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

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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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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/24/22)

Time to weigh in before the Rumble!

Published

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WWE Raw 2022

Raw prepares for the Royal Rumble!

Before fighting for the WWE World Championship, Bobby Lashley and BRRROCK LESNARRR step on the scales to make this one heavy Monday Night Raw!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Bianca Belair VS Queen Zelina Vega; Belair wins.
  • WWE United States Championship: Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens; Kevin wins by disqualification, and Priest retains the title.
  • Six Woman Tag: Rhea Ripley, Dana Brooke & Liv Morgan VS Tamina, Carmella & Nikki A.S.H; Ripley, Brooke & Morgan win.
  • The Alpha Academy Academic Challenge Round 1, Spelling Bee: The Alpha Academy VS RKBRO; RKBRO wins and gets to choose next week’s challenge.
  • Randy Orton w/ Matt Riddle VS Chad Gable w/ Otis; Orton wins.
  • AJ Styles VS Austin Theory; Styles wins.
  • The Mysterios VS The Street Profits; The Mysterios win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Corey Graves is in the ring with Adam Pearce.

Pearce welcomes the fans to the official WWE World Championship weigh-in for the Royal Rumble. “Without further ado, please welcome the challenger, Bobby Lashley!” The Rocky Mountain Machine makes his way out, MVP right behind him, and some pyro added to his pose, and some more pyro in the ring. And of course, the WWE Champion, Br- “Ladies and gentlemen.” Paul Heyman walks out on stage to give his introduction, and says he’s so tired of everyone trying to steal his shtick, especially when no one does it as good as he does.

So about to walk down the aisle and step onto the scale, your REIGNING! DEFENDING! UNDISPUTED! WWE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD~! BRRROCK! LESNARRR!! Lesnar makes his entrance, wearing a cowboy hat and jeans, and he goes to the ring to join Lashley. But given the attire and the smirk on his face, it’s hard to say he’s taking this serious. Graves points it out, and Lesnar asks if Graves would like Lesnar to get naked. How about just carrying on with this then? Graves says Lashley is the challenger, so he will go first. Lashley throws off his jacket, steps over, and stands on the scale.

The ref checks, and Lashley weighs in at 273 pounds. MVP says, “See that? 273 pounds of All Mighty killing machine! 273 pounds of specimen like no other. Closer to a god than a man. 273 pounds of bottled lightning that Brock Lesnar will have to contend with at the Royal Rumble.” The match so many had written off as impossible is happening. But Lashley knew it was inevitable. 273 pounds, and then after the Rumble, Lashley will gain some weight. The exact amount as that WWE Championship weighs. Lesnar and Heyman laugh that off, and Graves says it is Lesnar’s turn. Lesnar takes off his hat and lets Heyman hold that while he steps on the scale.

The ref checks, and Lesnar weighs in at 286 pounds. Lashley is upset, though. Lesnar thinks this is funny, huh? He’s acting like a fool because he knows Lashley will beat him for the title this Saturday. “Mark my words: this will be the shortest title run of your entire career. And that’s not a prediction. That’s a spoiler.” Lesnar laughs and says, “Well who’s the comedian now? Paul, get this. On Sunday morning, hot off the press, Bobby Lashley beats Brock Lesnar in the Hurt Lock. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new champion! The new reigning, defending, WWE Heavyweight Champion of the world~! Bobby Who?”

Lesnar laughs, takes his leave with Heyman, but it’s only a matter of time. Will Lashley have the last laugh when he’s the one leaving St. Louis with the title?

 

Bianca Belair VS Queen Zelina Vega!

The EST is dressed in gold, because she’s ready to go for gold in the Women’s Rumble! Will the Queen of the Ring merely be a stepping stone on Bianca repeating history?

Raw returns and Vega makes her entrance. The bell rings and they tie up. Bianca scoops and puts Vega on the apron. Bianca then blows a kiss, ducks the haymaker, drags Vega back into the ring and swings her around in the waistlock before a SLAM! Fans rally for the “EST! EST!” and Bianca avoids Vega stomping her foot! Bianca ripcords and whips but Vega reverses, only for Bianca to go up and over. Bianca handsprings, eggs Vega on, then dropkicks her down! Bianca kips up, drags Vega up, and suplexes! Bianca holds Vega up but Vega STUN-DOG MILLIONAIRES! Vega stomps away on Bianca in a corner and digs her boot in!

The ref counts, Vega lets off at 4 to then JUMP KICK! Vega keeps moving, and she KNEES Bianca down! Vega soaks up the heat, takes a bow, and then drags Bianca up. Bianca shoves Vega away, runs in but is sent into buckles! Vega then goes up, but Bianca ROCKS her first! Bianca scowls, trophy lifts Vega off the corner, but Vega fights free to a SLEEPER! Bianca RAMS Vega into buckles but Vega just throws elbows! Vega brings Bianca down to her knees, squeezes tight on the sleeper, but fans rally up. Bianca fights up, RAMS Vega into more buckles and then throws Vega off! Bianca scoops but Vega headscissors, but Bianca handsprings through!

Bianca rallies on Vega, dropkick and kip up! Fans fire up as Bianca brings Vega in for a suplex! Roll through, another suplex, and she even jogs in place before the SLAM! Bianca runs, handsprings, and MOONSAULTS onto knees! Vega grits her teeth, hops on, CODE- NO! No red, Bianca pops Vega off to a torture rack! KISS OF DEATH! Cover, Bianca wins!

