kicker defeated the Gladiator Gal last time, but can God’s Greatest Creation get even for the duo formerly known as Absolution?

The bell rings and Becky ties up with Mandy. Mandy gets the wristlock but Becky reverses to her own. Mandy gives Becky a right, then runs, but misses the knee. Becky kicks then whips, but Mandy reverses. Becky dodges for the jump kick. Sonya distracts but Becky swipes at her. Mandy runs in and blocks the second jump kick to yank Becky down. Mandy covers, TWO, and she’s shocked. She bounces Becky’s face off the mat, then puts Becky in a corner. Mandy gives Becky stomps, then embraces the heat. She drags Becky up and Becky fights back. Mandy clubs away on Becky, then suplexes her over. Float over to cover, TWO. Mandy drags Becky up and puts Becky in a standing chinbar. Fans rally for Becky as she fights her way out. Mandy whips her then dropkicks her, then hits the big knee! Cover, TWO!

Mandy keeps on Becky with heavy rights, then covers again. TWO, and Mandy grows frustrated. She drags Becky up, and back into that standing chinbar. Fans rally up again, and Becky pries her way out again. Mandy reels Becky in but Becky reverses to roll her up, TWO. Becky boots Mandy, then rolls Mandy up again, TWO. They run, and Becky hits double forearms and a calf kick. Becky fires up with the fans, and throws Mandy with a Becksploder! She grabs the arm, Disarm-Her right away! Mandy taps, Becky wins!

Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission

That’s another win and another arm taken, Becky gets an Absolution Sweep! Becky speaks to Wilkes-Barre and the WWE Universe, thanking them for their support. Winning feels good, it feels “freakin’ great!” Becky says she’s been waiting, patiently and impatiently, but has never stopped working as hard as she can for the fans. But this is her just getting started. Hear that, Carmella? Straight Fire is coming for you. Becky Balboa needs to become SmackDown Women’s Champion again! What do the fans think? “YES! YES!” With Becky burning up the competition like she has, will she be given a Summerslam championship opportunity?

 

SmackDown GM Paige likes what she sees.

Carmella is with her as they watch Becky. The WWE Universe cheered her, which Carmella doesn’t normally hear. They love Becky! Yeah well people love British accents, but Carmella just finds they give her a headache. Speaking of headaches, how is her boyfriend, James Ellsworth, doing? Ew, he’s not her boyfriend And she doesn’t care, so moving on. Carmella has beaten Carmella and Asuka twice, so she wants another FABULOUS Mellabration. Paige loves parties, and will throw the biggest party of all for her. If she wins against Becky Lynch next week. No, she’s not defending her title already. Don’t worry, it’s not for the title. But if Becky does win, then they’ll have a title match at Summerslam!

 

R-Truth checks in with Tye Dillinger.

Is he ready? Yeah, he’s good. C’mon, are you ready? Is this one of those motivational speeches? Tye doesn’t need it. Truth can’t hear you. Okay! Yes, Tye gets his shot at Samoa Joe. Good talk! Wait, no, Truth was talking to someone on the phone. He wouldn’t have told Tye to take on Joe! But the Perfect 10 is, next!

 

Samoa Joe VS Tye Dillinger!

The Perfect 10 got a perfect blindside from Samoa Joe while cameras were to commercials last week. The Destroyer doesn’t respect Tye much at all, but he’ll have to take this match now. Will Joe come to regret what he did? Or will he put Tye to sleep all over again?

The bell rings and Tye fires off furious hands and feet on Joe! He backs off at 4, and Joe gets out of the ring. Joe drags Tye out to join him but Tye shoves him to the announce desk. Tye barrels Joe into the desk, then into barriers. He fires off more hands, then bares his knee to ram it into Joe’s face. Tye won’t back down, but then Joe throws him into a post! Joe drags Tye up and into the ring, then throws those swift jabs. Joe whips Tye into a corner, hits a back elbow and the Pele! Tye drops while Joe asks him, “Is this what you wanted?” Joe drags Tye up but Tye denies the Coquina. Joe makes him pay with swift kicks, then gets the Coquina Clutch! Tye flails but fades fast! Joe wins!

Winner: Samoa Joe, by submission

The Destroyer is not someone you want to anger. Tye showed courage but Joe showed everyone what they can expect if they get on his bad side. Will Joe carve a path of destruction to a title in time for Summerslam?

 

The Miz holds a memorial service for Team Hell No.

Daniel Bryan & Kane failed to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championships from the Bludgeon Brothers at Extreme Rules, but that was mostly because Harper & Rowan attacked backstage before the match. Details aside, pallbearers bring out Kane’s mask on a mannequin head. The four of them quietly go out to the ring, Miz shaking hands of “mourning” fans.

Miz takes the masked mannequin head and sets it on a pedestal. He picks up the mic and speaks. “Thank you all for being here tonight.” Miz is as saddened as they are, but we are all gathered here not to discuss the real news, Miz & Mrs. debuting in a week. No, that’s not what tonight is about, even though Miz was also in the MLB Legends & Celebrities All-Star Game, on the winning American League team and the game’s MVP. Tonight is about paying respects to “two of the worst friends ever”. In the words of N*Sync, Bye Bye Bye Team Hell No. They were polar opposites yet were once tag team champions. That was five years ago. But even so, their unlikely friendship inspired unity around the world, until Kane tombstone’d Bryan three consecutive times.

Any sane person would’ve thought that was the end. But “Hell No” it wasn’t, because Bryan made the same mistake by reuniting with Kane. But then Harper & Rowan destroyed them, and Team Hell No is six feet under. Everyone, please stand up and join Miz in a moment of silence. Miz raises his hand, but fans do not respect the moment of silence. Do they want to be treated like children? Now give him silence. Miz will wait as long as it takes. Fans do not quiet down, they chant “YES! YES!” Okay, that’s a good point, that was a better choice.

But one final note: Miz told you so! Miz told everyone how this would end, in the middle of this ring, and he was proven right! He’s also right about the “bogus hero”, Daniel Bryan! Bryan was never, ever an amazing wrestler, just a glory hound obsessed with impossible goals. Bryan threw a Hail Mary to stay relevant. It wasn’t about tag titles, it was so Bryan could roll out his greatest hits. News flash: no one’s buying the album. And as said as this whole thing has been, Bryan is the saddest. Bryan may not want to accept it, but he knows the truth. The truth: Bryan’s return has been a bust! Every week is another week Bryan destroys his own legacy, and no one will tell him. Miz will tell Bryan that his days of headlining are over! Bryan’s career is as dead as Team Hell No!

But here comes Bryan to respond! From behind! Bryan throws forearms on Miz then on the pallbearers! Miz gets away but Bryan isn’t done. Bryan tips over the pedestal and the pictures, to join in the “YES! YES!” chant. Knee Plus for the pallbearer!

