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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (7/3/18)

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While there’s still two weeks left, SmackDown is gaining speed towards Extreme Rules! First, Team Hell No is promised to kick off the show now that they’ve reunited AND been granted a shot at The Bludgeon Brothers’ tag team titles. Then, The Phenomenal AJ Styles will take on MC Artiste as a warm-up before Rusev Day!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • WWE United States Championship Independence Day Open Challenge: Jeff Hardy VS ???; Hardy wins and retains the WWE United States Championship.
  • Asuka VS James Ellsworth w/ Carmella; Double Count Out.
  • AJ Styles VS Aiden English w/ Rusev; Styles wins.
  • Becky Lynch VS Peyton Royce w/ Billie Kay; Becky wins.
  • The Usos VS Team Hell No; Team Hell No wins, keeping their SmackDown Tag Team Championship match against The Bludgeon Brothers at 2v2.

PLAY BY PLAY

Renee Young welcomes us to SmackDown!

And she welcomes to the ring, Kane & Daniel Bryan, Team Hell No!

The Big Red Machine has indeed returned, and he did so by saving his frenemy from the Bludgeon Brothers, Harper & Rowan. After five years, these two are back together and are set to challenge Harper & Rowan for their SmackDown Tag Team Championships at Extreme Rules! Their reunion and the “Hug Felt Around the World” made headlines. They’ve been successful despite their dysfunction, but that’s the beautiful part. Sometimes they fight, sometimes they hug, but they always deliver and are unstoppable! Kane and Bryan fought blindfolded and arms tied behind backs, and even fought The Shield in a TLC Match. They even graduated from Anger Management with Honors. Kane & Bryan have been through Hell, but they are back and better than ever!

But why did Kane come back? Well, Bryan has a bit of a temper. When he was attacked a couple weeks ago, Kane knew Bryan would get himself in trouble. Whether Bryan realizes it, he always has a demon watching over him. Well maybe not always. Bryan is excited to have Kane back and vows they will become the NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions! Fans chant “YES! YES!” because they hope so, too. But when Kane said he has always watched over Bryan, that’s not exactly true. The last time they were in the ring together, it was as opponents. But as friends. Were they? Kane tried to end Bryan’s career. Well everyone wants to win. Kane tombstone’d Bryan three different times, outside of a match!

Kane wants to keep things focused on the present, not the past. If they are to win against Harper & Rowan, they need to focus on what unites them. But, Kane tried to kidnap Brie… “Tried”. They’ve had their differences, but Kane has always had Bryan’s back. No he hasn’t. Yes he has. No… Yes… No…! Yes…! NO. YES. NO! YES! Repeat. The Usos appear?!

Jimmy & Jey knew this was gonna happen. The Big Red Machine and #SweetBeats D-Bry, back in the tag team division. The tag team division just got hot! Remember when those two were the hottest team? Hell Yeah. But also argued a lot. Hell Yeah. And then the “YES YES” shirts versus the “NO NO” shirts. Hell Yeah! Is everyone excited for them to be back as a team? Hell Yeah! Do they deserve an opportunity at the titles? Hell NO!! Because The Usos know a lot has changed in five years. They’ve got SmackDown #OnLock, welcome to the Uso Penitentiary! Paige gave these two a shot at Extreme Rules just because they hugged!? The Usos have been hugging since they were two years old. They hug now! As a matter of fact, bring it in three more times. There, that’s four hugs, which is four more title shots!

That’s not what hugs mean. But if the Usos disagree, why don’t they come in and fight Hell No right now? Kane speaks up, because “what Daniel means” this is a team consideration and will get back to them. Kane doesn’t think he’s ready? Or is it that Kane thinks Bryan is the weak link?! Bryan has done so much since Kane was last here! But here comes GM Paige!

She didn’t mean to interrupt, but as GM, the Glampire has the obligation to do what’s right for the WWE Universe. Therefore, Team Hell No will face Harper & Rowan for the titles. But they do need to prove themselves, against the Usos in the main event! By the way, Jimmy & Jey, if you two win, you’ll be added to the match for a Triple Threat Tag! Fans are the ones who love that the most! Will the Penitentiary #LockDown Hell No and another chance at the Bludgeon Brothers? Or will Kane & Bryan say #HellNo to that?

 

Jeff Hardy speaks.

“The bald eagle is a powerful, aerial beast, soaring on thermal convection currents” with eyes able to spot prey up to two miles away. It is also a symbol of America’s ferocity, so as we celebrate this great nation’s independence, Hardy will carry this other symbol with great pride. “I am in search of my next prey.” And in exchange, he offers up the symbol. The challenge is now open! Who will accept!?

 

Asuka speaks.

“Men, women. Sexist pig!” It doesn’t matter who she faces. She makes them all feel pain! James Ellsworth will not be ready for Asuka! Is the Empress of Tomorrow going to kick off Ellsworth’s head before coming after the FABULOUS Princess’ throne?

 

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

The Charismatic Enigma must still wait for the King of Strong Style to recover. But he will not sit quietly, for he hungers for challengers. And on the eve of Independence Day, the champion faces… The Hollywood A-Lister, The Miz! The Miz was a WWE US Champion in the past, can he bring it back around again?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Miz and Hardy circle while fans rally up already. They tie up, and Miz knees low. Miz clubs Hardy to a corner, then stomps away. He brings Hardy up, whips and goes for a hip toss, but gets a jawbreaker from Hardy. Hardy kicks low and goes for the Twist, but Miz pushes out. Miz runs in but misses, then hits the mat while Hardy goes up. Miz manages to stop Hardy, then climb up. Hardy resists the superplex to knock Miz down. Hardy readjusts, but Miz rolls away. Miz catches his breath while we go picture in picture.

Hardy waits for Miz to return, because Miz will have to if he wants the belt. Miz slides in but slides out, so Hardy pursues. They go back in and Miz is there to stomp Hardy out. Miz backs off at 4, and Hardy staggers to the ropes. Miz is on him with a sleeper hold, but Hardy fights back. Hardy goes to run but Miz yanks him down by his hair. The ref reprimands Miz, but Miz just stalks Hardy for the low boot. he misses, Hardy rolls up, TWO. Hardy kicks low, but Miz again escapes the Twist. Miz slips back out of the ring to catch his breath again. Hardy waits, but again Miz baits him into cat and mouse. Miz runs, and catches Hardy with knees. Miz throws Hardy back out, then runs to try the wrecking ball. Hardy dodges, then clobbers Miz with a haymaker.

Hardy catches his breath against the announce desk, then climbs up to the apron. He fires the fans up before leaping onto Miz with a lariat! Hardy refreshes the count, then bounces Miz off the announce desk several times! When he’s done, he puts Miz back in the ring. Cover, TWO! Hardy keeps on Miz with a chinlock. Miz endures, stands up and powers out. Miz gets Hardy with the kitchen sink knee, then takes his time catching his breath. We return to single picture as Miz mocks the DELETE. He brings Hardy back up, and goes to bump him off buckles. Hardy turns it around to bump Miz in one corner, then another, then another. Hardy gets all four corners and gives Miz more and more buckle bumps! Miz is down, and fans chant “DELETE! DELETE!” Miz knees Hardy then low boots! Cover, TWO!

Miz keeps on Hardy with a knee and half surfboard. Fans rally for Hardy as he endures the stretch. Hardy powers up to his feet, then fights against the hold. Hardy turns it around on Miz, but Miz turns it back around and brings Hardy to his knees. Fans rally again, and Hardy powers up again. Hardy turns the hold back around once more, but Miz kicks low. Miz swings but Hardy counters and hits back. Hardy gives more haymakers, then a kick, then a whip. Miz reverses, but Hardy hits back with forearms. Hardy atomic drops, and leg-splitting leg drops on top! Dropkick added, cover, TWO! Hardy whips Miz but Miz kicks him away. Miz runs but is dumped outside. Hardy builds speed and hits the baseball slide! Miz hits barriers, but Hardy isn’t done. DELETE leaping attack, but Miz sends him into barriers!

Hardy is down while the count begins. Miz drags Hardy up while we go to break.

SmackDown returns as both Miz and Hardy slowly stand in the ring. Hardy hits Miz with the spinning back kick, but both men are down again. Fans rally for Hardy as he and Miz brawl on their knees. They go back and forth, and brawl as they stand up. Hardy gets the edge, but Miz counters to the full nelson. Hardy throws him off and hits a corner clothesline. Miz sits down, here comes the Hardyac, but Miz kicks it away. Miz runs out, but into the Twist- No, full nelson, but Hardy rolls! TWO, DDT from Miz! Cover, TWO! Miz gets up, runs in, and hits the A-List clothesline. Hardy staggers out while Miz climbs up. Miz leaps, but Hardy gets under. Hardy elbows back, then Whisper in the Wind! Cover, TWO!

Hardy isn’t sure what to do now, but he doesn’t lose hope. He takes off the shirt and calls for the Twist. Miz stands, Hardy kicks low but Miz again denies the Twist. He rolls Hardy, but feet on the ropes! The referee spots it and stops the count! Miz thinks he’s won, but the referee points out he saw Miz was cheating. Miz protests but runs into Twist of Fate! Hardy climbs up, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, Hardy wins!