Winner: Bianca Belair, by pinfall

Well, she just beat a queen, so this was the royalEST win Bianca’s gotten yet! Will she go back-to-back at the Rumble and return to WrESTleMania?

 

Backstage interview with Kevin Owens.

Kevin Patrick tries to talk with him before his US Championship match but Kevin Owens refuses to talk. K-Peezy points out KO was the first person to give Damian Priest a pinfall loss here on Raw, and KO agrees with that. But he faked an injury. What? What did K-Peezy say? Faking an injury? Is he accusing KO of lying? Has K-Peezy been in the ring? No, he hasn’t, so his opinion is moot. KO says he fought through pain! Just reed his shirt! “Just Keep Fighting.” Now tonight, KO gets his US title match, and guess what he’ll do tonight? Read the third! Just Keep Fighting. That’s right! And he’ll do that until he is the new United States Champion.

WWE United States Championship: Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens!

The Archer of Infamy knows the Prizefighter is two-faced, but now he knows what to expect after being duped into a defeat. Will Priest keep the gold away from KO? Or will Damian make it hard for him to hold back?

Raw returns and Kevin makes his entrance. The introductions are made, the title is raised, and we see who goes into the Rumble with gold already around their waist!

Kevin kicks, Priest pushes him away and fires off in the corner! Kevin dodges to CHOP and CHOP and forearm in return! The ref counts, Kevin lets off but Priest turns things around to fire off fast hands! Priest CHOPS, whips corner to corner, but Kevin reverses. Kevin runs in but blocks the knee to throw the leg down. Priest ROCKS Kevin with an uppercut, then throws more forearms! Priest runs, but Kevin drops to come back and CLOBBER Priest with an elbow! SENTON! Cover, TWO! Kevin argues the count but he goes after Priest in the corner. Kevin stomps, the ref counts and Kevin backs off. Kevin then runs in, but into a choke grip!

Kevin slips out of the choke slam to CHOP and forearm, but he runs into a BOOT! Kevin bails out, Priest builds speed, and Priest goes up the ropes. Kevin gets away, Priest hops down and goes out after Kevin. Priest blocks the superkick and throws Kevin into barriers! Priest puts Kevin back in, but Kevin SUPERKICKS him off the apron! Kevin hurries to the apron, SWANTON onto the knees! Priest was ready this week! APRON CHOKE SLAM! Priest is fired up and so are the fans as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and Priest fires off kick after kick then a ROLLING ELBOW! Kevin goes to a corner, Priest hits a back elbow! But Kevin fights off the suplex, only to get a BELL CLAP! And a HEADLOCK DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Priest drags Kevin up, puts him in a corner and hoists him up top. Priest ROCKS Kevin with a right, climbs up, but Kevin hits back! Kevin adjusts and headbutts away on Priest! Then TORNADO DDT! Priest is in a drop zone, Kevin goes up top! FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Kevin can’t believe it! Kevin argues with the ref but the ref defends it was two. Kevin waits on Priest to get up, SUPERKICK!

Kevin gets Priest back up, whips but Priest holds ropes. Priest BOOTS back, ducks and dodges, to FLAPJACK Kevin down! Then a HEEL KICK! Cover, TWO!! Kevin survives almost being beheaded but Priest keeps his cool. Kevin claims he’s got a bad arm, but Priest doesn’t trust that! Priest stomps away on Kevin at the ropes, but lets off as the ref counts 4. Kevin still says he has a bad arm but Priest KICKS him out to the apron. Priest rushes over, Kevin HOTSHOTS him! Kevin give sup faking and rolls Priest up, with tights, TWO!! STUN- NO! Priest powers out to LARIAT! Priest is fuming, is Damian coming?

Priest KICKS Kevin into a corner, stomps away, fires down hands, but the ref backs him up. Priest still comes back for more, the ref has to push him away again. Priest BOOTS Kevin, fires off more elbows, but the ref calls for the bell!

Winner: Kevin Owens, by disqualification (Priest retains the WWE US Championship)

Damian got the better off Priest, but he still has the belt. Kevin may have gotten the win, but will he think again before pushing Priest’s buttons?

 

Royal Rumble entrees speak.

Rhea Ripley says, “I have a score to settle with Nikki A.S.H. But the one thing that’s consuming my mind right now is the Royal Rumble. This Saturday, it’s every woman for herself, so I’m going to win at any cost. It’s gonna be an absolute nightmare for the 29 other women when I win the Royal Rumble and move on to WrestleMania.”

Dana Brooke says, “Call me crazy, but this year is gonna be my year! As reigning 24/7 Champion, I’m ready any time, at any place. And this Saturday, I’m gonna continue riding that wave, and winning the Royal Rumble.”

Liv Morgan says we’ve all seen her from being happy to be here to the girl that took the Raw Women’s Champion to her limit. We saw her nearly become champion. But at the Royal Rumble, there won’t be “nearly.” She’ll win to become the NEW Raw Women’s Champion.

 

Sonya Deville finds Damian Priest backstage.

He was outta control! When the ref says to do something, he should listen. Or else he’ll get fined, suspended, or worse. So get it under control! Will Priest find a way to contain the rage inside?

 

Six Woman Tag: Rhea Ripley, Dana Brooke & Liv Morgan VS Tamina, Carmella & Nikki A.S.H!