Miz smirks at the angry Goat, but will Miz be smiling after Bryan gets done with him?

 

The New Day is fired up.

SAnitY? More like Unsanitary! Kofi Kingston prepares to get payback on the erratic Eric Young in the ring tonight!

Kofi Kingston w/ The New Day VS Eric Young w/ SAnitY!

The power of positivity wasn’t enough in Pittsburgh to keep the high-flying veteran from going through a table. Can positivity do better against the forces of chaos in Wilkes-Barre?

The bell rings and Young circles with Kofi. They tie up, and they push each other around the ring. Kofi gets a waistlock but Young gets the armlock. Kofi rolls and spins around to reverse it, but Young reverses it back. They go to a corner and Kofi dodges Young to kick the leg. Kofi grins at the fuming Young then dropkicks him down. Cover, TWO. Kofi gets a headlock then waistlock, but Young turns him around to club him down. Young drops more elbows, then haymakers. He has Kofi in a corner as he drives in more elbows. Kofi stands but Young runs, but Kofi sweeps the legs. Kofi gets back up, springboards and ax handles Young down. Young flounders up but is clothesline’d out. SAnitY regroups while we go picture in picture.

Kofi and the New Day rally up with the fans, and Woods plays the trombone. Kofi fakes Young out, but Young waits for Kofi to back up. Young returns but bails out again as Kofi draws near. They go again and Young shoulders in then slides under. Kofi throws him back out! Young dodges the baseball slide to bounce Kofi off the apron. He puts Kofi in, then covers, TWO. Young drives more elbows into Kofi then runs him over, then things speed up. Kofi hits a back elbow and covers, TWO! Young gets up and backs Kofi into a corner, then gets a cheap shot as we go single picture again. He runs back in but Kofi dodges. Young hits buckles, but he sweeps Kofi’s legs. The New Day glare at Wolfe & Dain while Young puts Kofi on the apron for clubbing forearms.

The New Day coach Kofi but he gets a kick while he’s down. Young catapult guillotines Kofi on the ropes, then covers, TWO. Young drags Kofi up for a stiff neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Young keeps on Kofi with a neck wrench. Kofi endures the twist, and fans rally up for him. He stands and fights back, then throws haymakers. Young throws a knee, then drags Kofi up for a buckle bump. Young throws a stiff right, then climbs up for a hanging dragon sleeper! He lets go at 4 and embraces the heat before leaping at Kofi. Kofi dropkicks Young down! Woods rallies the fans with his trombone. Kofi stands and rallies with double chops. He dropkicks Young down, then hits the leaping ax handle. He’s all fired up now, for the “New Day~!” Boom Drop!

Kofi calls for the finish, but Young dodges Trouble in Paradise to roll him up! TWO! Young is whipped to a corner but he tumbles up and out, only for Kofi to SUPER Belly2Belly suplex! Cover, TWO!! Young bails out to regroup with SAnitY, but Kofi builds speed to FLY! He leap frogs the ref to wipe out all of SAnitY!

Woods coaches Kofi up as he puts Young in. SOS! Cover, TWO! Frustration creeps in a bit but Kofi runs in at Young. Young dodges the splash, but Kofi swing kicks back. Kofi climbs, but Wolfe climbs up. BIg E gets him, but Dain is a distraction. Woods SUPERKICKS Dain while Kofi goes after Young. Young ducks under, but Kofi rolls, TWO! Dain throws Woods into Kofi! Wheelbarrow neckbreaker from Young! Cover, Young wins!

Winner: Eric Young, by pinfall

Give an assist to the anarchy on the outside, but a win is a win. SAnitY won as a team, and their fearless leader won 1v1. Will the trio of turmoil throw the SmackDown Tag Team Division into utter chaos?

 

WWE United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura VS Jeff Hardy!

It was a blow below the belt that brought victory to the King of Strong Style, and the Killer of Legends, Randy Orton, only added insult to injury with his return. But now, the BROKEN Enigma has his rematch courtesy of the Glampire Manager honoring his request. Will the painted visage of Jeff Hardy be smiling with a victory tonight? Or will he fall to more tricks from the nefarious Nakamura?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and the bell rings. Hardy unleashes upon Nakamura! Nakamura shoves him away then gets a waistlock. Hardy saw the low blow coming, he won’t let Nakamura get away that easy. Hardy stomps Nakamura in a corner to almost copy Bad Vibrations. Nakamura bails out but Hardy LEAPS onto him and into the barriers! He puts Nakamura back in, then climbs up, but Nakamura scrambles away. No Swantons yet, but Hardy has the champ reeling while we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Nakamura has Hardy down on the mat. Nakamura toys with Hardy as he slowly stands. Nakamura kicks away on Hardy, but Hardy catches on, only to get the enziguri. Cover, TWO, but Nakamura tires again. TWO, and again, TWO. Nakamura grimaces, but then digs a knee in for a chinlock. He digs his fingers into Hardy’s chin, but Hardy works his way up and out. Hardy elbows out, but Nakamura throws him down by his hair! Nakamura drags Hardy back up, then bumps him off buckles. He mocks the DELETE hands, then gives Hardy truly Bad Vibrations! Nakamura backs off to then come back with stomps. He drags Hardy up while fans rally for Brother Nero. Nakamura squeezes Hardy with the facelock but Hardy fights back. Nakamura denies the lift, then grinds Hardy to the mat.

Fans keep cheering for Hardy, and Hardy fights back with body shots. Nakamura knees and snapmares, but misses the knee drop! Hardy fires up with DELETE, then gives Nakamura buckle bumps in one corner, another corner, and a third corner. He goes for the fourth and completes the set. Hardy brings Nakamura out for a jawbreaker, then runs for a splash. Cover, TWO! Hardy gets the fans going again but Nakamura throat chops! Nakamura back suplexes but Hardy slips out to Russian leg sweep and leg trap cover! TWO, but barely! Hardy gets to ropes and drags himself up. Off comes the shirt, and he ax handles Nakamura. Nakamura denies the Twist, then heel kicks Hardy in the head! Hardy is out, but Nakamura hurries to give him an apron knee strike! Hardy slumps down while we go to break.