Winner: Jeff Hardy, by pinfall; still WWE United States Champions

The second open challenge for the champion, and the champion is still the same. Hardy keeps his momentum red hot, will he be able to keep it going all Summer? Or will someone shut him down before the Fall?

 

James Ellsworth speaks.

Men are the superior specimen. Men have stronger muscles, bones are tougher, brains are bigger–especially his. Women aren’t ready for Asuka, but he’s all man. The Battle of the Sexes when he puts Asuka in her place. #MellaisMoney, and #EllsworthisExquisite. Generalizing aside, is this “man” really ready for one of the most dangerous women in WWE today?

 

Byron Saxton is in the ring.

As everyone in America knows, July 4th is Independence Day. But tonight, the New Day has requested time for a special something: The Inaugural 3rd of July Pancake Eating Contest! Therefore, welcome the Patriots of Positivity! Awwwwww~ Omaha! Don’t you dare be sour, clap for your four-time champs, and feel~ the power~!

Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods bring out patriotic pancakes that are red, white and blue, then hit the ring. Byron makes the introductions for Kofi Kingston and his long list of accolades, as well as “the Doctor of Defenestration” Xavier Woods and the abridged version of Big E’s intro. Five minutes on the clock, and the rules are as follows: they will each have that time to eat as many pancakes as possible. They must swallow all the pancakes and NOT throw up. Big E has red, Xavier has white and Kofi has blue. “New Day, are you ready!?” YES!! WWE Universe, are you ready!? YES!! Then… GO! The New Day shoves pancakes into their mouths, but then the lights go out! Why? Because SAnitY is here!

And they ambush from behind! Young, Wolfe & Dain toss each member of the New Day around, and then throw Big E and Kofi out. They pick up Woods, and throw him into the legs of the table! Big Damo throws Big E into steps, while Young chokes Woods on the ropes. Damo isn’t done, he tosses Big E over the announce desk! Young holds Woosd to watch Wolfe feed Kofi to Damo’s Divide! And finally, the table is set back up so that they can bring Woods over. Damo bounces Woods’ face off the table, and he and Wolfe hold Woods for Young’s flying elbow drop through the table!!

Anarchy annihilates this inaugural pancake eating party, will SAnitY turn this into the Summer of Chaos?

 

Asuka VS James Ellsworth w/ Carmella!

It’s a Battle of the Sexes for a new generation as the Empress of Tomorrow looks to get payback at the “Exquisite” Ellsworth for the Money in the Bank screw job he helped the FABULOUS Princess pull. Will Ellsworth’s comments earlier tonight be his famous last words?

And to add fuel to the fire, Carmella makes sure to make her own entrance separate from Ellsworth to then trash talk the Empress. She joins commentary while Ellsworth does some last stretches. Ellsworth then rolls up his sleeves and asks for the bell. The bell rings, he pumps up, but Asuka shoves him down! Ellsworth gets out of the ring, but Carmella orders him back in. He obeys, but runs into strikes from Asuka! Ellsworth retreats again, but Carmella angrily orders him to man up. He takes off his shirt, “mans up”, and circles with Asuka. He gets a waistlock, but Asuka elbows out to then throw palm strikes from all sides!

Asuka back kicks, fireman’s carry, and spins around! She dumps a dizzy Ellsworth down, and he’s close to throwing up. Asuka SLAPS him! And then backhands him! Ellsworth escapes again, but Asuka pursues! They run into the crowd! Asuka chases the lankly Ellsworth, but the ring count reaches 10!

Double Count Out

But wait, they come back! And Asuka gets in arms length, only for Carmella to shove Asuka down! The Princess trash talks Asuka, then drags Ellsworth away. Granted, Ellsworth is wearing his wrestling trunks, but it’s clear Carmella still wears the pants in this relationship. Will Asuka get her revenge on them both when Extreme Rules comes around?

 

Kane and Bryan meet backstage.

Bryan has diagrams for tonight’s match? No, there’s no time for that. They need to get on the same page. Kane needs to apologize. For what? Bryan reveals those papers are a timeline of all the times Kane mistreated Bryan! Kane stops Bryan’s list of grievances, and apologizes. For which one? For them all. They’re like brothers. But, Kane set his brother, Undertaker, on fire once. Well, he knows what that means! The Usos are at the top of their game. One mistake, Hell No loses. When they’re united, no one can stop them! It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 or 50 years, they’ve created a fire no one can extinguish. And then, they will be tag team champions. Now, is Bryan ready for the Usos? “YES! YES!”

 

AJ Styles VS Aiden English w/ Rusev!

The Bulgarian Brute earned his first shot at a world title in the Gauntlet Match a few weeks back, and did his best to be respectful to the Phenomenal WWE Champion. However, MC Artiste wasn’t so respectful, and got a haymaker for it. Now the Drama King looks to show Styles isn’t as phenomenal as advertised. Will English perform a symphony of sorrow for Styles? Or will Styles roll on towards an extreme Rusev Day?

Styles speaks before the match, saying that at Extreme Rules, he will defend against someone bigger and stronger. “But what else is new?” That’s what makes it fun, right? Styles likes proving people wrong. Rusev said he’ll break down the House that AJ STyles Built, and take that belt away. What does he think this is? A rental property? Now, Rusev is a Super Athlete, but he’s not Phenomenal. Before Styles can say more, Rusev & English appear! Rusev doesn’t care how phenomenal Styles is, he hasn’t faced “this Rusev.” This Rusev has his first WWE world title opportunity, and it’s going to be on Rusev Day. Rusev meant what he said about breaking down the door and evicting Styles to move in to the House that Styles Built.

English, what day are they moving in? Rusev Daaaay~! Rusev leaves the ring to English and the bell rings. But one last thing. English ambushes Styles! Never mind then. English stomps Styles, then brings him up for more while we go picture in picture.

The referee backs English off while Styles gets out of the ring. English waits, but only a moment. He goes out to attack Styles, but Styles puts him into barriers. English clubs Styles back, and both men go into the ring. English has Styles in a corner and fires away. He whips Styles corner to corner, and Styles hits buckles hard. English drags Styles up for more haymakers, but Styles chops back! Styles backs English down, throws haymakers, then whips. English reverses but Styles clubs him again. Styles kicks English down, then brings him up for forearms. He waistlocks but English switches. Styles bucks English but English holds on by the waistband to then club Styles in the back again. English hits a swinging neckbreaker, covers, TWO!

English keeps his cool as he drags Styles up. He knees low, then pushes Styles for another kidney shot. He goes again and hits another shot while we go single picture. Fans duel between Styles and Rusev Day, and Styles elbows back. Styles throws hands and kicks, then runs, but into a kick from English. English suplexes Styles up, but Styles gets on the apron. Styles shoulders in, slingshots up and over, but into a full nelson slam! Cover, TWO! Rusev coaches English as English puts Styles in a chinlock. Fans rally up for Styles but they still duel. Styles fights back, bobs and weaves, for the Phenomenal Blitz! English goes down, and Styles adds the sliding forearm! English gets to a corner, but Styles is on him with a corner clothesline to Ushigoroshi!

But Styles won’t cover there, he brings English up for the Clash. English counters, but gets countered back, Calf Crusher! English endures the pain, but he taps! Styles wins!

Winner: AJ Styles, by submission

But Rusev strikes! He drags Styles out to then throw him into the post! MACHKA KICK! English may have failed to win, but the Bulgarian Brute is still softening up Styles for himself. He puts Styles in the ring, for the Accolade! Styles doesn’t tap, but he does fade out. Will this happen again at Extreme Rules to crown a new WWE Champion?

 

The IIconics speak.

Selfie cam! Smile! Or, no, game face. Peyton Royce vows to expose Becky Lynch as a has-been sidekick who deserves to be kicked to the side. The IIconics are beautiful from all angles, but they have a nasty side, too. Peyton will do her best to hurt Becky, and that will be something to smile about.

 

Carmella reprimands Ellsworth.

But then Paige finds them. She likes this vibe, using a man to protect her title. But Ellsworth can’t run away for long, he has a rematch with Asuka. And since he’s “such a ladies man”, he’ll make his wildest dreams come true. Imagine: the ring is surrounded by all the women of SmackDown. Yes, it’ll be a Lumberjack match! Ellsworth claims to be ready for Asuka, but will he be ready for the entire SmackDown Women’s Division?

 

Becky Lynch VS Peyton Royce w/ Billie Kay!

The Lass Kicker already has a win over one-half of the Iconic Duo, but can she get the sweep?

The bell rings and the two circle. Peyton powers Becky to a corner then rams her shoulder in again and again. Becky dodges to hip toss Peyton down. Billie swipes at Becky but Peyton runs in. Becky rolls Peyton, ONE. Becky knees low then whips Peyton to a corner. Peyton puts Becky on the apron but Becky shoulders back. Billie distracts Becky but Becky gets her to back down. Becky climbs up but Peyton intercepts! Fireman’s carry, rolling Death Valley! Cover, TWO! The IIconcis are furious, but Peyton keeps on Becky with knee strikes. Peyton glares down at Becky as she kicks her around. Fans rally for Becky, but Peyton puts her in a standing abdominal stretch. Becky endures, pops out and snapmares Peyton down.