We just heard from one team about the Women’s Rumble, but can they back it all up with actions? Or will they almost have momentum after facing the Daughter of Superfly, the Most Beautiful Woman in the WWE, and the Almost SuperHero?

Raw returns as Dana makes her entrance, followed by Liv. Then Mella makes her entrance, followed by Tamina, and lastly, Nikki. The teams sort out, Mella gets her protective mask while Dana starts with Tamina. They tie up, Dana wrenches to a wristlock, Tamina shoves her away then runs her over! Tamina soaks up the heat, taunts Liv and Rhea, then stomps Dana. Tamina rains down forearms, wraps on a chinlock and she thrashes Dana before clamping on a neck wrench. Fans rally and Dana fights up, Dana throws elbows. Tamina CLUBS Dana, back suplexes, but Dana lands on her feet to tag Rhea! Rhea dropkicks Tamina, then swipes at Nikki!

Rhea DECKS Mella, wrenches Tamina and hits her with short arm clothesline after short arm clothesline! Then a ripcord HEADBUTT, and a sweep to the legs! Rhea runs to basement dropkick! Fans fire up with Rhea, she brings Tamina up but Tamina shoves her away. Rhea comes back to sobat, then she NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Mella gets in and FABULOUS KICKS Rhea! Liv ENZIGURIS Mella! Nikki kicks Liv for a TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Dana SHOTGUNS Nikki, Tamina CLOBBERS Dana! Mella tags in, she pie faces Rhea, and that just pisses Rhea off! Rhea trips Mella, ties up the legs, PRISM TRAP!! Mella taps, Rhea’s team wins!

Winner: Rhea Ripley, Dana Brooke & Liv Morgan, by submission

That mask didn’t protect the legs! Will it protect Mella from being thrown out? but then Nikki SUCKER PUNCHES Rhea! What kind of hero uses a cheap shot?! Will Rhea personally make sure the Rumble is a nightmare for her former friend?

 

The Alpha Academy Academic Challenge Round 1, Spelling Bee: The Alpha Academy VS RKBRO!

In order for Matt Riddle & Randy Orton to earn a rematch for the Raw Tag Team Championships, they have to show their mental strength is superior in a series of challengers! Otis looked a little worried about that last week, but will he and “Master” Chad Gable be able to outsmart the Stallion & Viper? Or will #4PointOtis no longer be top of the class?

Raw returns and Kevin Patrick presides over this challenge. He welcomes to Raw Tag Team Champions, the Alpha Academy. Gable says that was a fine introduction but a terrible explanation. So he’ll put it in a way that even the mindless morons of Ohio can understand. SHOOSH. Tonight is the first in a triad of events over the coming weeks. Fans chant, “You Suck!” and Otis gets upset. Gable says SHOOSH, and realizes vocabulary isn’t Ohio’s strong suit. Triad means three, so there will be three events. These events will prove Gable is a genius, just as his Master’s Degree and 4.0 GPA does. Don’t boo education! If anyone needs it, it’s Ohio.

Now, this will also prove his protégé, his prized pupil, Otis has both the brawn and brains the size of a tree trunk when he and Gable decimate RKBRO into mental submission. Gable is so proud of Otis. And lastly, Gable will use this platform to officially announce that the Alpha Academy are in the Men’s Royal Rumble! And you better believe one of them is winning, and then the Alpha Academy will headline WrestleMania! Thank you! Kevin Patrick then introduces the former tag team champions, RKBRO! Orton & Riddle head to the ring, and Kevin Patrick reminds us that this is a spelling bee. Tonight’s winners will then choose next week’s challenge stipulation.

The champions open, and first up is Otis. Gable says Otis has this, and Otis nervously steps to the mic. Otis’ word is… Emmental. Can Kevin use that in a sentence? A form of Swiss cheese. E-M-M-E-N-T-A-L! CORRECT! Gable is proud and Otis is sure they’ve already got this. First up for RKBRO, it’s Riddle. Fans fire up as The Bro goes to the mic. Riddle’s word is… Calibration. Cali-bro-tion? No, calibration. Can he use that in a sentence? Uh, ok. “A simple calibration is used to set up the system for individual implementation.” Please put that into letters for Riddle. No, Riddle, you have to spell it. Oh, okay, like when he calibrates his scale for measuring ounces and-

Riddle, just spell it then! Right, sorry. C-A-L-I-B-R-A-T-I-O-N. CORRECT! Tied at 1-1 and Riddle is fired up! Gable is now up, and his word is… Disillusion. Gable laughs that one off. He was hoping for a challenger. For the sake of sportsmanship, give him the definition! SHOOSH! He didn’t need it! This is Mr. 4.0, baby! It is the disbandment of a group or organization- No, Kevin said disillusion, not dissolution. D-I-S-S-O-L-U-T-I-O-N! NO, Gable! Wrong word! What?! That was dissolution but Kevin said disillusion. This is a joke! Kevin said the word wrong! Gable says he spelled a word right! But it wasn’t the word that was said.

Orton says maybe Gable can just a freakin’ seat! Orton is ready to get this over with. Then his word and the win is… Well, one of the most commonly misspelled words. Dumbbell. Riddle says Orton has this! And looking at Riddle, Orton has this. D-U-M-B-B-E-L-L. CORRECT! Gable is furious! Dumbbell for Orton? Riddle IS a dumbbell! Gable, shut your mouth! And Ohio, let’s go ahead and shut Gable’s mouth for him! They can go 1v1 right here, right now! Gable is furious, and Orton says Gable is clearly not that smart so maybe he’ll spell out how he’s gonna beat Gable: the three most destructive letters in sports entertainment, R K O!!