SmackDown returns once more, and Hardy fights out of a sleeper. Nakamura kicks him then whips him, but Hardy elbows back. Hardy haymakers and boots, then climbs up, WHISPER IN THE WIND! Cover, TWO! Hardy keeps his cool as he and Nakamura stand. He throws hands on Nakamura, then kicks. He whips but Nakamura reverses, only for Hardy to knock him down. Hardy hits the atomic drop and the leg splitting leg drop, then dropkick! Cover, TWO! Hardy slowly stands up again, DELETE echoing out. He kicks and prepares but Nakamura denies the twist again. Hardy still gets the spinning back kick! He climbs up, Hardyac countered with boots. Nakamura hoists Hardy up, for the Top Shelf Knee! Cover, TWO! Nakamura drags Hardy up, but Hardy denies the suplex with elbows. Hardy reaches for ropes but Nakamura gives him a backstabber! Sliding Wizard, TWO!

Nakamura can’t stand it. He is frustrated with Hardy as he rams in knees to shoulders and ribs. Nakamura goes to a corner and takes aim, but Hardy sees it coming! Slingblade! Hardy hurries up top, but Nakamura trips him up. Nakamura kicks Hardy in the face and Hardy drops down. Nakamura takes aim again, fires it up… But Hardy gets the Twist of Fate!

Hardy hurries back up, takes aim… SWANTON!! Cover, but RANDY ORTON drags Hardy out!?

Winner: Jeff Hardy, by disqualification; Nakamura retains the United States Championship

And Orton isn’t done with Hardy, either! He throws Hardy into steel steps, then asks Hardy “Do you want to know why I’m doing this?!” Orton keeps ramming Hardy into steel steps, then gives him European Uppercuts and forearms. Nakaura is the one most in shock over this turn of events. Orton clears the steps but Hardy fires back! Orton rakes Hardy’s eyes, then throw shim into the other steps! The Viper drags Hardy over to the first set, and stomps Hardy’s head!!

Hardy is down and Nakamura is confused as anyone as to why. Orton asks Hardy again “You wanna know why? You’re gonna have to wait to find out.” Then he pulls at the open earlobe!! Referees try to get Orton to stop, but he won’t! He throws hardy over the announce desk! Security has to come out now to keep Orton back. But Orton won’t stay back! He clears off the top of the desk to drag Hardy onto it. Orton rains down rights, then drags Hardy out for the draping DDT! Referees and security tell Orton get out of the arena. Orton leaves, but not because they told him to. Those voices in Orton’s head are violent as ever, but will there be hell to pay for what he’s done?

 


 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown redeems the main roster after the off-target Extreme Rules and filler Raw. Almas VS Styles was a sudden but amazing opener, and it really helps TV-only fans understand how great Almas is in the ring. Styles still wins because it’s too soon for Almas to defeat the WWE Champion. Joe wins against a very game Tye, which furthers my confusion as to why the advertised this before just to delay it. SmackDown plans to announce what Styles has in store for him at Summerslam, so I’m betting Joe is at least one superstar named as contender. Bryan and The Miz are likely, too, and it can also be part of their own story against each other. That “memorial” was a great segment in itself, too, so this is going to be the summer blockbuster Miz has been looking for.

Becky continues to win, and with her match against Carmella next week, I think we’re getting that championship match we were expecting months ago. If Ellsworth stays out during this time, Becky might actually get that belt back so that she can be the one going up against Asuka and Charlotte down the line. Kofi VS Young was great, and being the Heels, SAnitY wins thanks to distraction and number games, something The New Day were masters of when they were Heels. They already had a Six Man Tag, but maybe another one will decide who challenges the Bludgeon Brothers at Summerslam. English groveling to Lana worries me. They were teasing a Rusev Day break-up, and it might be coming back around. Vince can never let us have nice things, can he?

Hardy VS Nakamura was great, so it’s fine we got the six-second screw-job last night. Nakamura’s Heel game is strong, but I’m liking the idea that Hardy is becoming more and more Broken. His promo implied it, and after the beating Orton gave him, I’d love if next week we got the full Brother Nero. Nakamura’s reactions to Orton have also been great, and Orton saying we’re going to learn why he’s doing this is something to look forward to for next week. Hardy is still dealing with leg problems, so this either gives him a few weeks to be away from the ring and recover, or we just turn it up a notch and we get Hardy VS Orton before getting a Triple Threat for the title at Summerslam.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (7/16/18)

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Will Brock Lesnar appear on Raw tonight?

Will the Beast, Brock Lesnar, appear on the Raw After Extreme Rules to answer Kurt Angle’s Universal Championship ultimatum? Or are his priorities with MMA?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Triple Threat: Finn Balor VS Drew McIntyre VS Roman Reigns; Reigns wins and moves on to next week’s Universal Championship #1 Contender’s match.
  • Dolph Ziggler VS Bobby Roode; Ziggler wins.
  • Tyler Breeze VS Mojo Rawley; Rawley wins.
  • Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Alicia Fox & Dana Brooke; Alicia & Dana win, by disqualification.
  • The B-Team VS The Ascension; The B-Team wins.
  • The Authors of Pain VS Titus Worldwide; The Authors of Pain win.
  • Ember Moon VS Sarah Logan w/ Liv Morgan; Sarah wins.
  • Triple Threat: Elias VS Seth Rollins VS Bobby Lashley;  Lashley wins and moves on to next week’s Universal Championship #1 Contender’s match

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE and Raw pays respect to Masa Saito.

 

Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, is already in the ring.

He thanks all the stars who competed last night in Extreme Rules. Their dedication makes him proud to be GM. However, there is one star who has shown very little dedication, and that is Brock Lesnar. Angle issued an ultimatum for The Beast to show up and/or agree to terms on his next defense, or be STRIPPED of the Universal Championship. He has not heard a thing from Lesnar or Heyman, so he will– Paul Heyman interrupts!

The Advocate wishes to tell the “ladies and gentlemen” of Buffalo, New York, that– Everyone knows who you are, Paul! But if Lesnar isn’t the one to come out, this is just a waste of time. Heyman sees it as very interesting that Angle says that, because his client, “the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, BROCK LESNAR”, is not here. In that case, Angle strips– NO NO! Heyman hustles to the ring to speak face to face with Angle. With all due respect, Heyman feels Angle and the WWE Universe. They all think Lesnar doesn’t care about the WWE, and he only wants to be a UFC champion again. Nothing is farther from the truth! Lesnar loves being in the WWE. Lesnar loves being Universal Champion. Then where is he!?

Lesnar wants to represent the WWE as he challenges for the UFC championship. That way, when Lesnar is both, he elevates the WWE. Just like Angle being all the different champions with an Olympic gold medal. Well more power to Lesnar. But Angle still insists Lesnar defend his championship at Summerslam, or he is no longer champion! Heyman hears the fans chant, and must give his decision for Lesnar. Angle drives a hard bargain. Lesnar will defend his title at Summerslam. So on behalf of Lesnar, Heyman congratulates the fans for their voices reaching the company in demanding more Lesnar. They want more of the Beast, more of the Conqueror! The Network would be all Lesnar all the time! So it’s official: Lesnar defends his title at Summerslam, but it’s up to Angle to decide who gets “beaten, victimized and conquered”! Bobby Lashley appears!