Peyton crawls to ropes an drop toeholds Becky into them. She chokes Becky on the ropes, but backs off at 4. Becky crawls but Peyton is on her with a snapmare and seated abdominal stretch. Becky endures while fans rally up again. She and Peyton stand, Becky rolls, TWO. Becky headbutts low, then again. Peyton dodges the third to shove Becky. Becky narrowly avoids the heel kick, then blocks the next kick into a Becksploder! Fans fire up as Becky kicks. Becky whips but Peyton holds ropes. Peyton kicks, but then runs into a kick from Becky. Becky runs in but gets boots. Peyton hits a knee on the run, then drags Becky up again. Scoop to the fireman’s, but crucifix into Disarm-her! Peyton taps, Becky wins!

Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission

And there’s the #IIconicSweep for the Lass Kicker! Becky is straight fire as of late, can she burn a path straight to the title?

 

Shinsuke Nakamura speaks.

The King of Strong Style wonders why Hardy paints his face. Is he a clown? Is he insane? Or is Hardy just ashamed? Extreme Rules, Nakamura vows to strip away everything, from pride to honor to the United States Championship!

 

The Usos VS Team Hell No!

Two tag teams that have dominated their respective runs in the Tag Team Division are set to collide! Kane & Bryan will still have their shot at Harper & Rowan for the titles, but can they keep the Uso Penitentiary from going extreme?

The bell rings and Bryan starts against Jimmy. The two circle and tie up, and Jimmy gets a headlock. Bryan powers out but Jimmy runs him over. Jimmy runs but Bryan drop toeholds into the leg half of the surfboard. Bryan grabs the arms, and brings Jimmy up all the way! He then drops Jimmy down to tag in Kane. Bryan holds Jimmy for Kane to boot! Kane brings Jimmy up for his uppercut, then stomps a mudhole in the corner. Tag to Bryan, and Kane whips Bryan in for a dropkick. Bryan brings Jimmy up but Jimmy gets him tot he Uso corner. Tag to Jey and Jey forearms Bryan. Jey then runs, but Bryan meets him with a dropkick! Bryan tags Kane, and the Big Red Machine brings Jey up for a scoop slam. Kane drops the elbow, but misses.

Jey tags Jimmy, and Jimmy climbs up. Jimmy leaps, but into Kane’s grip! Jey, too, and Kane pushes both Usos out! The Usos drag Kane out to beat him down, but Bryan comes in. Bryan misses Jey and gets an uppercut from Jimmy. Jey runs, builds speed and DIVES on Kane! Jimmy does the same, to DIVE on Kane! Kane goes down, and the Usos have control while we go to break.

SmackDown returns once more, and Bryan backs Jimmy down with haymakers. Jimmy whips Bryan corner to corner but Bryan goes up and over. Things speed up and Bryan takes Jimmy down with the leaping lariat. Bryan runs in for the corner dropkick, then kicks away. Bryan stops at 4, then hoists Jimmy up top. He climbs up to join Jimmy, and just manages the SUPER Steiner! Bryan fires up again, and gives Jimmy proper YES Kicks! He kicks and kicks, then goes for the buzzsaw, but misses. Jimmy shoves and Bryan ends up on the apron. Bryan fights off Jey, but gets Jimmy’s Dragon Whip kick! Bryan goes down, and Jimmy tags Jey. Jey runs over to Bryan to run him over with a clothesline.

Kane can only watch as Jey stalks Bryan. Jey chops Bryan then puts him in the ring. He drags Bryan up for a scoop slam, then more stomps. Jey tags in Jimmy, and the Usos stomp away on Bryan. Jimmy runs in for the hip attack! Cover, TWO! Jimmy keeps on Bryan with a chinlock. Fans rally for Bryan as Bryan reaches for his corner. Jimmy holds on and even hops on, but Bryan still walks forward. He and Kane reach out for each other, but Jimmy throws Bryan down by his hair. Jimmy tags Jey, and Jey climbs up. Jimmy brings Bryan up, backbreaker to ax handle chop! Jey tags Jimmy back in, and the Usos split the wishbone. Jimmy brings Bryan up, whips him, but Bryan dodges to build speed, double crossbodies take them both out!

Fans rally up as both men crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Jey and Kane! Kane rallies on Jey, whips and boots him down. Kane hits a corner splash, then the sidewalk slam. Cover, but Jimmy breaks it. Kane uppercuts Jimmy away, but Jey dropkicks Kane out. Kane is back on his feet, but Jimmy DIVES! Only for Kane to send him into barriers. Jey tries but runs into a right hand. Kane gets back in the ring, and stalks Jey with choke slam on deck. He grabs Jey by the throat, but Jey fights out. Jimmy tags in, SUPERKICK! Kane only staggers, but the Usos see Bryan. Bryan flies in, but into double SUPERKICKS! The Usos see Kane, SUPERKICKS! Cover, TWO!

Jimmy is surprised, but he and Jey tag again. Jey and Jimmy climb up opposite corners, aiming for Kane. Double UCE– Into double hands! Kane feeds Jimmy to the KNEE PLUS, CHOKE SLAM for Jey! Cover, Team Hell No wins!

Winners: Team Hell No, Kane pinning

YES YES YES, Hell No wins. But Bryan wants Kane to mean it when he celebrates. Kane does it strong, and then they hug it out!

But wait, here come the Bludgeon Brothers. Harper & Rowan, armed with their hammers, take a good hard look at their lone challengers. No more celebrating, because doom is on the horizon. Will Team Hell No be brought into their own tag team apocalypse? Or will they introduce Harper & Rowan to hellfire, brimstone and a lot of heart?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A pretty solid SmackDown, and certainly in comparison to last night’s Raw. The opening segment made a lot of sense, other teams should be upset that Kane & Bryan get a shot at the titles already without really earning it. Granted, the Usos have had their own chances, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t earn another like Paige put out there tonight. The main event was a great match, and given Kane’s hoss monster style, his ring rust didn’t really show compared to the faster Bryan and Usos. With this win, Team Hell No earns their shot, but that buzzkill appearance by Harper & Rowan definitely assures this match is going to be great on physicality alone.

Hardy and Miz put on a great match, but of course Hardy keeps the title to face Nakamura at Extreme Rules. I think Nakamura’s little bite at the screen was a reference to that dog attacking. It’s rather serendipitous, really, because now their match can happen at the PPV rather than on TV. That pancake eating contest becoming a SAnitY raid was actually brilliant. Now we’ll get the hottest trio in a long time against the hit NXT trio, because why not? Ellsworth VS Asuka did not go how anyone hoped, but that’s okay, we’ll get even bigger and better satisfaction next week in that Lumberjack match. Styles VS English went as expected, but I hoped Rusev was going to stay Face in this feud. Granted, Heel Rusev has always been his strongest persona, but Face VS Face is so rare in WWE I wish they’d give it a try.

Becky VS Peyton was at a very fast pace, but that was for the sake of time. Great to see Becky on this roll, but with her going up against single members of duos, I’m expecting something to happen that calls Charlotte to the rescue, and we get #TeaGenerationX taking on The IIconics and/or Mandy-Sonya for a right at Women’s Tag Team Championships. Essentially, the Women’s Divisions will parallel each other in some way again, and we get one Raw team and one SmackDown team for the inaugural champions. The Four Horsewomen going 2v2 against each other would be pretty cool, but at the same time, Bayley & Sasha have their own feud to worry about first. Maybe it’ll be two members of Riott Squad against Becky-Charlotte instead, which will still be fun.

My Score: 8/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (2/3/23)

The Elite are on a Rampage!

Published

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Is The Elite in for a tune-up or trap game tonight?

Though they plan to defend the AEW World Trios titles on Dynamite, Kenny Omega & the Young Bucks defend the titles against The Firm here on Rampage! Will they overlook Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy and get caught?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • AEW World Trios Championships: The Elite VS Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy; The Elite win and retain the titles.
  • Swerve Strickland w/ Mogul Affiliates VS Brian Pillman Jr; wins.
  • Saraya & Toni Storm VS ???
  • Rush w/ Jose the Assistant VS Christopher Daniels; wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

AEW World Trios Championships: The Elite VS Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy!

Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks accepted the challenge of the upstart Top Flight & AR Fox, but then they also accepted the challenge of The Firm’s All Ego! Will The Elite’s ego cost them in their very first defense? Or will they still keep their date with Fox, Dante & Darius for Dynamite?

The bell rings and the trios sort out. Dayton chants, “THE! ELITE! THE THE ELITE!” Nick Jackson starts against Isiah Kassidy, they circle, and they tie up. Nick wrenches to a wristlock, Kassidy rolls and handsprings to wrench and wristlock back. Nick uses ropes to flip through and wrench back to hit a headlock takeover. Kassidy headscissors, Nick kips free, but Kassidy hits a headlock takeover. Nick headscissors, Kassidy kips free, things speed up and Kassidy wheelbarrows to arm-drag! Kassidy kips up, but Nick blocks the chop to knuckle lock. Nick CHOPS, goes up and up, “LUCHA LIBRE~!” and arm-drags!