Randy Orton w/ Matt Riddle VS Chad Gable w/ Otis!

Raw returns and the match is on! Orton and Gable circle, fans rally behind “Randy! Randy!” and ties up with Gable. Orton headlocks, grinds Gable but Gable fights up. Gable pries the hold, has a top wristlock and he brings Orton down. Otis says that’s the power of leverage, and Gable wernches to a wristlock. But Orton powers out to drop toehold and facelock! Gable moves around, Orton gets away, and the two circle again. They tie up, Gable wrenches, wristlocks, but Orton fights up. Riddle and the fans rally up, Orton wrenches through and headlocks. Gable powers out, Orton runs him over! Riddle is fired up as Gable gets to a corner.

Orton and Gable reset, tie up again, and Gable wrenches to a hammerlock. Orton slips around to hammerlock back, then headlocks. Gable powers out, Orton runs him over, and things speed up. Gable arm-drags, and arm-drags again! Gable keeps on the arm and fans boo as he wrenches the shoulder. Orton fights up, fans keep rallying, and Orton whips Gable to a corner. Gable goes up and over but Orton fakes out the arm-drag! RK- NO! Gable pushes Orton away, and then bails out of the ring to regroup with Otis. Fans boo and a ring count starts. Otis says you can’t RKO someone with no neck! Gable gets in the ring, he circles with Orton and they tie up again.

Orton wrenches to a wristlock, but Gable rolls, bridges, spins and handsprings to spin through and headlock. Gable then spins to the toehold and has the ANKLE LOCK! But Orton slips away and bails out to regroup with Riddle. Gable says it was that close, but Orton keeps his cool. Orton takes his time returning, but Gable throat chops him! Gable CHOPS Orton to a corner, throws body shots and haymakers, but lets off as the ref counts. Gable fires off more forearms, strikes a pose, but then Orton kicks back! Orton fires off EuroUppers over and over, whips Gable to ropes, then CLOBBERS him with an elbow!

Gable bails out again, Orton stalks up behind him! Back suplex to the announce desk! Gable flops to the floor and Otis can only glare as Orton looms over Gable. Fans are all fired up as Orton puts Gable in the ring. Otis gets on the apron, Orton knock shim down! But Gable CHOP BLOCKS a leg! Gable runs, runs Orton over, then hurries up the corner! MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Orton survives and Gable can’t believe it, while Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Gable has a standing toehold. Orton endures, Riddle coaches him up, but Gable stomps Orton down! Gable has Orton in a corner, hooks a leg in the ropes, then gets the other for a DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! The ref keeps Gable back but Gable shoots in to get the left leg. Orton CLUBS Gable, whips him but the bad leg gives up! Gable whips Orton into a corner, but Orton comes back to LARIAT! Orton manages to rally, and he dodges to BACK DROP Gable away! Gable goes to a corner, Orton runs in to clothesline! Fans are thunderous for RKBRO as Orton reels Gable in. Gable switches, Orton bucks the waistlock and hits a BACK2BACKBREAKER!

Fans fire up as Otis coaches Gable and Riddle coaches Orton. Orton puts Gable through ropes, drags him out, time to spell “vintage!” DRAPING DDT! Orton slowly gets up as fans fire up behind him. Orton hears the voices and he waits on Gable. Riddle sees Otis getting on the apron and runs over that way. But Otis gets him for an EXPLODER! Orton is distracted, Gable backslides him! TWO, and Orton hits a POWERSLAM! Orton’s bad leg slows him down, but the fans still rally as hard as ever. Orton stands over Gable, then aims from the corner. Otis shouts to Gable, but Orton runs in, only for Gable to dodge the punt! ANKLE LOCK!!

Orton endures as Gable thrashes the bad leg! Fans rally, Riddle CLOBBERS Otis with his scooter! And then again! And again! Gable is distracted, Orton rolls to send Gable into buckles! RKO!!! Cover, Orton wins!!

Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall

RKBRO gets extra credit on The Alpha Academy! A win in the spelling bee and a win in the ring, but Riddle gets a mic. Riddle congratulations Orton, and reminds us that they get to choose the second Academy Challenge. Riddle thinks it’s time to go old school to gym class! What better way to show some physical prowess than a good, ol’ fashioned… scooter race! Is that really part of gym class? And does Otis even stand a chance of finding a scooter that can hold him up? Will RKBRO make it a 2-0 sweep? Or can Gable find a way to make a comeback?

 

Alexa Bliss continues her therapy.

The doctor thinks they’re making progress. Oh? He asks her a personal question: When was the very first time that Alexa met Lily? Oh, well, Lily’s been around her whole life. Any time Alexa was looked down on or bullied, Lily was there to be her friend. Alexa was just six years old when she met Lily. These two teenage girls picked on Alexa cuz she wore glasses, and they shoved her off the monkey bars. Alexa got knocked out, and when she came to, Lily was there. Those cute button eyes and the braids and stitching. Is that too much? No, keep going. Okay.