The Dominator heads to the ring, fresh off his win over The Big Dog, Roman Reigns. Lashley has the fans chanting for him as he explains he did defeat Roman Reigns. But now he’s ready for the next step. Heyman backs up as Lashley says he’s going to beat Lesnar and win the Universal Championship! But now Drew McIntyre appears! And he wants Lashley to hold on just a moment. Why does everyone think McIntyre came back? To bolster the roster? To be in someone’s corner? No, he came back to change things and make sure Ziggler kept the Intercontinental Championship. He’s done that, and he’s on to Phase Two, just like Lashely. McIntyre enters the ring while fans chant “YES! YES!” because McIntyre wants at The Beast! But here comes Seth Rollins!

The Architect hits the ring, and he’s fuming over how McIntyre screwed him out of the IC title. Fans chant “Burn It Down!” while Rollins glares into the eyes of McIntyre. “Kurt, if you’re looking for an opponent for Brock Lesnar, I’m right here.” Angle smirks, but here comes Elias?! The Drifter is here in Buffalo and playing his guitar as always. Elias heads to the ring, because he has a question: Who Wants to Walk With Elias?! But questions aside, Elias knows “there’s a lot of noise going on in this ring.” Nothing sounds better than Elias as Universal Champion. Next week, 7/23/18, Elias’ debut album drops! Therefore, ride his wave of success into Summerslam and put Elias VS Lesnar on. But wait, here comes Finn Balor!

The Extraordinary Man and the original Universal Champion joins everyone else, saying that “what makes sense” is the answer to this question: Who was the very first? It makes sense for us to get Balor VS Lesnar. But here comes Roman Reigns!

The Big Dog may have lost to Lashley last night, but Greatest Royal Rumble is still the chip on his shoulder. He joins all the other men in the ring, and admits he has no excuses. Roman doesn’t care who, he just wants a fight tonight. Angle knows they all deserve something, so we’re going to divide things into Triple Threats. The winners of those move on to  #1 contender’s match, that man goes on to face Lesnar. It’ll be Elias VS Rollins VS Bobby Lashley, then McIntyre VS Balor VS Reigns. That latter triple threat is RIGHT NOW! Who moves on down this Road to Summerslam?!

 

Angle encounters Baron Corbin backstage.

What does he think he’s doing? Two triple threats? Did he get authorization? Angle didn’t think he needed to. That’s the problem! And why wasn’t Corbin in one? He wasn’t deserving. But Finn Balor does? Yes, because Finn beat Corbin. Think about that!

 

Triple Threat: Finn Balor VS Drew McIntyre VS Roman Reigns!

Finn is coming off a win over Constable Corbin and the Scottish Terminator helped the Show-Off screw over Seth Rollins while The Big Dog actually lost to The Dominator. Who will come out with this very important win to take one step closer to a match with The Beast in Brooklyn?

The bell rings and we begin. McIntyre rocks Finn but Roman throws hands on McIntyre. McIntyre shoves Roman away but Finn returns to throw hands, too. Roman comes back as Finn is pushed away. Roman lifts McIntyre, but McIntyre escapes, only to get an uppercut. Finn rolls Roman, TWO. McIntyre bulldozes both Roman and Finn! McIntyre bumps Roman on a buckle then chops and punches away. He goes to Finn to chop him, too, then stomps Roman down. McIntyre brings Finn up but Finn hits back. Finn dropkicks McIntyre, then Roman clotheslines McIntyre out. Finn clotheslines Roman out, then builds speed to FLY!

The inaugural Universal Champion flexes before putting McIntyre in the ring.

Now Finn chops and whips, but McIntyre reverses and hard. Roman returns, but is thrown overhead! Cover, TWO! McIntyre grimaces down at Roman as he stomps his ear and hand. He drags Roman up and throws a haymaker. Roman staggers but is bumped off buckles. McIntyre throws more hands, but Finn comes in to throw hands on McIntyre. Finn gets run over, and Roman gets a boot. McIntyre looms over them both, then drags Roman up for a big suplex. Cover, TWO! McIntyre leaves Roman alone to go after Finn. He stomps Finn then bumps him off buckles. McIntyre chops Finn, then goes back to Roman. He throws hands on Roman, then covers, TWO. McIntyre rains down rights while covering, TWO by an inch. McIntyre throws more hands, then goes after Finn. He blasts Finn to the floor, then glares at Roman.

McIntyre brings Roman up for a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, and McIntyre grows frustrated. The Scottish machine is in control while we go to break.

Raw returns as McIntyre hammers away on Roman in a corner. He backs off at the ref’s count, then fetches Finn for an apron snake eyes. McIntyre throws Finn in the ring, then stomps away on both men. He stalks Roman for a bigger stomp, then goes over to Finn for a big toss into a corner. Finn boots back, then Roman runs McIntyre over! Roman rallies but McIntyre reverses the whip, only to get the leaping lariat. Finn hits Roman! He throws hands and whips but Roman reverses to clobber Finn with a clothesline! Fans are mixed as Roman clears his head. He aims at Finn on the outside, for the Drive- No, it misses, and Roman gets slingshot stomps! Finn brings Roman up, but McIntyre FLIES!

Finn evades and Roman is wiped out! And then Finn throws McIntyre into steps! Finn takes aim from the apron, and hits double stomps to McIntyre’s back! he and Roman return to the ring, double stomps for the Big Dog! Cover, TWO! Roman is gasping after all he’s taken, but fans are behind Finn. Finn drags Roman up but Roman powers him to a corner. Roman runs back in, but misses! Finn swing kicks from the apron, and Roman goes down! Finn climbs, but McIntyre uses a CHAIR! It’s legal in a triple threat, so no one can really complain. McIntyre targets Roman with that chair, but gets an uppercut first! Roman throws hands in a corner, then throws McIntyre across the way. McIntyre reverses to send Roman into the post, covers, TWO! We go to break with McIntyre back in control.

Raw returns again, and Roman hobbles over to McIntyre in a corner. He unloads the point blank clotheslines and gets all 10. Roman runs, and boots McIntyre down. Fans are mixed again as Roman locks and loads. Roman aims, but McIntyre SPINEBUSTERS! Cover, TWO! McIntyre grows frustrated with how close yet how far he is from the win. He drags Roman up, prepares a powerbomb, but Finn has that chair! SMACK for McIntyre! And another! McIntyre goes out, but Finn goes after Roman! SMACK for Roman! And SMACK and SMACK and SMACK! Finn fires up, and so does the WWE Universe. Finn blasts McIntyre into barriers! Then he drags McIntyre up, but gets out as Roman SPEARS McIntyre into the timekeeper’s area!