Kassidy staggers up into another arm-drag, and Nick has the armlock! Fans cheer but Ethan is furious. Nick wrenches Kassidy, tags Matt, and the Bucks double whip to bait Kassidy into a GUTBUSTER, to the NECKBREAKER BACKBREAKER COMBO! Fans fire up with the Bucks, and Matt points to Kenny. Fans fire up, and Matt tags in Omega! Hardy tags in and he circles with Omega. They tie up, break, and then go again. They break, go again, then Hardy headlocks. Omega powers out but Hardy runs him over. Things speed up but Hardy fakes out the hurdle! Hardy kicks low, reels Omega in, TWIST- NO, Omega powers out!

Omega runs in at the corner but Hardy dodges, and the V-Trigger hits buckles! Hardy reels Omega in, but Omega fights the Side Effect! Hardy staggers, Omega runs in but Hardy sends him out! Omega hurries back up but Hardy BLASTS him off the apron! Omega hits railing, Stokely laughs at him, and then Hardy goes up the corner! Omega stands up, but Ethan leaps to CLOBBER Omega! Ethan gives Hardy a thumbs up, he did that so Hardy wouldn’t have to risk himself. Ethan puts Omega in the ring, Ethan apparently snuck a tag that not even Hardy noticed. Ethan drags Omega up to scoop and SLAM him!

Fans boo but Ethan tells the Bucks to kiss this. Ethan drags Omega up, throws haymakers, and then has Omega in the corner. Ethan has Hardy and Kassidy hold Omega in place, then Ethan runs to BLAST the Bucks off the apron! Fans boo more but Ethan runs in, into Omega’s BOOT! Omega is free, he goes up and over Ethan to hot tag Nick! Ethan runs in, Omega dodges and the Bucks DOUBLE GAMANGIRI Ethan back! Nick then tags Matt while Omega RANAS Ethan! The Bucks double kick, Nick runs and Matt gives him the boost to RANA Ethan! Ethan hurries to tag Hardy, he runs in but into DOUBLE DROPKICKS!

Ethan shouts for Kassidy to do something, so Kassidy springboards, but the Bucks get clear to double elbow! They wheelbarrow and lift Kassidy, Omega runs in, WHEELBARROW KOTARO KRUSHER! Kassidy flounders out of the ring while the fans fire up with the Elite. Hardy returns but Omega sets up Ethan and Kassidy. Matt runs in to WRECK Ethan and Kassidy with a dropkick! Matt then holds the ropes for Nick to FLY and take them out! But Matt Hardy kicks Matt Jackson low and reels him in! TWIST- NO, NORTHERN LIGHTS! Matt Jackson starts up the Polar Express, but Ethan saves Hardy!

Ethan swings, but into a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Fans fire up with Jackson as he has Hardy for haymakers! And stomps! Jackson runs, Ethan trips him up but Jackson BOOTS Ethan! Hardy catches Jackson for a SIDE EFFECT! Cover, TWO! Hardy drags Jackson over and tags in Ethan. Ethan stomps Matt Jackson, going after the legs. Ethan talks trash on Dayton then brings Matt around for a BACKBREAKER! Fans boo but Ethan soaks up the heat as Rampage goes picture in picture.

Ethan drags Matt up, bumps him off Kassidy’s boot, then tags Kassidy in. Ethan and Kassidy mug Matt, Kassidy stomps away, then lets off as the ref counts. Kassidy drags Matt back up, tags Hardy, and they mug Matt Jackson now. Hardy brings Jackson around to fire forearms and elbows! Then Hardy has Jackson under the bottom rope, for a ROPE GUILLOTINE! Kassidy gives thumbs up as Hardy covers, TWO! Hardy drags Jackson up, bumps him off Ethan’s boot, and then tags Ethan in. Ethan and Hardy mug Jackson, abut Jackson fights back with haymakers! Rampage returns to single picture as Jackson backs Ethan down!

Matt Jackson runs but into a BOOT! Ethan BLASTS Omega and taunts Nick. Fans boo but Ethan drags Matt Jackson over to tag Hardy back in. Hardy drags Jackson up, bumps him off buckles and shouts “DELETE! DELETE!” Fans chant along, and Hardy goes through all three levels! Hardy grabs Jackson’s legs, and YANKS him into a POWERBOMB! Cover, but Nick breaks it! The ref reprimands but Nick backs off. Hardy drags Matt Jackson to the drop zone, goes up the corner, but then Ethan tags in! Fans boo as Ethan ruins Hardy’s good time. Ethan then copies Hardy’s stuff, but leaps into a SUPERKICK!

Fans rally as Ethan and Matt are down! Hot tag to Omega! Fans fire up as Omega goes up top to CROSSBODY Ethan! Kassidy runs in, to get a POLISH HAMMER! POLISH HAMMER for Ethan! Omega spins but Ethan dodges to kick low! Ethan whips, Omega reverses and fireman’s carries! “YOU! CAN’T! ESCAPE!” ROLLING SENTON, and the MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Omega drags Ethan up into a half nelson. Ethan fights the full nelson, RAMS Omega into the corner, and Kassidy tags in. Kassidy and Hardy run to BLAST the Bucks while Ethan fires off back elbows on Omega!

Ethan whips Omega corner to corner, runs in and clotheslines! Kassidy adds a SPLASH, Hardy adds a clothesline! Hardy sets up, Ethan whips Kassidy, FIRM IN MOTION INTO DOUBLE SUPERKICKS!! Ethan is shocked to see what happened, but he runs into a SNAP DRAGON! Hardy runs in, kicks low, but Omega turns Twist into full nelson! Hardy elbows free, runs, and DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down! Nick goes up, but so does Kassidy! STEREO SWANTON BOMBS!! Nick takes out Hardy while Kassidy takes out Omega! Then Kassidy runs in, dodges Nick and goes up to FLYING COMPLETE SHOT!

Matt Jackson shouts “YOU’RE DEAD!” and he SUPERKICKS Kassidy! Ethan runs in, blocks a kick and spins Jackson to ROUNDHOUSE! and then deadlift POWERSLAM! But V-TRIGGER outta nowhere!! All six men are down and the fans are thunderous! A standing count begins, “This is Awesome!” and Omega crawls to hot tag Nick! Nick storms in to CLUB Kassidy. Kassidy throws a forearm, but Nick hits back! They go back and forth with heavy shots, but Kassidy gets the edge! Nick staggers, but he ROUNDHOUSES back! Nick whips, Kassidy reverses and SPIN KICKS! Nick goes to a corner, Kassidy runs in, but Nick dodges!

SHINING WIZARD! GAMANGIRI! FOREARM! BULLDOG! The Elite regroup and they aim at Kassidy, only for Hardy and Ethan to drag Omega and Matt Jackson out! They’re sent into railing hard, and Kassidy runs to hit a DESTROYER!! Nick flounders to a corner, Hardy sets up again! PARTY IN MOTION! Ethan & Kassidy put Nick up top, DOUBLE ICONOCLASM! And then a feed to the TWIST OF FATE!! Kassidy covers, Matt Jackson breaks it!! Ethan storms in, he gets Matt Jackson up, but he slips off the Ego’s Edge and Omega V-TRIGGERS Ethan down! Hardy throws Omega out!

Hardy runs in, Jackson moves, Hardy BLASTS Ethan! Hardy is shocked and he hurries to check on Ethan. Kassidy TOSSES Matt Jackson out, but Nick springboards in! CUTTER?!? Kassidy covers, TWO!!! Kassidy almost wins this on his own because Hardy and Ethan distracted with Ethan’s jaw. Nick tags Omega while Kassidy calls to his team. Hardy hurries over but Omega V-TRIGGERS Kassidy down!! Omega drags Kassidy away, tags Matt in and then Matt tags Nick. Jackson BLASTS Hardy, Omega Electric Chair Lifts Kassidy! ONE WINGED ANGEL!! Into B T E TRIGGER!!! Cover, The Elite wins!

Winners: The Elite, by pinfall (still AEW World Trios Champions)

This was no trap game, but this was far more than a tune-up! The Elite are red hot now, will they melt the Coldest Tag Team in the Game this Wednesday?

 

Backstage interview with Ricky Starks.

Lexi Nair is with The Absolute, and she brings up the Jericho Appreciation Society throw down the Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet challenge. Starks sorta got what he asked for, so what’s the plan? Starks says, “I can tell you it wasn’t a plan for us to match here,” in reference to his shirt and her whole ensemble both being a light khaki. But Starks admits he puts his foot in his mouth, something he’s known to do around here. But that’s okay, because if that is how Starks gets at Chris Jericho, then that is what he’s going to do. If that is the way to beat Jericho, to get out of the “Web of Jericho” that he has entangled himself in, that is what Starks will do.