That day, Alexa and Lily got ice cream and played on the monkey bars. Lily said those mean girls would never come back, too. Then they ate candy and gumdrops, and they did that game where you stuff marshmallows in your mouth and try to say, “Chubby bunny.” Well, Alexa has plenty more to say, will we get to the bottom of Lily’s hold over Alexa?

 

Vince McMahon talks with Austin Theory.

Vince knows Theory is doing really good lately, especially the selfies. Yeah, look at this one! No, not that one. Well, it did feel good destroying Finn Balor, just like Vince wanted. And in the Rumble, Theory will win and face the champion of his choosing at WrestleMania! That’s exciting. If it’s not too much to ask, maybe Theory could get a late number? Like 26 or 27?Why would Theory think Vince has any influence over that at all? Especially right now, when he should focus on his opponent, AJ Styles. Whoa, as in, former WWE Champion, US Champion, Intercontinental Champion, Tag Team Champion, Grand Slam Champion AJ Styles? Yep! That AJ Styles.

Theory says that’s fine. Sounds good, even! Okay, hang on. Don’t forget your phone. And bring back a really good selfie. Yes, sir! Will Theory be able to be more than Phenomenal here tonight? Or does he finally fall out of favor with Mr. McMahon?

AJ Styles VS Austin Theory!

The Phenomenal One himself just got finished with a bright and shining star with a big ego in Grayson Waller. Will Styles check off another future star in Vince’s newest pet project?

Raw returns and Theory makes his entrance. The bell rings, they tie up, and Theory powers Styles to a corner. The ref counts, Theory lets off to mock Styles’ pose, but Styles keeps cool. They tie up again, Styles powers Theory to a corner but Theory turns it around. The ref counts, Theory lets off, and then he double guns. Styles still stays cool, ties up with Theory and gets a headlock. Theory powers up but can’t power out as Styles holds tight. Theory powers out, Styles ducks the hurdle, rolls Theory up, TWO! Theory fireman’s carries, but Styles sunset flips! TWO, Styles wheelbarrows to a victory roll, TWO! Styles dropkicks Theory right outta the ring!

Fans fire up and Styles takes aim. Slingshot and FOREARM! Direct hit and Theory checks his chin. Styles puts Theory back in the ring, stalks Theory to ropes, brings Theory up and bumps him off buckles. Styles CHOPS, Theory staggers to another corner, but Styles brings him out. Theory kicks but Styles blocks. Theory ROCKS Styles with a forearm, but Styles KICKS Theory’s leg! Theory hobbles to the corner, but Styles storms over. Theory YANKS Styles into buckles! And then throws him down by his hair! Slingshot STOMP, deadlift suplex! Cover, ONE!! Theory is annoyed and he rains down rights before wrapping on a headlock.

Theory grinds Styles but fans rally up. Styles fights up, puts Theory in a corner, but Theory turns things around. Styles dodges to CHOP! And CHOP! Theory falls and crawls, but he throws body shots. Styles KICKS Theory in the side! Styles runs for a BIG knee drop! Cover, TWO! Styles gets Theory up, snap suplexes, covers, TWO! Theory grits his teeth but Styles drags him back up. Theory FLAPJACK HOTSHOTS him! Styles sputters while Theory seethes, and Theory stomps Styles down! Theory drags Styles up, throws forearms, then whips corner to corner. Styles hits buckles hard, and Theory gets in his face! “How’s that feel?!”

Theory throws fists down but the ref back shim off. Theory stands on Styles’ head, but lets off as the ref counts. Theory drags Styles up but Styles DECKS Theory with a forearm! Styles drags Theory up, but Theory suplexes for a GOURD BUSTER! Styles flounders in the corner, Theory hoists him up top. Theory throws forearms, climbs up to join Styles, but Styles throws body shots in return. Styles ROCKS Theory, Theory drops but then somersaults to SHOTGUN DROPKICK Styles to the floor! Fans boo but Theory grins as he looks down at Styles, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns and Theory has a headlock. Styles throws body shots, Theory knees low. Styles kicks back, then ENZIGURIS! Theory staggers, Styles runs in but Theory catches his crossbody for a BACKBREAKER! Then a SWINGING BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Theory grins as Styles survives, and he stalks Styles to ropes. Theory bumps Styles off buckles, then RAMS a shoulder into his back! And again, and again! Theory lets off as the ref counts, and Theory throws down more fists. Theory brings Styles up, but Styles JAWBREAKERS free! Styles ROCKS Theory with a right, then CHOPS him to ropes. Styles whips, Theory reverses and BACK DROPS! Cover, TWO!

Theory says HE is phenomenal but fans boo. Theory drags Styles up to snapmare and stomp him down! Theory mocks Styles’ pose again, but misses the elbow drop! Theory grits his teeth as he gets back up and runs in at the corner. Styles elbows Theory away, then QUEBRADA DDT! Both men are down but the fans fire up! Theory and Styles are on opposite ends, Styles runs in to LARIAT! Theory kicks back but Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz! Styles hits a clothesline in the corner, then suplexes Theory to a NECKBREAKER! Styles runs, SLIDING FOREARM! Cover, TWO! Theory is still in it but Styles keeps his cool.