Finn SLINGBLADES Roman! He puts Roman in, takes aim again, and Slingblades again! Finn takes aim a third time, but runs into a SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO! Roman is shocked, and looks lost. Finn crawls away, dazed as he is, but Roman talks himself back into this. Fans duel as Roman stands up and fires up. Roman howls, but Finn knees the spear away. Then blasts Roman with the dropkick! Finn goes up while Roman’s down, COUP DE GRACE! Cover, but McIntyre drags Finn off!

Finn fires forearms but McIntyre throws knees. McIntyre puts Finn into steel, then puts him into the ring. McIntyre wants someone to get up. Finn sits up first, but SUPERMAN Punch! Roll up from Finn, TWO!! SUPERMAN PUNCH! Roman runs into a Glasgow Kiss, aka a stiff headbutt, from McIntyre. McIntyre runs, but misses Roman and hits Finn! SUPERMAN PUNCH! SPEAR to Finn! Cover, Roman wins!

Winner: Roman Reigns; moves on to next week’s #1 Contender’s match

The Big Dog is busted up but HE is the one moving on. He found a way to be the one to hit last, but will he be the one to punch his ticket to Brooklyn?

 

Bayley meets with Kurt Angle backstage.

But where’s Sasha Banks? Still in the locker room. Classic Sasha, only caring about herself. Which means the friendship counseling didn’t go well. Bayley tried to meet Sasha halfway, but for some reason, it didn’t work. They might never ever be friends again. Angle realizes he should’ve settled things in the ring. They’re gonna team up against Dana Brooke & Alicia Fox. That’s not a good idea right now. No, they’re so good together. If they don’t win, one of them is off to SmackDown.

 

Dolph Ziggler heads to the ring!

The Show-Off #AndStill the WWE Intercontinental Champion not only had Drew McIntyre on his side, he got lucky with the countdown as a last-second Curb Stomp was just a second too late. Either way, Ziggler smirks as he addresses Buffalo, saying “All I did was everything I said I was gonna do.” He put on an “absolute clinic”, and is the Ironman Intercontinental Champion! Ziggler knows something special happened last night, as the IC title main-evented a PPV for the first time in 17 years. That wasn’t because of Rollins. Ziggler came back to put everyone on notice, but he does give credit where it’s due. Rollins has Ziggler’s respect when it comes to making the IC title what it is today. “But you’re no Dolph Ziggler, brother.” Ziggler beat Rollins five times! But here comes Bobby Roode!

The GLORIOUS One and Dolph Ziggler have had matches in the past over the United States Championship on SmackDown, but now Roode and Ziggler are here on Raw. Roode knows Ziggler is giving credit where it’s due, but what about McIntyre? If it wasn’t for him, Ziggler wouldn’t be able to brag right now. Ziggler should be on his hands and knees thanking McIntyre. Otherwise, he might be telling some bad jokes at some comedy club. That’s right, while Ziggler was headlining Extreme Rules, Roode had fun watching from the sidelines. To be honest, the sidelines suck, but Roode is out here to challenge for the title, right now! Fans like the sound of that, but Ziggler doesn’t look to defend his title. Is he afraid he can’t do it alone? Ziggler decides to get a referee out here so they can!

The referee heads out to the ring, and it’s happening! Oh, but not for the Intercontinental Championship. Sorry about that.

Dolph Ziggler VS Bobby Roode!

Roode is upset but he still takes it out on Ziggler. Ziggler manages to deny the DDT and get Roode into a hammerlock. Roode resists but Ziggler shifts to a headlock. Roode powers out but Ziggler runs him over. Ziggler runs but Roode hip tosses him down! Roode gets the headlock takeover, then grinds Ziggler on the mat. Ziggler works his way up, then puts Roode in a corner. They break, but Ziggler kicks low. Ziggler puts Roode in a headlock takeover of his own, and even traps an arm. Roode works his way out as they go around the mat. They stand up, and Roode pries his way out to his own headlock on Ziggler. Ziggler powers out, but Roode runs him over. Roode runs, then throws Ziggler out! Ziggler hits the floor hard while fans fire up.

Roode waits for Ziggler, but then slips out the side. Ziggler manages to stand but Roode bumps him off barriers. Roode puts Ziggler back in the ring but Ziggler rolls to the other side. Ziggler wants a time out but Roode walks over. Ziggler yanks him back out, then dropkicks him on reentry! Cover, TWO! Roode gets to a corner but Ziggler brings him up for a chinlock. Roode endures, and gets up to his feet. He fights back but Ziggler knees low to then drop Roode with a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Ziggler grows frustrated with his old foe, but he puts Roode in a corner. Roode hits first with haymakers and chops. Roode backs Ziggler down, then whips him corner to corner. Ziggler reverses but Roode comes out with the clothesline! Ziggler yanks Roode into buckles now, then backs off while we go to break.

Raw returns to Roode stuck inside the sleeper hold and body scissors from Ziggler. Roode feeds off the rally from the fans and gets his second wind. They stand up and Roode fights back. Ziggler kicks low, then runs in at Roode, but into a back elbow. Roode boots Ziggler back, then dodges him in a corner. Ziggler’s splash hits buckles, but he slips out of the back suplex. Ziggler goes for another sleeper hold, but Roode rolls through. Roode rallies, then whips. Ziggler kicks him away, but he still runs into a yurinagi slam! Fans fire up for Roode and he hits the corner clothesilne. Ziggler denies the bulldog but gets boots. Roode hops up, GLORIOUS Blockbuster! The fans fire up as Roode winds it up… GLORIOUS Pose!

The kick, but Ziggler counters the DDT and sits on the sunset. TWO, but Ziggler misses the Famouser. Roode rolls him, Ziggler rolls back, but Roode does i back. TWO, and still no DDT, ZIG ZAG!! Cover, TWO!? How?! Fans rally up for Roode while Ziggler takes aim. Ziggler tunes up, just like last night. He takes aim, but Roode blocks the kick to get the catapult! Ziggler his buckles, then walks into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Roode keeps his cool while Ziggler rolls to the ropes. Roode drags Ziggler up on the apron but Ziggler hotshots back. Ziggler goes for but is denied a Zig Zag.

Roode boots Ziggler away, then hops up, but has to jump over. The legs give out, and Ziggler kicks them, but Roode denies the DDT to get a SUPERKICK instead! Cover, Ziggler wins!

Winner: Dolph Ziggler, by pinfall

The Show-Off wins cleaner than last night, but either way, he’s still a winner. Will Ziggler encounter a challenger worthy of a match on the way to Summerslam?

 

Bobby Lashley speaks.