“I am no stranger to having the deck stacked against me, because I always find a way. Parker, Daddy Magic, Sammy, Danny, it doesn’t matter. Because in El Paso, Texas, I am gonna to prove exactly why I am Absolute. And when I do get my way, Chris, I am going to embarrass you. And I am going to beat you, again.” Starks is ready for everything the JAS is going to throw at him, but will that still get him the win?

 

Team Triple J speaks.

Jay Lethal tells the others, “Right now, we are riding high. But the Screen Actors Guild and AEW, they’re trying to rain on our parade by distorting on the camera Sonjay’s Golden Globe. I tell you what, just like last week, when we embarrassed the Best Friends and Danhausen, we proved that in the ring, we can’t be matched! And I bet right now, Paul Walter Hauser is sitting at home without a Golden Globe, wishing that he had better friends.” Jeff Jarrett says, “I bet Mr. Walter Hauser wishes he never ever stepped foot in the Kia Forum! Because what happened the last time? I bet he’s wishing he never went on The Late Late Show with James Corden!”

But Best Friends respond!

Danhausen is upset that he got smashed in the head with a Grammy! No, it was a Golden Globe. But keep going, this is good energy. Yes! Danhausen was “decimating” their giant, Satnam Singh, and then he was caught off guard by a GOLDEN GLOBE! That was bad. So YOU will be cursed if it happens again! It shouldn’t happen again, right? It shouldn’t. Danhausen says it WON’T happen again! But when and where will we see the sequel to this showdown of friends and enemies?

 

Swerve Strickland w/ Mogul Affiliates VS Brian Pillman Jr!

For whatever reason, second generation wrestlers get on Swerve’s nerves. He can’t get after The Natural just yet, but he’s settling for #FlyinBrian41 here tonight! Will BPJ use his homefield advantage to stop the Mogul? Or will Dayton be “Whose House?” “SWERVE’S HOUSE!”

The bell rings and Swerve circles with BPJ. They tie up, go around, and BPJ powers Swerve to a corner. Swerve pushes back and wrenches to a wristlock. BPJ rolls, cartwheels, handsprings and headstands, but Swerve pushes him down to turn BPJ over to a ghost pin! TWO, BPJ gets up but Swerve is after him. BPJ whips Swerve to a corner, Swerve goes up and over and O’Conner Rolls, then Eddy Gordo RANAS, but BPJ rolls through to stand back up. Fans cheer the technical exchange. BPJ and Swerve tie up again, Swerve pulls BPJ’s hair and puts him in the corner. BPJ turns things around, and he swings, only for Swerve to duck.

Swerve whips BPJ but BPJ rolls, handsprings and kangaroo kicks! Swerve checks his nose while fans rally up. Swerve runs in, BPJ dodges, things speed up and BPJ hurdles to drop. Swerve handsprings over, things keep moving, but BPJ steps on Swerve! Fans fire up as BPJ asks, “Whose House?” “BRIAN’S HOUSE!” But Swerve takes off his necklace to wrap around his fist as he ROCKS BPJ with a sucker punch! Fans boo, Swerve whips, but BPJ reverses and DROPKICKS! Swerve bails out, BPJ builds speed, and fans fire up as BPJ WRECKS Swerve with a dropkick! BPJ hurries away from Trench & Boudreaux while Rampage goes picture in picture.

BPJ grins while Swerve is furious. Boudreaux & Trench help Swerve stand up. BPJ talks some smack but Swerve has his guys stand down. Swerve goes up the steps and into the ring, and he ties up with BPJ. Swerve kicks BPJ, ROCKS him with a right, then swings, but misses in the corner! BPJ CHOPS, ROCKS, and wrenches before he whips corner to corner. BPJ runs in to clothesline, CHOP, and NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! BPJ rallies the fans while Swerve grits his teeth. BPJ storms up but Swerve gets around to JAM the leg! BPJ falls over and clutches the knee while Swerve taunts Dayton.

Swerve stands on BPJ’s leg, throws down fists, then kicks him around. Swerve stands BPJ up, BPJ throws hands, but Swerve KICKS the leg out! Swerve goes to the corner, goes up, and he taunts the fans before the FALLING UPPERCUT! Swerve swaggers and smirks at all the fans before he goes back to BPJ. Swerve kicks the leg, grinds an arm, and Rampage goes to break.

 


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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (2/3/23)

What is the State of the Bloodline?

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Roman Reigns responds to what happened at the Royal Rumble.

Though he is still Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, the Tribal Chief is without Jey Uso and without the Honorary Uce. What will Roman Reigns do about the Bloodline’s situation?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • SmackDown Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Tournament Finals: Braun Strowman & Ricochet VS Imperium; Braun & Ricochet win and will challenge The Usos for the titles next week.
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Sonya Deville; Charlotte wins and retains the title.
  • The Brawling Brutes VS The Viking Raiders w/ Valhalla; The Viking Raiders win.
  • Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Shotzi Blackheart VS Shayna Baszler VS Zelina Vega VS Natalya; Natty wins and advances to the Raw Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber match.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Bloodline arrives.

Kayla Braxton is already on the scene as Jimmy Usos, Solo Sikoa, Paul Heyman and the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns, exit the vehicle. Kayla wants a word on Jey Usos’ status after what we saw on Saturday, but Roman doesn’t give an answer. Heyman, however, says, “What a cold-blooded question from such a warm-hearted lady.” But at this time, the Bloodline will neither confirm nor deny Jey’s status within the group. But thanks for wearing black and red for them. The Wise Man heads out with the Head of the Table, what will Roman himself have to say later on tonight?

 

SmackDown Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Tournament Finals: Braun Strowman & Ricochet VS Imperium w/ GUNTHER!

The Monster of All Monsters and the King of Flight were last minute substitutes, but they made the most of their opportunity! Will they take over that SmackDown Tag Division right as the Usos’ partnership is in question? Or will it be Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci secure victory and make Der Ring General proud?

The teams sort out and Braun starts against the Pride of Italy. They circle, tie up, and Braun shoves Vinci away! Braun flexes and roars but Vinci talks strategy with Ludwig. They tag, Ludwig talks some trash but Vinci rushes in! Braun stays up from the chop block, he shoves Ludwig away, kicks Vinci out of the ring, and then DECKS Ludwig on the return! Imperium regroups outside and Braun dares them to bring it. Gunther talks strategy with his soldiers, a ring count starts, and fans rally up for Braun. Braun tags to Ricochet as Ludwig gets back in and they circle. They tie up, Ricochet waistlocks and headlocks.

Ludwig powers up and out, but Ricochet rolls off his back to dropkick him down! Ricochet throws forearms but Ludwig DECKS Ricochet! Ludwig drags Ricochet back up but Ricochet hits a JAWBREAKER! Ricochet brings Ludwig up but Vinci takes a swipe! Ricochet gets distracted and Ludwig CLOBBERS him with a EuroUpper! Braun is upset, he runs in around the way to CLOBBER Vinci! Braun stares Gunther down and Gunther backs away. Braun dares Gunther to try something now, but Ludwig DIVES! Only for Braun to catch him! Ludwig tries to fight free, but Vinci goes up and up and CROSSBODIES to wipe Braun out!

Fans rally for Braun while Gunther has Imperium regroup. The Monster and the high-flyer are in trouble as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Braun CLUBS Vinci. Braun scoops Vinci, Vinci slips free and POSTS Braun! Ludwig tags in, they have Braun stuck in the corner, and they DOUBLE DROPKICK! They push Braun in to cover, TWO! Gunther is frustrated but Ludwig rains down fists. Tag to Vinci, Imperium mugs Braun, and Vinci CLUBS away on Braun’s back. Vinci facelocks and grinds the hold but Braun fights up! Fans rally as Braun powers his way over a step at a time, and he TOSSES Vinci away! Hot tag to Ricochet, he springboards to CROSSBODY Ludwig! Ricochet runs to RANA Vinci, then he runs to RAM him in the corner!

Ricochet bumps Vinci off buckles, kicks him away, and springboards for a FLYING LARIAT! Ricochet keeps moving, STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO! Gunther is still worried as Ricochet has the fans rallying behind him. Ricochet brings Vinci up, fireman’s carries, but Vinci slips off to CLUB Ricochet and POST him! Ludwig tags in, they set Ricochet up like Braun, but Ricochet dodges! The dropkicks take Vinci out! Ludwig rushes in, Ricochet dodges to handspring and back elbow! Ludwig flounders to the corner, Braun runs in to BLAST Vinci away! Braun has Ricochet build speed, and gives him a boost to FLY! Direct hit and down goes Imperium!