Styles drags Theory up, fireman’s carries but Theory slips out. Styles ducks the haymaker but not the back elbow! Theory hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Theory checks his chin again, drags Styles up and says he’s got this. JAWBREAKER! Styles runs in, but into a BOOT! Theory somersaults for a BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Styles survives and Theory can’t believe it! Theory shakes his head, convincing himself he can do this. Theory gets Styles up to throw big forearms in the corner. Theory puts Styles up top, climbs up to join him, but Styles resists! Styles slips through and trips Theory up! Styles waistlocks, but Theory elbows out hard!

Theory reels Styles in, but Styles fights out of the powerbomb! Styles ducks and dodges to PELE! Both men are down again and fans are rallying! Styles reels Theory in, but Theory fireman’s carries! Styles fights free, rolls Theory, CALF CRUSHER!! Theory scrambles, ROPEBREAK! Styles lets go and both men slowly get up. Styles grabs at Theory but Theory holds the ropes. The ref calls the ropebreak, Theory throat chops! But Styles BOOTS back, goes to the outside, but Theory trips up his springboard! High stack, but with ropes! The ref sees that and stops the count! Theory and the ref argue, but Styles ROCKS Theory!

Styles is on the apron, he springboards in, PHENOMENAL FOREARM!! Cover, Styles wins!

Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall

Now that was phenomenal! Will Styles use this momentum to take the Royal Rumble and that golden ticket to WrestleMania? And what of Theory facing Vince’s wrath?

 

Raw holds a simultaneous interview with Becky Lynch and “Doudrop” Piper Niven.

Commentary wants to start with Piper. This match has been a long time coming, and Piper ran through the rest of the division to- Becky speaks up and asks if this is their first time. We start with the champion. And she’ll start with a champion of “a wee lass named Doudrop.” When she first got her start across the pond, who did she idolize? Becky. Who did she want to face most? Becky. Tell ’em how Becky paved the way, and as the groundbreaker she is, she gave Piper this match. People are asking, “Why would anybody in their right mind choose someone who can clearly out power them? Who can clearly break all their bones with one slam to the mat?”

Maybe that’s the answer! Maybe Becky isn’t in her right mind. Or maybe Becky is that confident in how damn good she is! Or that generous to grant an opportunity to a fellow Celt. Piper speaks up to suggest that maybe, Becky handpicked Piper because Becky is desperate. Maybe ever since she returned, she’s been ducking, dodging and scrambling just to hold onto the title. Maybe Becky thought putting the new girl in would be an easy victory. The only easy thing here will be how easy it is for Piper to break every single one of Becky’s ribs.

Becky wants “Doudou” to hold on there. Becky should be thanked for giving Piper her biggest match, her first title match here, and for paving the way and giving Piper a match at one of the biggest events of the year. If Piper had just said thanks, but no. Piper waited for Becky to get in and offer a handshake, so of course Becky slapped her across the face. And being the bigger person, Becky offers to lead Piper to victory in the tag match. But then Piper splashed Becky, dropped her, left her lying. Becky admits, she didn’t see that coming. But Piper’s in for a rude awakening at the Rumble when she steps in the ring with the #VanGOAT and Becky wins to stay Raw Women’s Champion.

Oh, is Becky done? Piper zoned out when she started hearing that whining, nagging sound, or else she was gonna lose it. But Piper will show gratitude when Becky shows respect. But Becky won’t, she will keep whining. She’s not a goat, she’s a little lamb on the way to the slaughter. The Dome is the slaughterhouse, and the new champion will be Doudrop! Becky says Piper was just another name to fill out the roster before this. Piper needs to know her place. It’s dead space and- Oh, Piper’s getting off the mic? She gonna run? She can’t run from the truth, or from this fight. Becky’s been champ for nearly three years !But then Piper barges into Becky’s room!

Piper and Becky scrap and referees rush in to stop it! Piper says her place is with the title, standing over Becky! Will Piper be the one to make Becky DouDROP that title?

 

Backstage interview with Rey & Dominik Mysterio.

Sarah congratulates Rey on being the WWE 2K22 cover superstar. What does it mean to be among the ranks like Stone Cold, The Rock, John Cena and The Undertaker? Rey says this is so dope. You have no idea what an honor it is to represent. Most superstars spend their careers chasing achievements, from main eventing WrestleMania or entering the Hall of Fame. Being on the cover of a WWE video game is no different, especially when that game is FIRE! Although, the one thing prouder would be seeing Dom on the cover one day. Dom says now Rey’s talking. Dom used to play those games growing up, and he knows he has to create his own legacy to be in those games. That starts Saturday when he wins the Royal Rumble.

Well okay, but that’d mean he has to throw Rey out. That’s not happening, right? Well after last week, he might be first to go! Dom’s got jokes. He’s playin’ right? Dom grins and heads out, but Rey laughs it off. Will “every man for himself” be true even for the Mysterio Familia?

The Mysterios VS The Street Profits!

Rey & Dom won alongside Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins last week, but now they’ll go against each other for some last minute momentum! Who will be on fire going into the Royal Rumble match after tonight?

Raw returns as the Mysterios make their entrance. The teams sort out, Dawkins starts against Dom. They circle, tie up, and Dom headlocks. Dawkins powers out, things speed up, Dom RANAS! Dom throws hands, knuckle locks and CHOPS, then goes up to FLYING ARM-DRAG! Dawkins dodges, Dom keeps moving, Dawkins hits a big back elbow! Cover, TWO! Dawkins drags Dom up, whips him to ropes, but Dom wheelbarrow sand throws Dawkins out of the ring! Rey gets in, holds the way open., Dom DIVES! Direct hit onto Dawkins, and then Rey crossbodies Ford! Rey runs, but Ford throws him out onto Dom!