They say the Beast fears no man. Lashley says the Beast has never faced someone like him. Lashley vows to be the next Universal Champion, but what will it take to get through both Seth Rollins and Elias in their Triple Threat?

 

Mojo Rawley “applauds” Bobby Roode.

“And you’re supposed to be Glorious?” Mojo grins at the defeated Roode before walking away. Roode doesn’t have a response, but will he give Mojo one next time they meet?

 

Tyler Breeze VS Mojo Rawley!

Now the Man with #KillerInstinct heads to the ring and goes against Prince Pretty. Will Mojo fare better than Roode did against Ziggler? Or will he be the one shown up?

The bell rings and Mojo goes right at Breeze with shoulders in the corner. He throws Breeze out, but Breeze dropkicks and clotheslines Mojo out! Breeze slingshots but misses, and Mojo POUNCES!

Mojo glares down at Breeze, then puts him in the ring. Cover, TWO, so he tries again. ONE, and Mojo puts Breeze in a half-nelson. Breeze endures while fans duel between them. Mojo says Breeze just has to tap and it’ll be over. Breeze refuses, but can’t get away from Mojo. Cover, ONE, but Mojo still has the half-nelson. Breeze continues to endure, and sits up again. Mojo powers up but Breeze sunset flips! TWO, and Breeze hits an enziguri! He hits a forearm in the corner, then whips, but Mojo reverses. Breeze holds ropes to dump Mojo out, but Mojo leaps back in! Mojo corner splashes, then hits THE Pounce! Mojo stalks Breeze to a corner, and hits the LIGHTS OUT Forearm! He’s still not done, he gives Breeze an Alabama Slam! Cover, Mojo wins!

Winner: Mojo Rawley, by pinfall

The Killer Instinct is strong in Mojo. He grins as he stares down at the defeated Breeze. Will he do the same to a champion in the future?

 

Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Alicia Fox & Dana Brooke!

Kurt Angle issued an ultimatum to these two friends on the rocks. If they can’t find a way to get along and win, one of them will be traded to SmackDown. Winning heals all wounds, but are these emotional wounds too deep?

Bayley and Alicia start and tie up. Alicia puts Bayley in a corner, then throws forearms. She wrenches and whips Bayley, but Bayley goes up and over. Bayley rolls Alicia, TWO. Alicia gets to ropes for safety, but then sucker BOOTS Bayley down. Cover, TWO! Alicia tags in Dana, then whips Bayley in for Danan’s handspring elbow. Dana stomps away, then puts Bayley in a corner. Dana runs in again but misses, so she makes sure to hit Sasha first. Bayley hits Dana back, then runs to run her over! Bayley throws hands but Dana gets away. The Huggable One still rallies, and hits Alicia for good measure. She elbows and wacky waving- gets run over! Dana throws Bayley out hard, and Alicia slaps away.

Sasha comes over to save Bayley, but then Dana gets Sasha. Sasha throws Dana down HARD, then rams her into barriers. She puts Alicia into the apron, but the referee keeps shouting for her to stop. She doesn’t and she hits a double crossbody!

Winners: Dana & Alicia, by disqualification

Was Sasha saving a friend in need? Or just getting hers while she could before someone gets sent to SmackDown?

 

Bayley confronts Sasha backstage.

Why did she do that? Sasha wants to leave, but Bayley wants to talk. Sasha won’t let someone else beat Bayley up. So she cares? yes, of course! She always has! But Sasha hates talking about feelings. Sasha loves that Bayley is a good person to everyone, and that she’s a role-model to little girls, or that she’s always there when Sasha doesn’t ask her to be. Why can’t Bayley get it? Sasha loves Bayley, ok? She said it. Sasha storms off, but will this be the last time they’re both on Raw?

 

Backstage interview with Braun Strowman.

The Monster in the Bank threw Kevin Owens off a cage! Does he have any regrets? Actually, he does. He regrets he wasn’t’ able to congratulate Kevin on the “win”. Why didn’t Strowman step up when all the others did for a chance at Lesnar? Because he has the briefcase! It doesn’t matter who wins, and whether they win against Lesnar, Strowman has his shot anytime, anywhere! Will everyone #GetTheseHands in the end?

 

The B-Team VS The Ascension!

And don’t adjust your television, they ARE the new Raw Tag Team Champions! They shocked the world by overthrowing WOKEN Hardy & Bray Wyatt, then celebrated all night long! Will they still be celebrating after this match tonight?

Raw returns as Konnor looms over Axel. The bigger Konnor stomps away, then back elbows Bo as he comes in. Axel kicks back, then throws Konnor into the post! Bo tags in and adds on with hammering fists. Bo then adds mudhole stomps, and fans cheer for the champs. The Revival are watching backstage while Axel tags in. Bo hits a clothesline, then feeds Konnor to the DDT. Cover, TWO! Axel facelocks Konnor, but Konnor uses his strength to head for Viktor. Axel piggybacks and clubs Knnor down, but is pushed away. Hot tags to Bo and Viktor, but it’s Viktor who rallies. Viktor chops and chops then whips Bo corner to corner for a big back elbow. He whips Bo again, but Bo dodges. Viktor goes up, flying knee! Cover, but Axel breaks it in time.

Konnor hits Axel, then dodges Bo. Axel dumps Konnor out, and Bo back elbows Viktor. Tag to Axel, Neck B-reaker! Cover, B-Team wins!

Winners: The B-Team, Axel pinning

The “undefeated” streak continues! They celebrate all over again, but the Deleters speak tot hem from inter-dimensional space. Enjoy your moment of glory, but understand that it won’t last. The B Team disrupted the divine equilibrium in a rematch for the titles. Bray & Hardy vow to take those belts back, and then DELETE the B Team Forever~! Will it be an eternal erasure for Bo and Axel?

 

Alexa Bliss & Mickie James head to the ring!

It was thanks to the six-time Women’s Champion that the Goddess managed to survive “kendo sticks, chairs, trash cans, bullies and overrated rookies” to still be Raw Women’s Champion. “What an upset, right?” She knows the fans thought “poor little Alexa” was gonna lose to “big bad Nia”, but they were wrong. Alexa wrote the final chapter in her story with Nia, with a happy ending: the One True Goddess victorious. She has dominated the Women’s Division for so long, because her strongest muscle is her brain. She out-thinks everyone, but outsmarting Nia wasn’t that hard. Alexa says she’s officially beaten everyone in the locker room. But fans remind her of “Ronda Rousey!” She hears them, but Ronda doesn’t count. Ronda is not here because she’s suspended! And after last night, it should be indefinite! Ronda was just a fan last night, but now she’s here again!