Fans are thunderous, Ricochet is roaring, and Gunther is furious! Ricochet tells Gunther to back off, this is Imperium’s fight. Gunther shoves Ricochet, and the ref saw it! The ref EJECTS Gunther! Fans love it as now this is a fair fight! Gunther is fuming but Braun dares him to try something more. Ricochet gets in the ring but Vinci grabs at him! Ricochet kicks Vinci away but Ludwig is after him in the ropes! Ricochet shoves Ludwig away, but Ludwig and Vinci HIGH-LOW on the rebound! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives and Braun is shocked, too, as SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Ludwig brawls with Ricochet! Ricochet gets the edge, runs, but Ludwig UPPERCUTS! Ludwig whips, Ricochet reverses to V-TRIGGER! Ludwig wobbles, Ricochet fires off fists, and the ref counts. Ricochet roars as he lets off at 4, but Ludwig turns things around! Vinci tags in and springboards to CROSSBODY! PENALTY KICK from Ludwig! DOUBLE DROPKICKS to Braun! Vinci covers Ricochet, TWO! Ricochet is hanging tough and Imperium grows frustrated. Vinci drags Ricochet up, Ludwig tags in then climbs the corner, but Ricochet back drops Vinci! Ricochet drags Ludwig down to GAMANGIRI!

Ricochet brings Ludwig back up and reels him in to suplex but Ludwig slips out. Ludwig whips Ricochet to the corner, runs in, but blocks the kick! Tag to Vinci but Ricochet elbows Vinci away! Ricochet ROCKS Ludwig, ENZIGURIS, and goes up! But Ludwig GAMANGIRIS! ROCKET LAUNCH into the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Braun YANKS Vinci outta the ring! Fans are thunderous and Braun fires up! Ricochet stirs as the fans rally up and Braun reaches out. Vinci crawls in, both men go for their corners, hot tags to Ludwig and Ricochet! Braun rallies on Ludwig with big shoulder tackles! And a TOSS across the way!

Vinci runs in, springboards, but bounces off Braun’s body! Braun rips off his shirt but Ludwig UPPERCUTS! Braun LARIATS on return! “THAT’S IT!” Braun drags Ludwig up, reels him in, and fans fire up for the MONSTER BOMB!! Tag to Ricochet and he goes up onto Braun’s shoulders! MONSTROUS SWANTON!! Cover, Braun & Ricochet win!

Winners: Braun Strowman & Ricochet, by pinfall (NEW #1 contenders to the SmackDown Tag Team Championships)

Imperium belittled them as “sideshow circus freaks,” but these freaks are going to challenge the Usos next week! Will this be the perfect time to strike down the historic reign of Jimmy & Jey?

 

Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.

Kayla is with The Queen, saying the world is buzzing with the Women’s Royal Rumble match winner, Rhea Ripley, choosing her as her WrestleMania opponent. But how does Charlotte feel? Charlotte says Mania will be epic. But tonight, she’s focused on Sonya Deville. “You cannot overlook someone who is as persistent as Sonya.” Sure, she complained to get here, but we’re in Carolina! And- Oh, here comes Sonya now. Sonya says Charlotte must mean they’re in Flair Country! “WOO~!” Yeah? Or more like, Hicksville, No Man’s Land, the middle of nowhere where no one wants to be, including Sonya herself.

But Sonya won’t let that stop her. She’s here for one reason and one reason only: The SmackDown Women’s Championship. And then it’ll be Sonya VS Rhea at Mania. Because Hollywood needs a star, and Sonya is a star! Charlotte chuckles and Sonya asks what’s so funny. Charlotte won’t be laughing when Sonya beats her in the ring. Charlotte says to leave this trash talk for the ring. Sonya says fine, she’ll see her in the ring. Will the Queen still have her crown after taking on the Jersey Deville?

 

SmackDown shares footage of WWE superstars at the LA Coliseum.

Just last night, in partnership with Fox Sports and NASCAR, The New Day and Rey Mysterio were with Michael Waltrip, Clint Bowyer and the official Clash at the Coliseum branded stock cars. However, The Judgment Day’s Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor & Damian Priest had to crash the fun. Dom says this isn’t about celebrating Rey again, “hanging out with this old guy in pajamas.” Waltrip got upset but the New Day stepped in. Show some respect to the two-time Daytona winner. Finn says that’s the past! They’re with Ross Chastain, the current NASCAR champion! Waltrip tells Dom to be more respectful, but Dom knows what this is about.

Dom says Rey must want to race like they did back in the day when Dom was beating Rey at go-carts! Rey says if Dom wants to get spanked like when he was a kid, sure! Clint said they had two cars right here, so why not race for real? Get on the track and settle this! Everybody got real hyped for that, so Rey and Dom suited up. Waltrip hyped Rey up, and Chastain hyped Dom up. Rey and Dom got in the driver’s seats, put on the steering wheels and helmets, and Waltrip said, “Gentlemen! And the Judgment Day, I guess. Start! Your! Engines!” BOOGITY BOOGITY BOOGITY, and they’re off! Dom took an early lead but Rey was hot on his tail!

Dom was even talking trash, asking if anyone had a booster seat for Rey! And where’s the NOS? But Rey says Dom’s driving is as fake as his teardrop tattoo! Dom still had the lead, and said he learned this from his cellmate who was a getaway driver. Rey said the only “getaway driving” Dom’s ever done is in video games! Lap after lap, Dom holds onto the lead, until Rey makes a move! “If you ain’t first, you’re last!” They’re neck and neck, but Rey takes it at the checkered flag! And in the end, that’s what matters! The New Day celebrated with Rey, but Dom says Rey had to have cheated! Things got tense, the pit crews had to break this up! Will nothing but a fight settle this family dysfunction?

 

SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Sonya Deville!

The Queen reigns again, but the Pride Fighter says that’s an injustice. Will Sonya bring about her own form of justice and equality to SmackDown? Or will this home game in Flair Country be a big win on the Road to WrestleMania for Charlotte?

SmackDown returns and Charlotte makes her entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who Rhea faces in Hollywood!

The bell rings and fans rally behind Charlotte already with “WOO~!” after “WOO~!” Sonya and Charlotte circle, feel things out, then tie up. Charlotte arm-drags Sonya, runs her over, then stands over her. Charlotte eggs Sonya on, “Where’s the trash talking now?” Sonya stands up, she and Charlotte tie up, and Charlotte waistlocks to SLAM Sonya down. Charlotte pushes Sonya to a press, ONE! Sonya stands but Charlotte wrenches an arm. Sonya pulls hair but the ref reprimands. Sonya wrenches, wristlocks, but Charlotte cartwheels to wrench back. Charlotte whips, Sonya reverses, but Charlotte goes up and out!

Charlotte BOOTS Sonya from the ropes, goes up top, and fans fire up as Charlotte leaps! CROSSBODY! Cover, ONE!! Sonya is out but Charlotte says that was still close. Charlotte runs in but only gets buckles! Sonya runs in but is put on the apron. Charlotte ROCKS Sonya, stands her up, and wrenches, but Sonya throws Charlotte by her hair! Sonya mocks the “WOO~!” but fans boo, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns as Charlotte sits up, into a KICK from Sonya! And another! Sonya mocks the “WOO~” again, fans boo some more, but Sonya runs in, only for Charlotte to roll her up! TWO, and Sonya ROUNDHOUSES Charlotte back down! Cover, TWO! Charlotte survives but Sonya clamps on a chinlock. Sonya thrashes Charlotte around, says she can do this all day, but fans rally as Charlotte endures. Charlotte fights up, snapmares free, and then blocks forearms to give forearms! Sonya ROCKS Charlotte, but Charlotte blocks buckle bump to give buckle bump! Sonya staggers away, Charlotte stomps up, but Sonya kicks out a leg!

Sonya runs, Charlotte ducks the lariat and CLOBBERS Sonya! And again! Charlotte CHOPS and CHOPS and CHPOS! Fans “WOO~!” but Sonya swings, into a back suplex! Charlotte kips up and fans fire up! Charlotte runs in at the corner, but blocks boots! Charlotte ROCKS Sonya, climbs up and drops a knee on the knee! Sonya flounders, Charlotte runs to BOOT her down! Cover, TWO!! Sonya survives but Charlotte is actually amused. Sonya goes to ropes, Charlotte storms up and reels her in. Sonya holds ropes, elbows free, then whips, but Charlotte reverses! Sonya tumbles out to the apron, avoids the boot and HOTSHOTS the leg!

Sonya slides in, runs in and BOOTS Charlotte down! Cover, TWO!! Sonya can’t believe it! Sonya fumes while Charlotte crawls to a corner. Charlotte drags herself up, Sonya run sin but into a BACKBREAKER! But Sonya avoids the boot! Sonya KCIKS Charlotte, goes up the corner, and FLYING KNEES Charlotte down! Cover, TWO!!! Sonya is furious, but she drags Charlotte to center. Sonya stomps the leg, grins, and goes ‘WOO~!” Sonya steps through, Charlotte turns figure four into cradle! TWO!?!? Sonya escapes by nanoseconds! Fans boo but Charlotte storms up, only for Sonya to send her into buckles!

Sonya runs, into a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Charlotte drags Sonya to a drop zone, goes up top, and fans fire up for the MOONSAULT! Sonya BOOTS her back! And rolls her up! FEET ON THE ROPES! TWO!!! The ref reprimands but Charlotte still escapes! Sonya steps through, Charlotte kicks free of the figure four! Sonya comes back, sunset flips, but charlotte rolls through! Charlotte has the legs, “WOO~!” Figure Four, to FIGURE EIGHT!! Sonya taps, Charlotte wins!!