Dom manages to catch Rey, but Ford FLIES! Direct hit and down goes everyone! Ohio is fired up as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns again and Dawkins grinds Dom down in a chinlock. Dom endures, fights up, throws body shots, but Dawkins DECKS Dom with a right! Cover, TWO! Dom is still in this but Dawkins wraps on another chinlock. Dom endures again, fights up, Rey coaches him through it, and Dom gets to his feet. Dom throws more body shots, but Dawkins knees low. Dom ends up in a corner, but he dodges the cyclone splash to kick and TORNADO DDT! Both  men are down and fans fire up! Dawkins and Dom crawl, hot tags to Ford and Rey! Rey dodges Ford to tilt-o-whirl and headscissor! Ford ends up in a corner, puts Rey on the outside, but Rey ROCKS him!

Rey goes up top, leaps, SEATED SENTON! Rey keeps moving, dodges again, but Ford FLAPJACKS Rey down! Ford somersaults, to a SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Rey gets to ropes, Ford whips him, but Rey kicks back. Rey slides under, Dom gets in, and he gives Rey a boost to RANA Ford on tropes! The Mysterios dial it up but Dawkins trips Dom and drags him out! Ford runs in but Rey drop toeholds him to ropes! 6 1 NO! Ford blocks that, gets Rey up in an Electric chair, but Rey victory rolls! The Mysterios win!!

Winners: Rey & Dominik Mysterio, by pinfall

The King of Lucha finds a way to snatch this one away from the Profits! But then Dom gets behind Rey and lifts him up, but Rey RANAS Dom out! Rey tells Dom he needs to try better than that, but then Ford TOSSES Rey! But then Dawkins tosses Ford! Dawkins says he got Ford there! But then the DIRTY DAWGS get in, and they both throw Dawkins out! Roode & Ziggler talk trash, but then the Mysterios and the Profits get in to go after them! It’s a huge scrap, but the Dawgs get tossed! And then the remaining four all square off in their own corners! Will any of these men make it to the end of the Rumble match this Saturday?

 

Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.

Kevin Patrick brings up how the Usos are barred from ringside during the Universal Championship match at the Royal Rumble, and Rollins says that sounds so good. Rollins likes K-Peezy and will give him a little “insider information.” This was never about The Usos, or anyone else but Roman VS Seth, Seth VS Roman. Now they go 1v1 at the Rumble for the title, and historically speaking, Rollins likes his odds. Rollins knows he can beat Roman because he’s already done it. Roman knows Rollins has his number. Roman wants people to think very highly of him, but Rollins is the one who can put Roman in his place.

So speaking of Roman, Rollins is going to pay SmackDown one more visit this Friday, because unlike Roman, Rollins delivers his messages in person. See you Friday, brother! Rollins laughs it up, but will he have the last laugh this Friday? And will this Saturday be the first time Roman gets the better of Rollins?

 

The Miz heads to the ring!

The Hollywood A-Lister promised it last week, and now it’s here! Maryse’s birthday celebration will be here on Raw, and the ring’s already filled with presents! Will all go smoothly for the It Couple this close to the Royal Rumble? We’ll see, after the break.

Raw returns and Miz welcomes us to the Maryse Birthday Extravaganza! It’s a celebration of his wife’s birthday, and then Saturday, we will celebrate The It Couple beating The Grit Couple! So without further ado, welcome the birthday girl, a woman more gorgeous, more sexier and more intelligent than anyone here, Maryse! Maryse makes her entrance, and there’s security at ringside. Miz says he speaks for everyone here when he says, “Open your first gift!” Maryse pulls the veil off a painted portrait of her and Miz as a prince and princess! Miz has done it! She feels even more special than the day she became a mother!

Or when he got her that pink Rolls Royce! Or when he got her that $500,000 ring. Well no expense spared. He got top of the line security to make sure there will be no intruders! They checked the ceiling so there wouldn’t be a Brood Bath! There will be no Edge or Beth here! Miz speaks for all of us when he says, “Open your second gift!” Miz hands it to Maryse, she pulls off the lid, and it’s… A custom hand purse! It says “No limit” on the side because there is no limit to their love. Wait, what’s this big one? Miz thought Maryse got him something. Uh, it’s her birthday. Why would she… Wait, then if he didn’t get that, and she didn’t get that… Then what’s in the box?

SECURITY! Get in here and open the box for Miz! The guard goes up to it, rips the paper away, and it’s all a trick! Miz put the brick that Maryse hit Beth with in a frame! This demonstrates that these two will always be one step ahead of Edge & Beth. Just watch this recap video as proof! Maryse asked Beth to call off the Mixed Tag, Beth refused, Miz tried to jump Edge but failed, but it still distracted Beth enough so Maryse could CLOBBER Beth! Fans boo but Miz & Mrs. just soak it up. Now it is time for everyone to get up out of their seats and sing Happy Birthday to Maryse. On three. One, two, DO NOT BOO! This is a birthday celebration! Stand up and sing!!