The Rowdy Woman makes her way down the stairs, despite her suspension still in effect for another 48 hours. Mickie & ALexa make a run for it, but Ronda is already on the stage! They run the other way, but Ronda chases them down! She grabs Mickie first, for that same Rowdy Slam! And the ARMBAR! Alexa works to save her friend, and referees help her out. Ronda glares at Alexa as she retreats, but then runs her down! Ronda barrels through referees, Mickie AND Alexa!

Fans are loving it as Ronda drags the Goddess up by her pink-tipped hair and puts her back in the ring. Ronda throws Alexa down, for the armbar!! Referees safe Alexa while Angle comes out to talk sense into Ronda. Angle wants Ronda to listen and calm down, especially after last night. Ronda has two more days, so just go home and wait it out.

But Constable Baron Corbin says the GM needs to do his job! Reprimand Ronda! Angle is right, add another week onto the suspension. A week!? No, Ronda spits in the face of authority, and all she gets is a week? Stephanie’s not gonna be happy about this. Wait where is Corbin’s phone? Hold on, he has to go get it. But uh, Angle has it. But anyway, Ronda’s suspension will be up, but she will get a match with Alexa, unless she pulls another stunt like this. Don’t worry, the match she’s getting is a Raw Women’s Championship match at Summerslam! Alexa & Mickie protest, but Ronda is just fine with this deal! Seven more days on her suspension for a title match return is fine by her and the fans, but what about Corbin and Stephanie?

 

Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.

The Architect wants at Brock Lesnar, but between the Triple Threat tonight, Roman Reigns next week and the wear on his body from Sunday’s Ironman match, how does he feel? To be honest, Rollins’ night wasn’t last night. But this will be his night, as will next Monday and Summerslam Sunday. If it’s Roman Reigns, his Shield Brother, “I gotta do what I gotta do.” He’s sure Roman will, too, so there’s an understanding between them. Can Rollins #BurnItDown against Elias and Lashley?

 

The Authors of Pain VS Titus Worldwide!

It’s a rematch between the destructive upstarts and the well-meaning veterans. Titus & Apollo know AoP are big, bad and strong, wanting to take respect, but that’s not how that works. You earn respect. Apollo tried what they did, but they’re not stagehands. They’re going to hit back and represent. Will their mission matter to Akam & Rezar?
The bell rings and Apollo hits Rezar but Akam hits him back. Titus gest in but Akam attacks first. Akam bumps Titus right off a post and lets him fall to the floor. Then he runs Titus over with a clothesline for good measure. Akam returns but Apollo enziguris and dropkicks! But Akam still powers Apollo to a corner. Rezar tags in, full nelson slam! Rezar talks trash in Albanian, then rams his shoulders into Apollo.

Tag to Akam, and Rezar atomic drops for Akam’s boot. Akam drags Apollo up and over, then tags Rezar back in. They work together for the double gut buster. Rezar taunts Apollo, then tags Akam back in. The AoP bring Apollo back up, for the LAST CHAPTER! Cover, AoP wins!

Winners: The Authors of Pain, Akam pinning

That makes it 2-0 for the duo of behemoths, and they barely broke a sweat. Will they bulldoze their way towards the tag team titles in no time?

 

The Riott Squad encounters the conga line.

No Way Jose and his buddies don’t stop them and their trouble making. They’re on their way out to see if they can finally get a win over the Prophecy of Flame!

Ember Moon VS Sarah Logan w/ Liv Morgan!

The Juvenile Delinquent is 0-2 against the former NXT Women’s Champion, but can #CountryStrong get the Squad on the board?

The bell rings, and they tie up. Sarah arm-drags but Ember handstands through. Ember gets a waistlock but Sarah standing switches to throw Ember down. Sarah drags Ember up but Ember resists. Ember endures the facelock, then reverses it onto Sarah. Sarah rolls through to reel Ember in, but Ember rolls her up. ONE, but Ember gets a waistlock. Ember slips around to lift Sarah, but Sarah resists. Sarah elbows out, then whips Ember to a corner. Ember goes up but gets a forearm that sends her down! The Kentucky Viking wants at Ember, and throws her into the ring. Cover, TWO, but Liv is confident Sarah has this. Sarah grinds her elbow and forearm into Ember, then drags her up to the ropes. She chokes Ember against them, then Liv gets a cheap shot in! Cover, TWO!

Sarah keeps her cool while she drags Ember up again. She suplexes but Ember small packages! TWO, and Sarah dodges a superkick to deadlift suplex! Bridging pin, TWO! Sarah grows frustrated, but she keeps focus as she puts Ember into an anaconda vice. Fans rally for Ember, and she rolls Sarah over. TWO, and Sarah keeps on the vice. Ember fights against it, then stands up. Sarah wrangles Ember back for a backbreaker, then wrenches on the vice. Ember endures and fights her way up again. She pops her hips back and slips out, then kicks Sarah away. Ember and Sarah slowly stand, but Ember slips out of the back suplex. She dodges Sarah to rock her with a right hand! Sarah staggers over, but into headscissors! They both stand up and Ember rallies! Ember gives several big knees, then runs to slide in for a complete shot!

Liv distracts on the apron but gets a forearm! Sarah rolls Ember up, TWO! Mule kick! Cover, TWO! Ember and Sarah crawl towards ropes, but Ember dropkicks Sarah out. Fans fire up, and Ember builds speed to DIVE! She wipes Sarah out but keeps moving. They go back into the ring, cover, TWO! Ember grits her teeth as she gets up to the top rope. She aims at Sarah, but Liv distracts again. Sarah trips Ember up, covers, Sarah wins!

Winner: Sarah Logan, by pinfall

This was not only Sarah’s first win in a 1v1 match, but she got it done against the War Goddess! Will this be the beginning of the Squad turning it around while they’re without their Riott leader?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter realizes he’s in Buffalo, and is instantly depressed. But he can save everyone with his debut album next week. Fans need to buy it, listen to it and let it heal them. What is the album’s name? The answer is simple, it’s the three words we all know: Walk With Elias! Amen to that. Now imagine the history he will make: number one recording artist and Universal Champion. All he has to do is will himself through this performance. But first, shut up so he can sing the song for him and only himself. Elias begins playing, but no one stays quiet.

“Brock’s got to go, I’m in Buffalo.” Triple Threat ain’t no match for him, he’d rather watch paint dry than hear Lashley speak. Seth Rollins go take a DIVE off Niagra Falls. Elias could be IC champion but Rollins cheated. Speaking of Rollins, he interrupts and gets this show going.

Triple Threat: Elias VS Seth Rollins VS Bobby Lashley!

The Drifter has been campaigning for a chance against The Beast for some time now, while The Kingslayer hopes to become The Beastslayer. They both will have to deal with The Dominator first, who will move on to then face The Big Dog next week?