Winner: Charlotte Flair, by submission (still SmackDown Women’s Champion)

Sonya was so close and yet so far! But that is how good Charlotte Flair is now that she’s back on top! What will it take for even The Eradicator to take this title off Charlotte at WrestleMania?

 

The Bloodline sits in their private room.

Roman asks Jimmy, “Where’s your brother?” Jimmy doesn’t know. Jimmy didn’t talk to Jey? Haven’t heard from him. Roman isn’t sure if it’s just him, but don’t you find that disrespectful? Jey not only walks out, but he doesn’t care enough to communicate. It’s one thing to walk away, but to not hear from him for a whole week… Plus, don’t the Usos have a title match next week? “We don’t walk out on our obligations.” Roman can’t understand this. So he asks again: Has Jimmy talked to Jey? And Jimmy will say it again, he hasn’t heard from Jey. But Jey will be there, Jimmy has faith in him. But they all know Jey. He just needs time to cool off.

Roman repeats, “He’ll be there. he’ll be there for you. What about all of us? He gonna be there for the entire Bloodline? Huh? Solo, have you talked to your brother?” Jimmy says if he hasn’t heard from Jey, Jey isn’t talking to nobody, Uce. Nobody has heard from Jey. Roman says they don’t understand the urgency that is needed right now. Roman calls upon the Wise Man. “Yes, My Tribal Chief.” “Is it not WrestleMania season?” “It is WrestleMania Season, My Tribal Chief.” Then you ain’t gonna find Jey on the couch. Go find him now! Jimmy and Solo get up and head out. Will Main Event Jey be found at all tonight?

 

The Brawling Brutes VS The Viking Raiders w/ Valhalla!

“Butch” and Ridge the Fridge are going to avenge Sheamus against Erik & Ivar! Will the Bruiserweight and Yorkshire Grit be the ones to bring Ragnarök to the Vikings? Or will they end up just like the Celtic Connection?

SmackDown returns and the Vikings make their entrance. The teams sort out and Dunne starts with Ivar. They tie up, Ivar puts Dunne in a corner, but he lets off quickly. Dunne fires forearms but Ivar throws body shots and fast hands! The ref counts, Ivar lets off again, but then Ivar whips Dunne out to send him back into the corner hard! Dunne falls, Ivar drags him to the corner and tags in Erik. Erik whips Dunne into the corner, runs in, but into boots! Dunne brings Erik around, ties him up, and has an abdominal stretch, but he bends the fingers! Dunne powers Erik to the corner, fires forearms, and tags in Ridge.

Ridge runs side to side to forearm smash! Ridge keeps going, and he runs Erik over with a shoulder! Ridge drags Erik up but Erik wrenches out to ROCK him with a forearm! Erik suplexes but Ridge is too big for that! Ridge suplexes Erik up and over! Tag to Dunne, then Ridge clobbers Erik! Dunne BOOTS Ivar, and then the Brutes have Erik for DOUBLE BEATS OF THE BODHRAIN! They go to 7 before Dunne just fires off furiously! Erik flops down, Dunne stomps him off the apron, then he PLANCHAS! Erik gets clear, but Dunne stares “Valhalla” Sarah Logan down. Erik RAMS Dunne into barriers, then CLOBBERS him! Fans boo but SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Dunne pries his way out of a sleeper at the ropes! He SNAPS Erik’s fingers! Valhalla is shocked, Erik runs in, but Dunne goes up and over! Tag to Ridge, and he EXPLODERS Erik! Erik is back up, but he swings into another EXPLODER! Ridge blocks haymakers to throw HEADBUTTS, and then an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Ridge roars, “FIGHT NIGHT!” but runs into a KNEE! Tag to Ivar, Ridge CLOBBERS Erik but Ivar kicks low! Ivar reels Ridge in, lifts him up, but Ridge powers up and Alabama Lifts Ivar! ALABAMA SLAM!! Cover, TWO!! Valhalla is relieved as the War Beard survives!

Ridge snarls, he waistlocks Ivar but Ivar backs him into a corner. Ivar fires elbow after elbow, but Dunne tags in to ENZIGURI! Dunne runs in to BOOT Ivar! Erik tags in, he runs but into an ENZIGURI! Dunne runs, but into a LARIAT! ACE TEN MAO! Cover, ONE?!?! Tag to Ivar, and Ivar climbs. Erik hands Dunne off to Ivar, but Ridge drags Erik out! Erik RAMS Ridge into barriers! Dunne fights the slam, rains down elbows, and then SUPER STEINERS Ivar away! Cover, TWO!! Ivar survives and Valhalla breathes easy again. Dunne goes up top to MOONSAULT! But Ivar catches Dunne!! Ivar deadlifts Dunne, but Dunne slips into a SLEEPER!

Ivar RAMS Dunne into buckles, Erik tags in and Erik CLOBBERS Dunne! Ivar goes out, Ridge runs in, but into a HEEL KICK! Ivar tags back in, the Vikings have Dunne, and Valhalla nods. RAGNARÖK!! Cover, the Vikings win!

Winners: The Viking Raiders, by pinfall

The Brutes could not stop the brutality of Erik & Ivar, the raid continues on! Will the Viking Raiders be waiting on the other side of next week’s tag title showdown?

WAIT! Here comes Drew McIntyre and Sheamus! The Celtic Connection are back on their feet, and they brawl with the Vikings on the stage! Sheamus tackles Erik, McIntyre throws Ivar into railing! The forearms fly, and Sheamus RAMS Erik into a girder! McIntyre runs and RAMS Ivar into the LED screen! Ivar staggers, McIntyre BOOTS him down! Fans fire up as Sheamus & McIntyre stand tall! Will they turn the tides in this battle on the Road to WrestleMania?

 

Bray Wyatt sits in his rocking chair.

Like us, he was surely watching back the highlights of the Pitch Black Match from the Royal Rumble. But then Uncle Howdy walks over! He and Bray look at the camera together, does this mean they’re on the same side after all?

 

Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Shotzi Blackheart VS Shayna Baszler VS Zelina Vega VS Natalya!

As we learned on Raw, there will be a Women’s Elimination Chamber to name Bianca Belair’s WrestleMania opponent! Raquel Rodriguez, Liv Morgan, Nikki Cross and Asuka are automatically in given their performance in the Women’s Rumble match. Raw will hold its own Fatal 4 on Monday, but who qualifies for the fifth spot here on Friday Night SmackDown?

SmackDown returns and the Queen of Harts makes her entrance, with the Wild Child, Queen of Spades and La Muneca already waiting. The bell rings and Natty rushes Shayna. Natty dodges Shayna’s haymaker, Shotzi ROCKS Shayna with a right, and then Natty fires off on Shayna. Vega rushes Shotzi but gets a kick. Natty bumps Shayna off buckles and stomps a mudhole! Shotzi throws Vega out, then goes after Shayna, even pushing Natty outta the way! Shotzi has her own bone to pick with Shayna, but then Natty throws Shotzi away. Natty stomps Shayna out of the ring, Shotzi rolls Natty up! TWO, Shotzi headlocks but Natty powers out.

Shotzi runs Natty over, fans fire up and Shotzi runs, but Vega trips her up! Vega drags Shotzi out, THROWS her to the barriers, then laughs as she goes into the ring. Vega and Natty tie up, Vega gets around to roll Natty up, TWO! Vega KICKS from below, covers, TWO! We see Liv and Raquel are here watching backstage, already representing SmackDown in the Elimination Chamber. Vega drags Natty up but Natty ROCKS Vega! Natty scoops Vega but Vega slips off and pushes her away. Vega then tilt-o-whirls, and hits a CODE RED! Cover, Shayna kicks it apart! Shayna gut wrenches Vega to a SLAM!

Shotzi returns, Shayna gets around and hooks Shotzi up, BACKBREAKER! Shayna grabs Shotzi’s arm and stands on her head. Shotzi flails, fans boo, but Natty CLUBS Shayna down! Natty drags Shayna up, throws her to the apron, and runs in. Shayna avoids the shoulder to KICK Natty! Vega trips Shayna but Shayna CLOBBERS her for it! Shayna gets back in, and KNEES Natty down! Shayna grins as she covers, TWO!! Natty survives that nasty knee that once broke her nose, and Shayna soaks up the heat from the fans while SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Shayna pulls on Shotzi’s arm in a top wristlock. Shotzi fights up and fires body shots but Shayna DECKS her! Shayna stands on Shotzi’s arm, but she avoids the stomp! Roll up, ONE, but Shotzi BOOTS, KNEES and ROLLING ELBOWS Shayna, to then QUESTION MARK KICK! Shayna ends up on ropes, Shotzi runs to SENTON! Shayna bails out, Shotzi DIVES to take her out at the ramp! Fans fire up but Vega goes up top! Vega SUPER MOONSAULTS onto Shotzi and Shayna! All three are down, Natty hurries out to DECK Vega! Natty puts Shotzi in, runs and trips Shotzi, to the SHARPSHOOTER!