Now, one! Two! Three! HIT IT! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you~! Miz is so sour… But here comes EDGE! AND Beth! Edge has the music cut to tell Mike ‘n’ Maryse that they’ve been real clever. But being clever won’t matter on Saturday. All these security guards won’t matter on Saturday. Because Miz & Maryse stepped in it now! They’ve got a pissed off Rated R Superstar, and an extremely pissed off Glamazon on their hands. These two are gonna show everyone why that’s not a good thing. The Grit Couple storms to the ring, CLOBBER guard after guard, and Beth scoop SLAMS the next one! Edge TOSSES another, Beth sends one more into the steps!

The It Couple bail out of the ring, so Edge and Beth tear everything up! Beth SPEARS one guard, Edge SPEARS another! Miz & Maryse freak out over the cake being in harm’s way, but the Grit Couple give a guard a HART ATTACK! Shout out to the days of Beth teaming with Natty. Another guard gets in, he gets a 3D!! A shout out to some of Edge’s greatest rivals, before he BOOTS another guard! Edge sees the cake still standing, and Miz says he better not! Edge drags the guard up, reels him in, and POWERBOMBS him through the cake AND table! The terror on the It Couple’s faces is real this time! Will they even show up in St. Louis for that Mixed Tag match?


My Thoughts:

I have a feeling word got back that last week’s Raw was pretty sad, because they made sure this week’s Raw was really good. Now, a weigh-in segment for a title that doesn’t really have weight restrictions was really just an excuse to get Lesnar and Lashley to interact one more time. But Lashley and Lesnar are both doing really well on the mic these days, and Lesnar being dismissive of Lashley is such a great element of this. It’d be wild if Lashley won this but there’s a good chance Lesnar retains and we still get something of Lesnar VS Roman, title for title. Rollins has a good promo rather late in the night, but him hyping up the SmackDown go-home means something good is coming.

Bianca VS Vega was a short match, as was the Six Woman Tag, but sadly that’s how things are in RawDown these days… But at least we got a great promo segment from Becky and Piper. Piper leaving her room to find Becky and brawl with her was awesome stuff, and their match is going to be awesome stuff, but pretty sure Becky wins. Then they’ll set up Becky VS Bianca at WrestleMania, Bianca finally avenges her SummerSlam loss. Also, Alexa Bliss has to be returning to action during the Rumble. She might not win but she could have a really good showing to reestablish herself. Tonight’s vignette didn’t really do much, it just had her rambling about Lily’s origin story with no serious revelation.

We got a really good US Championship match, but it was a bit cheap for Priest to get disqualified when “Damian” let loose. Maybe Kevin comes back after the Rumble to try again and that builds to a US title match at the Elimination Chamber PPV in February. Styles VS Theory was a great match, too, just wish Vince would’ve let Theory and Finn have a match as good as that. And if Styles was still feuding with Grayson Waller, we could’ve built to Styles & Finn VS Theory & Waller, but nope. Vince has apparently given up on Finn, but not enough to cut him the same way they cut a lot of other great people. What a weird old man.

I loved so much of the Academic Challenge segment. Great promos from everyone, and I love that Gable got so cocky that he went with what he thought he heard and not what Kevin Patrick really said. Then we got an awesome match of Orton VS Gable, that also had the awesome aside of Riddle attacking Otis with the scooter. Now, going with a scooter race next week isn’t really something you’d see in gym class from what I’ve experienced, but it’s definitely a Riddle kind of choice. I’m not sure how, but Alpha Academy is definitely finding a way to win to push this to the third challenge, which RKBRO will win to get a tag title match.

The Mysterios VS Profits was really good, with Ford and Rey really standing out in this match. Mysterios get the win for momentum, but then the Dirty Dawgs get in on things for a nice brawl. I don’t see any of those six winning, though, but maybe the Mysterios come out tag title contenders for after RKBRO and Alpha Academy sort out. And then we got a pretty good final segment. As birthday parties that get ruined goes, I like that Miz swerved us with the giant box and then we get Edge & Beth straight up crashing the party. I spotted the Tate Twins among the security guards that got bodied, I hope that means they’re signing with NXT 2.0. The Grit Couple standing tall here, the math would suggest The It Couple finds a way to win, but who knows, Edge & Beth could defy the math.

My Score: 8.3/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (1/24/22)

Washington DC gets Elevated!

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AEW Elevation Coverage

AEW has eight for America’s capital!

Team Taz’s Ricky Starks & “Powerhouse” Hobbs look to clear out Dante Martin’s allies, Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty, as AEW continues in Washington, DC!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Leyla Hirsch VS Brittany Blake; Hirsch wins.
  • Private Party VS Myles Hawkins & Action Andretti; Private Party wins.
  • Brandi Rhodes VS Willow Nightingale; Brandi wins.
  • The Men of the Year VS Logan Easton Laroux & Mike Fowler; The Men of the Year win.
  • Red Velvet VS Janai Kai; Velvet wins.
  • Santana & Ortiz VS Breaux Keller & Goldy; Santana & Ortiz win.
  • Thunder Rosa & Ruby Soho VS Leva Bates & Jordan Blade; Rosa & Soho win.
  • Ricky Starks & “Powerhouse” Will Hobbs VS Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty; Starks & Hobbs win.

QUICK NOTES

Great to see Leva Bates back in action, but I have a feeling she and Jordan Blade will put Rosa and Soho over. Leyla Hirsch is in her first match since her Heel turn, so seeing how #LEGITHEEL wrestles compared to when she was a Face will be one to watch. And Team Taz taking on Sydal & Moriarty is going to be great, especially since it ties story in from Dynamite.


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