But as Lashley makes his entrance, Elias attacks Rollins! Lashley runs in, and the referee keeps the peace in order to check on Rollins. Rollins wants this match to happen, so the bell rings. Elias goes after Rollins again, but Lashley pulls Elias over to bump him off buckles. Lashley throws hands then bumps Elias again. He stomps and punches away, then whips Elias to the ropes. Elias bails out, but Rollins is there to run him over! Rollins sees Lashley in the ring, and leaves Elias behind to test the Dominater. Fans duel while they circle and tie up. Rollins gets a waistlock and headlock takeover. Lashley rolls him over to a cover, ONE, but Rollins holds on. They stand up and Lashley powers out. Lashley runs Rollins over, then knocks Elias away. Lashley throws Rollins in the headlock takeover.

Rollins keeps it from becoming a cover, and fans rally up. They stand, and Rollins powers out. Things speed up and Rollins dropkicks Lashley down. Rollins stalks Lashley to a corner for chops. He whips Lashley to a corner, but Lashley puts Rollins on the apron. Rollins springboards in but into a kick! Lashley grabs Rollins, but Elias comes in to knee Lashley down! Rollins rolls Elias, TWO! Elias dodges and sends Rollins into buckles, tot hen shovel Rollins up. Rollins spins to huricanrana, but gets a knee from Elias! Cover, TWO! Heyman, Angle and Corbin watch intently from backstage while we go to break.

Raw returns once more, and Elias has Rollins in a cobra clutch. Fans rally up and Rollins fights back. Elias still puts his weight on Rollins, but Lashley returns. Elias pin balls between Rollins and Lashley, getting a jawbreaker to clotheslines. Lashley throws Elias overhead, then grabs Rollins in a swinging neckbreaker. He runs in at Elias for a shoulder tackle, then the vertigo suplex. Rollins kicks Lashley but gets tossed overhead. He lands on his feet, but is hit with a powerslam. Elias runs in but for a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Lashley takes aim but Elias bails out of the ring. Lashley pursues, but Elias throws him into a post. Rollins DIVES but Elias deflects him. Elias then throws Lashley into another post, and into the ring. He climbs up top, Macho Elbow! Cover, TWO! FROG SPLASH! But Elias throws Rollins out to cover, TWO!

All three men are down from exhaustion, but Rollins stirs. He drags himself back into the ring while Lashley slumps out. Elias sees him, and stalks him to a corner. He clubs away on Rollins, then shovels him up. Rollins fights out, wristlocks, but Elias elbows him away. Rollins boots Elias back, then hops up for a blockbuster! Cover, TWO! Elias gets to the apron while Rollins catches his breath. Rollins gets up as fans chant “Burn It Down!” for him. Rollins drags Elias up to the top rope, but Elias fights back. He clubs Elias then drags him up more. Elias still resists, and throws Rollins down. Elias adjusts, but Lashley returns! Lashley climbs up, clubs Elias, then grabs Elias for something. Rollins adds on, and has Lashley for the BUCKLE BOMB! Then he hops up to Elias, SUPERPLEX! Roll through, FALCON ARROW!

Cover, TWO!! All three men are down again, but Elias slumps out of the ring. Rollins sits up and sees he has two targets. He builds speed, and DIVES on Elias! Direct hit, and into the ring he goes. He DIVES on Lashley! Rollins returns to Elias, enziguri! Slingblade! But that’s not all, as Rollins fires up Buffalo with the “Burn It Down!” stomps. He aims at Elias, mule kick to CURB STOMP! Cover, but Lashley breaks it up just in time! They’re all done again, but Elias bails out again. Rollins goes after Lashley with a forearm, but Lashley gives it back. They brawl back and forth, but Rollins gets a furious edge. He runs, but into a BIG clothesline from Lashley! Lashley lifts Rollins with the Vertigo Suplex! He drops Rollins down, then prepares his ace. He runs, but into a post! Roll up, TWO, mule kick! CURB-

No, Elias dragged Rollins out! But he runs into a SPEAR! Lashley wins!!

Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall; moves on to next week’s #1 Contender’s match

We get a rematch from Extreme Rules between the two alpha males of Raw! Both men are armed with Spears, but who will be the one to barrel their way into Brooklyn and a match with The Beast?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Well, if Extreme Rules was a mixed bag of emotions, this Raw was the epitome of that. The matches were all filler, no matter how you look at them. It was great that Heyman panicked over his client being stripped over his not-so-subtle self-serving as a two-sport fighter, but this was just fancy wrapping paper on Vince’s gift to himself. Roman and Lashley being in the contender pool, or even just Roman himself, makes it clear we’re getting an Extreme Rules rematch that makes us all realize: they should’ve just made this the stipulation for Extreme Rules! Spare us the semantics and get to the point. Vince wants Roman to have another go, and we all know it. The triple threats were all booked great, but that was just something for the live audience to enjoy more than anything. I hope Lashley wins again, but we can’t be sure anymore.

Everything else that happened tonight also felt slightly off. Roode VS Ziggler is a revisit from SmackDown, and is thankfully now about Ziggler being a weasel than Roode having a fancy entrance. However, it feels like it might be Roode VS Mojo instead as Mojo gets in Roode’s face before squashing Breeze. I still want Breeze to try his hand in 205 Live while Fandango recovers. Breeze might not get to be Cruiserweight Champion, but he can at least get good booking away from Vince’s direct control. However, Mojo and Roode might both get thrown into the Intercontinental Championship scene as Ziggler will need challengers as much as Lesnar. I’m slowly coming around on B-Team, just on how over the top they are about themselves, but with next week’s rematch, I hope we get something a bit more in story, such as a visit to at least one Compound.

Angle has added a Fourth “I” with “Incompetence” if he only just now figured out Bayley & Sasha could wrestle it out instead of talk. I doubt he’ll really trade one of them to SmackDown just because they’ve lost another match, but it was a good breakthrough for Sasha to admit she still does care for Bayley. I don’t know if this means their story shifts gears so we can try for that Women’s Tag Championship story, but that might be what saves this story before it’s truly too late. AoP winning was filler, but there’s still time before they’re just giant versions of The Ascension. Same for the Revival, depending on what happens with the tag titles. Good for Sarah to be the one to win for the Squad, but I’m not sure where the story goes without Ember having her own teammate.

The best part of tonight was actually Ronda appearing to attack Alexa and Mickie again. It was better than what I was expecting tonight, and is the one part of Raw that might actually be booked correctly. Ronda adds time to her “suspension” but that’s fine, because she’s getting her Summerslam match. Ronda better win, or else WWE will have shot themselves in the foot, again.

My Score: 7.5/10


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