Fans fire up as Shotzi endures, but Vega hits a BULLDOG on Natty! Shotzi chicken wings Vega to TIGER SUPLEX! But Shayna reels Shotzi in for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Shayna then drags Vega up into the KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!! Vega flails, but she’s fading! Natty runs in, Shayna drops Vega to duck the discus! KIRAFUDA for Natty!! But Natty throws Shayna out of the ring! Natty hurries to get Vega for the SHARPSHOOTER!! Vega taps, Natty wins!!

Winner: Natalya, by submission (advances to Elimination Chamber)

The Queen of Harts is going to be the hometown hero in Montreal! But will that help her take the golden ticket to Hollywood?

 

Roman Reigns still waits in his private room.

Heyman apologizes to the Tribal Chief. Jey’s phone goes straight to voicemail. Heyman wants to say more, but he holds his tongue. Jimmy and Solo return, and they also say they got nothing. A big fat zero. Roman sighs. “I just don’t understand. Of all the times of year for this to happen. We were doing so good. No problems, no hiccups.” Roman says they know how much he has on his plate. That they understand “the stress and the burden of this position.” He feels like he’s being pulled in two different directions, and spread too thin. He loves them, and is sorry for speaking tot hem the way he did.

Jimmy says not to worry about it. Roman says he needs them. He needs them to be as strong as they ever were. Because if they’re not, there is no more #WeTheOnes. Wise Man had catering sent to the bus, it’s a whole bunch of sushi, steaks, etc. It’s good stuff. They can go to the bus and eat up while Roman goes to the ring to handle business. He needs them with him. They understand? Yeet. Then enjoy. He’ll catch up with them later. Jimmy says okay, and has Solo tag along. What will Roman say about Sami, Jey and the Bloodline as a whole? We find out, after the break.

 

BREAKING NEWS for next week!

On top of the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, we will see a Fatal 4 Way match to name a #1 contender to the Intercontinental Championship! Rey Mysterio VS Madcap Moss VS Karrion Kross VS Santos Escobar! Who will win to go after Der Ring General?

 

Roman Reigns heads to the ring.

Paul Heyman is the only one to accompany the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion as his reign now reaches 887 DAYS! Roman lifts the belts for the pyro, then continues to the ring. As it stands, Roman Reigns will headline WrestleMania against the American Nightmare, the Men’s Rumble Winner, Cody Rhodes, but even that seems to be secondary to what is going on within The Bloodline. Roman and Heyman stand in the ring, and Roman lifts the belts again for the second round of pyro. Heyman then hands Roman a mic while fans chant, “SAMI! SAMI!” Roman lets that settle down before he says, “Greenville, South Carolina… ACKNOWLEDGE ME!”

Fans are still rather torn between cheers, jeers, and the chant of “SAMI! SAMI!” Roman was going to ask them who they want him to talk about, but it’s obvious. Roman says he’d rather sit here and talk about Cody Rhodes. “Y’know, the guy that won the Royal Rumble, the #1 contender. Someone who actually deserves my attention. But you simple folks have reduced me to talking about the past.” Fans boo, then start up the “SAMI! SAMI!” again. Roman says fine, if they want to hear about Sami, he’ll talk about Sami. “But remember, there’s two sides to every story, so you’re gonna hear mine.” Fans boo, they already don’t like that.

Roman says that in order to hear his side of the story, “we’ve gotta go all the way back to WarGames.” Heyman remembers when Roman looked Sami in his eyes that Roman saw everything he needed to see. “Would you like to know what I saw that night? I saw greed. I saw the same thing that I see in everybody that I ever interact with in my life nowadays. If a restaurant was lucky enough to have me, when I walk in, the hostess, the people in the kitchen, the waitress, the waiter, they all say the same thing. ‘I want this.’ It’s not, ‘Tribal Chief, it’s great to see you.’ No, it’s ‘What can I do for you, like I haven’t already done enough?'”

So Roman does the same thing for Sami, he gives Sami the opportunity of a lifetime, and Sami just uses him, the Bloodline and the Island of Relevancy! “No different than each and every one of you, because you all want, want, want. You can never give back, huh?” BUT THEN SAMI ATTACKS!! Sami came outta the crowd in a hoodie but it’s clear as day that’s him! Sami rains down furious fists and fans are loving it! Sami tears off the hoodie to reveal his new Sami Zayn shirt! Roman staggers up, Sami fires off, but Roman throws knees in return! Roman stomps Sami down, fans boo, but Roman shakes out the stars.

Roman tells Heyman to get a chair, so Heyman gets a chair. Heyman hands the chair to Roman, but Sami is back up! Sami SPEARS Roman?!?! Fans are thunderous as Sami hits Roman with his own move! And then Sami looks down at the chair. Fans are chanting for “SAMI! SAMI!” and Sami swings! Roman avoids the chair shot and retreats up the ramp! Sami shouts in the mic, “ROMAAAN!! You’re wrong about me. I never wanted anything from you. I never wanted anything from you!! Until now. I want something from you now, and I’m gonna take it. Because I am coming after you and the WWE UNDISPUTED UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!”

Fans are going nuts, and Roman is flabbergasted! But then Jimmy SUPERKICKS Sami down! Solo and Jimmy mug Sami! Fans boo but Roman grins as Solo rains down HEADBUTTS! Solo stands Sami up, SAMOAN SPIKE!! Sami sputters but the Bloodline isn’t done with him! They sit Sami in the corner, rain down fists, and then they put the chair around Sami’s head! They’re gonna Riddle him! Solo runs in, but Roman stops him!? Roman looks down on Sami and says, “You want something, huh? You want something from me?” Roman takes the chair away, and fans are chanting “WE WANT JEY! WE WANT JEY!”

Roman tells Sami to listen to that. The fans want Jey, but Roman doesn’t have Jey because Sami broke up the Bloodline. The Right Hand Man isn’t here because of Sami! Sami was given the keys to the kingdom, the invitation to the Promised Land, and Sami repays them by breaking up the family! Sami will get what he wants, but Roman will get what he wants. Sami and Roman will be in Montreal at the Elimination Chamber! Sami broke up Roman’s family, so Roman will break Sami in front of his family! Sami’s parents, wife, kids, friends, relatives, everyone he’s connected to! They will see what happens when you mess with Roman’s family! “I’ll see you soon!”

Sami is still down, fans still chant for him, but then they boo as Roman takes the belts back. If this is what Sami wants, then this is simple to Roman! This isn’t a dream, this is reality! Sami should’ve just stayed in the Bloodline. Roman lifts the titles over Sami, will this be what we see in Montreal in just two weeks?


My Thoughts:

This was a great SmackDown to follow the Royal Rumble! For one, it flew by, though that could be because of the recap packages and only the four matches. I did like the bit we got out of Bray and Uncle Howdy, though it was rather short. The NASCAR racing segment was cheesy like a lot of pro-wrestling corporate synergy stuff is, but it continues to further the plot point that Dom will just get in Rey’s face anywhere and everywhere. With Rhea wanting after Charlotte, it is obvious that the rest of Judgment Day will move over to SmackDown with her, they will have a new feud with Rey, and New Day might even back Rey up for some really good Six Man Tags.

Speaking of Charlotte, she and Sonya had a decent promo before their match, which logically wasn’t the main event because it was a given Charlotte would win. Even so, Sonya looked strong in that match, just not strong enough. And great move having the Women’s Fatal 4 be the “main event” as far as matches. Shotzi, Shayna, Vega and Natty are all great talents, and it makes sense to give Montreal their hometown hero of Natty in the Women’s Elimination Chamber match. Personally, I would’ve given the nod to Shayna, she would be just as good in the match, and if she were to move over to Raw, she could still have great matches against Bianca Belair and others past Mania.

The Brutes VS Viking Raiders was a really good tag match, but of course the Vikings were gonna win that. And given that, of course Drew & Sheamus were gonna get after them. I don’t know if it’s gonna be in a Donnybrook or a Viking Rules match, but we need one of those at Elimination Chamber for the blow-off of McIntyre & Sheamus VS Erik & Ivar. They need to go wild and just beat each other down. I also like the news of the Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4. Rey, Moss, Kross and Escobar is a great field, but I can’t be sure who faces Gunther. Well, outside of Moss. I don’t see him pulling out a win there, but at the same time, Rey and Kross might cancel out. Escobar VS Gunther so that we could get Legado Del Fantasma VS Imperium would be really cool.

Speaking of Imperium, great opening tag to finish the SmackDown Tag Title tournament. Braun and Ricochet getting after Gunther to get him ejected was good stuff, and of course Braun & Ricochet as the Faces win. Their story ties into the Bloodline dysfunction, and the promos from The Bloodline was good stuff. Jey is MIA and radio silent, which is still a big part of things. Roman again had to walk back his anger in order to keep Solo and Jimmy on his side, and then Roman had a great promo to close the night, along with Sami’s blindside attack. Sami wanting the titles is a natural move, but I have a feeling Sami loses in Montreal to really put heat on Roman. As much as we all love Sami, as great as Sami truly is, Roman VS Cody got a really good Mania Hollywood graphic, WWE’s not changing that.

My Score: 8.8/10


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